Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bad Night

Okay, I'm venting here. So don't read this post if you don't want to read some negativity :-P

Yesterday I wrote about how Luke and I were supposed to go out for dinner and shopping tonight. Well Luke played basketball for 2 and a half hours last night, and he was extremely tired and could barely move today. He decided he was too tired even to drive on our date night. I hate driving, so I was already annoyed. Luke just didn't seem like he was into the little date night, and I got mad. I told him I wasn't going if he was going to act like that, so I ended up pulling into a Taco Bell in Salem (a town about 10 minutes from our house), eating a nasty dinner, and then going home.

I guess we both had bad attitudes, and I'm still a little annoyed and so is he. I don't know why I'm being so honest here, but I decided to keep it real today. I hate it when people are fake when they blog, and act like everything is perfect, so here I am being honest, I guess.

So anyway, I'm sitting here trying to swallow my pride and go apologize. I thought maybe blogging would make me feel better :-P

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Sorry for all the negativity...I promise I won't post in a bad mood again for awhile :-P

Oh, I guess I do have something positive to say. Last night while Luke was at basketball, I watched "Music and Lyrics." I had gotten it at the library on Friday...gotta love free movies! I never rent anymore! Anyway, it was such an adorable chick flick! If you're ever in an extra girly mood, this is a good one to watch :-)

There, I ended on a positive note...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Random Post

I have absolutely nothing of interest to write about today. So I thought I'd just list a few random updates

1. I am sick. Not sick enough to call off work, but sick enough to feel miserable. Burning sinuses, watery eyes, and major congestion made it a very un-fun day at work today.

2. On top of being sick, I have a gigantic toothache. I think my wisdom teeth seriously need to be taken out. My gums are completely swollen around the bottom left one, and it HURTS. Almost unbearably. I wish I wasn't so terrified of the dentist! My mom is very "teeth conscious" because she was a dental assistant for a few years before I was born. My sister and I were subjected to many hours in the dentist's or orthadontist's chair when we were little, and it is still a terrifying place for me now. There's only one kind of doctor I hate going to more than a dentist. Bet you can probably guess what kind. lol

3. Luke finished our little platform for our grill. Pictures to come soon. We grilled cheeseburgers yesterday. I made carmalized onions with brown sugar to go on them and it was delish! Also, I made pasta salad, half a sweet potato for myself, and I fried up some french fries for Luke. Can't forget the huge glasses of sweet tea we had as well! It was such a summer-y meal, although we had to eat it inside. It was only 40 degrees out!

4. There was snow on the ground this morning when I woke up. Yuck. It's all melted now, thank goodness!

5. Jon and Kate plus 8, The Bachelor, Secret Life of the American Teenager (yes, I'm a dork and watch that show), AND The City all had their season finales in the last few weeks. Whatever will I do tonight?! j/k, I'm sure I'll find plenty to do around here!

6. Apparently I am awesome according to the 4th grade class I work with because I have read some of the Twilight books and I like the movie. Score! :-P

7. Luke and I are going out to buy our Easter outfits tomorrow night. I always use Easter Sunday as an excuse to buy a new dress. Here we are last year...note that Luke is OF COURSE wearing scarlet and gray, and I have had over 10 inches cut from my hair since then. I think sometimes I miss my long hair. It will probably never be that long again, though. It was becoming a pain. It's not fun when you shut your hair in a car door. Seriously. Multiple times.
It's sad to say I don't think I fit into that dress anymore! Oh well, I'm working on it. It's getting closer to swimsuit season, so I'm eating a lot more healthily. Is that a word? Oh well :-) Anyway, we are heading to Boardman right after work tomorrow to hit the mall and probably the food court as well. Because of Dave Ramsey, we don't go out too often and we especially don't buy things for ourselves very often, so we're excited to spend some money! lol

8. Speaking of Dave Ramsey, we have our last Financial Peace University class next week. It has seriously changed our lives. I recommend his program and any of his books. Luke and I have saved up money in an emergency fund, and paid off 2 of our credit cards in just the 3 months of the class! We plan on paying off the rest of our debt (except the house) and then living without credit cards or loans. It's the way to go, I think. Please check out his website or his books on Amazon if you are interested. It will change your life if you follow his plan! Anyway, next week we "graduate." We're having a mini party with cake and ice cream afterwards. And there are drawings for restaurant gift certificates for people with perfect attendance and who have finished all of their homework. Luke and I qualify, so we're crossing our fingers! lol

9. We have a 4-day week next week for good Friday, and the we get Monday and Tuesday of the next week off as well. Yay for a spring break, even though it is short.

10. Luke turned off his basketball last night (he's soo into March Madness, and seriously has at least 20 brackets!) and watched Jim Gaffigan on Comedy Central with me. I was so glad that he gave up watching basketball so we could watch something togheter that we both like. And we ended up almost crying we were laughing so hard. I think he's my favorite comedian. He's absolutely hilarious, but he keeps it pretty clean. I would love to see him live sometime, and I kind of hinted that to Luke. lol...we'll see, I guess!

I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought I did! Ha! Have a great Monday, and thank the Lord that it's almost over! At least the boring part for me is over!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Carpe Diem

Today was fun. I had planned to go visit my grandpa in the hospital, come home and grill burgers for dinner with Luke, and then go to Bible study. Well, there was a change of plans. Sometimes you gotta just seize the day :-)

I still ended up going to visit Grandpa. I went with Mom, and it just so happened that Julie (my younger sister) was free for the afternoon. My Grandpa is at a hospital in Canton, which is right in between where me and Mom live, and Akron, where Julie lives. So she met us at the hospital. Mom asked if we wanted to go out for dinner and some shopping after we left the hospital. I decided that since I don't get to spend much time with Julie, I'd abandon my plans and spend the rest of the evening with my two favorite women :-) I called Luke to make sure he was okay with it, of course. The burgers can wait until tomorrow, right?

Well Grandpa was doing very well! He was up out of bed, so that was good! He was in a great mood, and very talkative. The only thing he's upset about is his soft-food diet. He's pretty picky, and does not like all the mushed up food they are making him eat! But it's better than the all liquid diet he was on last week! They are sending him to the Community Care unit of our local hospital on Monday, and he should be released to go home on or before Friday from there. He can't wait!

Later we went to eat at one of my favorite places: Chik-fil-a. It was delicious, as always. Then we spent a long time at JoAnn Fabrics and Target before Julie had to head back to campus. I found the material I'll be using for my piano bench project (I'm turning an old piano bench into a little bench with a cushion for our bedroom).You like? The pink is a little girly, but it's the only pink I've added to the whole house. And it's my favorite color, so hopefully Luke can deal with it! I painted the piano bench white last weekend, and I can't wait to put the whole project together!

Although I'm missing Bible study and my dinner with Luke tonight, I'm glad I decided to spend some time with Mom and Julie. Luke decided to go out with a friend for fast food, so I'm sure he's glad too. And tomorrow we will spend the whole day together. We have church together and We're grilling our burgers for lunch, then we were invited over to his parents house for the afternoon Cavs game and dinner, and then we have our FPU class in the evening. Then we will probably come home and unwind as we like to do on Sunday nights to get ready for the week ahead.

I feel a cold coming on. I've been sneezing all day. Is it bad that I'm hoping i'm sick so I can take a day off from work? Summer really can't come fast enough. And hopefully I'll be in a better place next school year!

All right, well I'm off to read until Luke gets home :-) Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

P.S. I just found out it's supposed to SNOW Sunday night into Monday morning. Dang it, I thought we were done with that already! Dare I hope for a delay or snow day? I better not get my hopes up!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vampires and Boleyns on the Brain

So I had lots of random thoughts today. I thought I'd share a few.

- This morning I went outside with the fourth grade science class because they were on a mission to find living things. It was cold, foggy, and wet from last night's rain, and we were out beside the foreboding trees in the forest behind the school. For a moment there I felt like I was in Forks, and I half expected Edward Cullen to fly by and sweep me up in his arms. Loving my daydreams at 8:00 during science class. It reminded me that I MUST order the Twilight blu-ray on Amazon ASAP!

-I also realized I need to finish reading the Twilight books!! I'm only halfway through the series.

- I got pulled to sub AGAIN this afternoon (3rd time in a week), and wondered why I always seem to end up with recess duty when I am pulled to sub. So today I got to enjoy my everyday playground duty from 7:30 - 8 in the morning (kids come to school early for some reason and I get to baby-sit them :-p) AND I got to have recess duty for another half-hour around noon. At least it gave me some more free time out in the sun. And maybe I daydreamed about Edward Cullen some more. And of course I daydreamed about my own husband who I have decided is the William Stafford to my Mary Boleyn ;-)

- Spent my break time in the afternoon on Wikipedia researching all of the Boleyns while the kids were at gym. Yes, I am a nerd.

- After work I made a quick jaunt over to the library where I picked up "The Constant Princess" and "A Voice in the Wind." I cannot wait to have some free time to jump right into those books! I'm visiting my grandpa in the hospital tomorrow with my mom, and I plan on reading during the 45 minute drive.

-Had pizza at my parent's house for dinner! Score! Free food and I didn't have to cook.

- Visited my poor grandma, who is missing my grandpa very much while he's been in the hospital. She's been drowning her sorrows with QVC purchases...we thought she needed an intervention. But seriously, it was nice to visit her and I think she appreciated the company.

- Just finished watching "The Other Boleyn Girl" with my mom. The book was 10,000 times better, and the movie was WAY more depressing than the book.

- Luke and I are about to watch "Role Models" at 11:15 PM. I need something funny after that heavy book and movie! I guess it will be a late night for us, and I'm wondering if I can even stay awake for even half of the movie!

Have a wonderful evening. I'm off to laugh with Luke :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I just finished reading "The Other Boleyn Girl" (finally!) It was such a good book, but slightly depressing! I kind of feel like it has made me lose all hope in humanity. Just kidding...sort of :-P I know I'm making it sound horrible, but it really was good, and I highly recommend it! It's pretty long, and spans many years, so it's a good one to read when you have lots of free time to just escape into the world of the Mary and Anne Boleyn. I read it because I have no life :-P

I'm excited about going to the library tomorrow and picking up "The Constant Princess." It's by Philippa Gregory, who also wrote "The Other Boleyn Girl." According to a website I found today, "The Constant Princess" takes place chronologically before "The Other Boleyn Girl." I guess I kind of read them in the wrong order. There are a few more books that take place after TOBG that I'm excited to read as well! Looks like I'll be busy reading this spring and summer!

Once I finish this next book, I'll finally try some Francine Rivers books. I'm just too caught up right now to switch gears. I'm not quite ready yet to move on from Philippa Gregory :-)

This post may be totally boring you, but I just wanted to let you know how wonderful TOBG was.

Also, for a Grandpa update. He's doing well, they think his stroke was just a mini stroke. He should be released from the hospital in the next day or two, but he will not be able to go home quite yet! They want to send him to the Community Care unit of our local hospital for about a week before he goes home. This was supposed to be 1 simple surgery, in and out of the hospital in a day or 2...however, he is going on 2 weeks of being in the hospital, with another week expected after this. I'm just happy that he's okay, and it looks like he might be coming home soon. Thank you for all your prayers!

Goodnight :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bummers and Blessings

Things have been rough the past couple of days. I'll start with my Grandpa. I posted earlier about how he had 3 surgeries on his gallbladder and to remove a gallstone last week. I forgot to update last weekend and let you know that his last surgery (which was slightly risky) went very smoothly, and he was supposed to get out of the hospital 5 days afterward. I believe today was day 3 or 4. Well I got a call from my mom this afternoon, and found out that during physical therapy this morning, my grandpa had a stroke. This is his second stroke...he had one about a year ago. But they had to rush him to another hospital. They said it might have been brought on by the stress of the surgeries. But we're just all very worried about him. He needs prayer. I do have one blessing to report from the situation: after the stroke, he seemed to be paralyzed on his left side. Luckily, after awhile the feeling came back to him. He loves to work outside and has a beautiful garden (he used to own a floral/nursery business). It would have been awful if the stroke had caused any paralysis.

If you could say a little prayer for him if you think about it, that would be wonderful! He's been through a lot this year. In addition to all of this, he also had heart problems that were discovered the day before my wedding. He had to miss the wedding because he was in the hospital having surgery to have a pacemaker put in. He was so upset to miss the wedding, and the situation was the only cloud in an otherwise perfect wedding day. I just feel bad for the poor guy. I hope he heals quickly!

Okay, I've got another bummer. I had a little bit of an emotional moment yesterday. Luke's been very busy lately, and hasn't spent a whole lot of time with me. I've been struggling with loneliness a lot lately, too. I had a bad day yesterday, and Luke was too busy working in the yard to spend any time with me when he got home, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. I just began to sob while he was outside. I'm not really a needy or high maintenance wife (at least I don't think I am!) so this was a big deal. When Luke came in I told him that I just really needed to be with him and spend time with him that night.

Okay, now for the blessing part :-) Luke saw that I had been crying, and that I was genuinely needing him, so he dropped everything. I had pretty much exhausted myself with my melt-down, so after our dinner of spaghetti, we decided to forget all of our obligations, and just spend the night relaxing together. We cuddled up under the blanket upstairs, and watched "Modern Marvels - Walt Disney World" together. It was 2 hours long, but we were totally into it. It's a good one! lol...Luke loves "Modern Marvels", and I love Disney World, so it was a good choice. It was just nice to focus on spending time together, it didn't really matter what we were doing. After that, we both fell asleep watching Sports Center (No wonder we fell asleep :-P) It was such a blessing. I feel totally different about life in general today (my love language is quality time, just in case you were wondering. ha!)

Okay, time for some pictures since the rest of this post is pretty long and wordy! Today I had a fun time grocery shopping. I'm trying to introduce a lot more fruits, veggies, and natural foods into our diets. I spent a lot of time in the produce section today! Here is our weekly menu. I tried to make it a little more natural and "homemade" than normal! It's probably too small to read unless you click on it, but oh well! I just like the paper that I wrote it on. I found a book full of this paper at Walmart for less than $6! It's actually scrapbook paper, but I'll probably just use it for memos and notes. It's too cute!

And I decided to make a snack that was "healthy." I made my own trail mix with mixed nuts, pretzels, and m&ms. I know I'm fooling myself here, guys. It's full of fat, chocolate and sugar. But it just seems healthier than the oreos or chocolate bars I usually eat way too many of! Hey, it's a step in the right direction, right?

Of course it's in one of Luke's huge Ohio State bowls. I really need to buy some prettier bowls! lol...we're newlyweds, what do you expect? :-P

Well I think I'll go and try to finish "The Other Boleyn Girl." It's due back at the library on Friday along with "The Atonement Child." I want to finish them so I can get some fresh, new books!

Thank you for your prayers for my grandpa. It means so much to have people I've never even met before praying for him. God bless you all :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Going Bananas

I decided I'd make banana chocolate chip muffins tonight so that Luke and I can grab one quickly and eat it before work in the mornings.

They look like chocolate chip cookies! Any breakfast food that includes chocolate is right up my alley!

Gabby likes to sneak up on the waste basket and watch me bake. I caught her mid-blink

The muffins turned out pretty good, and it will be one less thing I have to worry about in the morning. I'm just crossing my fingers that Luke likes them...he can be pretty picky!

I went to a nutrition class at the women's retreat at my church on Saturday. It really inspired me, and made me realize I've been putting lots of really bad foods in my body for awhile now. And in Luke's body! I'm really going to try to bring a LOT more fruits, vegetables, beans (not from a can!), and nuts into our diets. Those are pretty much the best things for our bodies. Of course, meat is important too, but in smaller portions than the fruits and veggies.

I feel like it is my responsibility to feed myself, Luke, and our future children, the most natural diet that I can. I don't think God intended for us to eat chemicals in our food when he created the earth! So tomorrow I'm armed with the task of grocery shopping in a completely different way than normal. I'm actually excited! It means no more mac&cheese or Hamburger Helper, so it will take a lot more effort in the kitchen, but this is one more way I can serve in my home :-) Plus Hamburger Helper is kind of disgusting.

On another note, our fire pit is complete, and we had our first bonfire last night! Here are some highlights:

Here I am building my first fire ever! I said I had never done it before, so they let me have the honors.


Everybody brought their puppies! Here's Molly:

And my sister-in-law, Maria brought her Great Dane puppy. Calypso (Cali) is 13 weeks old and 40 lbs! I think she's winking at me :-)
My neighbor's dog, Lexie, also made an appearance. I did not get a picture of her though.

Look how closely the guys are huddling to the fire. Perhaps it was still a little too cold for a bonfire. But we were too excited, and just couldn't wait!

I always talk about my cousin Rachel who is also one of my best friends AND my next door neighbor. This is her, in case you ever wondered what she looks like! She was telling an animated story, no doubt. All of our lives she has made up for my shy-ness with her outgoing-ness. Polar opposites often make great friends, don't they?

And Luke and I managed to snap a picture together at the end of the evening. We had to capture our first outdoor memory of 2009! And the first outdoor activity at our new house...we moved in in November, and haven't had much time to enjoy our teeny, tiny yard yet!

Here's to hoping for lots and lots of nights like this. With food, fun, friends, and puppies! Have a fabulous Monday evening :-D

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forfeited Peace and Needless Pain

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

We are reading a book about prayer in my Sunday School class. The chapter we were reading today contained the lyrics from the song written above. I've heard this song probably 500 times in my life, but today is the first time I've ever really listened to and thought about the lyrics. It's so true! How often do we worry and stress and forfeit our peace about things? If we just surrender our needs and worries to God through prayer, we would find peace, and he will bear our pain for us.

This old hymn has been stuck in my head since we talked about it this morning in class. It's been wonderful to be reminded of God's promises today. If there's something you're struggling with today, let go and let God.

Enjoy your Sunday :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have FUN!

Today was the women's retreat at my church. It was the best one I've ever been to! So much "fun." The theme for the day was F.U.N: Faith, Unity, Never giving up. They even had cute folders and name tags for us:

When we got there at 8:30 (not loving the fact that I had to get up early on Saturday!) they had a wonderful breakfast of fruit, muffins, and tea or coffee. Then we had our first session..."Faith." The speakers were two women from a nearby church, and they were hilarious!

After that we had our first elective. We had to pick 3 electives out of a group of about 12. I picked cupcake decorating for my first one. We all made sunflower cupcakes, because sunflowers always move to follow the sun, and we should always move to follow the SON (it went along with the faith theme). It ended up being very easy, and I thought it turned out so cute!

It looked much better when I had first finished it. It got a little banged up in the box on the ride home. The ladybug is made out of a red m&m, and it's my favorite part! Michelle, the woman who led the class, gave us bunches of great tips. She showed us how to flatten icing to make it look like fondant. This is her secret tip, and I'm sharing it with you, so you should feel lucky ;-) You just frost the cupcake or cake, and then set a Viva paper towel on top. lightly run your finger back and forth on top of the paper towel, and it makes it PERFECTLY smooth. It has to be Viva paper towel on the smoothest side, because that brand is not textured. Also, she told us how to make tasty fake fondant (the real stuff doesn't always taste too great). She said you just melt marshmallows, and then add lots of powdered sugar. It gives you the same texture as fondant, but tastes much better! She totally inspired me, and got me very interested in cake decorating.

Next was our second elective. I chose the nutrition class. I was absolutely floored by some of the things I learned. Lets just say I plan to be much more careful and aware of what I put in my body. Did you know that it takes 100 days for your body to totally digest trans fat?! Gross! One of the best tips the nutritionist taught us was to only buy from the outside aisle of the grocery store. That's where all the natural stuff is with nothing added. She also said that organic IS better for you. I've always wondered if it really made a difference, or if it was just a passing fad.

After the nutrition class was lunch. I had to forget everything I learned in the nutrition class for a few minutes so I could eat the delicious food! Ha! Men from the church completely planned, prepared and cleaned up both breakfast and lunch. They did a great job! For lunch they prepared 3 bars: A salad bar, a potato bar, and an ice cream bar! I tried my first sweet potato today at the potato bar. Someone told me a long time ago that they were gross, so I just never tried them. Well, I'm glad I did today, because it was completely delicious! I plan on picking some up at Giant Eagle on Monday :-)

Next was our second session: Unity, and then our final elective class. For my last class I chose the movie room. My mom was in charge of this room, and she said she'd be mad if I didn't go to her class (jokingly, of course). We watched an Anita Renfroe video. If you don't know, she's a HILARIOUS Christian comedian. The video we watched today was about pregnancy and childbirth. Very funny, but definitely made me a little worried about actually going through that someday!!

Lastly we had our final session: Never give up. This was a very powerful one. They encouraged everyone to write down on a card the one thing in our life that caused them the most pain. We brought our cards up to the alter to symbolize giving them up to God. Then the speakers read and prayed over the cards. (don't worry, it was all anonymous). I had written down "loneliness" on my card, because I have struggled with this a lot. To hear how many other women wrote down the same thing made me feel so NOT alone. It was very emotional and very freeing to know that God can take our struggles from us so that we don't have to worry about them.

Now I'm planning on taking a nap while Luke's outside creating a patio for our grill (pictures to come later!) It was such a great day of fun and fellowship with some amazing women. I was glad that a few of my friends came today too...I'm always worried it's going to be me and 70 middle-aged-or-older women. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it just makes me feel a little awkward, and very young! But there were lots of younger women there today.

On the agenda for tonight is our 40 Days of Purpose Bible study and probably a movie at home with Luke after that. Have I mentioned how much I love weekends?!

Oh!!! I almost forgot! I found out some great news at lunch today! It's no secret that I haven't been real happy with my job lately. Well I was talking to my senior pastor's wife today (an amazing Christian woman, and a dear, dear friend). She is also a teacher, but she works at a Christian school. She told me what they pay subs today and I think my eyes almost popped out of my head. It's a lot...a lot more than any other school district I've heard of! So the plan is to sub there and at a few other schools in my area unless I get a full time teaching position. I've never been in a Christian school environment, and can't wait to sub there to see what it's like!

Finally I'm done. My posts end up being so long, I just have a hard time not talking!! As much as I talk, I wonder if people realize how extremely shy I am in person!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

Wow, 2 posts a day, 2 days in a row! What has gotten into me?! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Luke is out to see a movie with the guys tonight, and I'm left here alone. Mom and Julie were going to come over for a movie, but may not be able to now due to a change of plans.

I was a little bummed at the prospect of spending a Friday night all alone. But I decided I'd make it fun. Since it's officially the first day of spring (never mind the fact that it's 33 degrees right now!) I decided I would wipe out every trace of winter from my home, and replace it with spring things.

Goodbye, winter paraphernalia!
I don't have a lot of spring items for my house. I didn't have a house to decorate at this time last year! But I added a few things today that made me think of spring, making do with what I have.

I showed you this cute spring sign the other day. It is above our table. Today I replaced our dark green table cloth there with this brown one, and replaced our bright yellow bowl that I was using as a catch-all with this springy Longaberger basket. I had a bunch of pink and brown ribbon left over from my wedding, so I tied a little one around the top of the basket for a subtle, added touch. I feel like the mood in this small space has completely changed!
I'm obsessed with Longaberger! The basket was definitely a wedding gift, though. I'm not one to drop $50 to $100 on a basket this size! Or any basket for that matter :-P
I was sick of walking across the kitchen to grab a spoon out of my over-stuffed Pampered Chef utensil holder (not sure of the technical name!) when I needed one quickly. So I put a few spoons in this inexpensive vase from Wal Mart, and placed it right between the stove and the sink. I took some more pink and brown ribbon left over from the wedding and tied it in the middle. Practical, and springy with the light pink ribbon! P.S. Notice the plastic on the window in the background. One thing I HATE about living in an old drafty house during the winter!
I replaced my pink apron that was hanging on my refrigerator with this one. It reminds me of springtime and gardening. It desparately needs to be ironed! I got it as a shower gift last June and have not used it yet because I think it's so pretty I don't want to get it dirty! Also, note the cute "Don't bug me" sign with the ladybug. One of my students got it for me. I didn't have the heart to put it on my desk at work...it seems mean telling my students not to bug me, even if it is a pun! But in the kitchen I thought it was cute.
Of course I still have my canister full of jelly beans on the kitchen table:
And finally, I thought I'd share this future project with you. I bought this old piano bench at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in town last fall. It was very inexpensive, and I just knew I could use it somewhere. It doesn't look right there in the bedroom. I had a table cloth on it, but it still didn't look great. I've decided I want to make a little cushion for the top by attaching some batting, cute fabric, and maybe some buttons to it. Then I plan on painting it, probably white(the walls in there are actually a dark tannish color. My camera washes everything out, so they look white here). Not sure, I think I'll ask my sister, the interior design student and color wizard, for her opinion on the color. Either way, it will be cute and functional. Since it's a piano bench, it obviously opens up to a secret storage area for books and magazines! Here are the "BEFORE" photos. I'm hoping to finish it in the next week or two.

Take 1:
Take 2:
Gabby follows me around the house, and sometimes it is quite difficult to take a picture without her in it!

Well I'm glad to blog about something that's more fun than my recent posts have been! No more blogging about work for awhile, I've decided!

Well I just got a call from Mom, and she and Julie officially will not be able to make it tonight. Looks like it's just me and Gabby! I'm glad I checked out the movie "No Reservations" from the library tonight. The two of us (meaning Gabby and me) will probably fall asleep in Luke's comfy recliner while watching it. Ahh, sweet relaxation :-)



(I'm sitting here wondering where spring is. It was supposed to make an appearance for the first time today! And I'm glad that it has showed up a few days before now, but it seems to be hiding today, and letting winter have one last hurrah! At least the sun's shining, but there are definitely no spring temperatures going on out there).

I discovered something between yesterday and today. When I posted about my day yesterday, it opened my eyes! That's why I love blogging so much...it can make me discover things about myself. So here's the big discovery that I've been denying until now:

I HATE my job. Absolutely, without a doubt. I've been lying to myself about it for a few months now.

I hate being pushed around and walked all over by everybody.

I hate getting paid as an aide when I'm doing the job of a teacher.

I hate sharing a room with the most pessimistic, narcissistic woman that I have ever met. I mean seriously, she's got problems. She's also a complusive liar among other things.

I've been lying to myself for awhile now. Last year I didn't get taken advantage of as much, and enjoyed my job a lot more. But I finally realize, that I really hate it now. I've also been telling myself that maybe this is just where God wants me, and he wants me to suffer because we aren't supposed to be comfortable or happy all the time. I tried to make myself like it, and tell others that I like it. I pretended to love a lot of my co-workers. The truth is, there are only a select few that I really respect and feel close to.

As I wrote yesterday's post, my eyes were opened. I felt down and depressed all evening. I laid on the couch and fell asleep at 9:30 because I was just feeling so down. I woke up at 11:30, took a shower and got in bed and sobbed. I just didn't feel like I could get through one more day this week. At least not with a good attitude. I prayed that God would lead me, and that he would be with me Friday (today). I even prayed for an easy day today, although I felt a little guilty while doing it. It's just really exhausting and hard to work a job every single day that you absolutely hate.

God answered my prayers! Every once in awhile, our school has a really hard time finding subs. When that happens, I get pulled from my aide position and I sub for the day. Last year when this happened I would get angry that they were taking me from my everyday job. This morning when Mary (secretary) told me I'd be subbing in a third grade classroom, I couldn't keep the smile off of my face. That's when I really realized how much I'd started to hate my job. But God did what I had selfishly asked last night: he gave me an easy day. I had such a great time with the third grade class I was with. It was refreshing, and made me realize that I really DO love teaching, I just HATE being everyone's slave. And it was also good, because Mrs. C (the lady I share a room with and pretty much work for) almost couldn't get through the day without me. I thought maybe she'd finally realize how much I really do help her while I'm there. And that she maybe relies on me a little too much, and takes advantage of me a little bit.

I think since I have the weekend to regroup, have fun, and REST, I will be a little more able to face the world on Monday. We only have 10 weeks of school left. I feel a peace from God that I can leave this job. I don't feel that it's where he wants me anymore. I really don't think that God wants us to WILLINGLY suffer for no good reason. And that's what I've been doing these past few months.

On the agenda for this weekend (if I find time to post...which we all know I probably will!):
-Some pictures! My posts have been seriously lacking them lately!
-Update on my grandpa's surgery. They actually pushed it back until today (it was supposed to be yesterday). Apparently, it's kind of a risky surgery to remove the gallstone, because they have to work around lots of delicate, vital organs. My mom told me that last night and I wish she hadn't. I've been a ball of stress every since. And I think that might have also been part of the reason I cried myself to sleep last night.
-Recap of the women's retreat at my church that I'm attending tomorrow. I can't wait, it should be so much fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

My goodness, I complained a lot in my last post! I need to be thankful that I have a job, and not be so annoyed by everything! It's true that I do feel a little taken advantage of at work, but I only have 10 more weeks there. I won't be returning next year (I've already prayed about it, discussed it with Luke, and have decided this is my last year at my current school). So I need to have a better attitude and try to serve God while I'm there. If it's bad, it will just make me appreciate next year even more, no matter where I end up!

That's all...I hate posting twice in one day, so I'll keep it short!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Good and the Bad

Today brought with it some surprises. One good and one bad. I'll start with the bad one. My grandpa has been in the hospital for a few days. Grandpa was scheduled to have gallbladder surgery on Tuesday. Well, on Sunday afternoon, he was looking very yellow (jaundiced) which is obviously not a good sign! I had mono a few years ago, and when I started getting jaundiced, that was the red flag to rush into the dr.'s office and make sure I didn't need to make a trip to the hospital. Luckily after lots of rest I got better with no hospital trip. But it was crazy...my skin and especially the whites of my eyes turned YELLOW. Gross, but a little bit fascinating at the same time.

ANYWAY, I'm off on a tangent. Since he was jaundiced, they took him to the ER on Sunday night. They promised him that they would move his surgery to Monday morning. Fast forward to Monday morning, and they decided that it was okay to push his surgery back to Tuesday. Bummer #1.

Tuesday his surgery went very well. He was feeling great afterward, and all ready to go home. Unfortunately, they still had a procedure to preform to remove a gallstone. They scheduled it for Wednesday morning. Bummer #2. And he's only been able to live on a liquid diet since Sunday...Bummer #3. He is just dying to have a cheeseburger, and I think I would be too in his position!!

Well today they TRIED to remove the gallstone. I say tried because it was lodged in too well for them to remove it with the procedure. They tried for two hours, and failed. Alas, they will have to schedule another surgery for tomorrow morning to remove the stone. Bummer #4.

I went to visit Grandpa as soon as I heard about what happened today. My sister, who is on spring break this week, went with me. My mom, aunt, and grandma were already at the hospital. We got there about 10 minutes after grandpa heard the bad news that he would have to have another surgery, and at the exact moment that he was being brought back to his room. When we walked in, my grandma was holding his hand, and he was crying. My heart broke for him. He just wants to go home! It would be a bummer to go through all that and then find out you have to have surgery again. Please keep him in your prayers if you think of it!

Well the good news happened while I was at the hospital. I was talking with my mom and Aunt Beth while we were there, and the subject somehow turned to the church library. I started spilling out all of these ideas that I had for it. We are adding on to our church in the next few years, and we are excited about having a new church library. Well, I told my aunt (who is in charge of Christian Ed. at our church - which includes the library) that I would be willing to help with anything. I'm very passionate about it for some reason. And she said "Well Carol [our current church librarian] is getting older, and spending more time taking care of her parents. I think she's going to be interested in stepping down from her position in a year or two, and maybe you could take over!" It's no secret that I love to read, and there is nothing I would love more than to be the church librarian! I'm always looking for a place to serve at church. It sounds horrible, but sometimes it's hard to help with the kids since I spend 36 hours a week with k-6 graders. And I think the library would be the perfect place to help! I'm so excited, and have so many ideas running through my head. I can't wait to get started! I guess I may be helping the new librarian for now until she is ready to quit.

Well I have to go! Luke and I have to teach our preschool class at KBC tonight. I was going to make a springy picnic dinner, but I don't have time since I made my trip to the hospital. This post is being composed for the sole purpose of killing time while I wait for our frozen pizza to bake :-P

Have a great night, and say a little prayer for Grandpa if you remember, please. He's just really bummed out, and wants to be out of the hospital already!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shades of Green

I saw many shades of green today...there were only a few unfortunate students who forgot to wear green. I made sure I wore green - I'm Irish, I can't not wear green today!

Today made me remember what beautiful sunshine can look like. It was absolutely perfect today. I finally opened the blinds beside my desk at work. I kept them closed for most of the winter because I couldn't bear to look at the schools courtyard covered in snowy grayness. Today it looked beautiful, and I was basking in the sunlight at my desk all day. It was even warm enough for a fire drill...it was great to be released from my classroom for 10 minutes to stand in the sun. Praise God for all His little everyday blessings!

When I got home at 3, of course I spent some time outside! I layed out a blanket, and kept myself busy with this for 2 hours:
I plan on doing this a lot in the next few months! There's nothing like soaking up the sun while listening to music or reading a good book!

Luke's so excited about his little fire pit. He is chomping at the bit to use it. He came across some free wood at work yesterday (he works for the parks department at a nearby city. He gets lots of random free stuff). Do you think we'll have enough?

Yeah, me too. But just in case, he brought home another load in his truck today!
He can't pass up anything if it's free. The other day he brought home 2 fire hoses that he found in a dumpster at work. Why, you ask? Because they looked perfectly new and he thought he could sell them on ebay or craigslist! At least he's not wasteful, I guess.

Later, Luke and I are planning on making homemade shamrock shakes, because we're festive like that. I bought some Oreos to go along with them, because that just sounded good to me. Oreos and mint...mmmm, just sounds delicious!

Today has been great so far, and filled with so many blessings. The best part? It's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow! I decided to make cheeseburgers, fries, and pasta salad for dinner tomorrow to celebrate the warm weather :-)

Yay for more good news! Luke just now surprised me by buying tickets to an Indians game! It's on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and they play the Yankees (yuck! :-P) We're going with our friend JC and whoever he decides to bring with him. And it's fireworks night!! After the game, there's a fireworks show with the city of Cleveland in the background. I hate watching football, and basketball - I could take it or leave it. But I would never pass up a chance to go to Jacob's Field! (oops...I mean Progressive Field. it's still Jacob's Field to me!) I love watching the Indians play on a warm summer night. I love paying a fortune for a jumbo, all beef hot dog with ketchup and stadium mustard. I love being entertained by drunk people at the game. I love the jumbotron, and Slider. I love it when someone proposes and it's shown on the jumbotron, and Slider comes out and brings them flowers. I love drooling over the center-fielder (Grady Sizemore ;-)) I love cheering during the ups and downs of the game. Mostly, I think I love baseball because I associate it with summer. For our second date, Luke and I went to an Indians game. That might also have something to do with the reason I like it so much. Anyway, can you tell I'm excited about the first trip to Jacob's Field of the year? Because I am. I will leave you with a few pictures from 2 years ago when Luke and I went to the season home opener. They
called it "Snow-pening Day." Yeah, the game was snowed out. On April 5. This is the coldest I've ever been in my life, but it was fun!

Can you see the field? The funny thing was, if I recall correctly, this was during my spring break. The beginning of the week, we had temperatures nearing 75 degrees. At the end of the week we had this...welcome to Ohio weather.
Here is our frozen group...I'm the short one and Luke's the tall one :-P
And just in case you didn't know who Slider was...:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun Finds and a Weekly Splurge

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 62 degrees without a cloud in the sky. I decided I better run all my errands today! I want to spend the afternoon tomorrow lying out on a blanket in the sun, getting lost in the pages of "The Other Boleyn Girl." That's what I did all afternoon yesterday too. I've been stuck inside for way too long, and I'm going to go outside every chance I can get!

Anyway, I went grocery shopping after work today. I have found that grocery shopping is one of these areas where it's very hard to serve! Ha! I used to hate it so much. But a few months ago, I decided I need to make it more fun. First of all, I switched grocery stores. I had been going to Wal Mart. It was always so crowded I'd just try to get in and out as fast as I could. But then I started going to Giant Eagle. Now we use their fuel perks, and Luke almost never has to pay full price for gas. And their meat and produce sections are much better quality than Wal Mart. A little more expensive, but we figure with the money we save on gas, it probably evens out. Plus I have an advantage card. Today alone I saved $11 just for having one!

Okay, I'm done with my commercial for Giant Eagle. Another way to make grocery shopping more fun is to look for fun things on sale. Here are some fun finds from my trip today:
The butter sesame and pumpernickel & onion pretzels were on sale. They are delicious! You can kind of tell the Pumpernickel & Onion bag is opened...I needed something to much on on the way home:-) And if you ever need something quick and easy to make, pick up one of these Macaroni Grill dinners. It is basically like Hamburger Helper, but a little classier. lol...they are very delicious, and very easy to make. My favorite part? It's almost impossible to mess it up :-) And finally, I bought the yellow squash. It wasn't on sale, but I had about $30 extra that we had budgeted for groceries this week, so I decided to splurge and buy them. One of my favorite comfort foods is slices of yellow squash and onions fried in butter. Not the most nutritional snack, but oh, so delicious!! Luke thinks I'm disgusting, but I promise it tastes amazing. I'm kind of strange though, because I love vegetables. I would pick squash or asparagus over oranges or a banana any day.

I also found my weekly splurge pick for this week at Giant Eagle. They have a small seasonal section that I like to look at. They had lots of spring and Easter things there today, and I bought this:

I thought it was very cute, and brought a little touch of spring into our hallway/dining room :-P This reminds me that I still have a few winter decorations that need boxed up. I don't want to see them again until next Christmas!

We are officially only 5 days away from the first official day of spring. Usually we still have some snow and cold temperatures through the middle of April, but I think this year might be different. The 10-day forecast looks pretty good! I'm going to go as far as to say that I think we're done with snow for this year...KNOCK ON WOOD! We had a much colder and more bitter and snowy winter than we usually do here, and I think God may be blessing us with an early spring! And even if it does snow some more, I'll know it's almost done. Things are looking up!

Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Raymond's in his Sunday best,
He's usually up to his chest in oil and grease.
There's the Martin's walkin in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

That's what I love about Sunday:
Sing along as the choir sways;
Every verse of Amazin' Grace,
And then we shake the Preacher's hand.
Go home, into your blue jeans;
Have some chicken and some baked beans.
Pick a back yard football team,
Not do much of anything:
That's what I love about Sunday.

I stroll to the end of the drive,
Pick up the Sunday Times, grab my coffee cup.
It looks like Sally an' Ron, finally tied the knot,
Well, it's about time.
It's 35 cents off a ground round,
Baby, cut that coupon out!

That's what I love about Sunday:
Cat-napping on the porch swing;
You curled up next to me,
The smell of jasmine wakes us up.
Take a walk down a back road,
Tackle box and a cane pole;
Carve our names in that white oak,
An' steal a kiss as the sun fades,
That's what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

Ooh, new believers gettin' baptized,
Momma's hands raised up high,
Havin' a Hallelujah good time
A smile on everybody's face.
That's what I love about Sunday,
Oh, yeah.

That's what I love about Sunday

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Projects Galore

Today was a busy day for us. As I've mentioned before, our house is a tri-plex. We live in one section and rent out the other two. Sometime this spring my grandma is moving in to one of our apartments! We've been busy renovating the apartment for her. Today she, my parents, and my aunts and uncles came to help. We got a lot done! We painted the bedroom and the bathroom, and the men hung cabinets. Tomorrow we're finishing up painting in the living room and kitchen.
The finished product...and one very tired dad of mine!
It was a little crowded inside, so Luke decided to work on the yard. He really got excited about it, and worked nonstop all day!

Goodbye, ugly cracked sidewalk!

Luke is using the cracked concrete to make a fire pit...The anticipation for our first spring bonfire is killing me!

This will be my grandma's porch, but we are putting a little platform right in front of it there for our grill. We promised her we'd bring her a piece of steak whenever we use it since she will be able to smell it in her apartment!

And he cleaned out this messy little flower bed so we can put a ramp in for Grandma. I hope we can find room somewhere to plant some beautiful flowers!

I did notice that we will have some daffodils. I can't wait until I see some buds and blooms on these! Then spring will have sprung for sure!
Speaking of daffodils, please check out the new element on my page: my "Spring Firsts" list. My aunt always had a poster in her house in early March titled "Spring Firsts." She wrote down spring things on the poster, and if you were the first to see one of these things first, you got to write down your name and the date that you saw it. I decided I'd play this little game by myself, and put it on my page! Be looking for dates on the list of when I see each of these things. I will post pictures too if I can get them! Can you tell I'm a little excited about spring?? :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009


I'm a bookworm. There is nothing I love more than to curl up with a good book after a long day. I made a big decision today and decided to switch libraries. This is a big deal for me, I've been going to the same library since I was barely tall enough to see over the sign-out counter. But there is a beautiful library closer to our house that I decided to try out. I got some good stuff!

I always seem to overdo it at the library. I see way too many books that look good, and end up bringing 8 books home. Obviously I can't read 8 books by their due date (2 weeks) so I MADE myself only check out 2:

I started reading "The Other Boleyn Girl" as soon as I got home, and I'm hooked already! I have a long to-do list this weekend, and I hope I can pull myself away from the pages of this book for long enough to get it all done!

I decided to read "The Atonement Child" because I've heard so many good things about Francine Rivers, but I've never read any of her books. I'm excited to try her out!

In school I was always the one in my class who had her nose in a book all the time. In early elementary school, I would always have a "Sweet Valley Girls" book with me. I read just about all of them!

Also, who didn't read the "American Girl" books when they were in elementary school?! Samantha was my favorite. And yes, I had the doll. My sister had Molly, and the 4 of us enjoyed many tea parties together ;-)

I can't forget about "The Baby-sitters Club." Probably my favorite series of all. Every girl in my class seemed to love these books, and we would trade them with each other and pass them around until we had read most of them. This was about the time that I started reading the "Sweet Vally Twins" books instead of "Sweet Valley Kids." I was growing up!

In fifth and sixth grade I became obsessed with the "Little House" books. These books are a rite of passage, I think everyone should read them! Also, I read Harriet the Spy for a book project in sixth grade and fell in love with it. I probably read it 5 times that year.

In junior high, I always had my nose in a book by Janette Oke or Lori Wick. Yay for discovering Christian women's fiction! I'll also never forget the first time I read "The Giver" and "The Outsiders" those years, either.

In high school, I was the nerd in study hall who was always reading a Lori Wick book during study hall while everyone else was busy passing notes. I couldn't get enough of her books back then! Of course I was busy reading the classics for my English classes as well.

In college I never had time to read until my student teaching semester my senior year. This is the year my mom got me the book "Even Now" by Karen Kingsbury. I liked the book, and decided to read more by her. After I read "Redemption," there was no turning back. I was hooked! I read Karen Kingsbury books like it was my job for the next few months.

After college I discovered authors like Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. So different from what I normally read, but I love them! I also admit that this past fall I became completely, undeniably obsessed with the Twilight series. I've currenly read the first 2 books, and am waiting to borrow the third one. Also, who can't resist a good romance story? I love Nicholas Sparks books because they don't get more romantic than that. If you haven't read "The Wedding" by him, you should drive to the nearest library RIGHT NOW and go check it out! It's that good!

Well I'm off to get lost in "The Other Boleyn Girl" some more. Have a great Friday night!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Little Diva

Of course "My Little Diva" is my cat, Gabby. I thought she deserved her own post. She is the most rotten, fiesty, ornery, misheveous cat I've ever seen. Unfortunately, she is also one of the cutest creatures I've ever seen, so I can't help but to love her! I really am a dog person, but decided to try a cat out. It's going pretty well so far :-)

Please enjoy this picture post devoted my adorable little devil! Ha! Sorry for the insane amount of pictures, but I just couldn't resist :-)

Gabby lived with my sister, Julie and her roomate for a few weeks, because they got her for me, and we were living in our no-pets-allowed-apartment at the time. So here are some pictures of the first time I "met" her at Julie's apartment in Akron:

It was love at first sight!

Here are some with her brother, Gus. We want to reunite Gabby and Gus one of these days. I wonder if they remember each other.

Here they are with Julie's roomate, Anissa
With my lovely sister, Julie:
Have you ever seen 2 cuter kittens?!

And here are some of the little princess by herself, looking adorable!

Part of the reason we named her Gabby was because she never shut up when she was little. Here she is in Julie's bathtub (don't you love the ducks??) crying. This is my favorite picture of her. I really think she's the cutest kitten ever (I might be a little biased, though :-P)


She had the biggest, bluest eyes when she was younger.
She also liked to hang out in weird places:

In tight, compact spaces:
On shoulders
On laps
And on bookcases

Gabby was born in August, so she's still pretty young. But she's gotten a lot bigger! I still think she's pretty cute, though!

Here she is today. Still cute!

Still likes to hang out in weird places!

Still ornery...Christmas decorations + Gabby = DISASTER. Not sure how many ornaments she broke this year, but it was a lot.

Not to mention, she is a pretty awesome basketball player. This picture is compliments of our friend, Michael:

Well, somehow gabby has wrapped me around her little finger, err, claw :-P My blog name is "Called to Serve" and sometimes I think Gabby thinks that I'm only hear to serve her. How do cats do that?! They make us treat them like royalty and like they deserve nothing less. That's why I personally like "man's best friend" better. But I have fallen in love with my little Gabs (one of her many nicknames. Some others are Gabbers, Gabster, and "You Little Butthead!!" She gets called the last one a lot :-P)

I really do think she needs a little puppy playmate though! I'm definitely leaning toward "yes" on the puppy issue. We may have a new, furry member of our family this June!!

Thank you for putting up with my many pictures of Gabby! I'm sure she loves the attention ;-)