Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dreams and Licorice

Last night I came to the realization that I only have 17 more days of summer vacation (yes, I know you all feel so very sorry for me). After seeing such a small number, panic set in - racing heart, sweaty palms, and hyperventilation. It's not that I don't want to go back to work, but the idea of starting over again (especially at a new school) is less than appealing. As a student, I always loved the beginning of the new school year; the new start was inspiring (especially the new school supplies!). As a teacher, however, I hate that new start. It inspires nothing in me but anxiety (although I still love buying new school supplies!). My favorite time of the year is when everyone is settled in and comfortable with the class and each other. If I could skip the first couple of weeks of classes, I would throw a celebration to rival New Year's Eve in Times Square. As always, I'll survive and come mid-September I will be a happy camper.

Not surprisingly, one of my dreams last night centered around the first day of school. This was my third, 'first-day' dream and I don't doubt there will be many more as that 17 falls closer to 0. I do have to say, however, that the dreams are getting better as they go along so if that trend continues, I won't mind much. In my first dream, I ran around the school trying to find my classroom. I can honestly say that I'm not worried about that one happening. In my second dream, I refused to interact with the students. I simply introduced myself then sat down at my desk and there was no talking for the remainder of the class period. I can honestly say I'm not worried about this one happening either. Crazy as it may sound, I don't like a quiet classroom. Plus, I have found so many first-day activities that there should be no reason for me or my students to have to count down the time until the bell rings. My dream last night combined and improved on both the first and second dreams. I was late getting into my room, but I found it which was the important thing. From the minute I stepped in the door, I began interacting with my students. I think my subconscious took it a little far, though, because I was way too funny (math teachers aren't funny!) and the students were enjoying my class way too much (no one likes math!). All in all, it was a good way to end a night that had started out a little rocky.

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, I had to share a photo of the bag of licorice my parents brought back from Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I love when things are made much bigger or much smaller than the original. It makes life fun!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I am a quiet person by nature. I have always been quiet and I'm quite certain I will always be quiet. For the greater part of my life I agonized over the lack of words I shared with others. I belittled myself for not contributing in any way or for not contributing adequately to the conversations surrounding me. Life was distressing.

I have come to accept the fact that I am my father's daughter, a girl of few words. I refuse to go back to the place where I tried to be something other than me. It no longer troubles me that I don't join each and every conversation I hear or that I don't say more during my encounters. I'm content with my quietness and hope that some day others will be, too.

I've never understood why people have such a difficult time accepting silence. I've never understood why quietude is viewed as a shortcoming rather than another trait like eye or hair color. I've never understood why those who speak little must defend their lack of involvement. Perhaps I will never understand these things as others will never understand me. All I know is that I talk enough for me and that's what matters.

"Silence is also speech."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

White T-shirts

Can you tell my husband likes to wear white t-shirts? If you see him in anything other than a white t-shirt, it's a special occasion.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Charmer

I found several more adorable homes over the weekend (unfortunately this is the only photo I got before dark). I'm having so much fun seeing these old homes!

I hope everyone is enjoying their last few hours of the weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Charming Houses

Here are a few charming houses I saw during the 125th Anniversary celebration.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

125th Anniversary and Shakespeare

Despite all the sweating and the sunburned skin, my husband and I had another fun July weekend.

My husband and I headed to the 125th Anniversary celebration for the town in which I will be teaching in the fall. We didn't know anyone there but that allowed me to scope out the crowds, particularly the high-school kids. Of course this didn't make me nervous about the upcoming school year (yeah, right). I already miss my small, scared 7th-graders!

The day's festivities began with a parade that featured horses, tractors, tractors, tractors, horses, and tractors. Did I mention they had tractors? While I wasn't able to score any candy at the parade (we sat by a 5-year old who hasn't learned about sharing yet - even if the candy was already in the hands of someone else) my husband and I each got a small tube of toothpaste. Not quite as fun as the gum I wanted, but much more practical.

After the parade I showed my husband around my future school and then we headed to the bed races. I think I'm going to join next year as the bed rider. Any volunteers for pushers?

After the bed races, we watched the calf bottle relay. The relay involved one teammate running with a sponge, filling it with water from a bucket at one end of the course then emptying it into a calf bottle at the other end of the course with the help of their partner. Whoever filled their bottle and put the nipple back on first won.

After the calf bottle relay, my husband and I watched the cow chip throwing competition. Yes, that's right - people were throwing dried up cow poop and their partners were catching as many chunks as they could in buckets. I would say "only in North Dakota" but after looking into the activity, I discovered that there are many other states that participate in this past time. I guess we're not the only crazies.

My husband, my sister, and I visited a local park to watch a production of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." The actors and actresses were great and the crowd was enthusiastic. It's always nice to see people enjoying activities like this around the city.

I know this is late but I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sworn Officer

July 21st has been a special day for me and my husband. It has been a day marked with big occasions, happy occasions. Two years ago my husband and I got engaged and today my husband was sworn in as a peace officer.

Looking so very handsome in his blue pin-striped suit, my better half raised his right hand and swore to uphold the law. In a few short months he will be a police officer out on the streets, following in his father's footsteps. While it's not the safest of jobs, I am happy that my husband has chosen to follow his dreams and not settle for a career that didn't suit him. I'm so very proud that he will be serving our city and as our loan officer at the bank said "thank God there are people who are willing to do what you want to do."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Finds

Last week, the cute little tassel on my bookmark broke. I thought I was crafty enough to fix it - turns out I was wrong (who's surprised?). The bookmark is now just a rectangular piece of cardboard, no frill attached to the end. My husband is thoroughly disappointed by this; he no longer gets the strings dangled in his face as he's trying to sleep.

My sister stepped in last night with a replacement bookmark. It's tassel free but the magnets are just about as fun. The bookmark opens up like a card, your page is slipped between the flaps, and two magnets keep the marker wrapped around your page. I had never seen a bookmark like that so I had to share (in case there are others like me who are behind the times). I wish I had thought of something this clever! Not only can you use it at the top of your page, you can use it at the side of your page to mark the line you're on! Brilliant! It is even advertised that these bookmarks can be used with one hand. Unlike those pesky old bookmarks that require two or more hands to operate? Well, at least my struggles with the complicated markers are over! If you check out the Magnetic Bookmark website, you'll find oodles of designs. Try to look past the ridiculous intensity of the site. The creators are just VERY excited about their products.

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Good Luck

Good luck to my husband as he starts his new job with the police department today. I'm so very happy for you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weekend Events


Friday evening, my husband and I put on our cowboy hats and boots and went to see some professional bull riding. Okay, maybe we didn't don any cowboy apparel, but we did join a lot of people who had.

I have never been to any type of "cowboy event," so the night's happenings were all new to me. Before the riding, even before the National Anthem, a prayer was said for the riders. This was the first sporting event I've ever been to in which the audience prayed for the participants and I was touched. Our prayers were heard and none of the riders were seriously injured. The evening contained a lot of excitement and I'm looking forward to going again. Perhaps I'll expand my horizons and attend a full-blown rodeo.


On Saturday afternoon, my husband and I joined my in-laws for a day at the zoo. We may not have any exotic animals but it's still a lot of fun. I cannot wait to go next year - a butterfly house will be opened!


Sunday afternoon I had a little muffin mishap. Feeling like Suzy Homemaker, I happily headed to the kitchen to use up our remaining bananas in muffins. I was so excited about baking that I would have whistled had I known how (and I hate the sound of whistling!). My good mood did not last for long.

I followed the recipe, but when my batter turned out as runny as water and not lumpy like the recipe described, I thought this might be a bad sign. Ignoring the omen, I poured the mixture into muffin cups anyway and placed the pan in the oven. Halfway through baking, with the smell of delicious muffins in the air, I turned the light on in the oven and saw this. I'm not completely sure what happened (I baffled the other bakers in the house as well) but we did not have any of my banana muffins that evening. I won't be volunteering for any bake sales any time soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Finds

Scott Wade is a very unique artist. He creates portraits, murals, and famous works of art on dirty windshields. Yes, dirty windshields. I'm beyond impressed with his work - I can't even create anything beautiful with normal mediums! Check out his wonderful work here!

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lack of Communication

This is what you call a lack of communication.

My husband and I bought bananas yesterday. Turns out my dad had the same idea. So, we now have 18 bananas for four people.

We're thinking of adopting a monkey.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mature Reward

During his days off, my husband insists on being an adult and schedules grown-up (aka boring) things to do.

Today we met with our loan officer, ordered new checks, got our rings inspected, and did some grocery shopping. My treat for participating in all this was lunch at Big Boy and Zingers for dessert. I love being rewarded for pretending I'm mature.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth Festivities

The fourth of July has never really seemed like a real holiday to me. Perhaps it was because of the many years that friends and family didn't do much because they had to go back to work the next day. This year, however, the day felt like a special occasion and it was great. I think the fourth should fall on a Friday every year.

The festivities began with a parade and art in the park. My husband decided to scope out the doll toys (he can't wait to have a house full of girls!) while my mom bought her usual bag of kettle corn (she goes nuts for the stuff!).

On our bike ride home from the park, we came upon three horses near the trail. I think horses are beautiful, but that doesn't mean I'm any less scared of them. "The Horse Whisperer" scarred me at a young age so I now think every horse is crazy. While my husband fearlessly petted these lovely creatures, I stood back and admired from what I felt was a safe distance.

Later that afternoon, my family joined my husband's family for dinner and games. We ate the delicious staples of a backyard barbecue: brats and chicken, baked beans and chips. We played beanbag toss, took a United States quiz, and learned a few things during 'The Newlywed Game.' My husband's grandparents, who have been married 50+ years finished last; my husband and I, who have been married 11 months, took home the trophy. My guess is this game is best for those closest to the start of their relationship. That, or the other groups didn't study as hard.

The night ended with the city's annual fireworks display. Fireworks are my favorite part of this holiday and are the perfect way to end a celebration.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

35 Years

Happy 35th Anniversary mom and dad!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Have a wonderful and safe Independence Day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Favorites

My husband and I bought the appliances for our house yesterday. Can you guess which ones I was most excited about? I can hardly wait to try these babies out!

In other household news, my husband and I met with our builder again today. When asked when the building will begin, he darted around the question like usual. He has previously given us a closing date (no starting date, though) of the first week in December. For some reason, I don't see that happening. My gut is telling me it's going to be later, much later. That's okay; we're in no rush. It will be fun to raise my children while living with my parents!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Book Jackpot

Last week I talked to the former math teacher from my new school. While he seemed less than enthused to be on the phone with me, he did manage to give me directions in locating my materials. This morning I headed back out to the school and hit the jackpot. I found everything I needed and then some. I now have all the (correct) textbooks and the resources that coincide with them. Needless to say I'm feeling much better about everything. At least until I open up that Precalculus book and realize I don't know what I'm doing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lovin' the Laundry

I will not dust. You will not find me dusting unless it's an emergency. Have you ever heard of a dusting emergency? Exactly.

I don't mind washing the dishes by hand; it's the only thing I've ever known. In the winter, this chore is also a handy way for me to warm up.

I enjoy vacuuming, especially on carpet that shows those lovely clean lines. It's particularly satisfying when you have a visibly dirty floor.

My love, however, is laundry. Without a doubt, it is the best thing on the household chore list. I love every part of the laundry process, the sorting to the folding. I actually get excited when enough clothes have accumulated to wash a load or two (or three or four!!). It gets even better in the summer when I get to hang our garments on the clothesline. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as allowing your neighbors to see your underwear blowing in the breeze.

What is your least favorite chore? Favorite chore?