Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Turkey Game

I have always loved to play games and my son is no different. I've decided to take advantage of this and create our own board game. I call it the Turkey Game because the game pieces that I found lying around the house are the shape of turkeys.

In addition to my 4-year-old son, I have a 16-year-old step-daughter. I remember studying with her for tests and it was so boring. This is my solution to studying without the boring.

For our game we read a question and when we get it right, we roll the die and move that many spaces. You can send people home by landing on the same space. The first person to get all of their pieces home wins.

Of course you can make up your own rules.

You will need:

Cardboard to create the game board. If you want to get a little fancier you can buy a blank game board online. There are also sites where you can print a template to use.

Index Cards to write the questions on. The questions for my 4-year-old include simple addition, spelling, what street, town, state, and country he lives in, drawing simple geometric shapes, etc. This game could also be adapted for my 16-year-old when she is studying for, let's say Anatomy. And we can all play together at the same time!!

Game Pieces. I was lucky enough to have these 14 turkeys lying around the house, but you could use buttons, coins, or buy pieces online.

Paper and Pencil for the drawing questions for solving math problems.


I was able to pull my son away from Wii for a few minutes to give this game a try. I will say that the game was successful. And the added success was that I used the same question cards as he did. So he was able to see/hear the answers to questions he may get the next time around.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 To-Do List

1) Have a baby - I suppose I'm doing this one whether I like it or not.
2) Redecorate the living room. That room is in need of carpeting, new windows, a little paint, and some wall art.
3) Increase Emergency Fund - Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
4) Lose the baby weight - I've done it before (twice) and I'll do it again!
5) Update scrapbooks and keep them updated. I guess it's about time to have another workshop.
6) Research local things to do this summer for our stay-cation. This will help with #3.
7) Update my curriculum. I will need a little help from the district on this one.
8) Fix up the back yard. Have trees cut down, pour patio, and remember to water plants.
9) Fix up bar room enough to have a party!!
10) Take advantage of the library more often.

What is on your to-do list for the next year?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For the Greater Good

There is a dangerous intersection in my community. The cost to make this deadly intersection safer is apparently $155,000 for a traffic light and 1 human life.

When the township decided to replace the blinking light that has been there for decades with a traffic light, they knew that things would get worse before they got better. Twelve days after the initial operation of the new traffic light, a woman was killed.

Of course I feel awful about the woman...but I have other thoughts too. The person driving the other vehicle...his life is ruined whether it was his fault or not. The woman's family will never enjoy a Christmas holiday without remembering these events. And worst of all is all the people that will be safe because of this woman's sacrifice and never know it or think about it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mom Was Right - Leg Cramps and Lip Pinching

I'll get right to the point. When you have a cramp in you calf, pinch your upper lip as hard as you can and the cramp will go away - so my mom says.

My mom read this somewhere, tried it, and it worked for her. Wow, did make a fool out of her when we were kids. We joked that of course you won't feel the leg cramp anymore, your lip hurts too much. Either your lip or your ego from looking like a fool....hopping around on one foot while pinching your lip.

I did some research online:

eHow suggests this...
1) Rub your leg and put your leg out straight and flex your foot.
2) Stretch before exercise.
3) Diet - Get plenty of water and calcium, avoid sodium.
4) Take a carnitine supplement says...
They also agree to rub your leg and watch your diet...then the very last paragraph of the article states:
One pressure point is between and to the front of the space between your big toe and the second toe. Firm pressure with one or two fingers at the onset of cramp will stop it instantly. The other pressure point is the Septum? Which is the lower bone between the nostrils? Firm pressure on this point with the inside of the forefinger at the first sign of lower leg cramp will stop it dead. This last one sounds silly I know but please try it as it nearly always works.

My Personal Research:

Since I'm in the second half of my pregnancy, I have the pleasure of almost nightly leg cramps and get do conduct my own research. Now, the pain usually makes me forget my mother's advice, but after a few seconds I remember and think, "Ah, what they hell, it can't hurt to try". Ladies and Gentlemen, she was right. Within a few seconds the pain slowly goes away and I am able to flex my foot and rub my leg. Thanks mom! You were right....sorry I laughed at you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Rabbit Died....Over 5 Months Ago

That's right...I'm pregnant. This is not exactly a planned pregnancy, but it certainly is a wanted one. Since I'm a teacher we usually try to time things so that I don't need to take time off of work. A due date of the end of May/beginning of June is ideal for us. However, this child is coming in the beginning of April. When I say that this was not exactly planned, the baby will be coming a little earlier than expected.

The day we found out I remember feeling a huge wave a relief in not having to try. Everything was done and we didn't have to feel the pressure of a deadline for our specific window. Whew!

It's another boy and we are beyond excited. No names yet, but I will keep you update...I promise.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Holy Flying Bats Batman!!

Just this past week I started reading the Harry Potter series and I am on the second book. Last night I was home alone reading in bed. In the book it is October and Harry and his friends walk into the great hall and start describing the Halloween decorations one of them being real bats flying around. Just as I read that I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye.

Oh Ha Ha imagination - I'm not falling for it. You just want me to believe that there is a real bad flying around my bedroom. But the shadow was not relenting. So, against my better judgement I look....and scream! There is a bat flying around my bedroom...

I throw the quilt over my head and begin to wonder how I'm going to get my phone without the bat getting me.

I do get to my phone and call my husband who made it home in record time by the way.

I crawl down the steps (yes crawl) with a queen size quilt over me.

Dan comes home to find nothing. Nora, are you sure that you saw a bat?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Breakfast as a Class?

I have something to say. There has been something bugging me for a while - Public Education. I have been teaching for 9 years and I have often encountered the situation where I am blamed for a student's failing grade. And not only by the student, but by their parents. Many of these parents see no responsibility in their child's education. Honestly, by the time their children are in high school the parents shouldn't have to be too involved.

That isn't even the point of my post...I read an article in the paper this morning about public schools serving breakfast. Serving breakfast is not the issue either. It's breakfast counting as educational time for the students. The example the paper uses is about a 7th grade student who is too lazy to wake up early enough to eat breakfast. So then the poor child can't concentrate during his morning classes. One question - Where are his parents? Why don't they make sure his butt is out of bed? And now the responsibility falls on the schools again to raise their children. The article goes on to say that there are families struggling to feed their children due to the economy - and I get that. But there's no reason we have to give up instruction time to feed them. At our school we serve breakfast, but it's before the morning bell rings - no instruction time is lost.

Not only do we have the talk with them, and test their eye sight, and test their hearing, and teaching them how to interact with each other, and provide free sports activities, but now we will also give up our time to feed them. Why don't we just set up a few dormitories and have them live at school? Then the parents wouldn't have to pretend to do any parenting.

Whew! I feel better. Thanks. That won't happen again...for a while anyway. What do you think? Am I out of line here?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Looking Back

What do The Bucket List and The Last Lecture have in common?

They both refer to the to-do list that people make. The list of things to do before they die. For this post I've decided to work this idea backwards. I am going to look at what I have accomplished, both planned and unplanned, that I am proud of none-the-less.

If you remember I was rather upset about turning 30. Don't remember? Click here.

So, let's take a look back into my golden twenties in no particular order:

I suppose the biggest thing was buying my own house when I was 22. After one year of my 'real' job I wanted to move out of my parents' house. I had my mind set that I would not rent. My thought process was that I have to make a monthly payment regardless, why not pay myself? So, I did some research and the median age of first time home buyers is 32 (according to That's 10 years older than I was. That's 2 years older than I am right now. So, yes. I am pretty darn proud of that fact.

Second on my list is learning to drive stick shift. I know that this doesn't seem like a big deal, but when I was first learning it just seemed so impossible. So, that first year of teaching I needed to buy my own vehicle. There was no need to drive my parents' car any longer. My choice? A toyota tocoma - stick shift of course. Yup, I bought a truck that I couldn't drive. Sounds a little crazy, but I have this incredible father who totally understood and could drive standard. So until I learned, my dad and I swapped vehicles. And every evening my dad took me out driving until I was comfortable with my new skills. I'm happy to inform you that I now drive a little kia spectra - standard transmission - and this little car is SO much fun to drive. I will never regret the decision to buy that truck. THANKS DAD!!

Here's a good one...earning both my bachelors and masters degrees in my twenties. I graduated high school in 1996 when the graduation rate was 83% ( And I graduated from college in 2000 with my bachelors degree, only about 24% of the national population has done that ( I also earned my masters degree a few years ago (can't remember exactly when) and only 9% of the population has accomplished that ( I've never been in the top ten of anything - least of all my high school graduating class - but when I look at these numbers, it appears as though I've finally made to the top ten percent in my education.

Getting married to the right person is next on my list. Have you ever fallen in love with your best friend? If you have then you know where I'm going with this. When I see my husband there is a weight that is lifted off my shoulders that I didn't even know was there. I see so many relationships around me fall apart and I can't help but wish they had what I do. I don't know that this is something to be proud of as much as grateful for. I'll word it this way...I'm proud that I was smart enough to marry him.

Becoming a mother. Being a mother is nothing to sneeze at. Warning! There is a cliche coming. Motherhood is the hardest yet most rewarding job I will ever have. I love being Jared's mom. Being given the opportunity to guide a human being in this world is so incredible. Being a mother makes he want to be a better person. I absolutely love my little buddy!!

Lastly, surviving a tragedy. I don't really want to go into detail on this one, but surviving this it is something I'm proud of. At the onset of this situation we were prepared to get professional help for me if there was a need. I wondered about how this would effect my mental health, my marriage, my relationship with everyone, and my ability to work. It seems as though I made it. Our marriage is stronger than ever and all other aspects of my life have strengthen, the ones that matter anyway. By surviving this, I feel strong and I have a new view of the world and how I fit in it. I'm proud that although I could have curled up in a ball and died (figuratively) I didn't. I allowed this to only strengthen me rather than weaken me.

If you haven't seen the movie The Bucket List or read the book The Last Lecture I do recommend that you do. Time is ticking...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

7th Grade Geography

My 7th grade geography teacher, Mr. Beagle, use to tell us that he was so mean so that people would remember him after he died. In the school district where I grew up we had a junior high that contained the 7th and 8th grade students. We were only a few weeks into my 7th grade year when this story takes place.

As I'm walking to school one morning a friend of mine offers me a jaw breaker which I cannot turn down. Now, it's against the rules to eat candy or chew gum in school. But, this was okay because I wasn't at school yet. As you know, jaw breakers cannot be eaten too quickly and I was just finishing mine as I was entering the building. Mr. Beagle stops me and asks me to spit out my gum. I inform him (politely I might add) that I was eating candy and I swallowed it. He told me that I could sit in his room until I was ready to tell the truth and spit out my gum.

So there I his room...panicking. I was panicking not because I was afraid of being late to homeroom, I was afraid of the attention that being late would bring upon me. So I gave in...I took a tissue from my purse, balled it up, and told him that the piece of gum was in there and threw it away. Every time I saw him after that he called me 'the liar'. Ah, there she is, the liar. Oh, look, the liar is in my study hall. This devastated me. Obviously, my reputation as a goody-two-shoes did not in fact follow me to the junior high school.

All 7th grade students were required to take one quarter of geography and there was only one 7th grade geography teacher....Mr. Beagle. I had my mind set on changing his opinion of me and showing him what a great student I was. One day Mr. Beagle sprang a pop quiz on us about States and Capitals. I started to freak. But, what's this? He left the map of the united states up in the front of the room. This is not a test about the states and capitals, it's a test to see which students are observant enough to look up! This is it! This is my chance to show him that I'm smart and have common sense, and to show him that he was dead wrong about me. I start to copy down the answer and I see him walking toward me with a big smile on his face. Yes, he is smiling because he is proud and I am the only student smart enough to look up. When he reaches my desk he takes my paper and throws it away. What the hell just happened? He then says to me, "Not only are you a liar but you are a cheater as well." And he quickly takes the map away before anyone else has a chance to see it.

I'm almost happy to report that Mr. Beagle is dead and I still remember him.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yard Sale Season

One day when I went to pick up Jared from preschool he asked, no begged, to eat lunch at Burger King. I told him that we couldn't...I didn't have money for that. He cried and begged and my heart broke. Then I had an idea, "Jared, why don't we go home and pretend that we're at Burger King. I'll make a happy meal for you."

I was surprised when his eyes lit up and he said OK.

Once we got home I made a counter between our kitchen and dining room and asked him for his order.

"I would like a cup with juice, a straw, chicken nuggets, french fries, and napkins."

While his food was in the oven I got some card stock and made containers for the fries and nuggets just like they do at the fast food places. I made sure he had some juice with a straw and served it to him on tray. He ate everything! I was going to share pictures of our lunch with all of you but I couldn't find the camera. Dan took it to take picture of the garage clean-up.

Jared enjoyed playing 'fast food' so much that I was set on painting a large cardboard box to look like Burger King for him to play in. Until I went to a yard sale this morning. Here are all of our great finds from this morning...

A McDonald's play set - without the play food - cost $5. A pair of boots for $0.50. Four book that cost $0.80 all together.
Jared has been playing with the set all morning. I can't tear him away from it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mystery Reader

This month Jared's preschool had a different mystery reader come to each class and read a book to the children. The mystery readers are the parents of the kids, even the child of the mystery reader has no idea who would be reading. There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity. I took a personal day from work and prepared myself for the reading. I knew one of two things was going to happen. Either Jared was going to be excited to see me there and yell, "Mommy!" or he was not going to be happy that I was at 'his' school and yell at me to "Get out!"

After he went into his classroom (never looking back mind you), I waited in the lobby for the teacher to come and get me. Now, I talk in front of over 100 teenagers everyday without a second thought. That's no problem at all. But, as I stood there waiting I started to get butterflies in my stomach about reading to a bunch of three- and four-year-olds.

Finally Miss Donna comes to get me and tells all the students to close their eyes. I walk into the middle of the circle and sit down. "Okay, everyone open your eyes!"

Jared looks up at me and yells, "Mommy!"

Whew! As soon as I started reading the butterflies flew away. I have to tell you , if you ever have the chance to read to preschoolers jump at it. They are so lovable.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Husband's New Parakeet

Here's a story that my husband shared with me and I knew I had to pass this gem along....

My husband was about 10 years old and at that time his sister was 7 and his brother was 5. Their maternal grandmother had a parakeet that she no longer wanted. So, she asked Dan and his brother and sister if they wanted said parakeet. They were ecstatic. My husband remembers thinking that having a parakeet would be so cool. Just think about it, he would be the only kid he knew that owned a parakeet. All his other friends only had dogs or cats.

It was all set then. His grandmother would deliver the parakeet on her next trip to town and bring the parakeet. A few days later as promised she brought the parakeet. Dan went with her to her car to receive his new responsibility with much anticipation. However, instead of opening the back seat of the car as he assumed, his grandmother walked around to the rear of the car to the trunk. My husband thought this was unusual but didn't give it another thought. She unlocked the trunk to reveal... a dead parakeet. The poor thing died of heat exhaustion. Well, that's what they assumed, they didn't have a autopsy performed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Me? Run?

I've never been a runner. I was even on the basketball team in high school and even then I didn't think I had any running skills - nothing that I could hold out for any length of time.

I started to get inspired last year while watching Invincible. I did blog about that movie earlier. You can read about that here. The movie isn't about running, it's about football. But there's this scene where Vince seems to be running away from the past and toward the future and I remember thinking...ah, that would be so nice...just to run.

So, I consulted with colleagues who are runners to get advice and tips. You know what I found out? Runners are the nicest people, the want to encourage you to run, they want you to succeed. I never got the impression when talking to them that we were in competition. I was further inspired to join the community of runners.

I started out on my treadmill and was doing well (for my standards anyway). So, I upgraded to the high school track that is about one block from my house. I ran about 2 or 3 days a week until I had company. I will admit this....I have trouble running in front of other people. Typing this I can see how stupid and childish I sound. When I went to the track and was met with stares of teenagers that I didn't even know, I lost my nerve and didn't go back. I'm a coward. But, I plan to be a coward no more. When I put myself outside the situation I realize that no one cares if I run or not.

Sooooo....I've started running again...on my treadmill. Once track season is over I will venture over to the track and not be afraid of a few imagined stares from teenagers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bella's Lullaby

As you know, I'm crazy about the Twilight Series. I've been trying to find sheet music for Bella's Lullaby. It's wasn't too difficult to find...for about $15 for a movie score. Then my husband lost his job and I had to improvise.

In the back of my head I heard a colleagues advice from a few months back, "You can learn songs from youtube". So I gave youtube a quick search and not only did I find a tutorial on Bella's Lullaby, I found sheet music. I've been playing the piano since I was in 2nd grade and I am not one to memorize. I need to see the music to get through piece. So, seeing someone else play a song on youtube didn't sound like something that would be easy for me. But, sheet music...oh, I can play if there's sheet music.

Check this out:

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Bad Guys

My little boy is all about the bad boys. He likes to roll play and every character he pretends to be is a bad guy. Like Swiper or the Grumpy Old Troll from Dora, Brutus and Victor from Geo Trax, and the Dirty Bubble from Spongebob.

Tonight our free fun thing to do was to watch Spiderman. Jared has never seen this movie before and we thought it would be fun. During the scene where the Green Goblin makes his debut, the scene at Times Square, there was a lot of mayhem...police officers are injured, a little boy was almost crushed, Harry was knocked unconscious, and MJ almost fell from a fatal height. At the end of this scene Jared looked very concerned about what he just saw. He looks over at Dan and me with one of the saddest faces that he is capable and asks, "What's the matter with the Green Goblin?"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fun for Free!!

So, as you know my husband is out of work and I have this challenge in front of me to find fun free things to do. I love a good challenge. My first idea was for the whole family to take a trip to the library. I realize this book is a little out of season but I read Glenn Beck's The Christmas Sweater. I wanted to share a few lines with you from this book...

Life is what you make of it. There's always fun and laughs right under your nose if you're willing to open your eyes to see it. Most times we're so focused on what we think we want that we can't appreciate how happy we already are. It's only when we forget about our problems and help others forget theirs that we realize how good we really have it.

I'm sure we've all been there, feeling sorry for ourselves when it really wasn't necessary or even justified.

Anyway, about the fun right under your nose part...

As you know today is April's Fool's day and every year I place a rubber band around the sink spray hose to get my husband or he does it to get me. This is such a great prank because it's the same one year after year. This year was no exception.

Before leaving for work this morning I put the rubber band in place and was on my merry way. Once I got to work I realized I had a voice mail from Dan. hee hee I got him! I was so excited and pleased with myself. To make a long story short - he didn't call about the prank and I spoiled it by reminding him what day it was.

My husband more than made up for it. While at his parents' house he placed a rubber band on their sink spray hose (tee hee). My father-in-law was the first victim. But instead of taking the rubber band off, he let it there for my mother-in-law (tee-hee-hee). However, he forgot it was there and became a victim AGAIN!

So, while he was all pissed off from pulling the prank on himself he yelled over to his wife, "Donna get over here a look at this!!"
"I'm busy! You're going to make me get up now!"
So, she walks over to the sink and he tells her, "Turn on the faucet!"
And she does, but instead of turning the water off right away, she jumps back allowing the water to spray all over.

I am practically doubled over in laughter. It doesn't get any better than that - and - it's FREE!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Wow! 34 years. I'm sorry, but I don't have any photos to show you...I forgot to put my memory card in my camera :-(

We made steaks and potatoes on the grill for the big event. And for dessert....porcupine cakes! One day while my mom was watching Jared he took pretzel sticks and stuck them in a cake. She dubbed it a porcupine cake. So, what would be more fitting than a porcupine cake for their anniversary?

Fire update:
Here is a post that my husband did on the emergency forum for this county:

I woke up responding to an unknown type fire. Then upon leaving the house I hear from police on scene it was my father`s business, Oswald Plumbing and Heating garage, fully involved.
Needless to say I went directly to the scene. I was not a firefighter this time, but a victim. 25 years in business gone in no time. It was one of the few times I had seen my father cry in my life. He lost everything, 2 service vans, tools, and a large inventory which he built up over his time in the bus..
When he started, he worked from our basement. I remember having to move pipes and fittings when I want to get my bike from the basement. 5 years later he expanded to this garage. I remember how empty it looked inside and how I wished it was when I arrived on scene.
Sometimes we respond and brush off an incident as it was just another call, now I know how it feels on the other side.On behalf of my family I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone involved there that night and all emergency services who take the time from their families to help others.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bedroom Makeover

Below you will see picture of how we lived for over a year. No curtains, we did have sheets, but there were in the wash the day I took these photos, no pictures on the walls, just blah.

I had enough of looking at this white pallet. I gave myself a budget of $100 to redecorate. Once I started doing my homework I realized that with a budget of $100 I could basically buy curtains. But I was determined to work with $100. At lot of the improvements you will see below are handmade or found around the house with what we already owned.
I took a trip to Walmart and bought fabric for the curtains - total cost for curtains: $24.

The quilt I made and already owned. I just needed to finish putting the binding on. So I got my butt in gear and finally finished the quilt. Jared and I made the two matching pillows with leftover fabric.

The photo hanging on the wall was in our living room and I needed a change.
The hamper - $20
The quilt rack was downstairs too - free.

New Lampshades from Big Lots - $24.
Painting - I made two - one that you see below and one for the living room bare spot - $15.

Hat boxes - from my grandmother's estate - free.
Wall hanging - sitting in a box from our last anniversary.

Wooden Bench - this was sitting awkwardly in our dining room - fits great at the foot of our bed.
Bed Skirt - $10 from eBay.

Total - $93.00
Having a Bedroom you can be proud of....priceless!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Shack

Wanna read a thought-provoking book? Read the shack. Although this is not a difficult read, I found myself reading about one chapter a day. I needed time to think about what I just read and what that meant to me.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm sorry to say that my in-laws and husband have suffered a great loss. My in-laws have their own business and my husband works for them (or he did). This past Tuesday the business went up in flames, literally. Here are a few pics...

My father-in-law has been in business for 25 years. I know that this is just a building and no lives were lost or even injured, but this was a huge part of his life.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


The summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school we bought Rusty. She was a beautiful Irish Setter and 6 months old. There were a few signs that maybe this wasn't the best idea.
For one, when we went into a little room the meet the dog, she was literally bouncing off the walls. She ran from one wall to the other jumping off of them. We thought it was cute...until she did it in our house.
The second clue was when the pet shop shut down a few days after we bought her. I hope that was just a coincidence.
Then she threw up in the car on the way home.
We had a cook out that evening and she stole the hot dog right out of my hand.

I joke, but Rusty was lovable. Those huge brown eyes looking up at you with her head on your lap. All she wanted was a little attention. I also feel good about buying her because they were going to put her down soon (she was 6 months old already).

We had to put Rusty down about 4 years ago due to cancer. She was in a lot of pain. There is one story that sticks out in my mind with her and that is the day I murdered the baby bird. Bird slaughter!

My mom had a hanging plant on her back porch and you know how birds love to nest in those. I loved to step up on the wall to check on the eggs' progress. I did this just about everyday. One day I stepped up, looked in and all the baby birds jumped out. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I had Rusty out with me and she grabbed one and only held it in her mouth.

The mother bird came flying over and if I were capable of understanding the language of bird I'm sure it would have been close to the vocabulary of a sailor. Her panic brought many birds from the neighborhood over to 'yell' at me too. There were robins, blue birds, cardinals, all there looking at me. Accusing me of murder. I wanted to cry. I felt so horrible. Aren't these the same birds that fight - they came together to yell at me.

Rusty killed the baby bird. She didn't mean to. It wasn't like she bit the poor thing, she held it in her mouth and it suffocated. In any case the blame is all mine. I should have kept her in the house while I looked. It's not her fault, she was a bird dog.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Would you Listen to Me Already?

A while ago I noticed that I had a loose tooth. You know how annoying that can be. I kept nudging it with my tongue until I made it worse, and then finally FELL OUT! Naturally, I poked at my other teeth with my tongue and they were loose too. All of my teeth were loose and when I wouldn't let up, they ALL fell out.

What the...??

I couldn't believe it. So I poked around with my tongue some more...they were fine. All my teeth were there, sturdy as ever. What the hell is going on? Then it dawns on me...I was sleeping a minute ago. But it felt so real. I felt it with my own tongue.

This dream happened to me often. It was getting to the point were I almost expected to have this at least once a week. And it fooled me every time. I never caught on that it was a dream until I finally woke up and felt it for myself.

Once I moved out of my parents house the dreams stopped. I couldn't stand it anymore...I needed to know what these dreams meant.

I don't remember where I found the information so I can't site it properly, but I found out that when you dream about your teeth falling out, you feel as though you are not being heard.
That's it! It makes total sense.

My dad is a typical male (no offense dad). But, when I would go off on one of my typical teenage girl stories, my dad's eyes would glass over and the occasional 'hm mm' would be mumbled by him. He wasn't listening, only being polite.

Once I moved out of my parents house well two things happened. For one, I believe that I get to the point a lot quicker now (except for this post), and two, I met Dan who is a better actor than my dad and it really does seem like he's listening to me.

It was quite a relief to know what these dreams were about, and finally to have them end. Anyone else have a reoccurring dream?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Here We Go Again...

My husband thinks I'm pathetic. So does Mike, that man I co-teach with. I can tell that other people are holding back from rolling their eyes at me, at least until they turn their backs, when I mention the series. But, then there are those who are all too willing the discuss the series with me. It's bad....really bad. I started reading the Twilight Series again. I can't help myself. I even told myself that I would go slowly and savor it this time around. But I just can't do that. I cannot put the books down.

So, that is the reason for my lack of posts and now that I think about was the reason before. There are four books in the series Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. However, she did start writing a fifth book called Midnight Sun and this book is the same as Twilight but written in Edward's voice. You can read a few chapter of it here - it's free - a legal.

I would like to promise that this is my last entry about Twilight, but I can't make that promise.

I am about halfway through The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and I have to say, it's not bad. I absolutely love Edgar - he is such a sweet boy, as I'm reading I picture my own son as this character. Except that Edgar doesn't yell - EVER!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- This book can be read in about a day. This is a very easy read - another book geared toward teenagers, but it does have a powerful message. It would be a great book to discuss with my own students. This is also a movie - I haven't seen it...yet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jared's Report Card

My husband and I were a little surprised when our son's preschool was holding parent-teacher conferences. A good surprise. Maybe.

I understand what a handful he can be at home and the fits he can throw, so I was a little apprehensive about what his teacher would tell us.

When we went into the classroom she handed us a sheet of paper....his report card. I noticed a pattern. For the items that required knowledge or a physical activity, he mostly scored high. However, for the items that required interaction and sharing with his classmates..well...those weren't as high.

The teacher tried to reassure us that it is very typical at this age and also because Jared is one of the youngest members of the classroom.

One last thing...she did mention Jared's singing abilities. Everything would be quiet in the classroom, the children playing quietly, then all of a sudden Jared would break out into song. Usually Snow Miser, his favorite.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Here I am....I know that I want to write something, but it's just not coming to me. I remember when I was in my 8th grade composition class and we needed to keep a daily journal. We were told that if we couldn't think of anything to write about, to write just that. So, here I go. I don't know what to say.

What's going on right now...
Jared is watching the Mighty Bee
Dan is at the fire company, probably still wondering what happened to his SOP book (whatever that is). He thinks he may have left it at his ex-wife's house when he moved out....8 years ago.
I am sitting on our living room couch typing.

Here is something that's been on my mind lately...the school district in which I live...
My step-daughter is entering her geometry class this semester and was informed that she NEEDED to purchase a TI-89 calculator...oh, only about $100. Now where I work, we provide the calculators for the students...isn't that obvious? Anyway, my concern is about the student who really does come from a poor family, whose parents aren't even living paycheck to paycheck where it's worse than that. How do they have a equal opportunity for education? It breaks my heart.
Then, my cousin and I were talking, and it came up about her daughter's classroom (same district). She just went to the store to buy tissues for her class. Tissues? This school district doesn't even provide tissues? What the?
Am I wrong? Did I miss something? Is the district's budget that tight that they can't afford these things?

I guess I was able to find something to write about. One more question before I go....Is it wrong to allow your child to eat cookies, goldfish, marshmallows, pudding and a banana for supper?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Strange Doctor

There is this man who lives in the same town that I do...and well...he's a little on the strange side. I was reminded of him this morning on my drive to work (yes, even teachers have to work on the weekend).

Now, this man is strange to say the least, but the way I saw him this morning takes the cake.

Where I live it is very hilly, perhaps that's not the correct word, mountainous I believe better describes where I live...the Pocono Mountains. Anyway, this man is a doctor and he live in the same town that I do and works in a hospital that is 2 mountains away or about 20 miles.

Does this man drive his car to work? Nope.

Does this man catch a ride with someone else? Nope.

This man rides his bicycle.

Please imagine this, you are sick and in the hospital and in need of a doctor. But the doctor that is assigned to you just rode 20 miles on his bicycle to work and over 2 mountains and did not get a shower.

The way I usually see this man, of course, is with him on his bicycle and looking a lot like a wild man, a man that lives off the earth.

This morning when I saw him I could not look directly at him as I was afraid that I would not be able to look away. He had an object strapped to his back and I could not believe that he made it over 2 mountains and 20 miles on a bicycle with this strapped to his back. Are you ready? I can't believe this....Here it goes. You asked for it.....




Yes, a wooden pallet.....strapped to his back!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I was never THAT girl. You know the one who spent an hour in the bathroom putting her make-up on, the one eying up jewelry, the one want 100 pairs of shoes. In high-school my closet looked a lot the the comic Nancy's, but my wardrobe was jeans, a baggy tee-shirt, and sneakers, not a a black and red dress. That's what I wore everyday...even throughout college.
Today I was at work minding my own business when one of the girls walked by. When I saw her handbag I thought, "That's a nice handbag, that would totally go with my one shirt." I froze right where I was...Did that thought just come from my brain?
The other day my husband and I went to the mall and when we passed a jewelry store I slowed down to see what they had to offer. Really?
I NEVER wore was too girly....looking at my closet now, 1/4 of it is pink. What happened to me?

When did this change occur? I don't remember seeing this change and then all at once, just by looking at a teenage girl's handbag, I saw myself. At first I thought my 16-year-old self might yell at me if she were able to see me now, but I think I might be wrong. If I know her like I think I do, she would be proud of me. I no longer look like a slob. My uniform is not longer jeans, a tee-shirt, and sneaker (except of weekend mornings).

Did you ever look back and wonder, When did that happen?

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have some explaining to do

I'm sorry. I don't really have a good excuse for being away for so long. But I'm back. I guess it's the that good enough an excuse?

Today is Martin Luther King day and tomorrow we will receive our first black president. What a turning point in history. I don't want to talk politics so I will leave this topic at that.


1) I finished the Twilight Series and LOVED it. But if you've been reading, you already know this.

2) I read Water for Elephants and enjoyed that as well. I'm all about happy endings in books, and although this did have a 'happy' ending, I was left with a feeling of guilt for some lost characters. I know, I know, real life isn't always about happy ending. Trust me, I am fully aware of that. And that is why I love happy endings in books.
I do have to say this about the book. It felt real. Sometimes I lost myself in her words. I could easily picture the scenery in my imagination. A very talented writer.

3) My next project: the book The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I will let you know.

4) My emergency fund is coming along nicely. My goal for the end of the year is $2000. So far I have almost $300.

5) Jared recently declared that he is The Master of Discuss! I believe he meant The Master of Disguise. And yesterday he told me that he is Captain Pickles. I think that was from a cartoon.

6) I started a quilt as a gift for a relative with cancer...a teenager. Doesn't that break your heart?

7) I redecorated my bedroom. Before and after pictures will be available soon.

8) The Steelers are going to the Super Bowl!! My husband is one happy camper.

Until next time!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Who is Josephine? That's been a pressing question for my family lately. My grandmother on my mom's side passed away recently and my mother and most of her siblings have been going through the estate. There were always rumors that my grandfather, Allen, had a girlfriend, possibly a wife, before he married my grandmother, Rachel.

As my mom and her siblings are cleaning, they come across some interesting things. The first time they found information it was contained in a small green tin and it contained mostly Christmas cards. The cards were address to a woman named Josephine and send to a hospital in Philadelphia. Some of the cards were addressed to Josephine Ramsey, others were addressed to Josehpine Keller, Allen's last name. From the information found in this tin we came to this conclusion...
My grandfather fell in love with a woman who developed cancer. She was admitted to the hospital and my grandfather married her there before she passed away. Doesn't that just touch your heart?

Then the next time my mom and her siblings went back to the house they found more information. Apparently, they had a rather long engagement and were married before she was in the hospital. She was from East Stroudsburg and I'm not sure how they met, since he was from Kresgeville. She was an educated woman, a columnist, and frequented New York. I was impressed as most of my ancestors were mostly farmers who never left home.

The eerie part is this... my mother mentioned that my grandfather seemed to take to me unlike the other grandchildren. Not that I was a favorite, but he was just different with me. As I was looking through the information that my mom presented to me, my heart jumped when I saw the date she died... my birthday.

I would love to find out more about her. I know that she had a young daughter when she passed away. A daughter from a previous relationship. The daughter's name was Mary Ramsey, but I have no more information than that. One day, my mom and my aunt when on a little scavenger hunt and found Josephine's tombstone..."Josephine Keller". My grandfather buried her in the same cemetery that he and my grandmother are buried.

Here's a question that I've always wondered about. If my grandfather was truly in love with Josephine, but his family was with Rachel, then how do you decide who you will be buried next to?

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am in Love

My wonderful husband took me to see Twilight at the theater yesterday. And I have to say I wasn't disappointed as I usually am. I love to read books and then watch the corresponding movie but all too often the plot is changed so much that's it's a totally different story. Not the case here. Obviously, a few things needed to change but these were details. The plot was exactly the same.

My husband would have enjoyed a little more violence or blood, but this is geared toward teenagers. What did he expect? I left the theater wanting more. Fortunately, my mother hates to see me suffer and purchased the 2nd book of the series, New Moon. I am afraid. I am afraid that I will finish these 4 books and then it's over. I need to slow down and savor.

I spoke with my students today about the series and the girls agree with me. They love the series.

Enough about the series. I did start the book, 'Water for Elephant' but I had to set it to the side once my mother introduced 'New Moon' to me. I do enjoy this book so far, much more adult-like. I will let you know my thoughts once I am through.

Thank you for letting me ramble on and on about Twilight. Has a book ever done this to you?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Great Find

I am so excited! I frequent this hidden gem of a shop only 5 minutes from my house. This is an antique/quilt shop and I love both. I went to the shop with the intentions to purchase fabric to make a quilt for a relative with cancer. I will definitely show it to you once it's complete. Before I looked at fabric, I decided to walk through the antiques and this one piece jumped out at me. You will need a little more information...

For Christmas I was able to buy my husband a new recliner with the money that I made from direct sales business. This gift is a little selfish in that I wanted his old recliner. I fit perfectly into it and he was too tall for it. So, we rearranged the living room and I was without an end table. I was heartbroken and couldn't wait until yard sale season to buy one.

For Christmas, my Mother-in-law gave me a $50 visa gift card (among many other thoughtful gifts) and at first I was overwhelmed. I LOVE gift cards, the possibilities are endless, endless. So, first I bought myself a book (no, not New Moon, you'll see) and I bought this table....

Here's a closer picture...

And the best part...the book shelf underneath. This table matches my passion for red. Are you looking close County Mouse? Yes, Water for Elephants. I can't wait to start it! Thanks for the tip.