April 26, 2009


J and I are leaving on May 29 for a Cross Country Driving Vacation of 2009. This is the plan:

  1. Friday- Drive 6 hours to Pittsburgh and camp overnight.
  2. Saturday- Drive 6 hours to New York and check in to cheap hotel in Brooklyn.
  3. Sunday- Sightsee and eat in New York City!!
  4. Monday- Enjoy New York City some more, then leave for campground in Connecticut late afternoon.
  5. Tuesday- Drive along coast to Portland, Maine.
  6. Wednesday- Drive further in to Maine while eating, hiking, whatevering (this part of the trip has not been specifically planned!).
  7. Thursday- Explore Maine YET AGAIN.
  8. Friday- Drive 10 hours up through Canada toward Michigan. Camp in Canada!!!!!! Yes, we are easily amused and excited about this.
  9. Saturday- Finish driving to Michigan. Stop at hotel and pretty ourselves for a friend's wedding. Party out at wedding. Sleep in a real bed at night.
  10. Sunday- Drive home from Michigan. I get to sleep in our bed Sunday night but just found out J will be leaving that night for a business/training trip in California! He'll have 2 weeks of adventure but zero nights of sleeping at home.

Rinse and repeat for our much anticipated Cross Country Driving Vacation of 2009.

Last year J started a new job and could not use his vacation days until 6 months of employment was reached. Thus, we could not properly vacation until fall, which was too late because I was back working full time. Our last Vacation of Gigantic Proportions was our honeymoon to Italy in 2007. We fought a lot over the map and about getting used to spending 24 HOURS A DAY in each other's company. That was a bit of a shocker, me not getting used to something fast. It was a fun honeymoon but odd because I'd never been on a vacation with a boy before (especially one who did not worship every word that came from my lovely lips. HOW DARE HE!?!?!?).

All of our mini vacations (3) since said honeymoon have been preparing us for the 2009 trip. We have accomplished over 2 years of practice vacations: not fighting over the map, getting along 90% of the time, fighting but getting over it fast, and loving spending time together. Yay!! Can't wait to spend 2 days in the car talking to J this summer!!!!

April 25, 2009

Lovely Day

Today was my 28th birthday. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing through the open window, and birds were chattering when cramps awoke me at 6:34 this morning. Yes, cramps and a wonderful monthly gift on my birthday! Haha, nice!

J planned a super day for me: sleep late (which I kinda did later), Swedish pancakes, gift time (a beautiful rain barrel!!!), Earth Day festival downtown, library time, Whole Foods grocery shopping, then movie and my favorite pizza. After all that fun, we went for a walk at dusk (in shorts!!!) with the warm wind blowing us along. I don't know that I've ever had such a wonderful day before!!! And I get a party with my family tomorrow too!!! I love being 28 on a sunny day. So perfect:)

Tomorrow I shall look at my rain barrel a lot and smile at my recently completed compost bin. 

April 17, 2009

EPA, Used Items, and Thoughts

[Cartoon by Steve Greenburg]

The EPA on Friday declared that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases sent off by cars and many industrial plants "endanger public health and welfare," setting the stage for regulating them under federal clean air laws.- NPR

Wonderful! Government and regulations can take a long time to be implemented but at least we're getting closer! I hate for government to get bigger and impose itself on more of our lives, but I think in this situation, it is warranted. How else are we going to get factories or automakers to cut down on chemicals they dump in our air, water, and land? I don't like 28% of my money being taken by the government but when I hear they will invest it in high speed rail across the US or in forcing industry to cut down on emissions, I feel a little better. I'm willing to pay a bit extra for food grown without chemicals, cars that get great mileage, or electricity that is produced responsibly. Many people have bigger issues (jobs, kids, housing, etc.) to worry about than the environment. I don't, so I'll take on this seemingly trivial load and cheer it on!!! Yay for a president that at least gets that we need to change how we are treating the wonderful planet God gave us! Stewardship involves more care and regulation than we have shown!

A blog I read was discussing buying only handmade clothing and how it benefits people and businesses locally, rather than a sweatshop in China. She (the blogger) committed to buying only handmade items from now on.  Well, with my limited personal spending budget of $75 a month (for eating out, clothing, shoes, visiting friends, library fines, etc.) I really can't commit to buying handmade. However, I am, from last week forth, buying only USED ITEMS!!! This does not apply to underware and probably shoes. Any clothing will be bought from Plato's Closet, Goodwill, or garage sales , which won't be that big of a change. I am a very cheap person when it comes to mostly everything so I already seek out good deals. I'm going to carry my Used Items pledge over to the house and try to find anything we might need (tupperware, circular saw, food processor). I've found how to get an RSS feed for a specific Craigslist search and just check my Google Reader instead of going to Craigslist every day. Now I know exactly when someone posts a sell of something I am looking for!


When you visit a strange church, do you ever think about how to do communion? Some churches allow you to reflect and pray before drinking and eating. Some churches like you to get the tray, grab a cup, gulp it down, slam it back on said tray, and send it on its way. I was visiting KY several months ago and was sitting with my new cousins. One of them whispered to me "Sarah, how do they do communion here?" I was confused at the question and had to watch the people in front of me, then whispered back the answer. Communion can be a bit confusing in a new environment. 

We're planning a road trip to New York and Maine this summer. I feel so overwhelmed being forced to pick, unseen, the best places to visit in an entire city or state. Maine is giant!! New York City is much smaller but oh so compact!!

It is 71 degrees today! And sunny! I need to go outside soon! Anyone know where the degree key is on a keyboard? Never have found it in 27 years. 

I will be 28 next Saturday!! My birthday! I love my birthday. Last year I felt that I didn't deserve the attention I received from family and friends on my birthday. Bad time for me. This year I will love and bathe in it:) Good time for me!!!!

As soon as I get home from work, I sit on the couch (teaching 29 kiddos keeps me on my feet all day), check out my websites, and eat pumpkin seeds and almonds. Next week I plan to add walnuts to my routine since I need more omega 3's. I love nuts:)

Yesterday I saw a mouse get strangled by a boa constrictor and eaten. Weird and mesmerizing. I also was given a Coldstone Creamery sundae. Delightful!

That must be all for today, I need to go outside and construct a compost bin using my overwhelming amounts of wit, fortitude, and power. Have a delightful day!!

April 10, 2009

Crying Over my Awesomeness

How do I cry? Let me count the ways...

  1. The Sound of Music clip I posted the other day made me cry.  
  2. When my students cry. 
  3. Baptism Sunday at church, whenever they dunk a person. 
  4. When people shout they are debt free on Dave Ramsey's podcast.
  5. Watching people finish races. 

I think this crying has become more developed as the years go by. In addition to crazy crying urges, I now foster a healthy fear of heights, especially when kids are around. Send me up to a high place with a child 15 years ago and I'd be hanging over the edge, looking down with them. Today, I'd grab them and slink with my back along the wall, averting my eyes from the DEADLY precipice that is enticing us to FALL FALL FALL. I try very hard to not be to crazy about this. Also, blood makes my heart skip a beat. But I've always felt that way. When a bloody, hurt child comes up to me this happens: 

  1. I look at their injury.
  2. Heart skips beat.
  3. I smile and make it seem like no big deal (even if I thinking HOLY CRAPPOLA!!!!!).
  4. I hold their injured limb together and walk them to the nurse, or send a kid with them if it isn't severe.
  5. Turn back to my other kids who are gaping, and smile and continue with whatever we were doing. 
  6. Calm my shaking, calm my innards.
  7. Confront it and discuss it with the kiddos when I am calm.
  8. I mount 12 TONS of praise on myself for staying calm and not puking.

I should change this blog to How Awesome I Am. And then fall daily on my face. 

Yesterday I walked 15,000 steps. That is how minorly awesome I am. 

J is getting a pizza right now from Eh, Formaggio! and then we will watch Rachel Getting Married and have a slovenly, lovely evening! Tomorrow I'll decorate Easter eggs w/ the sisters, nephews, niece, and whoever else is around. Then I'll grocery shop at night (I'm excited about that part!!!). Sunday we'll go to J's parents' church and to their house for lunch. We will then proceed to my parents' house for dinnerish, then return home to Sadie and Spock!!

TODAY IS FRIDAY!!!!!!! SCORE!!!!!!!!!

I will endeavor to begin talking like an adult tomorrow. No more score and freaking. 

April 8, 2009

You Tube Clips:)

Th Sound of Music is one of my very favorite movies. I don't know how many times I watched it as a kid (12,001?) and I still get a kick watching it to this day:) When I was in Austria a few years ago, I went on a Sound of Music bus tour and got to visit the actual homes and locations where the movie was filmed. We sang Sound of Music songs while driving though the countryside. Corny, but oh so fun:)

The Story of Stuff

Being green is one of my favorite things to be. Just ask my husband. A while back, I asked his permission to let us only flush the toilet when we went #2. Otherwise, couldn't we save the water and consolidate flushes? He said no. However, he has cut down on his use of ziploc bags, probably to avoid my incessant shrieking at the sight of them. 

Food and RANDOM

And I thought a calorie counter was cool. Well, I thought it was cool a month ago when I linked to it from something or other, wrote it down, and promptly forgot about it. I found it today and thought I'd check it out and lo and behold, IT GAVE ME GRADES ON WHAT I ATE!!! As an over-achiever, I love getting grades because I think I'm awesome at everything. Here's what I earned according to my grader

3 blueberry pancakes w/ maple syrup: B

2% milk: A-

1/2 cup almonds: B+

lots of water: A+ (there wasn't a grade for water, I gave it the A+)

PBJ (1 white, 1 whole wheat piece of bread, natural PB, blueberry jam): B+ (no grade, again, this is merely my prerogative)

Baked BBQ Lays: B- (never eat chips but they had them at my training, so I did)

Rice Krispies Treat: C+ (yeah, I had the munchies)

Mac and cheese (homemade w/ wheat pasta): A

Portabella mushroom w/ ricotta and tomatoes: A (again, my grade)

2% milk: A-

Green tea: A

I GOT ALL A'S AND B'S!!!!!! Score!!! BTW, I predicted what I would eat for dinner based on fridge contents. 

Here are some other cool thing is have discovered lately: 

  1. The new Zumba dance moves I learned yesterday made my neck muscles and my head sore. Wierdest thing ever.
  2. Whilst I may be turning 28 in 17 days, my real age is only 23.5!! Score again!!!
  3. I am doing very well on being green. 9 out of 10 accomplished and in place and we are hanging a clothes line soon (hopefully this actually happens, we've had it for over a year!! Slackers, I know!)
  4. I am really trying to enjoy my food. J and I were listening to NPR and heard a story about food. Ever been so focused on reading or watching TV while eating that you forget to taste your food? Today I really enjoyed the aforementioned Rice Krispies Treat. It had such a lovely crunch. 
  5. MEDITATION!!!! Not the new age kind, but just sitting and breathing to clear my brain before sleeping. I only tried this on Monday but I did get high on air. Free substance abuse!!! I realized after a while that I was feeling dizzy, similiar to the way I feel when blowing up many balloons too fast. I considered this and realized maybe I was getting too in to meditation. My first try was fun though. I think funny words while breathing. Like 'yaw' and 'weeeeeee' and 'heeeeee'. Fun:)
  6. MY COMPOST WORMS SURVIVED A WINTER IN THE GARAGE!!!! I checked on them yesterday and they are frantically slithering to the surface in search of food. Poor frozen  and deprived worms. Animal abuse from the vegetarian who hates killing animals.
  7. I really LOVE red bell peppers. Being a vegetarian has made me incredibly unpicky. Hasn't erased all remnants of my former picky self but I am breaking down quite a few walls. I love grilled bell peppers and mushrooms SO MUCH. 
  8. I was at literacy training today at the administration building. Pedometer registers only 2,000 steps!!! GEEZ OH PETE. I am going on a long walk w/ Sadie at 5:00. 
  9. I am considering setting a no shopping goal. Wondering if this is attainable for me. Wondering what I would do w/ my personal money if I didn't shop? Some big purchase for myself in 6 months? Or maybe limiting myself to 1 shirt, bottoms, shoes each month? Hmmm, more thought is required.
  10. Can't end w/o a 10. That would leave us on an odd number and that would bother the OCD part or me. Oh, here: my sick sis sent me a link to a new blog (as if I need to add more blogs to Google Reader!!!): Making It Lovely. Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?

PS- I had 19 spelling errors in this tiny post. Oh no, an odd number!!! I am able to blame some of the many mistakes on my terrible typing skills and not just my spelling skills. 

April 5, 2009

My Pets and Marriage

Sadie loves smooshing down pillows and sleeping for hours.

I love my pets:) Spock is right now sitting on the back of the green couch across from me, dozing regally. Sadie is curled beside me, luxuriating in the warmth from my legs that makes her conk out. Spock has been greatly helping us de-clutter the house  lately (yeah, the de-clutter queen apparently has met her match). He recently realized he has the ability to jump on high pieces of furniture, such as bookshelves, kitchen counters, cabinets, and refrigerators. I assume this is his way of telling us we have too many pretty things (by knocking them from great heights and breaking them naturally). Now our house has fewer items in it, greatly pleasing our cat. 

It's been raining all day. Sometimes very fast and hard, mostly steady-straight-down-hard-working rain. Such a change of pace to see rain on a bright green lawn and to hear thunder. It has been fairly warm here for a month yet I still cannot stop myself from thinking it will end soon, that winter will be any moment. Actually, winter will be back tomorrow and Tuesday but that's okay. I'll cover my little Japanese Maple and maybe a few plants with old sheets and pillowcases and then we'll return to growing green on Wednesday. I'm planning on borrowing my mom's rototiller when we go to her house for Easter so I can till in some compost and fertilizer to my vegetable garden. J says w/the size of my garden, I don't have to worry about letting the carbon trapped in the soil out. Still, maybe someday I'll be a no till lady:) No letting that bad trapped carbon out to our world!! Stay in the soil!!!

My sister-in-law got engaged yesterday! How exciting for her!!! I haven't actually talked to her about it (facebook doesn't count!) but according to the fam, she's very happy! She and her fiance have been together for a few years and really seem to have a wonderful connection and love. Wedding won't be for a year or two since she wants to finish college first but hopefully I'll be able to help her with the wedding if she needs it. I love planning parties! 

Ahhh, weddings and marriage. J and I will  celebrate our 2 year anniversary in about 3 months. Wow. Time flies. Remember as a kid how all you wanted was to make time pass faster so you could grow up? Now it is actually doing that! I'll be 28 this month but don't really feel that age. Seemingly I would be a lot wiser and controlled if I were 28. Of course by the time I'm 30 I'll be exceedingly mature and not self centered at all!! But really, everything goes so fast now! Each school year is over before I know it. Right now I've only got 8 weeks until these 4th graders are officially 5th graders. Crazy!!

Anyway, about marriage. Really, it is THE hardest thing I've ever ever done. EVER. I remember people asking me in the weeks before we got married "Are you nervous about the wedding or marriage?" I always said, "NO, just excited!!!!" And I was! So excited and happy to start! Now I know marriage is great but keeping it that way sure is a lot of work! A lot of good, honest, wrench-your-guts-and-heart-out work. And if we slack off for a week, then we suffer through a few grouchy days trying to make up for a week of lazy communication. Ever vigilant against the terrors of a grouchy marriage we must be.  Do or do not, there is no try. Yoda told me that:)

Anyway, here's to a good week!

April 4, 2009

Mucho Rambling

I made this purse on Wednesday.  I love it!!! Looks kinda like a shirt here.....

This is our front lawn  tree. Some day we'll have a house with 100 on the front lawn! And a much bigger front lawn. For now, a plastic box house will have to do. 

After lunch today (leftover Rathskeller from last night) I went to the grocery store. On a Saturday. And yes, I went to Walmart. EEEKKK!!

Normally I don't do much of my shopping at Walmart (due to hubby hating it and their sad, sad produce). But I went today, on a Saturday no less!!! After I had scanned all my things (it is easier to scan my own stuff since I use my own bags and like to thoroughly stuff them) and filled 3 bags, I couldn't get an in store credit to scan properly. An employee came over and tried to fix it but ended up deleting my order!! For a minute I was a bit annoyed with her but then I realized, who cares!?!? So I got to rescan everything and smile a lot while I was at it. I must have looked kinda silly, unbagging, scanning, bagging. Hehe, it was kinda funny:)  Reminded me of the time I went to Taco Bell (another bad decision) and they didn't have: chips, Baja dressing, forks, spoons, sporks, knives, or straws. I had my nephews and niece with me that time and we laughed a lot. 

After Walmart, I drove to another grocery store and passed Steak n' Shake, which was on fire!! Poor yummy fries and milkshakes! And, while listening to NPR later, I heard a cool new band and wrote it down to check out later. I then proceeded to drive home and honk at a lady who was turning and actually had the right of way. I only realized I was the idiot and "why the heck did I honk" after the fact. I wish we had a universal 'sorry' signal so I could apologize on the street. I'm sorry, poor lady!!!

After shopping, came home and NO HUBBY!! Since he is a man, he occasionally just leaves/walks away w/o letting me know where he's off to. It's funny most of the time. Today he called and apologized for not leaving a note and told me where he was and when he would be home:) Awwww:)

This was my relaxing and sunny day. 

April 1, 2009

My Problemo

Here's a pretty pic I took so you won't get stressed out by the following post:)

I have this problem with my free time: I tend to fill it to overflowing. I always have. I love having a calendar with weekends filled with fun things to do and people to see. Usually my weeknights stay pretty bare, due to the fact that the 29 kiddos exhaust me daily. Since spring break started last Friday, here's what I've been up to:

Friday- Sunday: Chicago w/ J.

Monday- Leave the house 45 minutes after I wake to meet mom, sisters, nephews, and niece for lunch. The shopping at Target w/ mom and sis, then grocery, then rush home to cook dinner. Then a little free time after doing stuff around the house.

Tuesday- Leave the house 40 minutes after waking, drive to see college sis at college and hang out eating and talking and taking her to Walmart. Off to finish grocery shopping and then to a friends house for the evening. 

Wednesday- Working at the house (laundry, cleaning, cooking) in the morning then off to Children's Museum w/ sister and her kids. Afterwards, home to cook dinner and spend time w/ hubby.

Thursday- To sister's house to work for her (she's my part-time employer!) and bring 1-2 of her kids home w/ me.

Friday- Hang w/ the kiddos, cook, go to see mamma mia?

Saturday- Drive to Ohio to visit friends. 

Sunday- church and hubby time.

Geez, I feel like to I need to cut something. This is my vacation, I need LAZY TIME!! I have no kids to take up my time so why am I feeling so rushed?!?! What shall I cut? What shall it be? I want to sew, I've got phone calls and bill stuff to catch up on, need to make pasta sauce, and a whole slew of other things. Plus I'd like to read a bit. 

I know, I know, I should stop complaining. Most people don't get a week off every spring and have to work 40 hour weeks non-stop. But, hey, this is my blog, let me complain a little!!!!