Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Break

Now that Thanksgiving is over and done with (although as I write this, I am still enjoying the break!) I've been thinking about my Christmas break. We have 15 full days off of school and in some ways, I'm already looking forward to it. Thanksgiving was the first time I'd seen my family for more than 24 hours since moving back to Big City in August and it will be nice to spend a week or ten days with them. However, I plan to play the rest of the break by ear. I might go up east and visit family/friends, or head back to Big City early just to relax. Maybe I'll take a road trip to DC, Nashville, or NYC, Chicago. Because of the way that last year's Christmas break went, I don't really plan to make any concrete plans past December 25th.

What are your plans for Christmas? Do you get a lot of time off work for the holiday?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why Credit Cards Are Bad...aka No Self Control Lately...

For some reason, November has been an extremely challenging money month for me. I have taken in extra money with my babysitting jobs, which is wonderful. I've also been diligent about using coupons and applying for free items (gum, lotion, etc.)...also a plus. Gas prices have gone down, and I didn't see my family often, so I saved on gas. I didn't buy food unless I was definitely going to eat, and to help that out I had the flu and didn't eat for 5 days...haha. I gave a gift of money to support my old nanny family's Down Syndrome walk and also for my sister's mission trip in January. Great, right?

Except that my phone's battery was failing, fast. If I didn't charge it nightly, even if I didn't use it during the day, it was dead. Not good when you're trying to arrange babysitting jobs and extra subbing work. Sooo, I bought a new phone. Truthfully, not a big deal because it was only $30 and should be a wonderful phone as well as an organizer.

Then I went to my parents' place for Thanksgiving, and my sister had her new computer. Now, my laptop is three years old, so not really a spring chicken. And I LOVE electronics, especially new ones! The batteries are basically dead on mine (work for 15 minutes MAYBE), has been running slowly, random green screens, some buttons missing, usb drives decide not to work most of the time... and I began to browse laptops on Dell. Being that it was Thanksgiving, they had some fantastic deals and I got $500 off a laptop. Umm, yep, I bought a new computer. Again, a worthy investment and one I'll have for a few years, and yes it will be fun... plus, my "old" laptop will likely go to my mom who could really use it for homeschooling the kids and hopping online quickly during the day. It'll work well for her basic needs, right?

And then comes my third big purchase in like 10 ipod. Truth be told, this purchase is the one that I gave the least thought about. I really had been thinking about getting a new phone and computer recently, but not an ipod, since I have a 2 year old one that works fine, even though I run out of space on it. My 13 year old sister was wishing that she had something that played music, so I offered to my mom that I would buy a "new" (used to me!) one with more disk space if she wanted to give Lily mine- because M & D don't have much money, Mom appreciated that idea. In addition, I can get my brother Bryan an mp3 player as well with the gift card I recieve from Dell from buying the computer.

Anyway...if I complain about money at all in the next few months, just refer me back to this post...I hope I can enjoy my new purchases without feeling a lot of guilt. Gah!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

13 Thankfuls...

Thirteen Things I'm Thankful For

1. My family- and the fact that we are all able to celebrate Thanksgiving together this year!

2. Friends- even though my friend group is drastically different this year from a few years back, I'm thankful for them all

3. My job that I LOVE

4. My boss/co-workers- I've really been enjoying them these past weeks. I really am blessed to work with such great women!

5. The kids at school, no matter that they make me go crazy some days

6. That the weather cooperated enough for me to get to my parents' house last night- they've gotten so much snow already!

7. The continued health of my family- I had a the flu a few weeks ago, and it was awful. Luckily, it passed over the rest of my family and all are rarin' and ready to eat lots of turkey today!

8. Photos to relive the wonderful memories from past years

9. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and coffeecake- they go hand in hand at my house on Thanksgiving morning :)

10. My Subaru Forester-- LOVE it, now that it's behaving again ;)

11. Texting-- while I don't do it too much, I enjoy staying in touch with some of the younger generation

12. Igo & Alana, the two little children with Down's that I worked with this past summer. I saw Igo a few weeks ago and he was as thrilled to see me as I was to see him!

13. God-- without him, where would I be? Yes, organized religion is still a struggle for me, but I have no doubt God exists!

Thursday Thirteen
I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating all that you are thankful for!

Photo from

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

13 Things I Miss About My Grandfather

In reference to this post and this one...

My old Gpa...things that would have driven me crazy when he was himself, but that I would love to see now

1. The way he would use, re-use, and re-use again paper towels after hanging them over a chair

2. The way he'd stop precisely every two hours on a road trip and check the gas mileage on the car. Man never went above 60 on a highway, I don't think

3. He used to video tape us giving "interviews" to each other when I was like 8 years old

4. He took us to the lake one summer when we were staying with him and taped us jumping and laughing in the water

5. He loved helping at his church, and I remember vividly going to church with him on many early summer mornings. There are a few women who would be there and LOVED to see us every time we visited

6. At the same church on Sunday mornings, there were bagels and donuts galore. Seeing as how we were close to NYC, the bagels were the best EVER

7. He would take us around his 20+ acre property and point out all the different kinds of flowers and trees. I thought it was horribly boring as an 8 year old, but what I would give to hear that same information now

8. He took us into the cave on his property where we could explore every tiny crevice- that place was so cool!

9. He had a stand for his bees and honey at the local fair, which we also visited with him

10. He always, always had ice cream in his freezer, ready for us to tear into

11. He forever told tales of the bears and wild animals that roamed his property

12. He enjoyed feeding us fruits for "dessert"...but then let us have ice cream

13. He always greeted us with a great big bear hug!

I miss you, Gpa.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I took a semi-spontaneous trip, far away from Big City this past weekend. The trip was planned for about 2 days before it happened, and I was fortunate enough to have Friday off work in able to go with my dad to visit his father, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's is an awful, horrible disease. I hate that it has affected our family in the way it has...

I wrote about it once before, in January when I last saw Gpa. This time, I received no glimpses of the old grandfather I once knew; the one who would save paper towels incessantly, the one whose life was full of church events and photography, computer problems and family.

No...this was not the grandfather I visited with this weekend. Instead, it was one who hobbled around with a walker, a nurse on either side of him- so unsteady that when we took him to lunch, we brought a wheelchair along. One who, when asked who he lives with, replied "Mom and Ben"- his mother? his wife? his brother Ben, or his son Ben? No one will ever know.

And through it all, sadly, you have to choose: tears or laughter? There really is no alternative, not anymore...

Some of the things he said this weekend:

"We need to find the apostles, so they can tell us the best price for pie."

"Do you see my yellow bookcase? In there I keep Mom, Uncle Yaya, Aunt Pattsie, and everyone I want, so that when I need to talk to them I can take them out. It's very convenient."

"We never did turn on the heat to say hello"

"Is anyone else with us?"

"As long as the pencils and pens keep working we can pull up there on the left and put on a circus...I can see how excited you are about that."


Yes. That, my friends, is the "new" grandpa. The one who didn't even notice us when he was wheeled by us in the Alzheimer's unit at the nursing home, even when we waved.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen 11/13

I like to check this site out now and then to see where it tells me I should are my top 13:

1. Page, Arizona (looks too "blah/dry" for me)
2. Atlantic Beach, North Carolina (anything with the word "beach" in it is good with me!)

3. Hickory, North Carolina (it is pretty...but I'm just REALLY an ocean gal!)

4. Whidbey Island, Washington (again, Island? I ♥ the sound of that!)

5. Paris, Tennessee (cute...)

6. Fredericksburg, Texas (I swear this one comes up EVERY time I use this strange. Maybe I'll live there someday!)

7. Wimberley, Texas

8. Port Townsend, Washington

9. Sequim, Washington

10. Hopkinsville, Kentucky

11. Marble Falls, Texas

12. Kerrville, Texas

13. Guntersville, Alabama

and #14, because it's HAWAII ;) Hilo, Hawaii

I think I'd pick... Hilo, then Atlantic Beach, followed by Whidbey Island and Port Townsend. Perhaps I should make the West Coast my next trip...

Check it out: FindYourSpot- are you living in the right area of the country?

Thursday Thirteen

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Things I Have Done...

in bold!

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given to a charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Held a lamb
25. Gone skinny dipping
26. Taken an ice cold bath
27. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
28. Seen a total eclipse
29. Ridden a roller coaster
30. Hit a home run
31. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
32. Adopted an accent for fun
33. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
34. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
35. Loved your job 90% of the time
36. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
37. Watched wild whales
38. Gone rock climbing
39. Gone on a walk on the beach
40. Gone sky diving
41. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
42. Bench-pressed your own weight
43. Milked a cow
44. Alphabetized your personal files
45. Worn a superhero costume
46. Sung karaoke
47. Lounged around in bed all day
48. Gone scuba diving
49. Kissed in the rain
50. Played in the mud
51. Gone to a drive-in theater
52. Done something you should regret
53. Visited the Great Wall of China
54. Started a business
55. Been in a movie
56. Gone without food for 3 days
57. Made cookies from scratch
58. Won first prize in a costume contest
59. Got flowers for no reason
60. Spoken more than one language fluently
61. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
62. Bounced a check
63. Read and understood your credit report
64. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
65. Called or written your Congress person
66. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
67. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
68. Helped an animal give birth
69. Been fired or laid off from a job
70. Won money
71. Broken a bone
72. Ridden a motorcycle
73. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
74. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
75. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
77. Had your picture in the newspaper
78. Read the Bible cover to cover
79. Changed some one's mind about something you care deeply about
80. Gone back to school
81. Changed your name
82. Eaten fried green tomatoes
83. Read The Iliad
84. Taught yourself an art from scratch
85. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
86. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
87. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
88. Been elected to public office
89. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
90. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
91. Dyed your hair
92. Rocked a baby to sleep
93. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
94. Raked your carpet
95. Worn a mood ring
96. Ridden a horse
97. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
98. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
99. Buried a child
100. Gone to a Broadway play
101. Been inside the pyramids
102. Shot a basketball into a basket
103. Danced at a disco
104. Played in a band
105. Shot a bird
106. Gone to an arboretum
107. Tutored someone
108. Ridden a train
109. Brought an old fad back into style
110. Eaten caviar
111. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn't need
112. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
113. Published a book
114. Pieced a quilt
115. Lived in a historic place
116. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
117. Asked for a raise
118. Made a hole-in-one mini golfing
119. Gone deep sea fishing
120. Gone roller skating
121. Run a marathon
122. Learned to surf
123. Invented something
124. Flown first class
125. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury hotel
126. Sang a solo
127. Gone spelunking
128. Learned how to take a compliment
129. Written a love-story
130. Seen Michelangelo's David
131. Had your portrait painted
132. Written a fan letter
133. Spent the night in something haunted
134. Ran away
135. Learned to juggle
136. Been a boss
137. Sat on a jury
138. Lied about your weight
139. Gone on a diet
140. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
141. Written a poem
142. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
143. Gotten food poisoning
144. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
145. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
146. Gone to the opera
147. Gotten a letter from someone famous
148. Worn knickers
149. Ridden in a limousine
150. Attended the Olympics
151. Can hula or waltz
152. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
153. Been stuck in an elevator
154. Had a revelatory dream
155. Thought you might crash in an airplane
156. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
157. Saved someone's life
158. Eaten raw whale
159. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
160. Laughed till your side hurt
161. Straddled the equator
162. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
163. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
164. Sent a message in a bottle
165. Spent the night in a hostel
166. Been a cashier
167. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
168. Joined a union
169. Donated blood
170. Built a campfire
171. Kept a blog
172. Had hives
173. Worn custom made shoes or boots
174. Made a PowerPoint Presentation
175. Taken a Hunter's Safety Course
176. Served at a soup kitchen
177. Conquered the Rubik's cube
178. Known CPR
179. Gone fishing
180. Found a long lost friend
181. Voted for a contestant on American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance
182. Successfully convinced someone you were of a different nationality
183. Received a promotion
184. Movie-hopped (Gone to two movies in a theater and only paying for the first movie)
185. Planned a surprise party for someone
186. Beaten all levels of a video game
187. Driven more than 2,500 miles on a cross-country trip
188. Cried yourself to sleep
189. Stayed awake for more than 24 hours
190. Crossed a national border by car
191. Been to an island
192. Been completely out of debt (student loans, house, and all)
193. Read a book from the Twilight series
194. Traveled to Italy
195. Given birth
196. Found a bra that fits perfectly
197. Learned to meditate
198. Owned your dream car
199. Learned to love eating raw vegetables
200. Seen all 50 states

Major lowdown in progress...

regarding Mac & her BF, that is. She texted to see "if I'm okay" and I told her yes, that the sickness I had this week really knocked me out (totally 100% truth) but that also, "living" with the BF was harder than I thought...

she responded, asking what was hard about it.

Would it be awful to tell her "everything"??

LOL...but seriously stuff like this is NEVER fun :(

Scratch that

Scratch the last post. Mac's boyfriend is in the apt...guess the plan will be to evacuate asap. Drat- I was looking forward to the fact that Mac has to work 12-8.

Ugly Fall

After a wonderfully warm September and October, it appears the ugly side of Fall has decided to rear it's head... Saturday has dawned, cold and wet. I can hear the wind blow through the now-bare tree branches, a sound I love- but not when accompanied with a 47* temperature!

I think today is the *perfect* day to stay home, clean the apartment, read a few books, watch a movie or two...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Wordle fun while I babysit

Have you ever tried wordle? It's a lot of fun!! It takes all the words you input, or words on your blog, and randomizes them :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thirteen Names I've Been Loving Lately

Names I'm Loving

1. Ruby
2. Elias
3. Joel
4. Claudia
5. Carly
6. Macy/Maci
7. Alec
8. Kirstin
9. Jenna
10. Kian
11. Molly
12. Juliet
13. Theo


We are all sick. By "we", I mean almost all the teachers at my school. By "sick", I mean there are the scratchy throats, coughs, runny noses, no's made for an interesting beginning of the week, especially since it's parent-teacher conferences and no one can really call off. I worked 8-6 yesterday and by 5 pm was struggling to stay awake. I left work early, at the mercy of my boss, who is also sick, ran to the library to grab a few movies, stopped at Wendy's for a burger and set myself up for an early evening. I was asleep by 8:30...and slept straight through to 7:15.

I missed all the election hoopla, but oh well. The turnout would have been the same even if I stayed up for it, right?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Starting the week off

Today was my "one day" to relax this week. The past week has been filled with:

- a 7 hour "communicable disease" class, which was mostly a waste of time...but it gave me the chance to hang out with my co-teacher Cara and co-worker Hope outside of school. Let's just say it was hysterical, because none of us were paying attention. Texts were exchanged, including one I will savor forever that simply says "oral and fecal". Truthfully!

- after the super-boring class, I babysat a tiny, tiny baby boy for the evening... Caleb is so precious!

- I was called into work spontaneously twice this week- once I literally just pulled on clothes and ran to work, arriving just as the children were, so perfect timing!

- I worked a little on the website, but it's slow going for now. My boss is a little resistant to "change", especially as it pertains to computer-related things.

- I fixed my secretary's home computer, met her husband and son, went out to dinner with her, and got a tour of her "craft room" that woman is talented!

- I waited in line for two hours to "early vote"...sheesh! I just knew, though, that Tuesday's going to be crazy @ work, so figured I might as well go do it while I could. Sadly, I brought nothing to read, left my phone in the car, and didn't even think to bring my ipod. I spent two hours pretending I was at the airport people!

- I finally got my car back. It's been in the shop for two weeks, amounting in $2100 worth of work. Gah!!!!

- I babysat Madden & Gaveston for the 2nd time- adorable children, and easy to care for :)

- I babysat for Caleb again and enjoyed handing out Halloween candy. My favorite kid was a 10 or so year old who, when I asked him what the heck he was dressed as, replied "Welllll, I haven't really figured that out yet, but I just keep telling people that I'm a purple and yellow elephant." Ookkkay!

- Aniya was in a bad car accident, so I spent part of the week worrying that she was, in fact, okay. I saw her today and she seems no worse for the wear, just more alert of drivers! Scary, though!

- I went out for ice cream with my friend Lyn, since I had a coupon for a free cone @ my favorite ice cream shop around! It expired yesterday, and I couldn't let it go to waste, could I?

- My co-worker Hope stayed overnight last night...there's a crazy running around Big City and our co-workers (& Hope's mother) have us a bit freaked out. Hope and I talked for a while, which was nice...I'm really enjoying getting to know her more. I didn't really get a chance to do that last year, but we've connected more this year. Thankfully, we both share a *huge* sarcastic way of speaking, so that helps ;)

- While picking up my car, my sister Amata and I had lunch together. We were 2 hours from my parents' town, and yet ran into one of my mom's friends. So strange, but funny!

Soo, since it was a CRAZY week, I was really planning to enjoy today, maybe take a hike or something. Instead, I woke up with no voice, a scratchy throat, and some weird cough. Lovelito! Thankfully, Aniya hooked me up with some Vit C pills, so I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow and feel better!