Monday, September 27, 2010

Playing Along

Today I decided to play along with my friend Heather's tag. She answered a few questions on her blog this week and I haven't done one of these in a long time, so I thought it would be fun to do too!

1. What is my favorite food?
Like Heather, this is a hard one for me because I love just about all food (except pimento cheese, liver, and olives!) and I am not picky at all. But I would have to say that Italian and Mexican food are probably my favorite. I love anything spicy. My favorite restaurants are La Unica, Carrabas, and Maggianos! Mmmmm!

2. What is my most favorite outfit that I feel I look my best in?
Well, my favorite outfit to wear and be comfortable in is probably jeans and some kind of cute top. But I think I look best in dresses or skirts and I wear those alot too.

In summer, I wear lots of dresses and skirts with sandals and in the winter I just add boots! I think I look best in feminine clothes that are pretty colors and have cute patterns.

3. What is my all-time favorite movie?
This one is's Places In The Heart with Sally Field. That is just the BEST movie and I love all the complex characters and themes in it. I love how it is about a strong woman and it has lots of details that remind me of people and places I know. Some of my other favorites are Father of the Bride, Forrest Gump, Jerry Maguire, and The Sound Of Music.

4. Who is my all-time favorite man-crush?
Hmmmm...this is hard for me because I am not really one of those girls who is crazy about any movie star. I've always liked Tom Cruise...

but I think he is a little weird now. And I think Uncle Jessie (John Stamos) from Full House is super cute.

And Donny Osmond used to be my crush when I was growing up!

5. Do I prefer sweet or salty foods?
DEFINITELY salty and savory! I am not into sweets much at all. I do love chocolate, but when it comes to snacking, I am all about chips and salsa, dips, cheese, or anything with lots of good salty flavors.

I can go for days without eating any desserts or anything sweet at all really!

6. What is my best physical feature?
Wow. Let me think. I like my hair most of the time, but I hate how it is so affected by the weather. I do like my metabolism. I can eat pretty much anything I want and not gain too much weight. And I don't excercise nearly as much as I should and it doesn't seem to make me heavier if I don't.

I know I should be thankful to my genes for that one!

7. If I could travel anywhere in the world, where would I go?
Right now, I would probably go to Spain to see Mark. Oh wait... I AM doing that soon! haha If I could pick anywhere else, I think I would go to Hawaii since I've never been there before.

I would also like to go back to Paris. I loved it there and wish I could see more of it and take my time this time.

If you would like to play along, I tag you!! Let me know if you do so I can come see your answers! :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coming Up For Air

So...I think this is the longest stretch of time that I have gone without blogging. But my life over the past few weeks has been one big blur. It has been super busy getting this year going at school. It seems like in September there are so many meetings and plus, I am new-so I am just learning everything and all that takes time. I leave my house everyday at 6:00 am and by the time I leave school (usually late in the afternoon), run a few errands and get dinner, I am so tired I can barely think, much less blog!

So-to get caught up- here are a few things that have been going on lately and a few that I just wanted to share...

1-Mark is loving Spain! I can't believe he has only been gone for two weeks. It seems like FOREVER! We found out that we can call him and it isn't very expensive at all, so we have gotten to talk to him every 4-5 days or so. Here is a picture of some of his group. He says it is really beautiful there. Steve and I can't wait to go visit in November!

2-Lindy came home last weekend for the Panthers game. She went with her boyfriend, Sean...

Sadly, we lost, but it was fun to see her. Friday night Steve was out of town, so we decided to go to Carrabas for dinner. Then we came home and watched The Back Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez. We knew that was a good "chick flick" movie to watch while Steve wasn't here. We also went to the mall on Saturday and just had fun hanging out together.

3-I have been spending tons of time with this group...

They are very sweet and our year is off to a great start. My mom comes in two mornings a week and volunteers in my classroom and that has been such a big help! If teaching were just about the kids, it really would be perfect. It's all the other stuff that makes the job stressful. Plus getting up so early. I feel like I am exhausted all the time right now. Hopefully that will get better as time goes on.

4-I saw this video yesterday and loved it. I love Carrie Underwood and this reminded me of all my girls. It has her mom and her new husband featured in it. It is such a sweet song.

5-Can it please rain soon?? Our grass is so dried up and brown. We have been having a heat wave with no rain for about a month now (or more??) and it is showing. It will be October next week and I don't think the leaves are going to be very pretty this year since we haven't had any rain! Everything will just be brown and the leaves will just drop off the trees. Sad. I'm praying that God will send us a few really good rainstorms here soon.

6-Ashley and John had an ultrasound this week and got to see their sweet baby!

They are waiting to find out what it is, but I am thinking boy. I don't know why, but that is just the feeling I have. Ashley said she thinks so too and she already thinks it looks like John! :)

7-October is going to be a really busy month. Next weekend Ashley and I are hosting a shower for one of her best friends, Michelle, who is getting married. We are going out today to get a few things and this week I will be getting everything ready for next Saturday.

Steve's birthday is coming up on October 6th, so I need to make some plans for that!

October 9th we are going to Boone for the day to see Laura and go to an Appalachian State football game. I wonder if the leaves will be pretty in the mountains yet? Boone and Blowing Rock are at their best at that time of year!

Then on October 16th, we are heading to ECU to see them play NC State and visit Lindy for the weekend. I am glad it will be cooler by then. Sitting out at a football game in blazing heat is not fun to me.

I also need to get my house decorated for fall and start pulling out my fall wreaths and pumpkins, etc.

So I think I need to get going now so I can start getting things done! I hope you are getting some cool temperatures where you are and getting fall off to a good start!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

So Good

Today has been so good. I finally got to talk to Mark. Yes, I am now probably beginning to bore people with all this talk about Mark, but it has been torture waiting for him to get in touch with us. I haven't been sleeping well and have been checking my facebook every five minutes. I am ridiculous. But today he finally got some internet access and was able to send me a long facebook message filling me in on everything. Plus, he got a phone (hallelujah!) so we even got to talk for about 20 minutes and it was GREAT! It was so good to hear his voice and it sounded like he was right next door.

In a nutshell, he is loving it. It's beautiful. He loves all his new friends. His new host "madre" is nice and is a good cook. He has a comfortable bed and his own bathroom. And tomorrow he is finding the gym which will probably become his home away from home. So all is well. I know I will sleep so much better tonight!

Today my doorbell rang and guess who it was?? It was the mom of one of my students from last year. She and six other moms had gotten together and collected all sorts of school supplies, toys for the treasure box, and snacks for the kids at my new school. She had two giant tubs full of all kinds of things.

She told me they just loved me and wanted to do this for my new students! Are you serious??? That was so sweet! I was just amazed. People are so nice.

It was also a good day because of this: I have one little boy in my class that has been giving me a little bit of a hard time over the past week or so. He has some anger issues and has been kicking the desk and the trashcan and getting really angry when things frustrate him or don't work out like he wants them to. So I talked to his mom on the phone last night and told her all about it. Ok...apparently that was all I needed to do. He came in today like a perfect angel and he stayed that way all day. He was the sweetest and most cooperative child you've ever met. He had a big smile on his face and he even apologized to me for his behavior. And now his mom is my new best friend! Parent support is so important when you teach. I am thankful for parents who care.

And this was good...

I thought it was so cute. I love the picture with my hair in a ponytail and my earrings! :)

Yesterday I got to go hear my brother, Blake, preach at his church. Since we help teach a Sunday School class at our church, we hardly ever get to go hear him. But he has been on a sabbatical this summer and this was his first week back, so we wanted to go. He is such a good preacher and I loved hearing him. He and his wife, Angie, have a great ministry together.

After church we went out to lunch and watched a little bit of the Panthers game. Luckily I didn't watch the whole thing. I heard it wasn't pretty. Here is Blake with my niece Brooklyn.

Anyway...those are just a few reasons why it was a good weekend and a reaallly good Monday! Last night was NOT a good night, however. I didn't sleep a wink. So, tonight I made some relaxing comfort food...poppy seed chicken...for dinner. I have a magazine sitting by my bed waiting for me along with some fluffy pillows and a cozy blanket and I can hear a hot shower calling my name. So I am now off to bed early. Yay for good days!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Hate Goodbyes

Well, Mark is now in Spain! The only reason I know that for sure is that we checked his flight to make sure it had arrived there and it had. I have no way to communicate with him, though, so I don't have any idea exactly where he is or what he is doing. But I bet he is TIRED!

I hope he will send me a Facebook message soon since he doesn't have a phone. We decided that we would communicate through FB and skype. But he has to find some internet access before he can do either of those things. I can already tell this is going to be really hard on me. I don't like feeling disconnected.

Thursday night we had a little cookout at our house and invited the grandparents over to say goodbye.

They were very sweet and gave him some good books to read and his favorite candy (Sour Patch Kids and Sour Skittles) and my mom typed up a Bible verse for him to read every week he was there. The first one was Psalm 121:7-"The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life."
That would be my prayer for him as he is traveling.

Yesterday went well. Steve has been so great getting everything ready and making sure Mark had everything he needed. I had to go to a workshop all morning, but my mind definitely wasn't there. I was so antsy to get finished and get to the airport so I could hug Mark and talk to him before he left.

He was a little nervous, but really excited. All the other students began to arrive and soon it was time to say our goodbyes. I think I would be the happiest girl in the world if I never had to say goodbye to one of my kids again. Uuuuuggghhhh!! I HATE doing that! It is so funny how you can be so excited for them, but at the same time feel like your heart is breaking! Anyway...I made it through with a few tears and the last thing I saw was him standing in the security line.

Then we were off to lunch at Panera with Ashley. It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday, so that made me feel better. I know I am super mushy when it comes to my kids, but once we got home I saw all of Marks stuff lying around that he left here and it made me sad again. Seriously....I need to get a grip. It's not like he died or anything! haha

Goodness...being a mom is just hard. I am so ready for things to settle down at our house for a while. Steve and I were thinking yesterday about how many life changes we have had in one year. Have you ever seen that test where you add up your stress points for each life event? I'm not sure what I would score on that, but I think it would be pretty high.

*TWO of our children left home for the first time to go to college
*Ashley got married
*I got displaced from my job
*Ashley got pregnant

*I started a new job at a new school
*Mark left to go to Europe for 3 months

When you have four kids all the same age, every stage they go through seems intense because there are so many of them going through the same thing at once. Right now it is all of them pulling away and transitioning into being on their own and starting their own lives. So that involves lots of goodbyes and just praying for God to be with them and protect and direct them.

But I can tell you, it is EXHAUSTING.

Thank you for praying for Mark. I will be so happy when I hear from him. I will let you know how he is doing soon!

PS-It is 9/11. I have been thinking about that morning nine years ago when I was teaching a class full of second graders. I remember it was a beautiful day. I took the class to art and as I walked back through the library, I saw a group of teachers huddled around a tv. I asked what was wrong and they said a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. I thought that was awful, but I figured it was just some kind of freak accident. I went back to my classroom and turned on my TV. I had the Today Show on with Matt Lauer and Katie Couric. They were covering the story and talking about everything when all of a sudden, another plane flew into the second tower! I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought "Did that just happen again?? What is going on?" At that moment, it began to sink in that America was under attack. Soon after, the Pentagon was hit. There was so much fear and confusion. Parents began rushing to school to pick their children up. I remember seeing so many American flags flying on my way home that day and feeling very patriotic and sad that anyone would do that to our country. What a scary time. I will never forget it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Counting Down

We are on the countdown until Mark leaves. It is down to really just one more full day at home. Then he will be gone for 90 days!! *sniff sniff* Steve and I are planning to go see him in Spain in early November, so I will be marking the days off the calendar until then.

I am going to miss him so much. I can't deny that. But I am very excited for him because this is something he has wanted to do for a really long time.

I asked Steve to take our picture together (even if it is the end of a long day and I am exhausted!) Mark said, "All your blog friends are going to think I never wear a shirt!" It is true....he does walk around the house with no shirt on most of the time! haha

We have been packing and making sure he has euros and a credit card and a new backpack and a host gift for the family he is staying with and plenty of underwear and socks and all those important things. Steve bought him the new iTouch today so that he can use it for a camera/video camera and we can even skype on it! I am so thankful for skype! That came along at a perfect time in my life when all my kids are scattered all around the world. There is nothing like not only hearing their voices, but also getting to see their faces!!

I was hoping to be able to stay at home tomorrow since that is Mark's last day, but unfortunately I have to work. Friday I am working in the morning and then I will leave around 11:00 and rush to the airport to give my boy a big hug and kiss and wave goodbye to him as he walks off toward this new adventure.

Please pray for him to have safe travels and a good experience while he is there. He is going to have his own travel blog, so I will show it to you once it is up and running!

Right now I can hear Steve and Mark trying out the skype. One is upstairs and one is downstairs! I need to go see how well it works! Have a great night!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

God knew what He was doing when he gave us Labor Day. After the first full week of school, I already needed a three day weekend! Laura and Lindy came home this weekend to say goodbye to Mark before he leaves for Spain on Friday so we have had a good time hanging out with them and staying pretty low key.

Friday night we went out to dinner with Ashley and Laura and Lindy to one of our favorite Asian restaurants...Red Bowl. Bless Ashley's heart, she is an emotional basket case lately since she is pregnant. We started talking about funny Geico commercials (like the little pig that cries "weeee" all the way home!) and she started laughing so hard that she ended up crying!?? What on earth?? That's the second time she's done that lately. We all got a good laugh out of her!

When we woke up on Saturday it felt so good outside. It felt like fall, and the air even smelled like fall. I made some blueberry muffins and some coffee and got reunited with my porch. I haven't been able to sit on it in forever it seems like because it has been so hot and humid. But I spent lots of time out there on Saturday. Rocky loves it too!

Ashley came over that morning and we addressed wedding shower invitations for a friend of hers that is getting married soon. It was such a beautiful day. All of us girls went to lunch at a new little sandwich place and then made a quick Target run together. I got one of these at Target to use in my class...

I can download music on my iTouch now and play it at school. I play lots of music and we sing alot in my class. :)

Saturday afternoon was just calm and lazy and Saturday night we grilled steaks over at Steve's parents house. They have the prettiest yard. Steve's dad works really hard on it.

We found this HUGE spider in the yard!

It was so interesting. This isn't a very good picture of its web, but believe me, it was big. I think the zig-zags in the middle of the web are so cool! We put a bug in it's web and watched it climb over there and wrap that bug up tight in about 30 seconds! Then it left the bug right where it was and went back to the middle of it's web again. He wouldn't have to worry about dinner now!

Steve's brother, Mike, and sister, Angela, were in town for the Labor Day weekend. Angela lives on the Outer Banks of the NC coast and she is an expert at cooking shrimp! She made us some shrimp boil for an appetizer. That didn't last long!

After dinner, we watched the UNC vs. LSU football game. Here we all are piled up in big chairs and couches just hanging out and watching the game.

Lindy left bright and early this morning so she could get back to ECU to tailgate before the game. We went to church and then out to Chili's for lunch. It was such a nice day, we sat outside and it was perfect!

I am just so excited that tomorrow is another day off! Woo hoo! I hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So Glad It's September!

I am so glad September is here. I am not a fan of August. I'm sorry, but even though there are lots of fun birthdays and anniversaries in that month, overall it's the worst month of the year to me. I don't know if you've been to the south at this time of year, but if you haven't....I don't recommend it. It is SO BLAZING HOT! And the humidity is enough to kill you.

I'm not trying to be negative, but here are just a few reasons why I am not sad to say goodbye to August...

*crunchy, brown grass
*leggy, drooping flowers
*bad humidity hair (basically I wear a ponytail everyday)
*back to school exhaustion
*nothing good on TV
*hurricane season

September is just so welcome after the stress of August! Lindy came home tonight for the weekend. She left before Hurricane Earl got there. It shouldn't hit Greenville, but it will probably be rainy and windy! Laura is coming home tomorrow. They came home to see Mark and say goodbye to him since he is leaving for Spain next Friday! I am getting sad thinking about how much I will miss him. But he is super excited, so I am happy for him.

Tonight we are watching the first college football game of the year (South Carolina vs. Southern Mississippi).

We got wings and I made salads...potato salad, tossed salad, and fruit salad. Plus, we had some leftover Andes Mint cookies from what I made earlier this week. Mmmm! The Gamecocks are FIRED UP and have already scored three touchdowns, so it's a good game!!

Just having this football game on gives me hope that fall can't be too far off and it can't get here soon enough for me!

And do you know what is one of the BEST parts of September?? Labor Day! Yay for having Monday off!!! Only one more day and then it's the start of a long weekend. That is something to get happy about. :)