Thursday, September 30, 2010

Leave my toes alone!

The high today might be 85 degrees, but I still know that fall has arrived. I know this because on Monday I started having to use my space heaters while I get ready in the mornings. Every year I think about how strange it is that once I start using the space heaters, I never turn back. It's like I'm terrified that if I don't feel like I need the space heater one day, I will absolutely freeze and be filled with regret. Or maybe it just truly IS permanently cold from that point forward. I also know it's fall because my Raynaud's has once again began to make an appearance. So far I am only losing circulation in my two second toes, but that is where it always begins.

My feet are most cold whenever I am trying to go to sleep at night... but I REFUSE to wear socks. They feel too weird to sleep in. It's just never going to work. I think it is finally time to buckle down and purchase some sort of foot warmer to put next to my feet at night. I think it needs to be fun and cute, because otherwise I probably won't ever use it for fear of feeling like an old lady.

These are really cute, but I think you would need to be wearing socks or shoes to keep them properly aligned.

I like the idea of these little hand/feet warmers. My mom used to put these in mine and my sister's gloves and socks while we marched in parades or went to football games. They worked pretty well! And these are so much more adorable than the disposable ones.

But when all comes down to it, this one is my favorite. It would be so perfect to use as a toe warmer while I sleep. And it is SO not old ladyish.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cafeteria Capers

Call it disgusting if you want, but I have always been a cafeteria food kind of girl. I don't know if I took my lunch to school even once during elementary or high school. I didn't want to in middle school, but buying cafeteria food was extremely uncool during that time, so you know how that goes. We even had Taco Bell at my middle school, so it was pretty unfortunate that I had to eat hotpockets instead.

During student teaching a couple of years ago I was introduced to "teacher food." Heaven!! Larger portions, more cheese, and more options. Needless to say, I was pretty pumped about getting to eat school cafeteria food again when I got my job this year. On the day before school started we received an email stating that teacher meals had gone up to $3.00, and there would no longer be special teacher items. Okay, unfortunate, but not that big of a deal. The first couple of days weren't too bad... I received two slices of pizza rather than one, was allowed to get two rolls if I wanted, and got to eat gravy with my chicken nuggets.

Then, out of no where, things started getting a little less lovely. Apparently, there is a new rule in Abilene that states that teachers are not allowed to eat larger portions than the children due to issues with fairness. Middle schoolers are not allowed to eat more than elementary students, high schoolers are not allowed to eat more than middle schoolers, and teachers are not allowed to eat more than high schoolers. You get the drift. This includes purchasing extra dessert items (such as ice cream sandwiches). Children are not allowed to, so neither are teachers.

You would be amazed at how many issues this has caused with people. I had a really hard time adjusting to all of the strict new rules, and for the first few weeks it was almost miserable for me to go to the cafeteria because I didn't want to get in trouble for getting one too many items containing bread, milk AND tea when I'm only allowed one or the other, asking for cheese on my nachos, or wanting my taco salad sans lettuce. People, these options are NOT a choice!

The only difference between my meal and a kindergartener's is that mine costs twice as much for reasons that I am still unsure of.

Here are a couple of my recent meals:

Every Monday is pizza day. You are allowed one slice of pizza and 4 choices of fruits & veggies.

Fridays are burger days. Burgers consist of meat and bread. They usually serve cake on this day, which is a little surprising. Frankly, I would rather have some cheese on my burger. But the smily face is a good touch. :)

I go home starving every time I eat my mini cafeteria portions, yet I still continue to eat there due to general laziness and lack of time to make my lunch in the mornings. Granted, I do not eat everything on my plate. The veggies and fruits are often very bland. Perhaps I wouldn't be so hungry if I would try to force everything down.

Last week we received a letter from the head of foods person that attempted to provide an explanation for the strange rules that have come about this year, but it ended by saying that things are not going to change. At least we'll shed a few pounds!

Friday, September 24, 2010

TGIF x 50,000

Yesterday morning was not the best. No, it was not. I decided to stop by Golden Chick for a coke on my way to school. The lady working in the drive-through told me it was her first day. I waited for five minutes while she located the lids, and another couple of minutes while she figured out how to work the computer. Needless to say, I was running a little later getting to school than I wanted to be. I drove the couple of blocks to school, spending the whole time thinking about how ridiculous it was that the lady had been so clueless.

I was so distracted by this that I didn't remember to check my speedometer as I drove up to the school. My subconscious was aware enough to know that I was driving at turtle speed, so I guess I just never thought to look to see exactly how turtleish. I forewent the normal parking lot for some reason that day, and decided to park behind the school. I turned on said street, and what did I see? A cop barreling down the (deserted) street after me. It was then that I knew.

A few days ago I read an article online that listed out the things to do when pulled over to avoid getting a ticket. I've never gotten a ticket... or even been pulled over... but I read it anyway.

So when I saw the lights, my first thought was "I'm going to follow the steps in the article and I will be fine." The officer walks up. I do not reach for my purse or insurance. I smile and say good morning. He says he pulled me over for going 31 in a 20 mph school zone. I nod and apologize, handing him the necessary documents. He goes back to his car. I wait patiently while several co-workers drive by and look at me, all the while feeling less upset than I had expected to feel the first time I got pulled over. Mostly because I was very confident. I mean, why would he give ME a ticket? I have been driving for 9 years and never been pulled over. Obviously I am a safe driver and a great asset to the roads.


Gave me a ticket.


...It was a rough morning. I cried... a lot. Probably more than was necessary.

It reminded me of one of my favorite magazine features.

You can either have this:

Or {all} this:


Or all this:


Or all this:


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Officially Fall

I have had many standoffs with cockroaches since I first encountered this little guy. All encounters have concluded with the pansy cockroach running and hiding under a piece of furniture somewhere. But today, FINALLY, I was victorious! I tried a new tactic: putting a styrofoam cup over him, crunching him with the edge of the cup, and using the old paper technique to dispose of the body. It feels good. I saved the cup for next time, so cockroaches watch out.

On a totally unrelated subject, I saw this Modern Fall Wreath Tutorial last week and really wanted to try it out. I'm not a big wreath person, but I think this one caught my eye because it looks young and fresh.

I had planned on doing a fallish theme also, but it turned out that I went to Hobby Lobby on game day, so of course I ended up deciding to do red and black...

It was a lot of fun and turned out pretty cute! It will look even better when we get our new front door this weekend!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Future LR

Let me just take a second to say that I need my laundry room to look like this:

I would definitely do laundry more.

And, more importantly, I would actually ENJOY doing my laundry.

Which is what it's all about.

But first, I might need our house to actually have a laundry room to fix up.

Because I don't think I could get the garage to look this good.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 1

Monday... we meet again.

Is it unhealthy to begin every single morning by mentally counting down the days until you get to sleep in on Saturday? I always wonder that, but continue to do it. Mondays are of course the worst day for this sort of counting.

I loved everything about the fair on Friday night. We walked around and saw a lot of interesting arts and crafts, ate dinner at three different booths, saw a bunch of fluffy cows, went to the petting zoo, and rode three super scary rides!

I also experienced my very first rodeo, which was a ton of fun! I wouldn't mind going again someday for a little longer.

But now we're at Monday. We can do this.

Monday mornings at school are actually one of my favorites because I don't have any kiddos until 9:30. Silence is bliss.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Everyone Loves a Fair

Today is one of my favorite days of the year....

FAIR DAY!!!!!!! 

Every fall I wait with baited breath for the week that the fair comes to town. Well, that week is now, and tonight we get to go. I can hardly contain my excitement! I know the fair is dirty, sketchy, and smelly, but something about it is just so much fun. I love the food that is so awesomely awful for you, the crazy rides, the booths, and the animals. I would spend an entire day there if I didn't have to work!

I haven't been to the West Texas Fair & Rodeo in several years, so we'll see if it lives up to my memories. I spent the last few years at the South Plains Fair, which is awesome, except they didn't have any of my favorite rides last year. Luckily for me I could see the fair from the stadium last night, so I scoped it out. The Zipper is totally here.

And in three weeks I will get to go to the State Fair for the second time. Woohoo!!! Best time of year ever.

TGIF and Wreck 'Em.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Night Lights

It’s TTU vs. UT week, but I don’t have tickets. Sigh. Good thing I bought a new Texas Tech Football T-shirt online this morning to ease my pain...

(Sorry Ethan!)

But no need to fear, high school football is here to the rescue! Tonight we will be going to see Abilene High play a team the Plant Panthers from Tampa. Mostly I just wanted to go because it’s going to be on ESPN… SURELY if ESPN is taking the time out of their busy schedules to show our little football game, it will be a good one. When the game was scheduled, Abilene High was ranked #1 in the nation and Plant was ranked #2.

Too bad Plant ended up losing their first game and fell to number 40-something. Then Abilene lost their second game and fell to number 20-something. I haaaattte football polls, but I’m used to this sort of disappointment. I am, after all, a Red Raider fan. At least ESPN was nice enough to keep us on their schedule. They certainly don’t do these sort of favors for Tech games.

I haven’t been to a high school football game in a few years, but I’m hoping it will feel exactly like being a member of the cast on Friday Night Lights.


Ignoring the fact that I will be a peon in the stands, of course.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Is it Tuesday already? What happened to Friday??!

At least a new Friday is only three days away. And Monday is over. We had a very eventful weekend that included lots of happy things and a few sad things. On Friday evening, Ethan's sister Cindy had her baby girl!

This is Bethany!

Isn't she presh? We cannot wait to get to meet her in person! I wish they didn't live all the way in Colorado.
I have TWO nieces now which is very exciting! I am not 100% sure what being an aunt is all about, but I'm sure I will figure it out soon enough and will get plenty of practice over the years. Less than twelve hours after Bethany was born, we found out that Ethan's granddad had passed away. The timing was really hard on Ethan's family. I am so sad that I was never able to meet him. Last night Ethan was able to head to Farwell to spend time with his family and attend the funeral this morning. I am really sad that school kept me from getting to go. My heart goes out to the whole Embry family!
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to head to Fort Worth for the day for some new dance attire. Turns out my parents were going to be there at the same time so we met them at Joe T. Garcia's for some grub (yes, we know that we all live in Abilene and see each other all the time) and a chance to see Chelsea and Seth. Oh how I had missed them!

After a delicious lunch we walked to the Stockyards for a few minutes to check everything out. They had a really awesome candy store but mostly I just enjoyed people watching.

After the stockyards we all headed to The Dance Shop because, after all, we mustn't forget that the whole reason we drove all the way to Fort Worth was to get me some tap shoes. Before I knew it, Seth and Chelsea were saying their goodbyes because they had things to do. I started crying because I was sad that I had only seen them for a couple of hours and that got a few others crying, so I'm sure that was a lovely sight. We then hopped in our cars and headed our separate ways.

We got a few miles down I-20 back to the 'lene when my sister called and said they had time to go to the Ft. Worth zoo if we all wanted to. Perhaps my tears caused this generosity? I will take it!! Of course we turned the car and headed back into town as fast as our wheels could take us!

This is the fattest hippo ever. His grumpy facial expression kind of reminds me of my old boss. He wasn't fat like the hippo though.

It was pretty toasty out, so I was very thanful for the misters.

The poor little lion was hot, too.

Thanks for putting off your homework so you could spend a little more time with us Chelsea! We had a great time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Weekend!

One word sums up this week: Exhaustion.

Does that make me pathetic? Four day weeks are supposed to be easy! I think it will be better once I get my students used to the way things work in my class and we can get into a routine. Introducing so many kids to a brand new program has been a little difficult.

My schedule is set up so that I will be teaching a maximum of five class sections per day, but I have been teaching seven per day. Seven classes visit my room per day, but am not "in charge" of teaching the second grade classes. I teach the third and fourth graders, and the second grade teachers use my room to teach their own classes. This week it turned out that the second grade teachers were unable to teach their own classes due to many various reasons. I have taught a total of eight extra class periods this week that I was not supposed to teach......................

...I have nothing more to say regarding this matter.

On the evening of day TWO I started coming down with a sore throat, so that hasn't been too fun. Apparently my sanitizing skills are not quite up to par. I might have to start cleaning the keyboards more frequently.

Although things are crazy, I really am enjoying myself. Just needing a small break! Which is what the weekend is for!! Ethan and I are going to take a quick day trip to Ft. Worth tomorrow so I can get some tap shoes at The Dance Shop. Abilene doesn't have a single store that sells dance clothes - ridiculous! But I am really excited because I will get to see my sister for the first time since the wedding. Hope everyone has a nice, longggggg weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tap Tap Tappin'

I started a tap class yesterday! I took dance classes from the time that I was three until I graduated high school at a wonderful little studio in Abilene called Patty Harper Dance Studio. I had the same dance teacher for all fifteen years and I just loved her. She is extremely talented, hilarious, and doesn't take dance class as seriously as many. Which I like.

When I left for Lubbock to go to college in '04, I knew I would miss dance but figured I could use a break after doing it 3 or 4 nights a week for the past 15 years. Plus... there was no way I was going to find a studio that was the same as Patty Harper.

Fast forward six years. Yes six. I move back to Abilene and so does my friend Kasey who took dance with me forever. We meet for a random lunch and all of the sudden we're planning to try our hand at dance class again. Our specializations back in the day included ballet, jazz, lyrical, and pointe. So why did we decide to take tap class, you ask? Great question. Maybe to try something new and exciting? Maybe so we could avoid possible embarrassment if we were to try one of our old dance classes and then be the worst dancers in the class because they are all like 18 and limber? Yep, that's it.

I figure that it's okay to be a little rusty at tap when you have an excuse like "Oh, yeah, I'm not real good at that move because I haven't taken tap since I was 5 years old." That's right... FIVE!

Last night in class Miss Mary was introducing Kasey, Toni (another dance friend cirque 2004), and I to all of the others in our class and she asked us to tell the class how long it had been since we last took tap. I had to tell them it had been 20 years for me. That's the first time I have ever used such a huge number when describing a past life event.

I have never felt so. old.!!!

Tapping is more difficult than I thought. Apparently I didn't learn all of the necessary moves back when I was 5. Regardless, it was a ton of fun and I'm already looking forward to next time!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today is the day.

Tuesday already? Labor Day weekend was a nice break. I wouldn't complain about having every Monday off. Friday night we went out to Buffalo Gap for some catfish at Deutschlander's... such a cute little town. We spent Saturday and Sunday mostly relaxing and getting some things done around the house, and then yesterday we went to the Abilene Zoo with some of Ethan's family. I hadn't been in several years so it was a lot of fun!
Of course I didn't get any real pictures.

In other news, I finally got my REAL students today! Second, third, and fourth graders are just as precious as I expected. And much less maintenance than the fifth graders I must say. I was nervous all weekend and could hardly sleep last night, but there was little to fear. Everything went well and I am ready to meet the rest of the kiddos tomorrow!

There is RAIN in the forecast!! This will surely add some bonus points to my week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Big 2-5

Guess who's 25 today?
This guy. He doesn't really like birthdays and was hoping everyone would just ignore it this year. What fun is that?
Ethan is exactly one month older than me. I love teasing him about how old he is during that month. This time, he TRULY is old. A quarter of a century. Yipes!
I'm not sure how we're going to celebrate yet, but I'm sure we'll think of something. Happy Birthday honey!

HOORAY for a three day weekend. Hope it's a great one!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crunch Gut Love

This morning I walked into my classroom, started turning on all of the lights, and saw the most enormous cockroach of all time running across the room. I think I have told you before... but I'll say it again: I am extremely grossed out by cockroaches. Is there a phobia for that? Because I have it. I hate spiders, and being trapped, and tornados too, but I think my fear of cockroaches is slightly worse. This is the THIRD cockroach that I have seen in my classroom in the past month. Luckily the first two times there were others in my room and they kindly squished them with their shoes for me (and disposed of the bodies).

I became a pro at killing and disposing cockroaches in my old house in Lubbock. It was absolutely dreadful and I had goosebumps for several minutes after the ordeal... but most of them were already near death thanks to a beautiful thing called pest control. Perhaps I should pass their information along to the school district. THESE cockroaches are MUCH larger, MUCH uglier, and in MUCH better health than the cockroaches that I am used to.

Back to my friend from this morning...
I froze in place and started trying to think of what to do. I couldn't bear the idea of putting my foot close enough to the nasty creature to step on him, much less hear the crunch and get his guts all over the bottom of my cute little sandal.
Nope, not happening. I began searching frantically for something in my room that was long, flat, and disposable. Nothing. In 5th grade I invented something called the "Ug-Bug Catcher." Basically just a little rubbermaid container attached to a dowel stick, and the lid of the container attached to a second dowel stick. Put the container down on the floor in front of said bug, use lid to guide bug into the container, and safely dispose of the bug outside. All without bending down, getting anywhere near the bug, or having to actually kill it. My parents still hold one of these catchers captive and refuse to give it to me.

I grabbed some Lysol, opened the back door, and attempted to spray it at him while prompting him to run outside.
This may seem like a laughing matter now, but it was certainly not! My plan worked for a minute until he found my storage cabinet and disappeared between the cracks. I have had goosebumps off and on all day. I cannot put my feet on the ground when I'm sitting in my chair. What if he is in my food stash as we speak?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hit 'em. Wreck 'em. The show must go on.

I miss Lubbock sometimes. Maybe we'll move back there someday. Maybe we'll just live in Abilene forever. Who knows.

Sunday will be rough... first day of Red Raider football!!! And I will have to watch it on the couch. I've had season tickets every year since 2004. I wanted season tickets this year but I could never truly justify it. Abilene is ONLY 2.5 hours away from Lubbock... why didn't I just go for it?
I don't know if it's actually the game that I love. It's the environment that has always been my favorite thing about football. I love the feeling that comes over the entire city on game day. I love that everyone wears the exact same color and that it is acceptable to wear fake tatoos on your face. There's something so exciting about parking 5 miles from the stadium and walking across campus. People everywhere. The smell of bbq. Scorching hot games followed by freezing your booty off games. Love love love. I can't even talk about this anymore.

There's no hope of a replacement team in this town! I will probably go to a few Abilene High games of course. I love high school football in a way that is totally different from college football. Too bad my loving husband has absolutely no desire to attend high school games. I think he's insane and needs to get out more.
HELLOOOO! State champs here!! Don't you think that's a big deal? No? I thought getting him hooked on Friday Night Lights might do the trick, but he says the show has nothing to do with high school football. Hmph.