Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lunch with friends

I am so blessed to have a few women in my life that are wonderful Christian ladies.  They are beautiful - inside and out.  I have learned so much from these ladies.  Even though, we are all busy with our families, we met for lunch today.  I need to do this so much more.  I didn't take any pictures at lunch.  I "borrowed" these from Facebook.   Here is Jennifer -

She is the lady in the middle.  The other two gorgeous ladies are her two children.  Jennifer never seems to age.  Ha!  She just gets more beautiful.  She is the sweetest lady I have ever met.  She lives on a farm and homeschools her two daughters.  A month ago, I took C and A to her house for lunch.  They did not want to leave.  There was too much fun things to do on a farm. 

Here is Cindy -

Cindy has 4 children and is the funniest person I know.  All of her children look alike and are gorgeous.  They are so well behaved.  I am glad that my two children get to play with her two oldest. 
When I am having a bad day, I know to call Cindy.  She will have me laughing in 2 seconds. 

We had one other friend join us - Miss Penny.  But Miss Penny does not have a Facebook. So I don't have a picture of her.  Crazy, I know!  Ha!  She is such a Godly woman, as well.  She prayed before our meal and said an excellent prayer. 

Sometimes it's easy to feel sorry for ourselves, or think everyone else is having such an easy, good life with no problems.  It's so nice to have lunch and know that everyone has problems that occur in life. It's so nice to just laugh and forget about the laundry, cleaning house, etc.  I need to make more time to do this. 

Betsy, if you are reading this - we need to get together too.  I love talking and laughing with you, too!  Ha!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to school shopping - dressing an 8 year old girl

Well, it is almost school time here.  We start really early - first day is August 13.  There is already another school district nearby that started school last week.  I love shopping for my kids, but I think boys are easier.  Corbin doesn't really care what he wears as long as it's comfortable.  I don't have to worry about shorts being too short, tight, or showing booty with him.

With Allie, shopping can be a nightmare.  She is tall and long waisted.  A lot of girls' jeans are made to be low riders.  She can't get them on and if she can -watch out - her underwear may show when she's bending over.  We have a hard time finding jeans for her.

I was looking online at Gap and got some ideas for her.  I want her to look age appropriate, and I want her to be comfortable.  Here are some of my favorites from Gap:

Of course, her school has a dress code.  Which I am glad.  I would not care if they went to uniforms.  It would make my life easy in the mornings.  Ha!  I love these purple plaid Bermudas.  I think she could get a lot of wear from them.

I love these shirts - so feminine.

Adorable outfits for when the weather gets cooler!

My friends make fun of me for dressing Allie like me sometimes.  I wear a lot of cardigans.  Love this pink/gray striped one for her.  If they have my size, I might just get me one!  Ha!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful for the following:

1.  That I am saved and that I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior at age 12.
2.  That Eric, Corbin, and Allie are saved, and that I get to spend eternity with them in Heaven.
3.   That I have a husband who loves me, supports me, and is a wonderful father to our kids.
4.  Our jobs.
5.  Wonderful friends that I know would be there for me anytime I call.
6.  Our house and food on our table.
7.  The Military who risks their lives so that I can have freedom.
8.  That I live in the USA and have so many freedoms.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Teacher Story

I decided to link up with Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes - a wonderful teacher blog - and share my teacher story.  Growing up, I had 3 crazy brothers.  I spent a lot of time playing by myself and I played school.  I lined all my dolls up and even wrote on the wall with my school notes.  Ha!  School was just always fun and easy for me.  When I went to college, I knew I wanted a career that helped people.  I considered social work, but quickly learned I could not handle all that I would see.  I considered pharmacy - which my parents fully supported. Ha!  But I didn't want to go to school 5 hours away from my family.  So one day, I went to my parents and said," I think I want to be a teacher."

 At first, my parents were not supportive.  I had two older cousins that had taught for many years and shared their stories -the good, the bad, and the ugly.  My mother, like any other mother, did not want me to have to deal with anything bad.  She discouraged me.  My parents even told me if I continued with my "teacher" plans, they would not pay for my college. 

So the next semester, I paid for my own college.  I worked hard at school and a part-time job and got all A's that semester in upper division classes.  I think that convinced my parents that I really wanted it and I was not going to change my mind.  So they paid for the rest of my college and now brag about what a good teacher I am.

I have taught for 14 years now - all middle school.  I never thought I would end up in middle school.  I always thought I would teach 1st or 2nd grade.  But I have grown to love middle school.  I have taught 7th/8th grade math and 7th grade language arts.  Middle school students are unpredictable and never boring.  They are full of drama, as well.  Ha!

I am moving to a new school this fall - still middle school though.  It is a small school closer to where I live.  I am so excited, and I can't wait for this school year.  This summer, I have spent time "spying" on other blogs getting wonderful ideas.  I can't wait to implement all these new ideas this year.  And that is my story!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fabulous Friday

I had such a good Friday! I didn't do much- just hung out with friends and family. But it was a great day!

• I organized Allie's hair things in a cute jewelry organizer I found at Marshall's
• I found an adorable red filing cabinet for my office area. I didn't buy it yet, but I found what I wanted.
• I spent time with my mom who has been taking my aunt to Nashville for radiation treatments for weeks. My aunt has one more week and 2 days left! PTL
• I had lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a while.
• I picked up and love my new Vera Bradley glasses. I just might wear these and get rid of my contacts. They are so cute!
• I found Allie a maxi dress on sale.
• My mom bought Corbin several things at Belk on sale. She buys Allie a lot, so she wanted to buy Corbin something.
• I spent a lot of time organizing and looking at old photos.

Love the days where I get a lot accomplished and spend time with my family.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shopping - 911

As a women, I want to look pulled together and nice when I go out.  But I am 38, and I am having more shopping trouble than ever.  I don't want to look like I am dressing too young, but I want to look like I am in this decade.  One of my favorite shows is "What Not To Wear."  Love that show!  It really is not about just the clothes.  It's much more -  how you feel about yourself.   It's about rebuilding women's self confidence.   I think I need to nominate myself for the show.  I know I would LOVE it.

Anyway, I have bought several things lately, but have not worn them.  I bought these adorable shorts from Old Navy.  They are cute and were not expensive at all.  But I don't know if they are too short.  I would wear a 3/4 sleeve shirt with them to try and balance them out.  But I live in a small town, and I don't want people talking about my short - shorts!  Ha!  I am short - only 5'2 - so maybe I could get away with them. I tried them on and did the "finger -tip" test.  That's what we do at school.  They did pass.  The shorts fell to my fingertips.  Ha!  I think before I take them back I will try them on for Eric and see if he makes a comment.  No comment = good.  What do you think?

I also read several fashion blogs that shop at Anthropologie.  I love their clothes, but the prices are too much for me.  That being said, I decided to order one top and just see.  Of course, it was packaged nicely.  But I don't know if it's worth the price.  It also fit weird on me.  So I guess I will send it back.  Oh well, I wanted to try.

The top is beautiful and would go with a lot.  I just think maybe it's too expensive to keep.  So now since I am kid free today, I am off to see what I can find for fall.  Since I am a teacher, I usually slack off on dressing in the summer.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oak Ridge Indoor Pool

Every afternoon for the past week and half, it storms for hours. The kids were starting to fight more and more. So today I took Corbin, Allie, my niece and nephew to the Oak Ridge pool. They play ping pong and foosball(spelling?) for a little while, then we hit the pool. We saw other kids they knew. They had so much fun. It was so nice to get some energy out.

Allie is very competitive! Ha!

Corbin going off the diving board.

The noodles!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Sweet Girl

This morning Allie woke me up with breakfast in bed. She had made me toast with strawberry jelly, a waffle, 1 chocolate chip cookie, and 2 strawberry fig newtons. She also brought me my Diet Pepsi. I'm not going to lie. I cried! That was such a sweet gesture. We have been working on serving others and not being selfish. She totally surprised me. I love that girl!

She loves to dress! Ha!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

God's beauty - Laurel Falls

We are so lucky to live close to the Smoky Mountains.  This past Saturday, we decided to go up and hike.  We hiked Laurel Falls - which is  amoderate to easy hike.  It is 2.5 miles roundtrip and took about 2 hours to complete.  Laurel Falls is a popular hike, so there were lots of people on the trail.  We had so much fun.  We are looking to go back and do other trails.  The scenery was just beautiful. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Change of Priorities

This summer has been so good for me.  I had a stressful school year with Eric traveling a lot,  Corbin's stomach problems, and new evaluation standards.  It really made me stop and think what or who is important.  I wrote my top 5 Priorities and printed it out.  I have one copy hanging in my bedroom, and I am going to carry one copy with me.  When I start to get stressed or overwhelmed, I am going to pull out my list and see if it's on there.  Should it be as big a deal as I am making it?  Here are my top priorities for 2012 - 2013:

1.  God - We go to a fabulous church and feel like it is home to us.  We are blessed to have a wonderful Pastor and church family.  But I need to concentrate on my personal relationship with God.  I need to read His Word more and ask for understanding.  I can't be content to just attend church on Sunday and Wednesday and listen.  I need to become actively involved. 

2.  Family - I love my family.  They mean everything to me.  I need to adjust my attitude and speak with more loving words.  With Eric traveling so much, it can be easy to take everything out on him.  I need to make sure my children see a positive, loving relationship between us.  I know this affects children so much.  I also need to say No to my children more.  Material things are just that.  They simple don't need everything.  I want to work on them volunteering more to help people in need.

3.  My job - I still love teaching and feel that God called me to be a teacher.  It is so stressful these days being a teacher.  I have to realize I need to give it 100% and then leave it at school. I also need to work on being more positive and not listening or getting caught up in negative talks.  Negative talks benefit no one.  As a teacher, I need to set a good example for my students.  My new principal told me that if you do something in the best interest of the students, and it doesn't work out, it's OK.  Admit your mistake and move on.  We are human, and we are going to make mistakes. I thought that was so supportive and kind.

4.  Myself /Health - I tend to, as other mothers, to put myself last on the list.  But if I am not taking care of myself, how can I take care of everyone else?  I need to take time to exercise, read, or whatever I need to do to relieve my stress.  I need to take grandparents or friends up on watching my kids.  They know with Eric traveling, I need time to myself.  I did not take their help this past year.

5.  Friends - I need to make my friends a priority.  I have some friends I have know since elementary school.  I have some new friends I have meet at church or work.  I need to take the initiative and ask them to lunch or schedule a girls' day.  I tend to wait around on others to plan everything.  I have one friend that has asked me several times to get together with her.  I never did.  I know she got tired of asking me.  Ha!  So I asked her, and we are going to lunch this coming Tuesday. 

I am so looking forward to this school year.  I am well rested and enthusiastic.  And I know that God doesn't give us more than we can handle.  I need to rely on Him more this coming school year.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cooking up a storm

I wanted to document this for Eric - since he thinks I don't cook much.  It is very hard to feel like cooking during the school year.  But I actually semi - enjoy cooking in the summer.  It  has also been raining here for a couple of days, so we have not be running around as much.  So I was craving Mini Meatloaves.  It was so easy to make and both of my kids ate it.  I will make this again soon.

Then for dessert, a favorite of mine, the Easy Peach Cobbler.  I always make this if I need something quick.  Plus, you can eat it for breakfast right - it has fruit in it.  Both of my kids love fruit, so they will eat any kind of cobbler.

I have always wanted to make Lasagna.  So I tried a easy recipe I found on line.  It was okay, but not our favorite.

Last, I saw on a blog http://www.lifeinthegreenhouse.com/, a recipe for No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars.  They were super easy and delicious!  I may or may not have eated half of them myself.  I know my pictures are not great - cell phone quality.  But I do like to read back on my cooking successes! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parenting School Age Children

Well, nobody said parenting got easier the older your children were.  For me, as my children grow up, it gets harder and more difficult.  Both of my children were good sleepers and happy babies.  I was blessed to have 4 grandparents that helped whenever I asked.  So that made my life easy.  But now, I have a 10 year old boy and an 8 year old girl.  I lay awake at night just thinking of things they could get into.  I know I am crazy.  So far, both of them are pretty good kids.  No perfect, but good overall.

I worry about my son playing too much video games and what effect that will have on him.  I know it is summer, but the other night he stayed up all night with a friend playing video games.  Of course, when I woke up at 7 AM and found out that he was just going to bed, I lost it.  I did let him sleep for 3 hours and then woke his butt up.  Ha!  I made him do his chores and go to his sister's piano lesson.  C said his friend's parent didn't care as long as his friend was entertained and also it is summer.  So now big deal!  I pointed out, I am your parent not that kid's parent.  So now, I have to worry when he goes to this friend's house.  Ha!  What else is no big deal to these parents?

For my daughter, I worry about "mean" girls.  You hear so much bad things on the news.  Allie is a good girl and has lots of good friends.  I know their parents and feel they pretty much believe as we do.  But I also teach middle school, and I know sometimes there is no rhyme or reason why girls get mad at each other.   I also know that some parents want to be friends with their kids and will let them have parties that involve underage drinking or not appropriate chaperoning.  How crazy is that?  That is such a huge liability.  Kids are kids.  They are going to try and do things.  If you are not watching them, oh my, what they can get into.  But the parties happen every weekend it seems.

My husband says I need to pray more and put it in God's hands.  I know that is true.  God does answer prays and will take care of them.  By the way, my husband is sound asleep when I am up pacing and can't sleep. Ha!   I actually get less sleep now than when my children were babies.  Crazy!  My husband and I also want to have open communication with them.  We want them to know there is nothing they can't talk to us about.  There will be consequences for behavior.  But we don't want them to hide anything from us. 

I just know that I love my children more than anything, and I just want the best for them.  I know this generation faces more than my generation. With technology, there is so much more for them to get into without even thinking about the consequences.  That's why - even though they are 10 and 8, I still talk with them about things I see on TV.  I talk to them about boyfriends and girlfriends and what is appropriate at their age.  I talk to them about saying, "No" and blaming us for anything.  I told C and A, use us to get out of situations.  Say, "My mom would kill me."  or "My dad would kick me out and make me leave with my grandparents."

As for now, I will continue to pray that they make good decisions and continue to have an open communication with them.  I know the Lord is in control of all things.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Proud of my hubby!

Eric has been into bluegrass music for years now.  He has played with several successful bluegrass bands, as well.  But when you have children, the traveling is not so glamorous.  So he just plays in church now.  I know that was a huge sacrifice for him because he is really good. 

But he did build a mandolin, and I am so proud of him.  Someone from church gave him part of the wood that he used.  He played the mandolin in church a couple of Sundays ago, and the Pastor told everyone Eric made it.  It was a proud moment.  These pictures are pre-stain.  Apparently, it takes a while to get the "correct" color he wants it.  I can't wait to see the finished product.  Of course, his dream would be to retire early and build mandolins.  Which would be kinda neat!  He is always telling me I need a hobby like sewing, scrapbooking,etc.   He says a hobby would help my stress level.  Ha! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

The dog days of summer

We took our little dog, Snickers on a walk. It was a very little walk. It is too hot right now to be outside and not be near water. Allie wanted me to take her picture with Snickers.

Snickers was thrilled! Ha! Now we are off the lake to have some fun!

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