Thursday, March 31, 2011

For Rebecca - PEEPS

PEEPS: little marshmallow candy shaped into chicks and bunnies - they have a sugary coating and are usually found around Easter

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - March 30, 2011

1. April rolls in at the end of this week and in celebration of that infamous date (April 1st) answer this question-What is something foolish you've done?
Lately? It seems I'm always doing something foolish. Some things don't seem as bad as others. For instance, choosing to wear flip-flops on a day when it rains? Slightly foolish. I'm super my friends would be more than willing to give you some of my super foolish moments but I'm not telling on myself.
2. With April comes Easter and that classic edible treat known tell me...what's your favorite way to fix/eat chicken? That wasn't what you were expecting, was it? I 'fooled' you. teehee.
I LOVE double-breaded oven fried chicken! YUM!
3. What's the best museum you've ever visited? Or your favorite? Or the one you'd most like to visit?
I have been to several museums in NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art was probably the most impressive. Been to a couple in Chicago and an art museum in St. Louis. I would really like to see the King Tut exhibit that went around a few years ago, though.
4. You know what they say about April showers...what's your preference-a shower or a bath?
Depends. Typically a shower because it's hard to wash my hair in the bathtub, but a bubble bath can be so relaxing!
5. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"...fact or fiction? Why?
I think it can. I'm not sure it always does. Sometimes absence just makes you realize how annoying the person was to begin with.  ;-)
6. What's your favorite product made/grown in your home state/province?
Peaches. There are several peach orchards close to where I live and I LOVE peaches!
7. What is going on in the world today that affects you the most?
-Oil Prices - gas is killing me!
-Issues in Education - IL is currently making some changes regarding how teachers are evaluated - No Child Left Behind is insane - making cuts, expecting more - lack of parental involvement - there's a lot going on in the field of education. As a teacher, it directly affects me, but it will eventually affect all of us.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Wedding updates coming soon. Some have started complaining because I'm not sharing details, but I just don't want that to become all-consuming. However, I will update very soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Prayer Monday - March 28, 2011

Oh weather, how I loathe you! Make up your mind what season it is! Sheesh, I have been sickly most of this week. It seems the weather is not my friend. It's been a decent week, though. I had a little break at the studio because half of my students were performing in a production of Hairspray (which ROCKED - congrats to them!). There were 2 afternoons where I sat on my couch and did what I wanted (which was pretty close to nothing).

This week I was able to take care of a few more wedding things (chipping away a little at a time) and My Precious and I were able to spend a little time together which was really nice. Saturday, I nixed my original plans and spent the day with my mom. We shopped and had our nails done.

I think sometimes when you're in a place of "I don't know" it's nice to just spend time with people you love.

~Time spent with those I love was super encouraging.
~I took some of my students on a field trip and no one died (in other words, they were very well-behaved and I didn't have to kill them)
~I am thankful for the movement I see - I know God is working in several situations that I am currently seeking His face over.
~My uncle Roger (who has been very sick) had a few great days last week where he was able to eat and felt like getting out of the house - so thankful for that.

Prayer Requests
~I am pretty sure I'm addicted to food and allergic to exercise. Please pray for me as I try to become un-addicted and un-allergic.
~My Precious
~My little brother. Please pray that God will have His way in lil bro's life - no matter what it takes that God will get his attention
~Please pray that God will give me wisdom and guidance as I make decisions regarding the future - I have a couple of job possibilities but I want to be where God wants me - His will, not mine.
~My uncle Roger - please pray that God will continue to strengthen him and heal his body

God, there is so much going on in my life and in the lives of those around me. I am thankful for the movement that I see. I am thankful for seeing Your grace bring healing to specific situations I have been praying for. Some days are still a little overwhelming, though. When those days come, help us to trust You with our whole hearts. As we go through this week, may we pour out our hearts before You each and every day - to empty ourselves so that there is more room for You. Remind us, God that You alone are the answer for whatever situations arise.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - March 23, 2011

1. Sunday was the first day of spring. So they say. Ahem. What is your favorite outdoor springtime activity?
Sitting on the porch in the swing - reading. It's so peaceful...well, it's peaceful as long as the dog is tied up.

2. Who would you want to come into your kitchen to cook dinner for you?
Famous People: Paula Deen, Rachel Ray
Should Be Famous Chef: Casey Stout

3. When did you last fly a kite?
I have NO clue. I HAVE flown a kite, though. Today would be a good day for it. Hmm...perhaps I'll visit Wal-Mart this afternoon and go fly a kite rather than cleaning like I had planned.

4. What topic puts you to sleep faster than anything?
Right now just about anything would put me to sleep. So sleepy. Typically politics and economics do me in. History used to be that way for me, but as I've gotten older I've decided it wasn't so much the subject as it was the one presenting the information (if you know what I mean).

5. Which flowers do you associate with specific people, places, or events?
-Hydrangeas remind me of my grandma. She had a beautiful bush in front of her house. It bloomed blue and purple flowers. So pretty.
-Sunflowers make me think of Crystal.

6. What significant historical events took place during your elementary school days?
-The Challenger exploded when I was in the 2nd grade. I don't always remember things from when I was younger, but I remember those images of the explosion

-The fall of the Berlin Wall

-Halley's Comet appeared

-Czechoslovakia became Slovakia and the Czech Republic

-The Gulf War

7. Do you swear? Do you pseudo-swear? (You know crap, shoot, friggin'?)
I wish that I could tell you know, but I would totally be lying. I pseudo-swear a LOT!

8. Spring Break please hurry. I NEED you like yesterday. UGH! Longest. School. Year. EVER!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Prayer Monday - March 21, 2011

This has been quite the week for me. I was riffed Thursday night at our board meeting. I'm not sure what the future holds. I don't know if I am supposed to continue to teach music or look for another line of work. I feel like I am in a huge season of  "I DON'T KNOW" and the only thing that I really DO know is that I don't like it very much.

1. I was able to spend some much needed time with My Precious this weekend.

2. God is BIG - even bigger than the boogie-man.

Prayer Requests
1. Work. I honestly don't know where to go or what to do, so I'm not moving until my steps have been ordered by God. Please also pray for the other teachers that were riffed or dismissed.

2. I don't want to be a worry-wart.

3. My Precious. His time at school is frustrating some days. Please pray that God would bring direction, clarity and understanding.

4. Please pray that I would be more disciplined both physically and spiritually - that my body would cooperate with my physical discipline efforts and that my mind and spirit would cooperate with my spiritual discipline efforts.

5. That I would be a good steward of what God gives me.

6. My Uncle Roger - please pray for healing

7. My little brother.

God, I don't know which end is up this week. I feel like I have been turned every possible way. I feel like You're shaking up my life and the lives of those around me. I know that all of this passed through Your hands before it landed in my lap. Help me to honor you with the decisions that I make and the steps that I take. I want Your will and purpose to be accomplished in my life and in the lives of those I love. Help me to trust You with my WHOLE heart.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - March 16, 2011

1. What would you do if you found a pot of gold? Let's pretend that pot of gold is worth exactly $1500 (which would actually be more like a cup of gold at current values). Anyway, let's also pretend you have to spend it as opposed to making a donation somewhere. Now, tell me what you would do with that cup pot of gold?
I'm getting married in October. I would probably save it back for the honeymoon or for house stuff.

2. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form?
I like green....does that count? Crys's Favorite's b-day is on St. Patty's Day. That's worth celebrating. I like shamrocks. Crap. I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but I think I really want to now.

3. Have you been bitten by the Spring Cleaning bug? What spring cleaning job most needs doing at your house? What spring cleaning job are you most dreading?
Perhaps its the Spring Cleaning bug or perhaps it's the "you're getting married and need to sort through your massive amounts of crap" bug, but I have began going through everything I own and making a yard sale/give away pile.

4. lime-shamrock-sage-forest....your favorite shade of green?
Green actually IS my favorite color. I really like grass green - I guess shamrock green is pretty close.

5. Thomas Jefferson once said, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." So... do you believe in luck or do you believe we make our own luck?
I believe in blessings from God and the favor of God.

6. Monday (3/14) was Pi Day. Get it? Pi =3.14. Those math types are so clever aren't they? Since I'm not one of them tell me what's your favorite piE (the edible kind). mmm. PIE! I like lots of pies, but my friend Kim fixes an amazing banana split pie that I've grown fond of. I like coconut and chocolate. I like apple pie. I'm getting REALLY hungry.
 7. That same date (3/14) was also the birth date of the late physicist, Albert Einstein. I bet he knew the value of pi. What do you think is more important and/or valuable in life...intelligence or common sense?
YES. I am an educator. I think knowledge is invaluable, but lacking good common sense can definitely cause some difficulties in a person's life.

8. I have no idea why I am blogging when I have so much more to do, but my brain needs a break. Does anyone else make to-do lists and just want to cry at the sheer volume of tasks on that list?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayer Monday - March 14, 2011

This week has had it's ups and downs. We started Women's Bible Study last Sunday evening. I am excited yet I've only finished Day 1. What? In my defense, we have until next Sunday to finish the first week of study, but it just seems like everything else has demanded my attention this week.

I have been really frustrated with the situation in Cairo this week. I am at a point where I mostly just want to throw my hands in the air. I need a little bit of passion infused back into my teaching life or else I'm not going to make it until June.


1. I woke up every day this week. (I'm working on being thankful for the things I typically take for granted.)

2. My Precious - he balances me out and helps me keep things in proper perspective and I'm thankful for that

3. God's faithfulness

Prayer Requests
1. My Precious - he has Spring Break this week. Please pray that this week leaves him feeling refreshed and hopeful.

2. My friend, Stan - headache for days. MRI was today. Possible aneurysm.

3. Cairo School District and my place there. I simply want to do God's will, but some days I have a difficult time discerning His will.

4. Please pray that I would be more disciplined both physically and spiritually - that my body would cooperate with my physical discipline efforts and that my mind and spirit would cooperate with my spiritual discipline efforts.

5. That I would be a good steward of what God gives me.

6. I still have the same request for which I can't give details. God knows what it is, so please just pray that His will is accomplished in this situation.

Oh God, I feel like most days I take so much for granted - a house, a car, running water - the simplest things that so many don't have. God, help me to be a good steward of the things you have blessed me with. I am thankful for my friends and my family and for my Precious. Their love and support reflect You and do wonders for lifting my spirit.
God, I'm struggling with being in Cairo right now. Please give me the wisdom to know what You would have me do every, single day and then grant me the strength to accomplish it. I simply can't do it without You.
I pray for those participating in Prayer Mondays. God go with them this week and accomplish Your will in their lives as they strive to seek You.


gimme that old time religion?

Friday night was our weekly "Old People Night". On our outing we were discussing some frustrations with church and religion and Crystal mentioned that she didn't really understand the song Gimme That Old Time Religion. In fact, I'm pretty sure her words were "WHAT was good for Paul and Silas and how is it good enough for me?". I've been thinking about this a LOT this weekend and I don't really understand either. (NOTE: If you grew up in a Protestant church where you were tortured with Southern Gospel, you know this song!)

Old Time Religion. What is it? Tent Meetings? Camp Meetings? Being in church every time the doors are open? Singing Southern Gospel? Using only the King James Version of the Bible? I should do a survey, but I'm afraid that I would end up more frustrated than I am right now.

I grew up in a Baptist church where my entire family attended - parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I honestly grew up thinking that being a Christian meant you said you loved Jesus, you went to church every time the doors were open (VBS, Revival, Youth Group, Sunday morning, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings), you didn't drink, smoke or curse, you didn't have sex before marriage... (If you don't get the point I'm trying to make, stop reading right now because that "old time religion" is apparently working for you - God help you.)

Since those days, I've discovered a few things:
1. Jesus set the ultimate example for his followers. In fact, he was criticized for hanging out with sinners - not church people. If I were to guess, he probably would've preferred to spend time with people teaching through his life (walking it out) rather than taking up room in a pew with his rear end every Sabbath - oh wait, HE did. I don't have to guess about that one.

2. You can't keep doing the same things and expecting different results. If it's not working, try something else. I do this in my classroom and at the studio. The same things don't work for every group or individual. I may do something one year or one lesson and have to change it the next because it's simply not effective. So, why do we think that doing the same things in church that we did 50 years ago is still ok? The message hasn't changed but perhaps our methods for delivering it should. (Just a thought....)

3. You can't say you love people, then chastise them, ridicule them, and talk down to them and expect them to believe that you really love them. It's not our job to clean anything up. It's our responsibility as Christians to introduce people to Jesus, to love them like Jesus and let God do the rest. He doesn't need our help in that department. Stop being hateful and calling yourself a Christian - you're giving the rest of us a bad rap.

4. Home skillet - a sin is a sin. Let me say that one more time. A sin is a sin. Why do we try to attach levels of some sort - this is worse than that?

5. I'm not going to hell if I don't make the 'services attended quota' for the year. And just so you know, if you were there and someone else wasn't, saying things like, "I missed you. Things just aren't the same when you're not here" are a lot more effective than shaming the individual. Genuinely missing someone trumps a guilt trip/shaming any day.
(Thought: Isn't it more Christ-like to genuinely miss someone than to resort to shame?)

This list could seriously go on and on, but I say all of this to make a point:
I don't want your Old Time Religion. You can keep that mess. You're delusional if you think it's working anyways. I would rather spend my days walking out my faith and relationship with God. My influence is strongest at school and in my studio where I am every, single day. That is the 'territory' God has entrusted to me. My responsibility is to love my students like Jesus and carry them to Him. I am not judge nor jury - simply messenger through word and deed. And none of the 'non-churched' that I deal with on a daily basis could relate to your Old Time Religion. Shouldn't we be trying to meet them where they are rather than expecting them to come around to our not-so-effective ways of doing things?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

So, I love my windows at the studio, but after I took down Christmas I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I thought about putting the paper lanterns back up (they will go back up eventually), but I was really in a "spring" mood. So, here is my cheap solution.

Butterflies cut out with a Cricut:
And tissue paper flowers that start like this:
And end up like this:
and this

It may not feel like Spring yet, but it's looking alot more spring-like at Versatile Vocalists and I'm super happy about it.

Yes, I Think I DO Need One of These

You have to see this: Red Door Abode: Serve Me Up!

She took this:
and turned it into this:
And yes, those are wine bottles on the bottom...there are slots for them so they don't roll honest-to-goodness wine rack.

What's in the drawers?

So glad you asked.

stemless glasses, napkins, bottle opener...

Yes, I think I DO need one of these!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - March 8, 2011

Actually, it's March 9, not March 8, but I worke on mine early because I knew I wasn't going to have time on Wednesday morning.
Thanks to Joyce for hosting the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you would like to join in on the fun, just click the logo above.

1. The season of Lent begins on March 9th this you participate and if so, in what way?

I don't typically participate. One of my voice students told me today that she was giving up soda - not for religious purposes, but for the health benefits. She doesn't celebrate Lent but said she figures it doesn't hurt to give something up if it's going to be better for you in the long run.

2. Traditionally pancakes are eaten on the day known as Shrove Tuesday which is the last day before Lent (March 8th this year). So....butter and syrup? Blueberry? Chocolate chip? ewww, no thanks!! What's your pleasure when it comes to eating pancakes?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE pancakes! I like the normal butter and syrup thing, but I also like pecan pancakes from Cracker Barrell. I used to eat peanut butter on my pancakes.

3. Spring is coming. (It is coming, right?) What's your favorite springtime flower and do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Two questions I know, but they're lightweights.
I like Gerbera Daisies and YES I most certainly have allergies. I would like to meet someone who lives in the midwestern US and doesn't have allergies.

4. "Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves." Author unknown. Agree or Disagree? Why?
Our opinions of people are often formulated after encounters and experiences with them. I'm not sure but what it isn't a little of both - encounters and experiences can not only lead to us discovering more about an individual, but about ourselves, as well.

5. Since it's "March" and also the season of Mardi Gras....have you ever been in a parade? What's the best parade you've seen?
I've been in hometown parades. I used to volunteer for our local fire department and was a first responder. Fire trucks are a must in hometown parades! I'm not sure that I've ever seen a good parade. What characterizes a good parade?

6. You would jump up and down and shout for joy right now if someone told you___________?
...that I really did win the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes. I told 2 people tonight that they were coming to ambush me on Saturday. I have joked about this for a couple of months now, but I would totally be jumping and shouting.

7. How clean is your car on the outside? Inside? Is there junk in your trunk?
Really? Well, I DID run it through the wash last week, but it's rained like 4 inches since then - its raining now. So, no...not exactly clean on the outside. The inside is trash free, but the driver's floormat has mud on it (Thanks Uncle Jason!). Junk in my trunk?? Umm, yea, but it's in a tote. That has to count for something, right?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I really would pee my pants if HGTV showed up and I really do think they're supposed to ambush the winner on Saturday. Why do I know this? Because I read the rules, people! I'm serious about this contest stuff.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cute Spring Deco Idea

So, I was browsing Women Who Do It All and I found this cute project she did using water bottles. It's part of the Spring Mantel party she's hosting.

She used a tutorial from The Harrigan Howdy. She used acrylic paint instead of spray paint because it's a lot cheaper and she used a needle and thread to hang them because her bottles were really thin plastic. I'm not sure if I'll make anything like this right now because I already have my spring deco projects in motion. If you try this, be certain to post pics and let me know. I'd love to see it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Prayer Monday


1. New women in Bible Study - so exciting!

2. My friends and family really are a God-send - so thankful for them.

Prayer Requests
1.  My Precious

2. Cairo School District.

3. Please pray that I would be more disciplined both physically and spiritually - that my body would cooperate with my physical discipline efforts and that my mind and spirit would cooperate with my spiritual discipline efforts.

4. That I would be a good steward of what God gives me.

4. I have a request for which I can't give details. God knows what it is, so please just pray that His will is accomplished in this situation.

My Prayer
Oh God, I am so excited to see what this week brings. Thank You for all that You are and who I am in You. Accomplish Your will and purpose in each request that is brought before You through Prayer Monday. Help us to really focus our eyes this week to only see what is You and to not be distracted by the rest.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Other Possible Motivations

So, Crystal and Kate have publicly admitted their struggle with weight and their decision to do something about it. Thing is, I'm pretty sure I've said on here that I'm overweight and that I've tried to lose. But the fact of the matter is I don't mind to let people down. So, I'm looking for other motivations to keep me on track.

Since I promised Crystal to weigh in everyday, I am -4lbs. (Which puts me back at -25lbs since August.) Pityful considering I was almost -30lbs. I hate the fact that I can't remember a time in my life when I haven't struggled with my weight. I hate the way I look in pictures, but I don't like the thought of never being able to eat things that I love more. I don't have a lot of time and losing weight means I need to be super prepared. I need to meal plan. I really don't have time for all of that right now.

So, this is me trying to work out some possible motivations other than failing in the public arena - because I obviously don't care about that (hence the +5lbs. when I need to lose about 50 or 60 more). This motivation works for Kate, but not me.

Crystal and Kate both want to be healthier. Me too.

Kate wants to be able to wear the cute clothes in her closet. I can get on that boat. I have 4 sizes of clothes in my closet right now and I want to be able to wear the smaller 2 sizes. Right now, it's the 2 largers sizes.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE all things sweet. I eat fruit throughout the day, so it helps to curb cravings, but I am the carb queen. I need motivations to keep me away from sweets, bread and pasta. Even the wedding dress isn't enough. Sad but true.

Exercise is also a problem. I currently get up at 5:15. I teach all day and go straight to the studio most days. I finish sometime between 6 and 7. I eat dinner with Ronnie and go home around 8:30. I get there about 9 and get my things together for the next day. I try to be in bed by 9:30 or 10. I used to get up at 4:30. I currently believe that I like sleep more than I do being in shape. I could also use some motivation in this area.

Am I a lost cause?  I'm really just tired of struggling with my weight. I was to be able to eat sensibly and still not be fat. My body doesn't exactly allow for that, though.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday so I'm you like green eggs and ham? Okay-how about this do you like your eggs? Or don't you?
I eat eggs almost every morning. Protein at every meal is very important. I sometimes eat them scrambled. If you add a spoonful of great value lowfat cottage cheese (the only one I've found that doesn't have some form of sugar in it) and cook them in the microwave, it makes them nice and fluffy AND you don't have the fat or sugar content of adding cheese or milk. I like eggs just about any way you cook them, though - sunny side up, over easy, scrambled, hard-boiled, or fried for a sandwich. I'm hungry all of a sudden.

2. Is March coming in like a lion or something less ferocious where you live?
Well, the 1st was relatively calm - definitely not like a lion.

3. Do you work better or worse under pressure?
I used to think I worked best under pressure, but as I've gotten older, I've figured out that pressure just forces my hand. Pressure usually ensures that a task gets completed, but it also means that I'm probably on the verge of going insane and difficult to get along with. I deal reasonably well with pressure, but I would prefer to not have to work that way.

4. March Madness-are you a fan? It's college basketball in case you're wondering. And if you're outside the USA tell us-is there any sort of 'madness' taking place during March in your part of the world?
Umm...I like basketball - used to be a cheerleader, but I really don't have time to keep up.

5. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?
Most of my best thinking is done in the shower. I think it's because I'm stuck in a small space and can't move. When I go to bed I'm too tired to think and that's the only other time that I'm still during the day.
6. What item of clothing from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Jeans. Perhaps that's because the only pants I have that fit are jeans...hmm.

7. Do you use sarcasm?
That's funny! Do I have a pulse? It's like part of who I am - me and my sarcasm.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm wondering when I may have time to run to the party store to get tissue paper. I need to make flowers to hang from my window display at the studio. Are they open at midnight?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Epic Fail

So, the physical discipline thing...umm...epic failure yesterday. M&Ms AND Cheesecake and I didn't exercise at all. So far, so good, but I can already tell you that I'm have some Death by Chocolate cake this evening if My Precious' dad didn't eat it. I have NO will power and I woke up with a headache. Doesn't that deserve some chocolate?

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