Monday, March 31, 2008

Quarterly Checkup

I was thinking--maybe I'd do a better job with my resolutions if I thought about them more than just once a year. So, as we're finishing up the first quarter of this year, I thought I'd check in. **may be exceptionally boring post**

Be more healthy:
1. 5 fruits and veggies a day.--I think I am actually doing this most days. Woohoo!
2. 8 glasses of water.--Varies widely. But I think I'm drinking more water than last year, so that's something.
3. 7 hours of sleep a night.--Sometimes. I'm still working on it.
4. Get up before school to use my new treadmill!--I've given up on this one, as it is not possible to get enough sleep and get up before school. I've compromised- I use the treadmill in the afternoon, when I'm already up.
5. Incorporate new fruits and veggies into our lives.--Hmmm, I don't think I've really tried much new at all this year. Too busy so far. I'll have to work on this one.

Be more happy:
1. Try to sit more, not rush from one project to the next.--Total failure? Though I have been trying to watch TV with Matthew at night sometimes.
2. See more friends, make time to talk on the phone.--Nope. Worse than ever, I think. :(
3. Be nicer to Matthew.--Yes? I'll have to ask him.
4. Enjoy Anna.--Any tips on enjoying her when she's whiny? Because otherwise I'm doing ok, but the whining drives me crazy.

Be more holy:
1. Don't sleep too late to go to church. Enjoy both services.--Doing much better! New resolution--don't be late.

2. Read through the Bible.--Umm, we read though Anna's Bible, does that count? Otherwise, nope.
3. Pray more in a more focused way.--We may be figuring this out, praying with Anna and all together as a family is nice, and I've been trying to use my treadmill time too, but I sometimes feel bad multitasking God.

1. Support more local business and buy more handcrafted things.--Yes and no. We bought a lot of stuff for the bedroom online, and I forgot and bought the paint from Home Depot instead of J&M, I have done some shopping on Etsy, just no purchasing yet.

2. Take the GRE and start my master's program.--Application all done, now I wait!

3. Find more new music to love.--So far, pretty good. In January my Student Teacher introduced me to Bebe, from Spain. I love love love this CD (Pafuera telara├▒as). We had a great time poring over the lyrics with dictionaries trying to figure out which songs were clean and which were the reason for the EXPLICIT LYRICS warning. Bad words vary from country to country, so what's bad in Spain isn't in Mexico, and vise versa. It's a super fun CD, and I can recommend it without reservation, because most of you don't even speak Spanish, and won't know where the bad words are. (There really aren't too many)

In February Linda gave me a copy of Carla Bruni Quelqu'un M'a Dit. It's very calm and nice and in French, and I've loved it too.

In March...I don't think there's been anything perfect yet this month. Linda introduced me to She & Him, Volume One, and it was fun, but I haven't heard the whole CD yet. So, you all have one more day to give me a March album to love.

How're your resolutions going?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Book thing

Shauna said if we were reading her blog, we were tagged...

The instructions: 1. Pick up the nearest book. (No cheating! Don't try to be cool and find something spectacular. It must be the book in closest physical proximity.)2. Turn to page 123.
3. Count the first five sentences.4. Write down the next three sentences.

"With the first doubled strip, make one cut 51/4 inches from fold, and another cut 141/2 inches from the first cut, producing two 21/2-inch-deep x 101/2 -inch-wide pieces and four 21/2-inch-deep x 141/2-inch-wide pieces. Repeat these cuts with the remaining fourteen doubled strips for a total of thirty 21/2-inch-deep x 101/2-inch-wide pieces and sixty 21/2-inch-deep x 141/2-inch-wide pieces. Set these Log Cabin Strips aside for piecing.

--"Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts" Joelle Hoverson

If you feel tagged, you are. (I wish I knew what that philosophy was called)

Evidence

backstory here:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tag

Katrina tagged me, and I do want to encourage her to blog more, so I'd better respond.

10 years ago:
I was living in Boyd with Nikki, rowing, and having the best Spring with Matthew. We had so much fun that semester. I think this is the semester I realized that Spanish was my favorite thing to study. **EDIT** Actually, it was the semester I majored in Economics.

Things on my To-Do List today: (all of them?)
1. Make Lunch (I like to put everything on the list so I can mark it off)
2. Work out-1 hour
3. Clean bathrooms
4. Sew pieced border on quilt
5. Cut/sew outer border
6. Piece back of quilt
7. Prep to take to quilting lady tomorrow
8. Town-errands
9. Work on Craftster challenge project
10. BH&G online garden planner
11. Finish grad school application

Three Bad Habits:
1. Not going to bed when I should, staying up indefinitely to do "one more thing"
2. Picking at the skin around my nails. (drives MJL crazy)
3. Being late to school, church, everything.

If suddenly I became a billionaire:
Isn't this the same for everyone? Pay off debts. Farm on a cash basis, not relying on Farm Credit. Travel travel travel. Share. Buy a new Barbie Pink VW Bug with silver glitter lightning stripes and kickin' sound system even though I can barely fit Anna in it. Visit everyone I want to whenever I want to and fly out of GC even though it's expensive. Buy everything locally. PUT IN TWO POOLS!! indoor and outdoor. I'd better stop now, I'm getting excited.

Five jobs I have had:
1. Cashier at the Fun Center
2. Baby-sitter
3. Office Cleaner
4. High School Spanish Teacher
5. Elementary Spanish Teacher


Five things you might not know about me:
1. I love being irresponsible in tiny ways.
2. I don't like to watch movies.
3. I wouldn't turn down a free trip, but I'm not interested in traveling to Asia, Africa, or Australia.
4. I can't stop watching Mr. Rogers if I start.
5. Making this list was incredibly difficult.

OK--now I'll tag...Melanie, Chelsea, and Jenny.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Puzzles

A few things that I just don't know WHAT to think about...

*****In the US News Career Guide, teaching is listed as one of the 13 "Most Overrated Careers"

*****I have a huge yard that I would like to make nice, but I have no idea where to start. Is it possible to have a passably nice yard without an incredible amount of effort? I'm willing to put in a lot of work up front, but then I don't want to have to do a lot of maintenance. Maybe I could do one job outside every day? 30 minutes or so? Does anyone want to make up a plan for me? Every time I go outside to work I end up overwhelmed. I know I could do it if I knew what to do.

*****Anna asked her Grammy Joan to teach her how to read on Saturday. She recognizes 4 words plus her name now. I hadn't even been working very much on the alphabet. She knows 11 letters, I checked tonight as we were playing with sidewalk chalk.

It set me again to thinking--what do I want for her? What do we REALLY want for our children? It's easy to think sometimes that she's a super-genius, but I know that's just proud mama-ness. But honestly, would I want her to be a super-genius? Sometimes I think that I just want her to be happy, and that super-genii don't seem to be very happy. It's a circle I go through over and over in my head. Do I want a "great" "important" life for her, or a regular one? I don't want to do anything particularly important with my life, I just want to enjoy it as much as I can, and love people as best I can. Are the "important" people happy? It doesn't seem like it. But how can I say I'd have Anna aspire to mediocrity? And then there's the issue of God to muddy the waters further. Perhaps I shouldn't want her to be happy or important, but to be devoted. That seems easy enough, but is tricksy too. Lots of amazing people weren't particularly happy, and how can a Mama want anything less?

I suppose it doesn't really matter what I want for her, she'll have to figure it out on her own, but it's been swimming around my head since she was tiny.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wichita, etc.

On Monday and Tuesday Abby and Anna and I went to Wichita for a major shopping trip. We had a really good time, and I think Abby got everything she wanted. Anna was an excellent shopper, happy to stay in her stroller and touch the clothes as we walked by. The only time she really wanted to get out was after she watched Abby's feet in a changing room. As far as she could tell, Abby went into the room, shut the door, and then stood on one foot, and then the other, and Anna thought that looked like great fun. We went swimming at the hotel that night, and learned that Anna is not a bit scared of the water. I let her go under several times, trying to teach her that she needs to ask "Are you ready?" and get a "yes" answer before jumping into the pool, but I didn't succeed. For the first time EVER, I'm a little bit glad I don't have my own pool in the backyard. She's spooky. Since Anna's been having such fun sleeping with Grammy Joan in the company bed whenever she goes to visit, I thought it would be fun to have her sleep with me in the hotel bed. It was not fun. I couldn't ever sleep with her in my bed when she was tiny, I would wake up in a panic every 30 minutes. I don't know how other Moms do it. I still woke up, even though she's almost 3 years old! I don't think I'll try that again for a long time.

I wrote down a few of my favorite quotes from the trip:
In the Olive Garden, the waiter brought me something and said "Ma'am".
Anna: (loudly, of course) "My Mama is not a man!"

Driving past downtown Wichita at night.
Abby: "Wow, Wichita is humongous!"

Also at the Olive Garden.
Betsy: "So, is Olive Garden all you expected?"
Abby: "More! So fancy shmancy."

I'm really glad we got to take the trip together. I had a blast.

***************************

I sort of finished the top for Lainey's quilt this afternoon, I have all of the blocks together and just need to put on the borders. I have an appointment to drop off the top on Thursday at 1:00, so it'd better be all done by then. I put off putting the blocks together for so long, and then it didn't take any time at all to do it. That's the part that makes me nervous, where you'll be able to tell if you did something wrong and it won't go together. It turned out nicely though, and I think it's going to be nice when it's all done.

Abby and I shopped and shopped in the Dollar Tree in Dodge City on the way to Wichita, the next Craftster Challenge is due April 1-5, and involves making something out of things purchased at a Dollar Store. She helped me choose items and make a plan, and I'm eager to get started working. Hopefully I'll get done in time! If I enter, I'll be 3 for 3 on Challenges this year!

Matthew and I looked at cars yesterday. I wish Prissy could make it another two years, but she makes lots and lots of funny noises, and sometimes doesn't go into reverse. Looking at cars is not nearly as much fun as I would have thought, and I didn't really think it was going to be THAT fun. The new Altima doesn't have a key, you just push a button to start it, and is so fancy it makes me nervous to stand by it...and the passenger seat is amazingly uncomfortable. We told the salesman that was the problem, and he sat in it, and then agreed. We went around to lots of the other ones, but it's just something funny about that seat. It tips you forward. The Chevy Malibu seems like an old lady car inside, and is called a Malibu. The used Honda is a very nice car, but there's not a bit to be excited about, not a BIT! And if it already has 50,000 miles on it, am I just going to have to do this again in a couple of years? I want to just drive Prissy forever. So, we're sort of at a standstill, hoping to find a 2006 Altima somewhere, so we can sit in the passenger seat and see if it's better. Grown up stuff-blegh!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh, for pity's sake.

The past two weeks we've been doing Kansas Assessments with our 3rd and 4th graders. We've had two weeks of "Spirit Days" to pump the school up about doing well on the tests. Last Tuesday I came to school and noticed that I was the only one not wearing red. The kids, after asking a zillion times why I wasn't, explained about the spirit weeks (Red="get fired up for the test"). I should have known after missing the first day that it was going to be a bad go. The next day was hat day (team spirit for the tests). I decided to skip hat day because I really don't like wearing hats and they make me look funny(*remember this*). The kids were quite disappointed. Thursday I wore yellow (going for the gold), like a good kid. On my way out of school on Thursday I asked Billee (our secretary) what Friday was, because I forgot to look. She said pyjama day, my very favorite. But on Friday when I got to school, Billee, looking sheepish, said "ummm, sorry, it's actually NOT pyjama day." Wearing PJ's to school on a non PJ day is a little embarrassing, but still very comfy. The kids thought it was hilarious. Then we started this week. Monday was just regular, but then on Tuesday it was "camo day" (war on the test),and I didn't have anything to wear and the kids were again disappointed. Wednesday was twin day(together we can!), and all of the teachers wore jeans and black shirts, and I managed that just fine. Today was hat day again (put your thinking caps on), and since I'd done such a terrible job with Spirit Week so far, I decided to go ahead and wear a hat even though I don't like to (and I look funny). So I showered and put on a hat and didn't bother fixing my hair. I got to school and all of the teachers were in the gym...for our staff picture. I had no idea it was picture day. How did I get to be such a mess? I showed them my hair under the hat, and they agreed I looked "cute" in the hat and I should leave it on. So in the 2007-2008 staff picture, we have 15 lovely staff members and one crazy girl in a denim bucket hat that says "K-State Kid". Last year our school did so well on the tests that we got a big plaque! With our Staff picture on it!

Tomorrow, I've checked over and over, is pyjama day. I'm ready for Spring Break.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today's progress

I finished the blocks for the quilt this afternoon. True to form, on the last 2 blocks, my bobbin thread ran out, and then in my hurry I didn't get it in just right, and it was another 20 minutes before I finished those last two. But hurrah! Tomorrow I can press them and then maybe start putting the whole top together.

We also got our new bedding today, and it's all pretty in there. Here's a picture of our new bed!

Now we'll need something pretty to go on the wall above it. Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quilting!

I started sewing the strip sets today for Lainey's quilt. I think it's going to be really lovely. I learned a few important things.

*I can sew two sets during each side of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", but it will take all of "Katy and the Big Snow" and "The Little House" to get them all ironed.

*Just when I think, "This is going together really quickly", I should check what I'm sewing, because it's usually the wrong pieces together.

*It really is a good idea to fill up two bobbins at the beginning, and switch to a new needle like the book tells you to.

Anna loves to listen to stories on tape in her bed, I hope she will still love that come May when there's no more Binky as companion.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hairball!

I entered another Craftster challenge! This one was "Craft your hometown" I made a miniature of our world's largest hairball. It was supposed to be to scale, but I had trouble getting it to weigh enough. Matthew and I had a really good time trying to get flour into a balloon, we used a funnel, and tried all sorts of things, and neither of us got lungs full of flour, so that's good. It was lots of fun. I had some brown hairy yarn that I got free somewhere, and crocheted it with black yarn for extra stability, because the hair yarn is pretty thin. Here it is! I love it.
I wanted to make it to scale, and it's close. The original now weighs 20 lbs and is 35" around. To scale, it should be 17.5" around and 2.5 lbs. It's the right size, but a little light.
That's two challenges so far this year. I really like entering them. The next one is a dollar store challenge, I haven't read the specifics yet, but hopefully I'll have an idea for that one too.
In other news, our bed rails arrived today and we put the bed up. We've never slept in a bed in this house before, I think it'll be fun. It's awfully pretty, I'm glad I got the one I've been wanting for so long. I'll post pictures when I get it all prettied up.