Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day

We finally got a snow day here in Charlotte!  Yay!! We had an early dismissal from school yesterday so, needless to say, I had some excited third graders on my hands.  We hardly ever get snow, so it is BIG deal and so exciting for kids (and grown-ups, too!).  I remember when I was little how much I LOVED snow days, and I still do!

We didn't get very much snow, but the hill across the street from our house was perfect for sledding.

Watching them out my window made me miss the days when my kids were little and had so much fun sledding and building snowmen and snow forts.  But I don't miss spending all that time bundling them up only to have them come back inside just minutes later.  And I don't miss all the wet boots, coats, hats, and scarves that are all over the floor by the front door.

I really wish I could have seen David and Caroline today, but the roads were too bad out where Ashley lives.  I know they had such a fun day in the snow!

We have had a very relaxing day here at home.  Steve had to work from home, so Lindy and I have just been sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate and watching our shows and not doing a whole lot.

Speaking of watching our shows...this past weekend had so many shows we wanted to watch, that we had to DVR several of them and watch them later.  But we DID watch The Bachelor Wedding on Sunday night.  I am not a Bachelor watcher at all, but Lindy is.   And, I have been reading Mix and Match Mama's blog for a while and just recently discovered that she is Sean's sister!!???  I know...where have I been?  So, I had to watch the wedding!  But if you also watched the Bachelor Wedding, you HAVE to read this recap by Schaeffer (who is best friends with Sean's sister Shay.)  Oh my word....sooo funny!!

Anyway...we ventured out this afternoon to get our nails done and the roads weren't too bad.  There were a few patches that were still icy.  Tomorrow it is a two hour delay at school, so we get another day to sleep in!

Tonight it is supposed to be very cold.  I think it is in the teens overnight.  I am making a big pot of chili and watching Nashville.  Then I will go to bed and sleep really well knowing I don't have to get up early!  Yay for snow days!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Three In A Row

We had a good weekend.  I took the day off on Friday so Ashley and I went to lunch together.  That was fun because we never get to do that by ourselves.  When I got home, Lindy and I did a little shopping together.

We didn't do a whole lot Friday night, because Lindy was kind of sad.  She found out on Friday afternoon that her boyfriend, Sean's dad has kidney cancer that has spread to his lungs.   We knew he had lung cancer, but we didn't know it originated in his kidneys.  It was not good news.  We are just praying hard for him and trying to stay hopeful.

Saturday I was so glad to see Steve.  He has been gone all week, just like he was last week.  I have missed him!  He had jet lag and Saturday was a cold, dreary day so we took a nap when he got home.

I'm so glad he doesn't have to go out of town again for a while.

January is a busy birthday month for us.   My neighbor and good friend, Candy's birthday is on January 25th.  We have been celebrating birthdays together for 14 years now.  I went down to her house to take her her present and she was still in her pajamas and watching a movie.  That sounds like a good birthday to me!!  I am so thankful for her and all our fun times together through the years.  She is like family to me.

Sunday was John's birthday.  I don't talk too much about John on my blog because he is not a huge fan of social media and is kind of a private guy.  But I am so thankful for him.  He is the best dad and husband for Ashley.  He is a hard worker and is such a good provider for his family.  He is smart and funny and a strong leader.  We love him and thank God that He brought such a good guy into Ashley's life.

Then today was my niece Bailey's birthday.  She turned seven.  I will never forget the night she was born.  It was Steve's parents' 50th anniversary and they had a 50's themed party.  We left the party when we found out Bailey had been born and went to the hospital dressed in our 50's poodle skirts and saddle oxfords and pony tails.  Haha!  I'm sure we looked pretty funny in the maternity ward dressed in our 50's clothes! :)  We celebrated with her tonight at La Unica, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

I sure am thankful for all my sweet family and friends.

We are on a snow watch for tomorrow.  It probably won't do anything, but they are expecting at least an inch or two.  I hope we get at least a little something!!  Teachers wish for snow days just like the kids do! :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Restless-It Is Worth The Read!

"Every one of us was made to do great things, and it is why something in us feels restless and discontent.  Because deep down, we know we were created for some great purpose.  And these great things we were built to do are for God, through God, and in God."-Jennie Allen

About a week or two ago, I started seeing a book all over the internet.  I saw it being promoted on several of the blogs that I read.  I saw it on Facebook.  And I just started hearing a lot about how good it was.  The book was Restless by Jennie Allen.

I have read Jennie's blog and I know that she is one of the organizers of the If:Gathering that is coming up in February.  I love her heart for the Lord, and I am always looking for a good book, so I downloaded it onto my Kindle and seriously read it in about two days.  It was SO good.

I have now added this book to my favorite books list, so I wanted to share with you just a few things that I thought were so meaningful about it.  I always like to get a personal recommendation from a friend when choosing a good book and I can definitely give you one in this case.   I have a feeling when you read it, it will resonate with you just like it did me.

Let me start by sharing a few quotes that I loved from the book.  I think it will give you an idea about what the book is all about.  Since I can't phrase it like she does, I will just let you read it for yourself! :)

"Our God is real.
Our God is coming.
Our God has plans for us.
Our lives are short.
We must get after it.
Because heaven is coming fast.
And what we are about to do here is urgent."

"Figure out what it means to run after God.  Throw off what is holding you back.  Find and live your part in his story."


"Great people do not do great things; God does great things through surrendered people."

"As much as I want an umbrella drink by an ocean somewhere, I just as much want to never waste a minute."

"Don't bother waiting around for a unique voice to come out of the sky.  We move, respond, love, and obey.  And as we go, God leads humble souls who are willing to be led."

I think most people who love the Lord want be doing something that matters for Him here on earth and this book is just so practical in showing how to find out what that is and then DO it.  Your calling may be in an orphanage in Uganda, it may be adopting a child, it may be leading a Bible study in your office or starting a non-profit.  But it also may be in a messy kitchen fixing peanut butter sandwiches for your babies or even stuck in a place or job you don't love.  Those less glamorous callings are just as important as the others.  It just reminded me that God has placed me here and in this time and I need make His name great to the people and the world I am walking through each day.

"This is about how we spend our minutes and our days.  Because eventually, our minutes and days equal our lives."

I think what I loved about the book the most is that it reinforced that we all MATTER. My calling isn't  big or glamorous but I just want to be faithful in this place and position God has put me in.

Two of my favorite blog posts about this very thing are here and here.

So...I just wanted to share this with you today.  If you are wondering what God wants you to do and how you can make His name great in your little world, this book is for you.  It's super practical and it reminds us that we are all important and we all  have a job to do.  I loved it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Confessions Of A People Watcher

People watching might be one of my very favorite pastimes.  I have loved it ever since I was a little girl!  I could sit on a bench in a mall or a park for hours and just watch people go by.  It always amazes me to see the variety of people that are in this world and wonder where they came from and what they do and what their life is like.  You can't sit there very long without thinking about how creative God is.  Everyone is so unique and different in all shapes and sizes and colors!  Maybe that's one reason that I love New York City so much.   It is probably the mecca of people watching!  

Lots of times when Steve and I go out to dinner at a restaurant, I get so distracted from our conversation because I am so interested in watching all the people around us.  And I love hearing people's stories.  I really do.  If I am with you and you are telling me about your life, I promise I am totally interested.

You know how sometimes you are friends with someone who always wants to talk about themselves and they never ask you about your life?  That is not me.  Of course, I like to share about my life, too, and I want to be with someone who is going to be interested in what I have to say.  But I really enjoy listening just as much as I do talking!

I guess the fact that I love people's stories so much is why biographies have always been my favorite books. When I was in elementary school, I would read through a whole series of biographies at a time.  My mother bought me a set of biographies about the presidents that I loved and still have!   I also read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books about her life.  And there was a really great series of biography books in the library at my school that had stories about people like Clara Barton and Louisa May Alcott and other famous Americans.   I read them all and can even remember the exact shelf where they were located!

I still love biographies!   I like to read about historical figures, political leaders, celebrities, every day people, and really anyone!  I can't even begin to count how many books like these I have read in my life.

Getting to know people and learn their stories is one of the things I really love about teaching, too.  Just think about it...when you are a teacher, you not only get 25 new students each year, but you also meet their families.  And you get to know those families very well, very quickly.  That is such a blessing to me.  I love getting to know all those sweet children and their parents.

I don't have a board yet on Pinterest for the people of the world, but I need to get one!  I am always drawn to those interesting faces.  A person's eyes and the lines on their face can tell such a story.

So...knowing how much I love people watching, you can imagine how fascinated I was when I recently found a website called Humans of New York.  Have you ever heard of it?  It is so interesting!

Here is what the founder said about it...

"My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog, which over the past two years has gained a large daily following. With nearly one million collective followers on Facebook and Tumblr, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.

Yep...that is right up my alley!  It is now one of my favorite websites to browse.  If you are a people watcher like me, you should take a minute to look at it.  I bet you will enjoy it, too!

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Fun Day!

Happy MLK Day!  Today is that day that everybody loves because we get to get off work and have a long weekend, but there is a lot of importance to this day, too.  I am thankful for a man who had a passion for making the world a better place and all the courage it took to stand up for things that are right.

We had a really fun day today.  It was great to be able to stay up a little bit later last night and sleep in this morning.  Lindy had been wanting to go to lunch at a new little restaurant that has recently opened up in Charlotte called Tupelo Honey.  So, we did that today!

It serves all kinds of yummy southern food.  I got blackeyed peas, mac and cheese, fried okra, and fried green tomatoes.  It was really good.  Lindy got a gluten free grilled veggie sandwich and fizzy berry punch.  We both loved it.

After we left, we met Ashley and David to see Frozen.  We all really enjoyed it.  Cute story, cute songs, cute characters....a perfect Disney combination!  David was so excited to see it and he did great.  

It was super crowded in the theater, so we didn't get to sit together.  But I took a picture of him right when the movie started.  He had his icee and was mesmerized.  Ashley said he sat still and watched the whole thing!

It was fun having a day off today and hanging out with my girls and David.  We always have a fun time together!

Tomorrow it is back to work.  It is Spirit Week this week, so I am sure everyone will be excited and energetic tomorrow on Tacky Day!  Haha.  I better get a good night's sleep! :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekend Fun

We have had a good weekend.  Friday was a half day for us at school since it is the end of the quarter.  I can't believe that the school year is already half over!!  This is my desk--where I spend lots of my time each week...especially when it is report card time!

Friday night Steve and I decided to go out to dinner and then see a movie.  We were debating about whether to see The Secret Life of Walter Middy, American Hustle, or Lone Survivor.  We kept hearing mixed reviews on the first two, but I know Lone Survivor is pretty graphic and kind of a "guy movie", so I wasn't sure if I would like it or not.  We were debating what to see right up to the minute we got up to the ticket booth.  We finally decided and asked for two tickets to Lone Survivor and they told us they were sold out!  Oh well.  It was probably for the best because we were both so exhausted from our week that we fell asleep at 9:30 anyway!  Haha!  We are just a barrel of fun on Friday nights.  Good grief!  Have you seen any of these movies?  What did you think?

Saturday was pretty much a working day for us.  I had to finish report cards and Steve was working on a big project at work, so we got up early and went to Starbucks.  Lindy joined us for a little while, too.  We got a lot done, so I was glad we did that.

We kept David and Caroline last night so Ashley and John could go out on a date.  They are at such a fun age right now.  David just talks and talks and is the cutest thing.  We played cars and had dinner and they splashed in the bathtub.  After his bath we made some cookies and ice cream and watched a movie.  There is nothing sweeter than a freshly bathed child!

And Caroline is so good natured.  She rarely cries and acts like such a big girl.  She wants to do everything David does.

She also loves playing with Grandaddy's beard!

It won't be long until she is really walking.  She is already starting to take about 10-15 steps at a time.

This morning was church.  I had to share Ashley's picture of her and Caroline in their pea coats on their way out the door.

I can't believe in only a few months, we will have three grandbabies!  It is so much fun.  We talk about it all the time how much we love being grandparents.

We don't have school tomorrow.  We are having Steve's mom over for dinner and then watching the Seahawks v. 49ers game.  I will be taking a break at 9 for  Downton Abbey.  (Last week was so intense!!) Sunday nights are much more fun when I don't have school the next day!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Random Stuff

We have had just a regular week this week.  Steve was gone out of town for the week so it was just Lindy and me.

So, today I thought I would just share a few random things from our regular week.

1-I have been reading Restless and I really love it.  I will talk about that more soon.

2-I have been trying to get up earlier than I usually do this week.  I am just trying it out because I am NOT a morning person.  But I have actually found that I have really enjoyed it!  Normally I wake up at around 6:15, but this week I have been getting up at 5:15, and I haven't even been that tired at night, either.  If I ever kept this up, I would totally surprise myself.  Haha!  But you sure can get a lot more done once you force yourself out of bed!  :)  I have done laundry, made muffins one morning, and got more Bible study time in.  Plus I got to school earlier and got planning done.  I have been pretty productive.  What time do you usually get up?

3-Our afternoons and evenings have been very relaxed this week.  When Steve is gone, Lindy and I get lots of time to hang out and talk and fix dinner together, etc.  Rocky is in on our party too.  I have told you how he follows me around everywhere all the time.  Every afternoon, he watches Ellen with me when I get home from school, which really is sweet.

He is such a faithful companion...even if he does drive me crazy sometimes!!

4-Did you watch American Idol this week with the new judges?  I really like Harry Connick being on it!  He is funny and honest and I like how they don't have as many crazy people on it.  I haven't watched it in the past few years, but I think I might try it again this year.

5-Ashley brought David and Caroline over yesterday afternoon for a little while.  They are at the cutest age right now.  David is just precious and so much fun to hang out with.  I loved this picture of him with Lindy.  He is the sweetest.

It is Friday!!  I am working on report cards this weekend, but I also have some fun things to look forward to, so I know it will be a great weekend!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Best

How was your weekend?  Mine was really good and I got so much done.  I was kind of sad this weekend thinking about Sean's dad and it poured rain all day on Saturday which can bring on a case of the blues sometimes, but I thought I would share the BEST things about my weekend, instead, since there were a lot of good things too.

Best night of the weekend:
Friday!  I have the sweetest husband in the world.  He always treats me like a queen.  He knows how much I love going out to dinner at a fun place and having a date night.  This is the text I got at school on Friday afternoon.

Best accomplishment:
I got all my Christmas decorations put away and now my house is all clean and de-cluttered.  It was about time and it feels good.

I also finished my Candace Cameron book, Balancing It All, in about two nights.  And I am not trying to necessarily read the Bible through in a year, but I am just trying to read it through period!  Haha!  I finished Genesis this weekend.  I'm telling you what, the Old Testament is as good as any soap opera out there!

Best buys:
I ordered Restless by Jennie Allen on my Kindle and I am excited about reading it after seeing so many bloggers recommending it last week!

And I got this to use in my class when I want to make hot chocolate for my class (or hot tea for me!).

It's an electric kettle.  One of my friends told me about it and I am in love with it already.  It heats water up SO fast.  Seriously....just about as fast as a microwave!!

Best recipe:
I tried Mix and Match Mama's Rustic Cobbler.

via: mix and match mama

I used blackberries and it was so good.  I have a cobbler recipe that is almost identical to it, but sometimes I forget to fix it.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it reminded me to try it again.

Best old music and movies that I revisited this weekend:
I forgot I had this CD in my car until Lindy drove my car and had it playing when I got back in.

Y'all know how much I love Michael Buble!!  So, I have been listening to it all weekend.  I especially love his duet with Reese Witherspoon on Something Stupid.

And Marley and Me came on TV today.

Oh my goodness.  I LOVE that movie!  It is sad, but I just love the story of their life together.  I can relate to so much about it and I love that a lot of it is filmed in Florida where Steve and I have spent so much time together in our marriage.  All those places look very familiar to us and we have lots of similar memories there.

Best time spent with my family:
Ashley had us over to watch the Panthers game today.  John got tickets and went with his Dad, so, after church, Steve, Lindy, and I went over to watch with her.

She made cheese steak sandwiches and we had lots of chips and dips and even some football brownies.

Sadly, the Panthers lost.  :(  But I got to hug and kiss on David and Caroline and see Caroline taking steps like a big girl!!  They always make my day!

I am thankful for a good weekend.  Hope yours was good too!

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Week In The Life

Well, real life started back and I have been super busy again.  Since I didn't have much time to blog this week, I am just going to do a Friday recap.

You know our week started out cold....and it stayed that way!  Here was the weather on Tuesday.

Needless to say, no one wanted to be outside at all that day.  It was one of those days where you walked as fast as you could from your car inside and just stayed huddled up in the heat.  Of course, there was no recess that day.  I made the class hot chocolate in the morning when they got to school and then we just stayed inside and played on the iPads instead of going out.
I was really excited, though, because teachers got to wear Uggs to school that day!

We never get to do that, so it was a real treat!  I practically lived in my Uggs every day over Christmas break.  They are so warm and comfortable.  I wish we could wear them to school all winter!

One thing I do love about freezing cold weather is how cute kids look in their winter scarves and hats!   I just can't resist these two cutie pies in their little toboggans!

Oh. my. word!!!  Ashley sent this picture to me and I just about died from the cuteness.

Today was Panthers Day at school since Sunday we are in the playoffs!!  It was such a fun day and everyone was so excited about it.  I have a little girl in my class who literally wore an entire football uniform to school...complete with helmet, pads, and football pants!

Can you guess who our class' favorite player is??

All week I have been drinking my favorite Spice Tea (or Russian Tea) to keep warm.  Here is the recipe.  It is the perfect thing to warm up to by the fire at night!

And I always make lots of soups in the winter when it is cold.  I found a great recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup on Mimi's Making Meals several years ago and it is one of my favorites when you need something quick and easy.  I made it this week and it was delish!

Before I go, I was wondering if I could ask you to pray about something with me?  You probably already know that Lindy, has been dating her boyfriend, Sean, for about 4 years now.

Yesterday Sean's dad was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He is not a smoker and never has been.  He is in really good health and so this came as a total surprise.  As you can imagine, it was devastating news for their family.  I know they have some really difficult days ahead and I just praying that they feel God's peace and His presence as they are walking through this.  Thank you for praying with me blog friends!!

Now I am off to get dinner out somewhere fun and enjoy my Friday night.  Tomorrow is "Finally-Take-Christmas-Down" Day!!