Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back to School Dreams

We're still in NM and I have pretty limited access to the internet. We're having fun but may be heading home soon. H needs to get back to work and the kids and I need to prepare for school. My final semester grades are in and here's the A, two A-, one B, and one B+. I am pretty pleased with those grades. I worked hard for them. I deserved them.

I had another 'back to school' dream. I blogged previously about a dream that I always have before school starts, dating back to high school, where I can't find something to wear on the first day. Well, I had one last night that I also often have before school starts. In the dream, I am in any of the schools that I have attended previously. I am looking for my locker and can't find it and if I do find it, I can't remember my combination. So, I go from locker to locker looking for the one that opens with my combination. Or I have to go to the office to get my combination again. What's also weird is that the combination I always use is the same in every dream, some sequence of 25-10-35. Anyone got any interpretations of that? Let me know.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

And a diamond in a pear tree...

Hello from NM! I hope everyone had a great Christmas cause we sure did. The kids received a lot of great toys and are really having a blast. They both got Heely shoes (shoes with wheels on the heels) and have been test driving them. H got a new suit (he's been outgrowing his old ones) and I (along with the other women) got a diamond necklace. I will post pics of it all soon...I forgot to bring my usb cord for the camera. I thought it was really funny that some of the kids' cousins actually got mp3 players and cell phones (keep in mind that they are all 10 and under) and our kids were ecstatic that they got their own tackleboxes and golf balls. Too funny. We also got them some house slippers and they gave us the most thanks for those. They got the major stuff from their Mamaw and Papaw. But they really had a great time.

We then went to my Grandma's house for more presents and tons of food. Tiny suprised me when we were there and she was playing with her cousins. They were playing with makeup and she indulged in that more than usual. She also received a Bratz doll and I didn't know what to think since she has never shown much interest in playing with dolls, be they baby dolls or barbies. However, there she was, playing with her, changing her clothes and brushing her hair. I was pretty surprised. The food was great. My uncle insisted on cooking prime rib in addition to the ham and turkey. There were a lot of laughs, kidding, and good food. Another perk, there were babies everywhere to cuddle. Three of the six new babies were there and they are all so tiny and cute.

Today, my parents are at work. Some of the little cousins will be coming over to play with the kids and I'll probably straighten up around the house. We will be here for New Year's too. They always have a pretty good party for that where karaoke and alcohol take part (no alcohol for me thanks...karaoke is bad enough). Will try to keep this updated while we're relaxing and partying.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Green Demon

We leave for NM tomorrow and I'm pretty excited. I've been baking up a storm the last two days. Thanks to a fellow blogger, I found a great recipe for gingersnaps. After a few batches and a little tweaking, I got it just how I wanted it. I like them chewy and with a kick. My legs were actually sore from standing half the day, mixing the dough and taking them in and out of the oven. I hardly sat yesterday. Today, I baked another batch, packaged them and delivered them. I have to say that all the baking and playing Christmas music while doing it really put me in the holiday mood. Delivering the treats and other errands had me driving around for about two hours. I am also packing for the trip and am ready to pass out. While at the library, I found an old fav movie on dvd..."Big Trouble in Little China". I used to watch it with my brother over and over again when we were younger. It's very 80's, but entertaining.

This year, we also did Christmas cards with a family picture of us in front of our tree. We've never done those before and they came out pretty good. We tried to have the dog in the pic with us, but she was quite uncooperative.

We are thinking of trading in one of our cars. I don't know what we might gbet, but it would have to have enough room for the dog in the back, like a wagon, van, or small SUV. As long as it is fast, I'm pretty happy. I got spoiled when I got my first 6-cylinder. I love the get-up-and-go. I think it will be weird to drive a regular car, being close to the ground. I've driven taller cars for a while now. I saw the most awesome car today. I found out that it was a 2005 Thunderbird. It was really retro. Here's a pic similar to what it looked like:

It looked cooler in person too. So vintage. It made me want to drive one. I would call it the "Green Demon".

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

I don't know if it's the sentimentality of the season or what, but I was listening to some music today and a song came on that made me cry. It's not even about Christmas or anything either. The song "Is there life out there?" by Reba McIntyre came on and I remebered seeing the video for it a long time ago. I must have been in junior high and it was one of my fav songs and videos at the time. For those who aren't familiar with it, I will post it below and you can see it. But anyways, it's about a woman that married young and had a couple of kids young and decides to go back to college. It's hard and she struggles but achieves her goal when she gets her degree. Why does this have me choked up? Well, because I married younger than the woman in the song did, had kids at a younger age than her, and I am finally graduating in the spring. I think the emotion of it is starting to hit me. I thought I was being silly for feeling like that but then I thought about it and realized I have worked my butt off, I have never given up, and I deserve it. I was proud. I never feel that way about myself, usually I only feel these feeling for my kids when they accomplish something wonderful that I know they worked hard at. I just didn't know that I could feel the same way about something I did. It feels good. And I'll say it again...I'M PROUD OF MYSELF!

I was also thinking that this is the closest I will ever get to keeping a regular journal of my life and will probably print up these pages and bind them. I'm not that great at remembering to actually write about my day, and when I do, I immediately forget all that occurred that day. Hope it will be an acceptable substitute.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just what did you put in that cup of Christmas cheer?!

Can you believe that I'm still recovering from my finals? I don't think I've ever taken this long to get over the stress at the end of the semester and settle into the holidays. The Christmas tree is up and decorated and I was going to decorate the windows with lights tonight. Maybe it's because I haven't done a lick of shopping yet. Yes, it's true...I haven't bought any Christmas presents yet. I'm sure I'm breaking some sort of law, but oh well.

I feel bad sometimes when we get little gifts or cards from others and we usually can't get something for everyone. Maybe I'll bake a batch of goodies...that's always easy. One thing that I'm pretty thankful for is that we have never put ourselves into debt trying to buy something for everyone or buying a ton of things that will just end up being forgotten by our kids a couple weeks later. I always try to think of a few things that I know they will appreciate and they are usually items that are very inexpensive. I've never been one to rush out and buy the latest toy, outfit, or gadget. It could be because we've never had a ton of money to throw around, but also because I really love focusing on what Christmas is really about. I love feeling the reverence of the quiet, snowy nights, watching the snow fall softly, spending time with my family and friends, hot chocolate and good food, and knowing that the Baby Jesus was born into this world knowing why he came and loving us always. It's amazing. Of course, the presents are nice too, I just don't like how to some people, that's what it's all about. That's not for me, no thanks.

So, for my first official day of my break, I spent the day cleaning up around the house and trying to make it more cozy. I love having the time to work around the house. I hope I can get it put in order before we head to NM. I also want to rearrange Henry's office for him. It's become quite the pile of stuff and is hard to navigate at times. We both have some of the same ideas for it and I hope we can do it before I start school again. I love projects. If we get it going soon, I will post some pics.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I can't believe that I am finally saying those words. I just emailed my last paper to my professor and I really do feel like Jello that will melt at any minute. I'm so exhausted...and feel so liberated at the same time. I want to party, but I also want to nap. I want to scream with joy, and I also almost want to cry. I always say that this semester's finals were the hardest and then I say it again next semester. At least I get to end next semester with a ceremony and a diploma. That's a lot better than what I have to show for this one...a bed covered in books and paper, bags under my eyes, and finally being able to fit in a shower today for the first time in an embarassingly long stretch of days and finals. Oh man. I might not have it in me to even post a long one today. Just know that I am very happy right now...very tired and hungry too. Love you all and thanks for the good wishes and thoughts my way...they already helped me finish and I already got an A in one class. I'll write more after I've regained a solid form that can spell her name.

The Home Stretch

I just turned in my project and now only have one paper standing between me and freedom. I seriously considered blowing it off and then realized that it counts for 20 % of my grade. Yikes! Better get to work.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Does anyone know the capital of the state of Insanity?!

I'm pretty tired right now. It could have something to do with the fact that it is almost midnight. Naaah! It's probably because of that, and because I did nothing but write a paper from 9:30 this morn till about 3:30 pm this afternoon, and I didn't go to sleep until after 1 am last night. I'm guessing it's all of the above. While cramming in my paper writing this morning, I told myself, "Maybe you'll learn your lesson and not put it off until the last minute next time." Then I said, "Yeah right. You always say that and nothing ever changes. You'll still be cramming a paper the day it's due." Well, if it ain't broke... :)

I am taking GRE again in the morning at 8 am. I hope I can get there on time. The test takes about 3 hours. H emailed me a study guide to the analytical writing section of the test (aka the part I didn't score high enough on) that MIT put together. I studied it for about two hours and I think it has really helped to realize some of the errors I made in my writing last time. I hope it will help me this time. Mister's class has a field trip tomorrow to the Natural History Museum at my university. They sent the info home if any parents wanted to tag along. I really want to go with them, but it's at the same time as the test. Tiny wanted to go too, but she'll also be in school.

I remarked to H today how funny life can be. Even though I am stressing on finals and he is dealing with a difficult client, it just shows that life is anything but dull. I had the thought today that I am really glad that he and I are sharing this ride together. There's no one else that I would want to experience it all with. I'm really grateful that no matter how stressful it is right now, we are all doing well. The stress is all over stuff that is normal, healthy stuff and it will all pass soon. There are definitely a lot of much harder things that we could be stuck dealing with and I'm really happy that it's just small stuff right now. We are pretty blessed.

I chatted with my friend in Kentucky today. She is finishing her Masters and was hired as a teacher for difficult 8th graders at a junior high a while back. She was sort of thrown into the deep end of the pool, but is managing to stay afloat quite well. She's pretty good at handling the tough stuff and coming out pretty well. At her previous job, she was developing a recreation program from scratch for the youth at a detention facility. She had to complete a weekend course in self-defense for her job and didn't actually have to use these skills until she started teaching the 8th graders. Two kids got into a fight in her classroom, one would not settle down, so she restrained him and basically sat on him until the security officer arrived. The whole time she has him pinned, she continues to teach the lesson to her other students. I tell you, that girl is made of some tough stuff. I would LOVE to student teach in her class. At first glance, you wouldn't know right away how strong she is, mentally and physically. She's a smart, beautiful woman that works hard and loves her kids. I tip my hat to her.

I had my first day in the high school English class on Monday. It is an alternative school, so the class was pretty small. The students and the teacher were nice to me. But I felt a little useless. Half of the class time was spent with the kids reading silently. At that time, the teacher went on about her business and worked on a computer, leaving me to sit and stare at the walls for the last 15 minutes of the class. The students seemed to carry on with the teacher well enough. When her back was turned though, there were still a few eye rolls her way. That made me realize that no matter how much I enjoy what I teach and how much I like my students, they are not always going to like me. I'm going to annoy them sometimes, I will be silently called an idiot or worse, and I might even get an eye roll. I need to develop some tough skin fast but still care about them and what I teach. I hope I can be more useful in this class than on my first day. If not, there are three other teachers I can try out.

Well, I have the GRE in the morning and I will be spending the rest of the day and most of Friday morning writing my 5-7 page theory paper and preparing my project on a postmodern poetry 'zine. Wish me luck! By Saturday, I'll be jello.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Finals...Good Times!

Here I sit, helping Mister do his math homework. It's slow in coming tonight, especially since H is also trying to outfit them to their snowboards for a quick trip tonight to the slopes. They love to board and have very little fear. That's a good thing for them. I promised myself that I would try it this year. I won't be making that happen tonight though since I have a 6-8 page paper due tomorrow afternoon for my children's lit class. It sounds like it wouldn't be too hard to write a paper about children's lit, but you should try to find a running theme between two novels, ranging from Peter Pan to Winnie the Pooh. It's not as easy as it seems. Comin up this week, I also have to retake the GRE on Wednesday and have a 5-7 page paper due in theory along with my project. I will be SO glad when it's Friday evening and I'm melting onto the couch, watching a movie, and generally feeling buzzed from all the stress relief.

Why am I taking the GRE again, you ask? Well, apparently I didn't get a high enough score on the written section. I really don't understand why I didn't do well enough on this section, especially since writing is my strong point and I have been writing paper after paper for the last 8 years. Needless to say, I was and am still pretty pissed off about this. I am also mad that I have to pay another $130 to take the stupid test over again. I told H that the hardest part for me to deal with is that all through college, how well I did was determined by me: how hard I studied, how well I wrote a paper, etc. And now, I have someone else telling me that I didn't do good enough to merit a better score, someone I've never met and who doesn't know my abilities as a writer from spit. And this person is the one that is holding up my grad school requirements. THAT pisses me off.

Well, glad I could get that off my chest. Thanks for listening.

I SO can't wait until we are in NM and eating good food and opening great presents.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A short post to wet you're appetite.

Still busy with school and family. Finals are next week and I am really ready for the semester to be over. I don't know why this semester seems longer than any I've had thus far. It's certainly not the biggest workload I've ever had even though it's the most classes I've taken at one time in a long time. Bad new: I got my GRE scores in the mail this weekend. I knew that I had passed two sections of it but had to wait for the scores to find out how I did on the writing section. Well, my score is not high enough for the grad school standards. So, guess what I will be doing next week on Thursday the 14th? That's right...retaking the GRE. Maybe I'm growing accustomed to self torture, but as long as I get into this program, that's fine. I have to check, but I'm pretty sure that I have a paper due tomorrow and another on Thursday, neither of which I have started. Talk about self torture.

I finished my service learning at the ESL class yesterday. On Wednesday, I will start helping out in some of the high school classes at the same school. I want to get in as much classroom experience as I can before I'm too loaded down in grad school. I was also thinking of signing up to do substituting in the school district next semester too. That would definitely give me a little more experience. The only classes I've substituted before were for my cousin's kindergarten class. That's when I knew that teaching elementary school was NOT for me.

Unfortunately, this post is going to be terribly short because I have to scoot off to class. Will post more when I can. Our internet at home has gone to crap since our neighbor got wireless also. Will need to call on that. Laters.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Making up for lost time

Yes, I suck at updating this thing. I have good reason though as I am at the end of the semester and homework is a pretty consistent thing now. I have one week of classes and one of finals left. I have 2 finals, one project, and 2 papers (min 5-6 pages) due in the next two weeks. How much fun does all that sound?! Anyone wanna try that "Try my Life" show with me? I think out of all that, I fear the papers the most. I consider myself a fair writer, but it's pretty hard for me to come up with an original argument for the paper considering that I don't feel strongly about much of what we've studied. It'll come out in the end midnight the night before it's due. I know it's time to finish up school when I feel too old to be pulling all-nighters to write a paper. I hope my students don't see me as a clueless teacher that piles mounds of homework on them and they come to loathe my very existence. Ok, so I know there will be a few that feel like that no matter how great I am. Oh well...can't win them all.

Am I ready for Christmas, you ask? Someone posed a variation of this question to me the other day. Something along the lines of, "Got all your Christmas shopping done already?" My answer? "Are you kidding?!" I started to wonder why I have not put much thought to the season yet and realized that until finals are a memory and reading three chapters in two days is not required, I'm pretty useless. I can barely keep up with my house, am too tired to plan out dinners, and too stressed to worry about planning ahead when I am in school. So, as soon as my last final is completed at 3pm on Friday the 15th, I will officially be in the "holiday spirit". Probably not any sooner, but after that, I'm all about the holidays. To add to the merriment, we are heading to NM this year for Christmas and New Years. I don't know if H will have recovered from the road trip to CO in time, but come heck or high water, we're going. I get to see all those wonderful babies that have been so busy coming into the world and our family for the last two months. Well, not all of them, but I'm not complaining. Beautiful, tiny angels that I can cuddle, kiss and horde all to myself. I love it. I think H believes that it's a sign that I am getting baby hungry. Nope...just enjoying the beauty of them without the fuss.

I read a fellow blogger's post today and it had a section of little known facts about her. I found it interesting and thought I would do the same. If you want to ask anything, I will answer. If you know me, you know I'm not shy about sharing.

@ age 20: I was married with two kids.

fear: losing my family, dying young (worry more for my family than myself), having regrets about my life when it's almost over

@ 28: I want to be done with school and teaching in a high school.

secret: I want to take math classes to get a teaching endorsement in it, but I'm afraid that I suck so bad at it that even if I get the endorsement, my students will know more than me. I also have a secret desire to enter interior design and decorating...maybe later.

Things I want to do before I die: Do interior design and decorating. Write a book (no matter what size it is). See my family happy and well. Do real estate. Do home staging. Meet one of my idols (Wanna know who they are? George Strait, Gordon B. Hinckley, J.K. Rowling, and a few hundred more.), travel extensively with my family, show my kids places and things most kids only read about in textbooks (paintings, natural wonders of the world, etc), learn to enjoy cooking, become organized (this will take a while), and many other things.

I am interested in knowing what some of you have planned for your life. Well, I think I have made up for my lapse in blogging with the length of this one. Will try harder to keep it up. Laters.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Thanksgiving

Yes, I's been forever since my last blog. But I have good reason; I was on vacation. We went to Colorado to visit my older brother and his family at their new home. My parents also came up from NM. We all gathered for Thanksgiving and a little R & R. It was desperately needed. I had two days of classes before we departed and in that time, I had a paper due and in the previous week, I had two entrance exams. I was very ready for some rest and great food. My sis in law is a great cook and a wiz in the kitchen. She has just about every useful kitchen tool there is and kicks serious butt with them. We had some excellent meals while there. I think I ate more in three days than in a normal week. She is also very organized between the kids' homeschooling, housecleaning, meals, and activities. I hope I can be that put together one day. I'm working on it.

While we were there, we also celebrated Mister's bday because it is this week. He picked out the cake, I made sure it was doable, and I was able to make him the coolest racetrack cake ever. Tiny helped me decorate it and did a great job laying the gravel for the track (cookie crumbs). I hit a snag with the side icing piping as the icing did not want to evacuate the decorator's tip, so instead we put licorice on the sides. Mister loved it, it was yummy, and he made out like a bandit with the presents, which ranged from art supplies to cars to tech deck dudes and a movie. He had a great day. I'll probably just do a nice dinner and some more cake on his real birthday. I can't believe he is going on 10. I won't say the time has really flown by, but it definitely went by faster than I anticipated. He has been such a blessing to me. He's my conscious and my sense of humor.

So, we got home last night and pretty much all melted onto the couches after being in the car for 9 hours. I love road trips but it sure is nice to get where you're going and just chill. The kids travel well too. I don't know who came up with the idea of watching videos in the car, but God bless them. They watched more on the trip there then on the way back, but it sure was nice. Our bigger vehicle is awaiting some new brakes and we had to take our smaller one. Two adults, two kids, a dog, and ton of stuff almost proved to be too much on the way home. But we survived and I will look into a luggage rack before our Christmas trip to NM. So, today is the calm before the resuming of the storm which is life. I have to unpack, do laundry, clean house, and do some homework. I have about two weeks of class and one week of finals left before the next break. I'm very ready for this next break already.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Just a blip.

I don't think I like this new blogger version. I wish I could switch back to the old one. Oh well. I took the Praxis II on Saturday morning (required exam to enter the teaching grad program). I was on standby to take it because I had missed the registration date. Fortunately, everyone on standby that day was able to test. I won't know how I did for four weeks. I think I did okay. Between the questions I didn't know and the fact that I ran out of time before I was done, I know I didn't do spectacularly. At this point though, I'll be ecstatic to have passed. I have to keep this short and sweet since I have clothes to fold, a paper to start, and a few other things to do before bed. Laters.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random Sightings

This is the scene I walked past today after class. Snow was being hauled in and packed onto a slope between two buildings. Considering the adjacent tables belonged to the Ski and Snowboarding Clubs, I had a good idea of what they were doing.

A couple hours later, I passed the scene again and here's what was going on. There was also a new band performing in the courtyard, promoting their CD. I've learned to always try to carry my camera with me because you never know what you're going to come across on campus, especially after the Chewbacca sighting. So, look forward to some random pics of crazy college life.

Have you hugged a turkey today?

This is a turkey that Tiny brought home as a blank paper cutout. Her assignment was to decorate it with her family and take it back to school. So, I pulled out my craft supplies and we got to work. Each feather is a different fabric print, the body is a dark brown felt (lucky for us I had some), Tiny painted the head and feet, we put beads on the collar, and I wrote her name with glue and glitter. When I dumped the glitter on the glue name, she asked what I was doing and looked confused. I then shook all the excess glitter off and her name "magically" appeared. She gasped and loved it. I love my job!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I PASSED! I PASSED! I PASSED! I took the GRE tonight and needed a 450 in the verbal and in the quantitative. I got a 570 in the verbal and a 530 in the quantitative. I have to wait on the analytical writing portion, but I felt pretty good about it when I did it. I have a big smile on my face right now. I've had so many successes lately and feel so blessed. I've been getting really good grades on my papers and tests and then the GRE. I have to take the Praxis II next on Saturday. If I pass that, I'm clear on my grad school entrance exams. I told H tonight that I feel so great, it's as if everything I've worked so hard for all these years is finally all coming together and is within my reach. I also told him that I've never felt better as a student than I do now. I never had to try very hard in high school and got pretty good grades, but I never felt completely pleased with my efforts. Now, I'm working my butt off and am doing good and I'm very pleased with myself and my efforts. It's a good feeling to know I did my best and did well.

After the test on Saturday, H and I are going to dinner with the LonDolls. Nobby is bringing her boy (when I say this, I mean boyfriend, not son) and we'll finally get to know him. Trippy already knows him since her and Nobby are roommates. I've only met him briefly, a short intro. And Mody and Hobby have yet to meet him at all. So, it should be an enjoyable evening, especially since I'll be done with the tests. Tonight, we celebrated by going to a breakfast restaurant for dinner. My french toast was yummy, but I felt like I was about to fall asleep in it and come up looking like the cartoon with eggs for eyes and bacon for lips. I'm exhausted. I've been pulling late-nighters for the last three days, subsisting on Dr. Pepper. Yes, I've graduated to the harder stuff. Coke just doesn't cut it anymore. Next cram session, I'll be up to Mt. Dew. Me on a ton of caffeine is a scary thing.

Next week, we will be heading to Colorado for Thanksgiving at my bro's house. My SIL has graciously offered to share her culinary skills with me and will be teaching me some quick and easy dinners. I also intend to curl up on their couch with my tummy stuffed full of turkey and yams, snoring my head off and dreaming of pumpkin empanadas. I love the holidays. Well, I better head to bed before my head hits the keys and I have to explain the imprinted RETURN button on my head in the morn to my prof. Good night and thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers for my test. It sure did work. Keep 'em coming for Saturday. Will write more later. Love ya!

Monday, November 13, 2006


I'm getting a bit nervous. The GRE is on Wednesday and I've barely studied. I finished a theory paper today during my lunch and was hoping to focus on studying. However, I realized this afternoon that I have a children's lit paper due tomorrow morning that I haven't started writing. We're supposed to read an article a woman wrote about Peter Pan and the impossibility of writing "true" children's fiction. It's a boring article that is hard to read because you can easily see through the writing just how scatter-brained the author is. I wonder if she just wrote this the night before it was due (like me), oblivious to the fact that someone was going to take it seriously and publish it. I'm sure she would have organized it better had she known. So here I am, trying to decipher this crappy article enough to write a 1-2 page response on it. You know the resource is bad when you can't even write a 1-2 page response on it, the easiest writing assignment there is for an English major. So, word of warning...write your papers with some thought and care, you never know what idiot with a sense of humor might read it and think its art.

I have a GRE study manual from the library and it seems the test is divided into two main parts: English and Math. You would think the English would be a snap for me, right? Well, there are words in there that I've never heard of and some that I have but never knew the meaning. I would say that I am comfortably knowledgeable with about 1/3 of the vocabulary. Thankfully, they have a glossary of terms to study. I cautiously glimpsed at the math and wasn't too horrified, though math still scares me. It doesn't look like anything I haven't studied before. So, I take the test Wednesday afternoon and am asking for lots of good thoughts and prayers to be sent my way. They would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pinch Me!

Today was a pretty wonderful day. Why, you ask? Because I visited with my academic advisor today to make sure I was all set for my last semester before graduation. He confirmed for me that I only have 3 more classes standing between me and my Bachelors degree! Just 3 more after being in college on and off, part time and full time for 8 years! Yes, I said 8 years. I have struggled, celebrated, and wanted to quit many times. I can't believe that I am finally so close to finishing. After our meeting, I had a permanent smile tattooed on my face. I just couldn't stop, I was oozing joy. I think I got some on Liz at lunch. She was definitely smiling a lot more after that. I couldn't help calling my mom and letting her know the great news. She told me that she was so happy for me and was very proud of me. All the things a daughter wants to hear. The day I walk across that stage will definitely be one of the best days of my life. I have an inkling of just how awesome it will be. I can't imagine how it will feel when I do it again for my Masters a year later. Probably even better.

At about 3 am this morning, I also completed a final project for my language arts class that I've been putting off for a while. I have to present a "lesson" to my class that is completely original and I also had to plan out a weeklong lesson plan. I knocked that baby out. This afternoon, I attended a lecture titled "The Death of a Beautiful Woman: Memento, Deconstruction and the Idea of Form" given by author Walter Benn Michaels. As far as theory lectures go, this is the first one I have enjoyed. He had some interesting theories relating to self-deception, expectance vs. reality, and obsessive behavior. He related these ideas using the examples of the movies "Memento" and "American Psycho". I attended for class credit and also because the synopsis sounded quite similar to a project I did for a poetics class about the death of the beautiful woman in art and literature. Here is the
website. This wasn't what the whole of his lecture was about, but he did touch on it. So, a couple of hours of a little enlightenment, some time spent with future colleagues, and some credit under my belt. Not a bad afternoon.

Yesterday had its bragging rights too. I got a B on my last theory paper and an A- on my children's lit midterm. I'm amazed each time I get a good grade. It's a rush. I will also be writing yet another theory paper tonight. I believe it is on "Fight Club". Not the worse topic to have to write on. Could be worse, like more Baudrillard. Dry!

GRE, Praxis, and Flu....SHOO!

Just a quick update at three in the morning. I had a presentation that had been due on Tuesday and I finally completed it tonight. I have to present it to the class tomorrow and hope it goes well. It is basically a lesson that I will present as if I am a teacher and the other students are my students. I also had to come up with a week of planned lessons...just the plan, not the actual lessons. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted since I finished it. Presenting it isn't really a problem for me, just actually getting it done. I also have a paper due on Friday and I will be taking the GRE and the Praxis II test next week. So, you know what I will be doing this weekend...studying. I am actually on standby for the Praxis cause I missed the registration deadline. So, I would greatly appreciate some prayers and good thoughts my way that I will be able to take the test next week. If I have to wait until next month, I won't receive my scores in time for my grad school apps. So, send a little love my way.

I am almost done with my 20 hours volunteering at the adult ESL class. I really like the teacher and enjoy the students and I had planned to keep helping out after I am done with my hours. However, I will actually be switching to another class at the same school, but I will be working with high school students. I found out that for one of my letters of recommend for grad school, I need to have done some work with real high school or middle school students and have the teacher that I work with provide that letter. I am sad to leave the ESL class, but am excited to work with the kids and face the new challenges that that will include. I know it will be challenging because this is an alternative high school, not a traditional one. These are the kids that have been sent or chose to go here because of pregnancy, problems, or issues. I hope I can learn a lot and help along the way.

I told H that there are very few things in my life that I have actually been nervous about, such as starting at my third new high school, getting pregnant, and buying a house. But this grad school app process is really doing a number on me, nerve-wise. I'm so afraid that I will think that I have completed everything and will find out at the last minute that I screwed something up or forgot something and there goes graduation or there goes my chance at grad school. I've always been a procrastinator, but I am trying really hard to not wait around for anything when it comes to this. I may end up so tightly wound by next summer that it will take a weeklong nap, no noise for three days, and a lot of liquor to get me loose again (well, no liquor for this mormon...maybe some good meds though). I am already feeling my stomach twisting in knots just thinking about the future stress. Ugh! I just want to be done already and finally have something to show for all my hard work and years of school. I'm tired and can't take any extra surprises or delays. Stick a fork in me, I'm done!

Enough ranting. I think I have successfully sidestepped the cold that was trying to overtake me. However, H is showing early signs of the flu. Not good. I will have to watch out for him and simultaneously keep my distance. Getting sick is just not an option right now. Unfortunately, Nobby has come down with the flu and can't keep anything down. I told her that I felt bad cause I was complaining about not being able to breathe through my nose. Small potatoes compared to her right now. I really hope she's okay. We were hoping to have a LonDoll's night out but it's more important that she feel better. There's always next weekend. Heaven knows that I'm definitely going to need a night out after those entrance exams.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

4 More Weeks of Torture, 2 to Die and Then We Start Over Again

We just finished watching "The Producers", the movie. I had previously read the play and have to say that I really enjoyed the movie version. I love Nathan Lane and who doesn't like Matthew Broderick? Uma Thurman has also recently become one of my fav actresses. H really enjoyed Will Ferrell's character. He has a movie coming out with Emma Thompson (definite fav) titled "Stranger than Fiction" that I am looking forward to. I will have posted some more vids of upcoming movies and such by the time I post this. Can you tell how much I enjoy movies?

School...could be better. I've let myself fall behind a bit. But all that reading I did ahead of time will be paying off soon. While we're starting to cover those readings, I can catch up on what we've already covered. Don't know if that made much sense, but oh well. We're about to discuss "Fight Club" and we rented it this weekend. I have never seen it before and we had to go to four different video rental places to find one on dvd that wasn't checked out. It followed the book pretty well and there weren't too many suprises. I did like though how images were spliced into the movie like the character does in the theater. It was interesting. The movie ending left you hanging a bit compared to the book. But hopefully, I can now devote the reading time I would have spent on that to other reading I need to do.

This weekend had some fun moments. I babysat Saturday morning. How is this fun, you ask? Well, the older kids entertained themselves and I got to enjoy the baby. He is about 5 or 6 months old, tiny, and the happiest little man ever. He didn't fuss once and was so fun to cuddle and make laugh. I enjoyed it immensely. Contrary to what everyone believes, I am not baby hungry or due for the next yet. I really enjoyed him but also saw how hard it would be to accomplish other things while having to attend to a little one...the reason that his mom had me watch him while they moved. He sure was cute though.

Saturday night, we went south and took out my father in law along with my bro in law and his fam. We all went out to a buffet restaurant and each ate our fair share of food. It was nice to get out and be with the fam with some good food we didn't have to cook. We then wandered around a huge sportsman's store. They had a live aquarium in the store and the kids loved it. I say the kids, but I mean me too. The aquarium is really tall and I was staring a fish right in the face when it sort of yawned and I could see all the way into it. It was very surprising and I lifted the kids to see too. We then went home and watched a movie. I passed out on the couch and slept so well that me and the kids had to miss church.

I have to go to school tomorrow and am not sure I want to. I desperately want the semester to be done. I am tired, a little bored, and trying hard to not get sick. If you know any seasoned college students, you'll know they only allow themselves to get sick between semesters. It's like we make a deal with our bodies to wait until just after finals and then we can allow ourselves to die for two weeks on the couch with a gallon of Nyquil and a box of tissue. And just when we're alive enough to enjoy the break, it's time to start all over again. Speaking of, I have to register for spring classes in a couple days. I'm feeling the stress of the GRE and the Praxis II weighing on me. I signed up to take the GRE in about a week and a half. Wish me luck, cause no one needs it more than me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Willy Wonka, Chewbacca, the Penguin and the Skeleton Knight

Man, I was pretty pissed during my morning class (not the British 'pissed' = drunk, but the mad pissed). At the beginning of class, the prof came over to some of us with laptops and informed us that she decided to ban laptops for the rest of the semester. She said that they are too distracting and she was pretty sure that we were not JUST taking notes with them. In other words, she has caught on that most of us are surfing the web and some are chatting during her lectures. Now, I will not say that I am innocent of any of the above, however, I was giving the stink eye for the remainder of class her way. It is completely ridiculous in my point of view to do this now. All of my notes and downloaded readings thus far are on my comp and are now inaccessible. I could print them up but hate the idea of wasting all that paper when I have a perfectly good way to access them without all the waste. I save a ton of paper while taking notes in Word also. I really wanted to fight her on this but felt that it would be futile and had the sense that it would later reflect badly in my assignment grades. So, I will suffer in least regarding her. I fully plan to think pissed off thoughts and eyeball them her way for a while. I know, not very Christian. But I have to say this is a much better and more appropriately respectful plan of action than outright defiance and throwing a tantrum.

Being Halloween, I had the pleasure of riding the train today beside Mr. Willy Wonka himself. And after lunch, Mody took a pic of me and Chewbacca on the way to class. I have to say that he is as tall in person as he seems in the movies. I think he may have gone bald though as his fur had the appearance of extensions. Well, I guess age will get us all eventually. On the way into the library, I encountered what I mistook as a wombat and was actually Count Chocula. Thankfully, the mistake was not verbalized. Can you imagine the embarassment of mistaking a chocolate-loving vampire for a common flying weasel. The horror! Along my way through the day, I had the privilege of seeing many other characters, animals, and one poor girl that looked like a disco diva until I realized she wasn't actually wearing a least, not intentionally on her part. She looked cute though, she was working those go-go boots. :)

So, my day consisted of being pissed in my first class, lunch and watching the latest episode of "Heroes" with Liz online, second class cancelled (but am a little worried that they were elsewhere and I wasn't listening to an announcement about the alternative rendezvous), reading a mile long chapter for class, rushing home (as fast as is possible on public transport anyway), frantically sewing foam glow-in-the-dark bones to Mister's costume, a wonderful spree of trick-or-treating in two different neighborhoods (on opposite sides of town), a pit stop for hot chocolate (yummy), coming home to help kids with homework, and finally cuddling with both until they fell asleep. What a long,varied, and ultimately wonderful day. I mean, how can you top all that? It was really great! I love Halloween. I will be posting some costume pics on my myspace page for all to see (those on my friend list anyway). If you have a myspace, shoot me a friend request. I love to share pics and all our happenings.

I am now sitting in my somewhat chilly living room, waiting for the fireplace to do its job, and sort of putting off my homework. I have to say that as hard as it can be sometimes and as stressed as I may get with school and home, I really love my life.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Halloween

We've survived the Halloween celebrations thus far. Kind of funny that Halloween hasn't even come yet. The kids had three parties this weekend...a friend one, a school one, and a church one. Due to two midterms last week, I gave in and bought the kids' costumes instead of making them. I am, however, making some adjustments to Mister's costume. He is a knight, but wanted to be a skeleton knight. So, we found a skeleton costume that I could use to make the adjustments. I also painted the bones so they glow in the dark. Tiny is a penguin and we found a cute, warm costume for her. I was suprised though that the largest size they had was up to 6x and, even as small as she is, it barely fit her. I felt like a real failure for a few moment about having to buy instead of create their costumes. But I got over it when I saw how the kids didn't mind and were pretty content with their costumes.

I remember Halloween being one of my fav holidays. I mean, when else can you knock on the doors of complete strangers (and as many as you want), say three words, and get a ton of candy completely free. And all you have to do is dress up. A lot of kids aren't even working very hard at that anymore. I've seen some older kids looking like they just put on the rattiest clothes in their closet and put some red paint on their faces (blood, I guess). It's a little disappointing. We used to dress up and hit the streets as soon as the street lights came on. We would then find it a personal challenge to see how many streets we could cover in a single night. My dad was a good sport about it until we were old enough to go it alone.

At the moment, I am watching a show on HGTV titled "Reel Houses, Reel Scary". It's about the houses that have been used in scary movies. Muy interesante. I always thought the house in "Scream" wasn't real, like a soundstage. But it is a beautiful house, next to a vineyard. Did you know that the houses in the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Halloween" are on the SAME street?!? And of course the house of the boyfriend on "Elm Street" is there too. These houses are really beautiful. Being the movie nut that I am, I'm loving it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Give me a finished midterm, a good movie and some candy

I've been getting by lately with semi-posts...all the videos and trailers. I just finished a take home midterm that is due in the morn and I had forgotten about until this morn. I feel pretty good about it though. Cross your fingers for me cause I didn't do so well on my last paper in there. I am also stressing out a little cause I just realized that I need to cram a whole lot of Spanish in the next couple of months if I have any hope of surviving in the Spanish class I am required to pass for graduation. If I don't pass it, I don't graduate and then I don't get into grad school this summer and I will have to wait another whole year to reapply. Totally sucks. I've got some serious work to do. Not to mention that I still need to take two entrance exams very soon and I have yet to study for them. I'm SO looking forward to our next break. Tomorrow I will unfortunately have to miss the kiddos next to last soccer game in order to join a study group for a test in grammar on Wednesday that I am very unprepared for. Anyone wanna trade for a bit?

Movie-wise (yeah, like I'm going to stop watching movies altogether in the midst of my stress breakdown), I watched "Casanova" the other night for the first time. It has Heath Ledger (mmm, sexy) in it and Oliver Platt (teehee, funny). I was somewhat surprised with how much I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the comedic banter of "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Oscar". Anyways, definite recommend for a laugh.

Story: We were leaving church yesterday and were saying goodbye to some folks. A woman came up to H and said "so, you're expecting a new one, huh?" H asked her "a new what?" and she indicated that she thought I was pregnant. He told her "not that I'm aware of". I felt bad mainly cause I know she felt bad about it. But I just laughed it off. We got home and were chatting about it. We came to the agreement that with my gained weight and the dress I was wearing, I did indeed look pregnant. If that's not a hint to lose a few pounds, I don't know what is. Looks like I'll be busy worrying about food and exercise as well. Some people lose weight when they are stressed...too bad I don't. I go straight for a soda and a bag of candy. It never made a difference when I was younger but definitely seems to nowadays. Older, slow metabolism, that sort of thing. Not sure yet if I like getting older.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A little blip

So, life is pretty good right now. School is getting a bit old, but that's normal halfway through the semester. It's still bearable though. The kids are doing well in school. I love helping them with their homework when we all get home. It's my one on one time with them and I know that I'm playing an important part in their learning. If they pass a spelling test on Friday (which they've been doing a lot lately), I know that I had something to do with that. It makes me feel essential in their growth and lives. I will also be helping the PTA (which I am not a member of) with the Halloween carnival decorations next week. Because of school, I'm often not able to volunteer regularly. So, it will be nice to contribute in a small way.

H just secured a house for some clients and will be closing in about a week. It's always nice to have regular business coming his way. Halloween is fast approaching and I have yet to begin costumes. It might be a good thing though, because the kids just changed their minds again about what they want to be. Tiny now wants to be a penguin and Mister, I can't remember. Will update that later. I'm still not sure if H and I will be dressing up. The thought crossed my mind of having a Halloween party...just a few close friends and some fam. Don't know if it will happen though cause the Saturday before Halloween will be full of carnivals for the kiddos at their school and at church. Will think on it some more. Have to head to class soon, so I will write more later.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Latest Creation

This is my latest creation...a baby blanket for my new niece. She was born like a week and a half ago. She is my little brother's first child and I wanted to make something really special for her. It took about three days to make this and it was the most work I've done on a baby quilt so far. I hand-sewed the little flowers on the square corners and the ones on the corners of the blanket. The rest was machine stitched. Every other square is a purple square with tulle covering it and loose flowers in between. This is a design I came up with a couple of years ago and I try to make each blanket a little different. On the last ones, I just used loose flower petals and this time, I left the flower intact. I hope they like it and I just thought I would share this with you. I really love when I can do these and don't get to do them as much as I would like.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Another Weekend

Unlike many Saturdays, I actually accomplished something today. I started cleaning the living room and ended up rearranging the whole room. I've been wanting to do it for a while, but finally had the chance. It felt really good to sit in my "new", clean room afterwards. I like to rearrange regularly, it makes it feel like a whole new room, like I even have new furniture.

Other than that, my weekend has consisted of getting to go dancing and play pool with H last night followed by breakfast at Denny's, renting movies tonight, a trip to the grocery store, and gorging myself with Reese's Pieces. Sounds like a success so far. I still need to do a lot of homework tomorrow after church. I'm supposed to start trying to arrive to church early so that I can help set up the room for Sunday school and to greet the ladies as they come in. I haven't made it to church on time in quite a while. Hope I can pull it off.

As far as school goes, I am now reading "The Jungle Book". I know, tough huh?! Things are going to start to get really hectic in the second half of the semester. So, I need to work to make sure that I stay on top of it all. Once I fall behind, it's really hard to get back into it. I will also be turning in my graduation application this week. It is odd to finally see the end in sight. However, this end is also the beginning of more school...grad school. So, I will also be talking to the academic advisor about all the fun grad school apps, letters of recommend, and entrance exams. Boy, I'm excited! ;]

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend Spent

I have been notified by McSomethingkins that I am very late in my posting. I find this somewhat amusing since her comments on here have been few and far between. But I understand why. I mean, we're all in school and that's is a full time job in itself and she also works. So, who has time to post. For example, I should be doing a paper that is due tomorrow morning instead of catching others up on my life. Oh well. I had planned on being more on top of things this weekend until I had a surprise trip sprung on me late Friday night. H came into the living room at about 10:30 pm Friday night with the idea of going one state over to see his family for the weekend. Saturday was the bday of one of his sisters and he wanted to surprise her. He rarely asks for such a big thing and we were headed out at about midnight with the kids and his brother in tow. It was a fun trip over and he really enjoyed it.

We, however, didn't get back home until about 2:30 this morning. After unloading kids, luggage, and settling down, I didn't get to sleep until almost 4 am. Needless to say, we could not manage to drag ourselves out of bed this morning and the kids and I played hooky. I didn't know that it was Columbus Day and didn't feel so bad when I realized this. Everyone else is getting a day off, why not us students too? We had a parent-teacher conference with Tiny's teacher today. She is doing well, especially in her reading. We have Mister's conference tomorrow. I've been pretty impressed with his reading improvements in the last year. It would be weird for the kids of a bookworm to not have a reading appreciation. I hope I can pass that onto them.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I officially love the new show "Heroes". I think it has a great imaginative storyline. It has sucked me in. Let me introduce you to some of the characters:

Hiro Nakamura--He is from Japan and is figuring out that he can bend time, which includes going back and forth through time. I think he is my favorite character because he is funny and somewhat childlike. So far, he has teleported to NY, 5 weeks into the future with the power of his mind. Upon arriving in NY, he passes a newstand and sees a comic book about his story. He tracks down the author/artist (Isaac Mendez is the name of that character). He finds Isaac dead (keep in mind that this is 5 weeks in the future), killed by a serial killer. When he is being questioned by the police, he realizes that he's in the future and they see a huge explosion in downtown NY. He concentrates and teleports back to Japan to the present.

Isaac Mendez--He is an artist that lives in NY and has realized that some of the paintings he has done while on drugs are depictions of future events (eg. a suicide bomber in Israel on a bus, the giant explosion in NY, and even some that pertain to other 'heroes'). He is also doing the comic book that seems to depict all the 'heroes'.

Peter and Nathan Petrelli--Brothers. Both live in NY. Nathan is an aspiring politician, a bit self-serving, and a hardball. Peter is his younger brother. He is a nurse at a nursing home and keeps having dreams of flying. He begins to doubt his possible power until he sees Isaac's painting of a flying man that looks like him. He decides to put it to the test and invites his brother to meet him in an alley. He is on the roof of the building and jumps. Falling half way down, Nathan flies up to catch him. They are both surprised and Nathan loses his grip on Peter. We find out later that before Peter hit the ground, he also flew. He is alive.

Claire Bennet--She is a high school cheerleader in the midwest that cannot die and heals immediately. She has tried to kill herself 6 times while a friend records it. She does not want anyone to know about it. Her father (adoptive) found the tape and seems to have a thus unexplained interest in the heroes and their abilities. The dad has been shown to be following around another character, Mohinder.

Mohinder Suresh--He is a genetics professor from India whose father was the same. His father had some sort of research that had to do with a test subject. Apparently, the dad went to NY in order to track down the test subject, known as Syler. He appears to be the serial killer aforementioned. Mohinder's father died mysteriously and moved to NY, rented the same apartment, and became a taxi driver (like his dad) in order to find and continue his father's research. Claire's father entered his taxi and began to ask questions that scared Mohinder away.

Matt Parkman--He is a police officer that wants to become a detective but can't pass the exam. While directing traffic at a murder scene, he hears the voice of a little girl saying, "Please don't hurt me." He follows the voice into the crime scene and locates the missing daughter of the victims in a crawl space. He was hearing her thoughts. The detectives are not satisfied with his explanation of hearing her whispering and arrest him.

Niki Sanders--Lastly is Niki. She is a single mom struggling to make ends meet and raise her son who is a genius sort. She owes money to the mob and is cornered by a couple of henchmen. When she is told to do some "favors", she 'blacks out". When she awakes, both the men are dead and the place looks like a slaughterhouse. She locks up the garage (where the scene is) and goes to pick up her son. A camera had been running during the 'black out' and she stops the car to watch it. When the violence begins, the camera turns static. The next thing she knows, four hours have passed unaccounted for from when she turned on the camera playback. Apparently, her "alter personality" (the person she sees in the mirror) set things up for her to dispose of all the evidence. It ends showing her digging a hole for the bodies in the middle of nowhere. While digging, she sees old bodies already buried. Makes you wonder if her "alter" is responsible for those too.

It seems that all these characters are going to end up coming together and have to work together to stop this predicted explosion in NY and help each other along the way. It's like a book that I don't want and can't put down. I can't wait for the next chapter.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Soccer and Cowboys (no, not the football team)

The weekend passes way too fast to accomplish much. Conference weekend also takes up more of the weekend and I accomplish much less. On the other hand, I do get to hear some great talks from church leaders and receive much inspiration and am uplifted. Pretty good trade off.

The kids had a soccer practice and game this week. At their practice, the city had two players from the local professional soccer team come out and teach the kids a few techniques. Half of the kids were in awe and the other half would have rather been practicing. Mister was one of the latter and Tiny, the former. She was excited to get their autographs and a poster. Their games also went well. Mister's team got a new player than does well handling the ball. So, they got some more points this time around. Tiny's team also got two new players. They are two little boys from Africa, one of which we know from church. Their whole family plays soccer and he really loves it. H asked the boy we knew what team he was on and he said that he didn't have the money to register for soccer. We know of his family's economic situation and asked them if they wouldn't mind us paying his fee so he could play. They agreed and the boy and his friend joined the team. We were also able to help him get shin guards and cleats.

Well, the boys had fun playing their first game and are pretty talented. After the game, the opposing coach approached H and told him that the boys were supposed to have been on his team. H asked why they hadn't been put on his team and the coach said that he told the boys they would have to pay the fee if they wanted to play. H told him that they wouldn't have been able to pay it, so he did so the boys could play. The guy then actually had the gall to tell H that he was teaching the boys that they could get a free ride and wouldn't have to be responsible to pay for things. What a pretentious, elitist butthead! It infuriated me that the guy didn't look past himself and realize that the love these boys have for the game outweighs the ability to for out money for it. The ref told H that he was right and the other guy was in the wrong. It's just sad. I am glad they can play anyway.

School is going okay. I'm still a little behind in some reading and I have my first test on Monday in Grammar. I finished reading Fight Club a few days ago. It had good writing and an interesting plot twist, but it was amazingly graphic. Just so you know, I never watched the movie so I didn't know what to expect. Don't know if I mentioned before, but I also finished V for Vendetta and watched the movie. I highly recommend both.

Fun stuff: I got to go on a date with my husband last night. We went dancing and it's been a while since we last did. FYI, we went to a country/western club with a live band and it was fun. We played a lot of pool and danced to some fav songs. Just a warning: if you are one of those people that arrive at the club at 7:00pm for the line dance class and then proceed to line dance to every song for the rest of the should probably look for other weekend activities every once in a while. Some of them don't even look like they're having fun while they're doing it. Like zombies or robots. And of course, there were the expected regulars there: the middle-aged, big-haired blond with a tiny shirt and tight jeans, the mentally unstable metalheads with their adoring chics, the big-bellied cowboy in really tight wranglers, and band that keeps telling the crowd to say "hell yeah". The band was okay, but most of the songs all sounded alike. And the DJ played some odd selections, but there was a live band, a pool table, and my guy to dance me around the floor. It was great.

My New Hair (no, not a wig)

This was taken a while back
and is longer than the real before.

It was risky, but I was too
bored with it to care.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Femmes Mortes

Just wanted to post the link for a website I did. This was the final project for an British/French poetry class I took last semester. I did all of the content and had the help of my wonderful H to put it all into a functional website. I focused on the use of the image of dead women in art and literature. Hope you enjoy it.

  • Femmes Mortes
  • Tiny's Haircut



    My Tiny wanted a real haircut because she felt that her hair was getting too long for her taste. I figured that it made sense since she is playing soccer now and it is also taking longer to detangle in the mornings. With her daddy's permission, I set up an appointment for her with the gal that does my hair. After putting it into a ponytail, it was slowly cut. I was then handed a ponytail about 8 inches long of her beautiful, soft hair. I actually felt a pang in my gut when it was cut. It didn't hurt that her hair was going to be much shorter. It was that my little girl was sitting in a salon, deciding what haircut she wanted (not my decision, hers), and seeing the hair that I brushed, washed and caressed since she really was tiny being cut off. It was almost like her babyhood was coming off. She is growing and becoming very much her own individual person. While I am proud, I am also sad. I hope that I can always take part (even in some small way) in moments such as these. It will probably always hurt a little to see them grow and become more independent, but I love who they are becoming and know it will be okay.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Dislike "like" and Commuting Etiquette

    I sat in my children’s lit class today and we were discussing Alice in Wonderland, the first four chapters anyway. There was a girl that was sitting a little bit in front of me and she was interjecting some interesting points into the conversation. However, I can’t remember what she said because I was distracted by her repetitive use of the word “like”. By the end of her point, its use was rampant and maddening. By her second sentence, my mind was only picking up the word “like” and it must have taken up at least a third of what she was saying. I know that I use it myself from time to time, but I have found lately that it bothers me greatly. I think that if a class was instructed to pay close attention to what they say and try hard to eliminate this word from their conversation, it would be a lot harder than they would think. I did this experiment on myself once after ranting to a friend about this dislike and realized that even I use it more than I realize. Try it the next time you are in a conversation and see what happens.

    This morning, I was on the train to school and it was getting pretty packed in there. I had the thought of writing etiquette guidelines for commuting on the train or campus shuttle buses and having it printed in the U paper. While in London, I got to see firsthand the proper way to commute on a train or bus with 50 million other people during rush hour. We could catch the tube on the way to school during the morning commute and even if the train was stuffed to the gills, people would still try to sandwich in more so you had a chance of getting in and not getting stuck in the doors. Great blokes, they are! You could have your face in someone’s armpit, but still be satisfied that everyone is aboard and on their way. I saw teenagers sit in each others laps, backpacks and suitcase placed between legs to make more body room, and people scrunching together in proximities that one would never dare in any other setting. But everyone made room and all commuted happily.

    Here in our great city, it’s another story. I have surmised that the lack of proper commuting etiquette is due to the near infancy of our transit system. NYC and London have had their subway systems for decades and seem to have mastered, on most days, the art of communal commuting. We simply lack the experience. When a new group of people enter a crowded train, everyone in the car should do their best to use every inch to the best advantage of everyone else in the train. Large backpacks should be placed low, preferable on the floor between your legs when standing in the aisles. Laps should be utilized when sitting for shopping bags, purses, and backpacks. The idea is to try to make yourself as small as possible and stick yourself in a corner so others may be able to fit in too. When you enter the train car or a bus and you know that there are people behind you, you need to take an available seat quickly. DO NOT stand in the aisle trying to debate where you should sit, just sit. If seating is unavailable, you should walk down the aisle as far as it can take you, find a place to stand and make room for others. DO NOT walk for a few feet and then stop and claim that space as yours and refuse to go further. There are an unknown number of people behind you that still need to enter the train and find a spot for themselves. Also, subsequent stops will only add to the group, so move it along and share the space.

    And how about a discussion on manners? If you see any of the following enter the train: disabled individuals, anyone 30 years or more your senior, a pregnant woman, a parent with young children, or a family that would like to sit together, GIVE UP YOUR SEAT if you are young, healthy, and perfectly able to stand. It’s only common courtesy…you know, that stuff your mom tried to teach you for years. Think if she were watching, she’d be so proud. I could extend this to men giving up their seat to a woman, but that may be asking too much of some people today.

    So, what do you think? Think I should submit this to the paper?

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Happy Happy Joy Joy, Happy Happy Joy

    Why am I so happy, you ask?! I got a new sewing from this decade! I bought it off of craigslist today and have only used it for about an hour, but I am very satisfied. The new machine is only a few years old and was hardly used. It's only about 13 lbs, which I love considering the old one weighed about 30 lbs and could throw out your whole body if swung slightly while being carried. A few clues to its age are that it was my mom's first real machine and it's pink and turquoise. I'm sad to see something with that much history come to its end, but I sure do love the convenience of the new one. I did some work on a quilt I had started when my old machine died its excruciating death. It felt so good to sew. I forgot how much I enjoy it. I will now be working on the many baby quilts I had planned. The first baby is due in a couple of weeks, so I better get cracking. Also, Halloween costumes are just around the corner.

    The weather has been exceptionally wet and abruptly cold lately. This is proof that there really is no fall around here, just hot to storm to cold. There is even snow in the mountains. I can tell that the family is itching to hit the slopes. The snowboard equipment is sitting eagerly in the corner awaiting use.

    School: Going good. Still a little behind on the incredibly dry theory reading, but no worries. Also need to read more chapters for grammar class. I just finished V for Vendetta (the graphic novel) and also watched the movie. I highly recommend both. Today I started Fight Club and though the material is more raw than I prefer, it has still sucked me in and I look forward to reading it. Tonight, I will also start Alice in Wonderland. I have to admit that I have never actually read the full story. I have read an abridged version and saw that cartoon ages ago. I also look forward to this read. In theory, I am reading some chapters out of a book titled Simulacra and Simulation. Although it can be dry and thick at times, there are some interesting points and theories along the way...enough to keep me reading. I finished House on Mango Street last week in one day. It is a short read, but packs a lot of events and emotion in each small chapter. I think that I will have read more this semester than any other...and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    Kids: First games tomorrow. They got their new shirts yesterday and will get their socks at the games. They are in two different age groups but, incidentally, got the same color uniform; gold. Thankfully the sizes are different or they would have been arguing over which is theirs each game day. They seem to get better with each practice and I look forward to seeing them running up and down the field in their uniforms. I'm a sucker for a uniform.

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    A taste of winter and car chases

    Boy, it got cold the last few days. It is our first taste of the coming winter and I can tell that it's going to be a cold one. Then again, I'm a desert girl and shiver at the first sign of cold. I was wearing two shirts and one sweater yesterday and I think the temp was only in the 50s. Just wait until it's January and 20 degrees. FUN! I'm ready to fire up the fireplace and the furnace right now.

    Us LonDolls had a girls' night on Friday, to which only three of the five were able to attend. We still had fun though. We went to a game store where you can play whatever game they already have open. They have a lot of tables set up for people to come in, get comfortable, and play for a while. We played a game called "Mystery at the Abbey". It's a lot like Clue but involves monks, a murder, and a monastery. After we got the rules down, it was a lot of fun. We played three games in which Mody and I found out just how competitive Trippy really is. We then went out to eat some french toast for me and Mody and a chicken sandwich for Trippy. It was a good night out. Hey Mody....PANINI!

    Then the night changed after I got home. After H and the kids got back from the video store, we noticed a strange man walking around near the moving company down the street. We watched him for a while and he opened the door of the company's moving truck which, he seemed surprised at, was unlocked. He noticed us watching him and proceeded to walk up and down the street saying that he was looking for a friend. Convinced that he was leaving, we went inside. I tried to look out for him through the window and didn't see him again. However, a few minutes later, we heard the truck fire up and tear off down the street. H and I knew that he had just stolen the moving truck. So, H jumped in the car to see where he was going and I called 911. I reported what had happened and then H tried to call me on the other line on my cell. That's when I learned that if you're on a 911 call, it won't let you answer the other line. So, I called him from our landline and had the 911 operator on one ear and H on the other.

    He told us that the guy was driving up the interstate and was driving erratically. We found out later that he was driving that way to see if he was actually being followed, and figured out pretty quickly that he was. After leaving the interstate, he began to make many turns through residential neighborhoods and each turn was being relayed to the dispatcher. H said that he had run out of road and was in a dead end. Being 3/4 of a block behind him, he waited to see what the guy was going to do. He told us that he had stopped and turned off his lights. H could hear the cops but couldn't see them yet. Just then, the guy did a u-turn and gunned it straight for H in his car. H quickly got turned around and drove as fast as he could, even through stop signs, with the truck on his tail and the pedal to the floor. They ended up back on the interstate overpass bridge where the light was red. H knew that if he stopped, he would be slammed by the truck and if he didn't, that he would cause an accident. He decided to stop and slammed on his brakes and skidded. The truck did the same and as soon as he could, H did a u-turn. That was when the cops came along and pulled the guy over.

    I was relaying all the info to the operator and wasn't thinking much about worrying until H told me that the guy was then chasing him and was trying to run him off the road. That's when my heart skipped a beat and I just wanted him out of the way of the truck and safe. My breath was stuck in my chest and I didn't really let it out until he told me that the cops had the guy and he wasn't in danger anymore. Later, a cop came and took H's statement and by then, his adrenaline had worn off and was freaking out just a bit himself. We couldn't believe what had just taken place. When it began, we didn't even really think, we just reacted. I'm thankful that he had the sense of calm at the needed moment and the skill to outrun that truck. If he didn't, his car would have been no match for that moving truck. Even now, thinking about it, my chest aches with fear. Well, it turns out that the guy had drug paraphenalia on him and was most likely high at the time. H was uncomfortable with the idea that a random guy was walking down our street, high on drugs, and looking to burglarize or steal something. We found out though that the guy actually had a connection to one of the business' employees and it wasn't random at all. After scouting the truck, he had broken into the office and stolen the keys. That's why I didn't see him out of the window, because he was in the office.

    So, that was a wild event that I hope we never have to relive. But we are always willing to do what we can to help our neighbors and keep people like that out of our neighborhood. I just hope that we will always be that blessed with safety and have God's loving protection over us.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Called on account of rain...

    Considering that I will always be writing about my family in this blog, I have taken PasstheZoloft's example and decided to assign nicknames to everyone. My husband will be known as H, my son will be Mister, and my daughter will be Tiny. That should be a bit easier.

    Yesterday was supposed to be Mister's first soccer game and another practice for Tiny, but we had a doozy of a storm come through a couple hours before. I'm kind of glad for this because I didn't feel one practice was sufficient enought before the first game, especially for the kids who have never played before. So, the weekend lies before us and I am ready to use up every second of it. I have a good amount of reading to catch up on, mostly in theory because the texts are as dry as unbuttered toast in a parched mouth. How's that imagery for you?! Anyways, it's hard to get through and sometimes a bit painful. On top of that, I need to do housework that I let slip during the week. This week has been a tiring one. For the first time, I don't feel overwhelmed with my school work and classes, but this semester is demanding more of me physically than ever before. My bag is heavier, I walk a lot more, and I do extra commuting on the train in order to volunteer. By the time I get home after 3 pm, I have just enough energy to sit down, help the kids with their homework (which I really enjoy), and then I'm trying to stay awake by then. To make matters worse, I don't start my homework until they kids are in bed and I stay up pretty late. Thankfully, I had a loving husband that will make the occasional dinner and help with the kids. He's pretty amazing! Each day, I look at him at least once and wonder how I got so lucky.

    I am already getting a bit lazy on my workout too. I will try to pick it back up today and keep at it. I would really like to feel better and feel that I look better too. I will be trying out a new cooking technique this week. I plan to follow some advice I've received and will be planning out the week's dinners in advance. Not only that, but I will also buy everything needed for the meals and preparing the meals in advance. I will spend the better part of Saturday shopping and preparing these meals, and then storing and freezing them. They will then be ready for someone to choose what they want, unwrap it, and pop it in the oven for cooking or reheating. Ta Da...dinner! I hate when it's 6pm and I haven't even thought about what to make and I see that everyone is getting hungry...not to mention the fact that I dislike cooking to begin with. I hope this will help relieve some of that pressure and will be a better solution than eating out 5 days a week, which has happened a lot more lately than I care to admit. It'll definitely be cheaper. I'll let you know how all that works out.

    Dreading: I have realized that we will need to replace our stairs sooner than later. I don't know how old they are, but the steps are getting cracks in them and I don't fancy my foot falling through one morning. I should say that I am completely DIY challenged and H is usually too busy to do that stuff. He says it wouldn't be a very hard job, but I think it will take more time than anything and I hate having to stare at unfinished projects, being the cursed perfectionist that I am. Hopefully all that turns out well. We did decide thought that his beloved Zolatone paint will have to go (it's a painting and texturing technique that gives it a faux stone look). I know he really likes it, but I have caught a glimpse of the natural wood molding and am excited to restore it. It's a dark wood.

    Well, I have put off my homework long enough. Better get to it.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Official Soccer Mom, Geek, and Bodybuilder

    Well, I am an official mom now. I have become a soccer mom...minus the minivan. I prefer my Benz. Both of my kiddos are in soccer and today was their first practice. Neither of them have had much exposure to the game but really enjoyed themselves. My son's first game will already be on Thursday and my daughter has two more practices before her first. Hubby is coaching our daughters team and he managed to lose a kid during the first practice. They had a five minute water break and one boy didn't return. Hubby called his home phone after a few more minutes and they said that he had come home. We figured that he thought practice was over and were just glad that he was okay. That was a heart attack for us. It's like when you tell a kid to run home in baseball and they take it literally. Hubby had gotten the kids some shin guards and cleats the other day. He showed me my daughter's cleats and they were some of the tiniest ones I had ever seen. She would have gotten pink ones if they had any.

    Here is something I thought I would never see...Jerry Springer ballroom dancing on tv. I have "Dancing the Stars" on and muted. I think if I ever voted on this, my favorite would have to be Mario Lopez...just because he's hot. Who cares if he can dance...have you see his dimples?! (Yes, the ones on his face!) There are a few new shows that I wouldn't mind seeing this fall, but will probably not have the time to. There's Ugly Betty, Men in Trees, Heroes, and maybe The Class and Shark. I will probably only end up watching one episode of each all year. But I do have my faithful shows CSI (original) and House. I just have to follow the drama of Grissom and Sara and also House's surly yet hilarious attitude. There was a show that was on tv last spring and I only caught one episode of it and unfortunately it was cancelled. It was called Teachers and I found it hilarious. It was, of course, about a group of teachers in a public high school and the dynamics between each other and with their students. Being the geek I am, I would like that show.

    Well, I don't know if you recall a previous posting about how I wanted to try out an exercise video that I saw on an infomercial. (I know, already said that I was a geek. It should be understood that I watch infomercials at 2 am too.) Anyways, I had looked up reviews on it from REAL people that had tried it and really liked it. Well, I unscrewed my wallet and ordered it. I am on exercise day two. I actually started on Sunday and the beginner workout is only 24 minutes long. It was a good workout in that I did not pass out, was still able to breathe, got a good sweat going, and felt pretty good afterwards. The next day was another story. I woke up understandably sore, but it was doable. However, that changed as the day went on. By the end of the day, I wasn't walking much, stairs were a daunting task, and even sitting took a few groans. I, of course, did not work out yesterday...which is allowed as I only have to work out 6 days a week. I had no excuse today though because I don't think I can use next week's break too. But I have to say that I felt much better after today's workout. I will update you on my progress and results. Let me just say that I feel almost every muscle in my least, the ones I use on a regular basis. I think that if it's sore, you're doing well; if it hurts, you did something wrong. Feel the burn...rahrr!

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Where were you when the world stopped turning?

    I remember when I heard about what happened on 9/ does everyone else. We were living in NM and my husband was still in the Air Force. I had just sent my son off for his second day of school and my husband's brother called to tell us that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. We didn't have television at that time, so we turned on the radio. We listened to the news about it when the second one hit. That's when we knew that it wasn't an accident.

    We dropped in on the neighbors and saw some of the images on their tv. The smoke was billowing out of the towers and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. After the Pentagon was hit, the base was put on high alert and the friend that took my son to school said that it took two hours to get back on the base. The base police were searching each car individually. It was like this for a while. The base personnel was also put on alert and told to prepare for anything, even deployment. It was very tense all over base, somber and heavy. I think people were walking around in a numb state for a while. I was nervous because I didn't know if my husband was going to be sent away. I was only 21 and had two little ones. I knew that this was the possibility when I married military. You can't be prepared for it, but you do your best.

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Baseball in the Fall

    Today was my first day of service learning (volunteering) at the ESL class. It was pretty interesting. The first class is a small one where the students (all adults) are learning the basics of speaking and writing English. The second class was much larger and they were learning to read. They had to change a paragraph from present tense to past tense and I was able to answer a lot of questions and give help where needed. I'm going to be trying to go three days a week for an hour a day. I will finish my 20 required hours in about 6-7 weeks. Chances are good that I may continue to volunteer after that though.

    School is going well. I think this is the first semester that I have really enjoyed all of my classes. Theory can be a snoozer, but has its moments of interest. I do know, however, that I have no interest to pursue a career, let alone anymore classes, in the field of theory.

    My son has decided to no longer take his acting class. He felt that it was taking up too much of his time and I don't think he enjoyed it enough to stick to the time commitment. I suggested taht maybe he would like to check out a theater acting class as opposed to the film acting that he was doing. He seems more interested in that and we may check out a class soon. I want to be a parent that opens up such opportunities to try out and see what they might take an interest in. I had to make sure that he was quitting the class for a real reason that he had given some thought to and not just because he didn't want to go that day. I think my kids will be more well-rounded and willing to try new things if I create these opportunities and chances for them. They will be starting soccer next week and my husband will be coaching one of the teams. This should be interesting since neither of them have ever played soccer and I'm not very knowledgeable about it myself. My son has played baseball before. Speaking of, I will be playing intramural softball this semester. I figured that I needed something to keep me physically active since I haven't been to the gym in ages...I also really like baseball.

    BIG NEWS! I have a friend, Hobby, that was planning to attend grad school in England in less than a month and has changed her plans. After much prayer and thought, she has decided to not move across the big pond alone for a year. I'm sad and happy. Happy cause I would miss her like crazy and sad cause she now feels directionless. I keep telling her that something is in the works and there is a path already laid out that she just needs to be patient enough to find in time. I know how she feels though. Riding on only faith and hope can be hard and scary. I love her and she will do well in anything she does.

    BIGGER NEWS! Nope, can't really be specific. But it involves a close friend and the sound of bells surrounded by white?! Any ideas!?

    Well, better go for a softball meeting.