Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Wanna Soak Up The Sun

Today was a busy day. At school we had a field trip. We took 150 second graders to the city of Matthews (a little suburb of Charlotte) to learn more about communities. One of the places we went to was an old fashioned hardware store where they have live baby chicks and big bags of seed and lots of wonderful smelling herbs and flowers in their hot house. We went some other places, too, but the hardware store was my favorite part of the day.

We got to walk around outside most of the day, too, and it was absolutely gorgeous!! I decided right then that I was going to come home after school and soak up as much of this pretty sunshine and warm weather as I could.

When I got home, I went straight out onto my porch which is probably my favorite part of our house. I could just hang out there all the time! I poured me a tall glass of coke and ice and I took my book, A Lineage Of Grace and got all comfy in my chair and it was perfect.

Rocky likes to hang out with me, too. His collar is off because for some reason he has been rolling in some kind of animal poop in the yard somewhere?? I'm not sure if it's from a deer or raccoon or rabbit or what, but he reeeeeeks when he comes inside so he's had about 20 baths this week!

My porch and backyard are so peaceful. I can hear the birds tweeting and the wind in the trees and I think my blood pressure comes down about 10 points when I step out there! Steve has been working really hard lately in the yard and it is looking so pretty.

For dinner, Steve and I decided to meet at one of our favorite Thai restaurants. I was getting ready to leave and went to put my shoes on. I had taken them off right when I got home in the kitchen. When I looked down, this is what I saw...

Only one shoe!

I knew Rocky had taken the other one somewhere so I started looking everywhere for it. Guess where it was??

Yep...he grabbed it and took it out in the yard! He is crazy!

Dinner was delicious and when we got home there was still some pretty sunshine left, so we decided to take a walk to enjoy the rest of the day.

It was such a nice day. I wish it was Friday, but we only have one day to go!! Hope you're having a good week!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Fever

Well...the temperature has taken a nose dive here over the past few days, but Spring Fever has set in with FULL FORCE in my classroom this week!

My class has decided to go completely wild and they have given me a run for my money over the past few days. I have had to become strict and I am not usually like that. But, they are really a sweet group and I still love them so much even though they have worn me out!

After school today I decided I needed to treat myself to a pedicure and that was so nice! I needed to just sit in that chair and let someone massage my feet. I hardly ever get a pedicure, but it was so relaxing. Plus I saw a friend there so we got to talk and catch up.

This is the last week for Steve and me to be here by ourselves.

All my college kids are coming home starting next week. I can't believe this year went by so fast! It seems like just yesterday I was dropping them all off and fighting back tears thinking about how lonely and empty my house was going to be. Well, it really didn't turn out that way. First of all, we have gotten to see everyone so much more than I thought we would. With three of them gone, there always seems to be one or another coming home at different times so our house never seemed that empty after all. Plus, I work long hours and by the time I get home there wasn't much time left in the day to be lonely. And Ashley is here so we spend lots of time with her. And we also have lots of friends and family who keep us busy. the year is over and everyone is coming home again. I better enjoy the last few days of a clean house with not much laundry or cooking. That is about to CHANGE! But I can't wait to have everyone back!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Birthday Fun

Well, after my super fun weekend in Atlanta, I came home for my birthday on Sunday. It was a little different this year since most of my kids are off at college, but it was still really nice!

On Thursday night, we went out to dinner at Mama Ricotta's with my parents and John and Ashley. Why on earth I didn't get a picture, I don't know!? But it was a fun night and I loved getting to visit with them. We were also celebrating the fact that John got a job!! That is very exciting news! parents treated us to dinner and got me some really great books to read. I love to read, but unfortunately I feel like I never have enough time. But now I have something to look forward to this summer.

I got the new Jodi Picoult book called House Rules. I am excited about reading this because it is about autism. I have had several students who were on the spectrum of autism and it is fascinating to me to learn more about it.

I also got a book by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Berg.

She never disappoints me and I know I will love this book!

Then I got the new book by Kitty Kelly about Oprah. I am curious about this book because what on earth can you dig up on Oprah?? She tells all her own secrets I feel like!! What is there new to know? I guess I will find out! haha

Friday we left for Atlanta and we got back Saturday night. When I got home, I think I told you how much work Steve did in our yard? Everything looked great. He had planted azaleas...

and knock-out roses everywhere and they look so good.

That was a nice gift to come home to!

Steve also got me roses (plus just some little things). He got me roses for my 16th birthday and that was the beginning of our relationship (30 years ago!!) and I think he has gotten me roses almost every single year since. :)

For lunch we went to Five Guys with Ashley and got some hamburgers. It just so happened that we met some of our friends there so we ended up eating lunch with them!

All day I got lots of Facebook messages from so many friends and lots of sweet phone calls. Then for dinner Steve took me to Carrabas. That is one of my favorite restaurants!

I got their sauteed scallops with spinach risotto. It was de-licious!

Then on Monday, my class gave me a birthday party at school! We had cupcakes and they gave me a gift card to Ann Taylor Loft. You know I loved that! Yay!

It was such a good birthday and I feel very blessed!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beth Moore, Blogging Friends, and Birthday Fun!

Goodness...I don't know where to start. This weekend has been filled with so much fun and so many blessings. I guess I will start way back on Thursday. That was my last day at school this week because I took Friday off to go the the Beth Moore "So Long Insecurity" conference in Atlanta this weekend. Anyway...Thursday was a Planning Day for our second grade team and they were so sweet. They gave me this carrot cake for my birthday (which is today)! Yum. I love me some carrot cake and I love my team. They are so supportive and encouraging and thoughtful and fun. Yep...they are the BEST!

So....about two or three months ago, one of my very first blogging friends, Caroline, told me about a Beth Moore conference that was coming up in April in Atlanta. It looked like a lot of fun and she was going to be there along with some of my other first blogging friends, Kelly and Faith, so I decided to go! Well, as the time went on, more and more bloggers joined in and soon it became pretty much a HUGE blogging party! Ashley decided to go with me and Friday we headed to ATL to join the fun!

Of course, on the way, we had to stop for some blizzards at Dairy Queen!

When we got there we checked into our hotel and went to dinner at Copeland's. We used to have one in Charlotte near my house, but it went out of business so I was excited to eat there again!

When we got back to the hotel, it was such a nice night. We decided to hang out by the pool for a while where we met some other bloggers who were staying at our hotel, too. While we were talking, all my sweet friends rolled up and we had a big hugging party together. It is so much fun hearing everyone's voices and seeing how cute they are in real life. To me, it wasn't awkward at all and I felt like I had just met up with lifelong friends. It was so easy to talk together. We all just hung out in the hotel for a while talking and visiting and taking pictures.
I got to meet Jill and Mandi too!

The next morning, we got some Starbucks and headed over to the conference early so we could get a parking spot. The conference was at First Baptist Church of Woodstock, GA. And that church is HUGE!! It was really like a college campus! When they said we would be in the "overflow" room, I was picturing a gym or fellowship hall. No...this place was like a whole other sanctuary!

Getting there an hour early was the perfect opportunity to visit together and take tons of pictures again. Some of the girls there were blogging friends of mine for at least about 2 years now so they are who I feel like I know the best.

Here I am with Caroline. I had the BEST time meeting her in person this weekend. She is just as sweet and funny and bubbly and precious as I knew she would be! I love her so much.

I also got to hang out with Faith (who actually designed this blog). She is so pretty and sweet and down to earth. I had the best time talking with her this weekend and I am glad we both live in Charlotte. I hope we can get together again before too long! LOVED her!!

And it was fun talking to Kelly who may have been the first blogger I ever read. She was a celebrity y'all. Everyone wanted to say hi to her and take a picture at the conference and she was so sweet to everyone. And this is probably the WORST picture I have ever taken. It was raining all day and so humid and sticky and that does not make for good hair, but it is what it is...

Now, in addition to these friends I've had for a long time, I also got to meet and talk with some of my newer blog friends. Jenna is my twitter friend and she and Caroline are great friends in the blog world and in real life. I was so happy I finally got to meet Jenna! She is so funny and sweet and I loved her. Two awesome girls...

Jennifer, Laurie, Hillary, and Amanda all came to the conference with Kelly. Those Arkansas girls are all so cute and friendly. I had a great time hanging out with them! Here are Laurie, Amanda, Mandi (who is from Florida), and Jennifer.

I can't believe I don't have a picture of Hillary because she is just as cute as can be!

The conference was wonderful with good music by Travis Cottrell and, of course, Beth Moore was great as always.

I was sad that we couldn't stay and hang out after the conference and go to dinner, but we had to get back. I have so much to do to get ready for the week. I was ready to get a good night's sleep in my own bed and to see Steve, too! He was so sweet while I was gone and got all my laundry done for me and planted tons of azaleas and knock-out roses in our yard. It looks so good.

Today is my birthday! I have already been spoiled and I have some fun planned for tonight. I will tell you all about it tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just Something Quick To Share

It's finally raining here tonight. Yay!! I'm telling you, there have been some major allergies going around in my class lately because of all the pollen. Hopefully the rain will wash it all away.

I am looking forward to watching GLEE tonight. I think Madonna is on it, right? I am planning on getting on my pajamas and propping up in bed and working on report cards while I watch.

But before I go, I just wanted to share something fun with you. My daughter, Laura...(my artsy, creative-writer child) just started her own blog! And it's realllly should check it out! Today she posted about what she dreams her life will one day be like. (Remember when you were in college and imagined the perfect life for yourself? That's this post!) And I hope it all comes true!! I love my sweet girl. :)

I also wanted to show you this awesome video of our Joy Prom from this past weekend! If you have a minute, you should watch it. Just scroll down and turn my music off first! Enjoy!

Joy Prom 2010 from Five Stones Church on Vimeo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Joy Prom and Jersey Boys

This weekend was so much fun! Friday night was our annual Joy Prom where our church hosted about 550 special needs individuals for an all-out, treat-you-like-royalty event! It is such a fun night complete with a walk down the red carpet, tiarras and boutonnieres, glitz and glamour, shoe shines, bands and DJs, amazing desserts, and ice sculptures. It is a night where all you do is serve someone else completely...never thinking about what that person can ever do in return. And it is a blessing like no other! We were asked not to take pictures this year, but I can tell you that it was amazing.

Laura and Lindy came home for the weekend to attend Joy Prom and to use their Jersey Boys tickets that we got them for Christmas. So Saturday all my girls took me to lunch at Pei Wei for an early birthday! I have decided I love Pei Wei! Yum...their Carmel Chicken is de-licious. They paid for my lunch and got me something that I have been wanting. It is called a Soy Toi.

I saw one of these when we went to a little shop in Blowing Rock and it smelled sooooo good! Have you ever heard of it? "SoyToi is made from 100% pure soybeans, Vitamin E, and Lecithin. It's a natural source of healing for the skin aiding in regeneration of skin cells." So you can either just use it to make your house smell good or you can rub it on your skin!

Saturday night we all went to dinner in a cute little neighborhood downtown and then we went to see Jersey Boys. The restaurant we ate at was in a neighborhood where all the houses looked like this....

It was called Alexander Michael's and it was really good!

We had seen Jersey Boys when we went to New York last year and loved it so we wanted to go again. Steve had never seen a musical before and he really liked it! It was a fun night.

Now it's Monday and back to reality, but I am sooo excited about going to the Beth Moore conference this weekend in Atlanta and meeting so many sweet blog friends! Friday can't get here soon enough!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Well, Spring Break went by wayyyyy too fast! I just can't believe it's over and I am back to work. It was so much fun while it lasted and I really couldn't have asked for a nicer week. The weather was just gorgeous and I got to have my cake and eat it too....a few fun trips AND some staying at home and relaxing!

Here are a few highlights of my week....

1-After I went to Charleston and Boone, I got to stay at home and do something I feel like I never get to do...READ! I picked up a book at our church library on Sunday and I am loving it! It is called A Lineage Of Grace by Francine Rivers.

I really like Francine Rivers and I have read a few of her Mark of the Lion books but this one has been great too. It is just five short stories of the women in the Bible who were part of Jesus' lineage. She really knows how to make Biblical characters come to life and I love that!

2-Even though the weather was beautiful this week, the pollen was ridiculous! I took a picture of the table on our screened in porch one day.

Can you believe that?? It took me about 2 hours on Saturday to finally get all the pollen swept up and vacuumed up and mopped up. And I went outside today and there is already another layer everywhere. Uuuuggghh!

3-If you read my blog much, you know that I am the queen of gift cards! I am always finding them in my purse and in drawers. Well, not too long ago I found one that I had gotten for my birthday in April last year and it was about to expire at the end of this month. It was to a really nice restaurant called Maestro's. The restaurant is in an old house and it has a wonderful chef. So Steve and I used that gift certificate this weekend before it expired!

I got steak with blue cheese crumbles on top with mashed potatoes and asparagus....

And Steve got salmon....

4-I saw the movie Up In The Air with George Clooney. That was kind of sad and interesting too. I'm glad I just got it on Movies On Demand and didn't see it in a theater, but it was entertaining.

5-Mark came home this weekend because he had gone to visit a friend at another school and was on his way back through. Plus his computer completely crashed, so we had to get him another one. Boo!

6-We went tree shopping. I think I told you we had to cut down those reaaaaalllly tall trees we had in our front yard, so now it looks bare. I really love the cherry blossom trees that are so pretty right now, so I think we are going to buy one of those. The one I want is called a Yoshino Cherry and it blooms with pale pink blossoms and spreads nice and wide. It's beautiful!

Well, that just about sums everything up. I have to get to bed early tonight. The fun is over and it's back to reality! I hope your week is off to a good start!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Springtime In Charleston

Yesterday Ashley and I drove to Charleston just for the day. It was absolutely gorgeous. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it wasn't too hot so it was a great day to shop and browse around the city. I think we just about walked our feet off!

When we got there, it was lunchtime, so we ate at a famous Charleston landmark called Jestine's Kitchen.

Jestine was a sweet black lady who died when she was 112 and who was known for her delicious home cooked southern food. Here is the lunch menu....

For an appetizer, we got fried green tomatoes. Then I got the fried catfish over grits with collard greens on the side and Ashley got a shrimp Po'Boy sandwich with fried okra. And as if that wasn't enough, we had blueberry/peach crisp for dessert!! Goodness...we NEEDED to walk all day to burn all that off! haha For dinner we ate at another famous restaurant called Magnolia's. They have also been in Southern Living magazine and other publications for being one of Charleston's best places to eat. It was delicious, too!

Charleston was in full bloom so after we did some shopping on King Street, we just walked all over the city looking at the beautiful homes and flowers everywhere. Spring is such a great time to go there!! Here are some of the things we saw....

I think this picture is the only time we sat down all day (other than to eat!)

Today I am back home and just doing things around the house and helping Steve in the yard. I can't get over the amount of pollen that is all over the place. I washed my car off today because it was COVERED in yellow dust and you could barely see out of the back window. Then I went to the grocery store. When I came out, my car was covered again!! It is crazy! We really need some rain.

Well, I can't believe it is already Wednesday!!! Spring Break is going by way too fast! :( I am going to try and soak in these last few days before it's back to work.