Monday, November 30, 2009

Success

Today is the last offical day of NoBloPoMo for 2009 and I think I can call my pledge successful.

Although I did miss November 21 (sleep deprived from New Moon opening), I blogged 36 times in the month of November (37 counting this one).

I've averaged 17 viewers per day and totaled more than 675 viewers for the month of November. On average, 1.4 people visited my blog per hour in November. If you compare that to October, only 8 of you visited per day and 412 visited for the entire month!

Now, I'm assuming that many of you (my faithful readers) skim what I write and ignore 99% of it. Hopefully there is one day that I make you laugh... or at least crack a smile. Hopefully you haven't been too irritated at my complaining... or too bored with my boring posts.

Quanity over quality has been my push for November and I've actually enjoyed trying to be creative about what I post.

Thanks for reading friends, mom, and a view strangers (strangers, feel free to comment so I can follow you too).

Ornament 3

As a four year old in 1987, I opened this little mouse. I'd love to say that I remember it clearly, but I don't. However, this is one of my adult favorites. The happy mouse has a flexible leather tail and such a happy face!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

oh my

It just occured to me that I have set myself up for stress over the next week... who knows why it is occuring to me now at 9:20 on Sunday night?!?

Not only did I not finish grading all my students' papers (still have 140 business letter packets that have to be graded on a rubric), but I have my law final on Saturday!

My week off was productive for non-school things; everything Christmas related is done (decorating, shopping, wrapping, crafting), my house is relatively cleaner, several house projects are completed, and I was able to spend some quality time with my parents.

This weeks holds...
  • a new week at Curves (goal is 4 visits)
  • girls' night to the Mission Inn for the Festival of Lights
  • massive amounts of law reading
  • flashcard making and memorization of law
  • Grade Business Letter for at least one period
  • the first of three weeks school craziness before Christmas break
  • clean the guest bedroom and make it liveable again for my parents for this weekend

Ornament 2

This ornament has been around the block a few times--so much so that it has been hot glued back together. I love that the angel is swinging on the inside!

Melissa and I both have an angel bells from 1993. Our names are written in gold on the front. When it is shaken, the bell makes a beautiful sound.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Decorations

Growing up decorating the house for Christmas was always a treat. My mom had something special for every room, including the bathroom! This is the first year we are in our home for Christmas so I have a LONG way to go before I have something for each room, but for now, here is the start of our bathroom.
It will be interesting to see if this $2 snowman from Big Lots becomes a yearly bathroom decoration like my mom's mini-snowman candles and small metal tins.

I wrapped the picture because I couldn't think of anything else to add without spending a lot of money!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tis the Season

WOO HOO!!
It is officially Christmas season!
The tree is up, the house is decorated, and I'm ready to celebrate Jesus for the next month!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I reflect on this past year, I quickly realize how blessed I am and
how many thousands of things I am thankful for.
Not only do I a personal savior in Jesus,
I have a personal encourager and stronger supporter in difficult times.
My family has had a very difficult year, but we are closer than ever.
Although the perfect job hasn't found Dave, Melissa, and Dad, it has not caused major issues.
God has kept his promises and provided for the needs of the family.
Not only do we own the house,
but we've made great progress on turning it into a home for our little family.
The dog that came home unexpectly had become my "baby"
and she provides everyone with such joy.
I am blessed with a career that I enjoy and provides daily rewards beyond the paycheck.
As I complete my second masters degree,
I am thankful for the perservance my parents taught me.
I have found a passion in educational leadership.
Again
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Thanksgiving Classic-Pumpkin Pie

Although it is Thanksgiving, and typically we overeat to the extreme on this day, I wanted to share my favorite (WW) trick for the day.

One Point Pumpkin Pie!

I love pumpkin pie--so much so that I can't just eat one slice. Regular pumpkin pie is 9 points for an 1/8th of a slice. These beauties are 8 points for the WHOLE THING!! Or 1 point per slice.

Here you go (this is for one, I always double it so that I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner):
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 12 oz can of non-fat evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute (egg beaters) or 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt (don't leave it out, it helps set up the pie)
  • 3 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup Splenda

Combine all of the above and beat until smooth. Pour into a Pam sprayed 9" pie pan. Bake at 400 degrees fro 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Make sure knife put into center comes out clean. (There is no crust)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

12:01 am
November 20, 2009
Cheering abounds as New Moon begins

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ornaments

My Grandma Bennett started a tradition over twenty-seven years ago that has been so incorporated into the Christmas that it is a major part of the season. Every year she picks out a special Hallmark ornament for each of her grandkids.

Each year, when it is time to put up the Christmas decorations, we open each Hallmart ornament from its very own box and original wrapping. Melissa and I played with each of them and each had our favorites. There were even a few of them that never made it back into the boxes because we played with them all year.

The one above I got in 1990. The two kitties sit inside a actual mini-basket on a actual knitted blanket and are playing with the bell in the basket. The bow that holds the bell on has been retied every year (and won't stay tied anymore).

If I had to pick an all time favorite, it would be this one!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Craft Project (take two)

Rachel found this cute craft online and showed it to me (she wanted to make it for me) and I stole the idea! I started with metal cookie cutters. There were harder to find that I thought; JoAnns Craft Store had a set of 40 for $14.99 with mini and regular size cookie cutters.
  1. Arrange the cookie cutters into a circle (which I think was the hardest part).
  2. Use the hot glue gun to glue the pieces together.
  3. Cut wired ribbon in about 3 inch pieces (non-wired ribbon doesn't look as good, tried that first).
  4. Tie each cookie cutter together with the wired ribbon and fluff the ends.
  5. Glue a mini jingle bell to each tie.
  6. For the top hanging hook, tie a piece of ribbon in a loop and cut the remainer of the ribbon so it looks like the ties from the cookie cutters.
  7. Tie a regular bow, with short ends, and glue on top of the hanging loop.
  8. Glue three jingle bells on top of the bow.
  9. Hang up :)
Here is zoomed in version of hanging loop, bow, and jingle bells!
The ties will help the wreath stay together.
This is the mini-wreath I made first (I'm pretty sure I'll be redoing it tomorrow).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

sunday night

forgot to blog yesterday.

almost forgot again today.

yesterday I had class from 8:30 til 4:15. I came hope pretty wiped out. Went to Tawni's for dessert. Great talking time...

today I vegged in front of the tv for hours. Enough time passed that I felt bad. Robyn came over, we crafted some more. After cleaning up, I started putting up the Christmas tree. Special ornaments make me happy, I will be posting more about those soon.

for now, off to bed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Survied

Watching New Moon at midnight was a fun idea; last night we had a blast. I slept three and a half hours last night, got up and went to work at 7 am. I made it all day without yelling at a kid and without falling asleep (got close a few times).

Was it worth it?
Yep! Totally!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon

Tonight at midnight, Des, Robyn and I will watch New Moon with thousands of teenyboppers and grown women who are in love with Edward and the entralling story of teenage vampires. I'm not sure what possessed us to stay up this late, get home at three in the morning on a work night, but nevertheless, it shall be an adventure!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crafting

Growing up, my mom crafted an awful lot. Yearly, she made beautiful Christmas presents for family and friends. I assumed that everyone's mom did it too until I was old enough to realize that it was a very special talent she had. She let me help (sometimes) or gave me my own projects to complete along side of her. I loved craft days.

With Robyn's desire to make a glittery replica of a Crate and Barrel product, I started thing about crafting my own tree. After spending several hours in Micheals and returning twice for more parts to the project, I had all the supplies to make my own set of "trees."

I was so excited to begin crafting that I started the night before Robyn and I were to meet. Remembering the days of my childhood, I used paper plates and attempted my project.

I think my trial run (to keep at my house), came out pretty good.

My trio of burgandy trees
I haven't decided if I need to give them stumps or if I like them sitting on the bottom like there are in this picture.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Preparing to Paint

After patching the millions of small and big holes, repairing the fake fireplace, and completing the front door, I thought we were ready to paint.

"Not yet," said Dave, "now we have to texture the walls so the repairs are not seen. What you see here is the texturing process. First, every single door way and window has to be covered up and taped for protection. Everything is the room will be covered with a fine layer of dust, so make sure you cover the furniture too... in the above picture, the fuzz of the picture is not my inability to focus the camera, that is plaster compound in the air!
Dave then used this contraption (aka texture gun) which hooks up to the air compressor to spray a fine layer of "orange peel" texture onto the walls. Everything experiences the spray (thus the need to have everything covered).

Wait 24 hours and then you can paint... maybe.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Front Door

When we bought the house, the front door looked like this... if you look closely, you can see that there is a two inch gap at the top right of the door.
December 27 (four days before we "officially" closed escrow), Dave changed the door.

In order to fit the new size door into the old slot, he had to change the studs on the sides and the header (the old door was only 32" and the new door was 36"). This causes a new for new drywall inside... which went up in January.

The picture above is how my front door looked for the last eleven months.

Now it looks like this... Just like the fake fireplace, the door's drywall and plaster was finally repaired in order to "paint."

This is what Dave looked like after all the plaster work...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fireplace #2

This "interesting" fireplace was part of the original "charm" of the house-YEAH RIGHT! What were they thinking? On the opposite wall there is a beautiful wood mantle and brick surround. Why did they need this?? Plaster of paris, gretian goodess and all...
The third day we were "fixing the house" my dad and I took a hammer to this "beauty" and attempted to remove it. It was HEAVY, but we did a pretty good job of getting rid of it.
After it was all gone, the wall looked like this... no one claims that giant hole. For eight months, this giant hole and all the baby holes sat there reminding me of the godnesses and the fake fireplace.
Two months ago, Dave filled in the little holes, but the big one remained.
Prepaing to paint the room, let Dave to fill the hole (drywall and layers of plaster). It is SO exciting...
Hopefully, we will have texture tomorrow and paint on Saturday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Curves

I made an appointment to go to my "fitness assessment" and "first workout" for Monday at 4 pm. It has been over five years since I've worked out consistantly. Although I'm usually pretty good at it during the summer months, being busy with teaching school and going to school has worked as a great excuse.

As my masters degree winds down, I only have class on Saturdays (and only seven more Saturdays at that!). Girls' night aside, I now have no excuse not to go work out.

None.

Hasn't stopped me from making them (I'm too tired, I hate to drive there, I can't work out myself, I don't want to do it, it isn't fun, only if I could afford a trainer, water aerobics is too expensive, the Y is scary at dark, Bally's is ghetto, etc).

Besides, according to my specialist for PCOS, I need to lose more weight. I need to weigh 165. Working out will get me there faster.

Curves is literally .4 miles from AHS. I will leave here and go there... I will!

Never would have thought about it Rexanne (my Tupperwear lady) hadn't called and invited me as the new owner.

Woah there, Jennifer

If you've known me for awhile, you've seen my hair color change a few hundred times and at least ten different hair cut styles.

It has been "long," flippy, and REALLY short... five weeks ago at my last hair appointment, I told my trusty hair stylist that I was bored. Because it is so short, there isn't a lot we could do, so we opted to change the color. I went all over dark (three/four shades darker than my natural color) with blond and light brown coloring...

It wasn't enough.

I was still bored.

Today, I went for my five-week hair cut (yes, every 5 weeks I have a scheduled hair appointment and yes, it is normal when your hair is this short). I was planning on getting the back bottom trimmed in order to grow it out a little for a different style.

Then... I saw another hair stylist's hair. Her hair was really similar to mine, but she had bangs.

I told Stephanie, "okay, lets do that."

She laughed and asked if I was ready... within minutes I had bangs! At first, I couldn't stop laughing because they looked funny flat and wet.

After some styling and blowdrying... I think I like them :)

Of course, the back is still the same a-line like normal, can't change that yet...

Five weeks from now, what should I add?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Des' house

The work has begun at Des' new house! I begged for a screwdrive to take off one of these tiles for a few hours; finally Dad gave me one and I popped one off. Literally "popped" it off because there was so much water damage, it came off without any effort. A few tiles fell off by themselves when I pulled the first one off.
Of course once we started, we kept going. Beneath the tile was wood, wet and moldy wood.
And we kept going... but we had sissy arms and couldn't get the rusted screws out of the wall. Eventually this will be a beautiful gray and blue new tile shower.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Midterm: Check


For the last two weeks, Des and I have been studying like mad women for our Law midterm! Following our own advice (you know we teach students how to study and how to learn, etc), we made flashcards, mnemonics, make believe stories, hand motions and practiced over and over again.
Saturday morning we took our midterm. All the studying really paid off--we started at 8:40 am and finished by 9:15ish.
Now we wait to see the score...

Monday, November 9, 2009


Dictionary.com (one of my favorite sources) defines the act of collaboration as working together, especially in a joint intellectual effort OR to cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.

These opposing definitions to this word can be seen on educational campus across the world.

It seems that some teachers see great benefits in working together for lesson design and these people are willing to step out of their individual classrooms and work for a "joint intellectual effort." They share ideas and form new ones; they develop passion and persistent in their reflections, modifications, and further idea sharing. Their students understand that working together increases intellectual ability because their teachers model it. These are the teachers that improve their instruction after years in the classroom and get "better" after 25 years in the profession. These are the ones who raise test scores the logical way--critical thinking!

Others look at collaboration as treason, a detestable cooperation where enemies are constantly lurking, ready to attack and steal from them. These teachers jealously guard their ideas, lessons, and classrooms. As administrators force them to "collaborate" their participation becomes "cooperation" in the truest limit. They hide. They tremble in fear when others walk into their classrooms. Sometimes these are teachers are strong by nature and some learn trial by fire.

There is a third type of teacher that doesn't understand the definition of collaboration; these are the teachers that have created the feelings of treason from the main bunch. These are the takers, those who take assignments (not ideas) and never return the favor.

Obviously, you know where I stand on the issue.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday, Nov. 8

I had my first "Mexican" breakfast today with Desiree and her parents. It was so much food that I didn't even finish half of the stuff on my plate, but man, it was good!

My machaca con huevos were served with tortillas, rice, and beans. At first, I thought it was kind of strange and asked several times if this was really "lunch" (we were eating at 10:30 am), but Des said no.

The beans were to die for and reminded me of Carisha's dad's beans...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Melissa

Celebrating a bit early at Disneyland, but
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE SIS!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Irony

Teaching Irony to ninth graders is fun! They get it and then they keep talking about how things are "ironic." Are they using it wrong sometimes? Yes. But, who cares, they are applying a literary term to their life!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November committment


As with Robyn, Melissa, and Nicole, I am going to try to blog every day of November for the official NaBlPo 2009. I've never attempted it, but I have been trying to write more blogs and actually share pictures (I think I did a pretty good job in October--22 posts!).

I use to scrapbook and that is why I took 1,001 pictures of everything. With the combination of school (work and MA classes), scrapbooking has gone away; now I take pictures with the plan to blog them. Some day when I graduate (and don't talk myself into going again), I'll scrapbook again.

Anyway, for the month of November, plan to hear from me every day!

Isn't it ironic that this is a blog about blogging? HAHAHA

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (actually on Wednesday)

Opps... so much for my scheduling of blogs early...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Fall Decorations at Dland

Over in Adventure Land, Disneyland set up an entire fall/Halloween area, complete with cool, Disney themed carved pumpkins, crafts for the kids, a spooky cabin, and lots of photo op spots.
Can you believe that this is a pumpkin?!?