Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dear M,

Dear M,

I know you are having fun with your Nona and OB (AKA: B-Beeeeee, M-ese). I miss you very much, Precious Pants. Learn lots of new things while you are away so you can impress Mama and Daddy when you get back. But don't grow too much. Stay my sweet little baby girl. And don't wear Nona and OB out too much. I have lots of hugs and kisses saved up for you. I'll see you soon, sweet girl, but not soon enough.


Dear Nona and OB,

Please give M lots of hugs for me. I miss her very much. I'm trying to keep busy every moment of every day until she comes home. Could you do one thing for me? Could you PLEASE get her to eat mac-n-cheese and spaghetti like a normal kid? Also, could you please find that miracle pill that will forever keep her a baby for me?

Thank you so much for taking care of her while I have classes this week and work on that stupid art project. I love are the greatest parents and grandparents any girls could ask for.


Input needed

This is why I've been out of commission for a few days. This is a major art project due this weekend for my master's class. I wish--oh, how I wish--that I was a little bit artistic. This had such promise. I wanted to do a collage. This is supposed to be a multi-cultural teacher introspection autobiographical project. In other words, I'm supposed to reflect on my upbringing to determine what biases, stereotypes, hidden rules, etc, I bring to the classroom and how I can either change or enhance those to become a more culturally aware educator. I wrote an essay on my upbringing and educational philosophy, which I wrote on the canvas. I circled some of the important phrases or words in the essay. Then I took picture of some of my body parts and used those as the basis for the collage. I wrote some of the key phrases using stickers to make them more prominent.
Do you have any suggestions? Any comments? Anything I can do to improve this, other than starting over? I'm almost out of time. No time to start over.

Why do I blog?

I wish I had a philosophical answer like:
I want to share with the world all my amazing artistic prowess OR
I have amazing mothering techniques that I want to bestow upon the less fortunate OR
I am such an incredibly gifted linguist that I must see my ideas in print.

But the real reason I started this blog is so that I could play along in My Best Shot Monday at Picture This ( That was the reason I STARTED this blog. Now why do I continue it?

1.) I love the dialogue I have with my blog friends. I love that they care enough about me (us) to stop by and read--not just on Mondays, but lots of days. I love that they leave little comments when I'm out of town and then welcome me home when I post that I'm back. I love the support they provide when I write posts about family matters, school situations, or life questions.

2.) I just really enjoy having a place to keep a journal of sorts. I'm not a good journaler, but when I feel like I have an "audience," I am more compelled to write. If I was writing all of this in a pretty notebook on my bedside table, I wouldn't be writing at all.

3.) I LOVE reading blogs. I love the mothering advice that my blog friends share, intentionally or not. I love seeing the photographic genius out there. I love reading about what is going on in your lives.

4.) I am a bigger person (ewww...not a good image) because my blog friends are not all middle GA girls--they are from all over the place and they have such a different perspective on some things. One is having massive rain while we've had the driest May in history (you learn tidbits like "We're having the driest May in history" when you can actually watch the mid-day news BECAUSE YOU ARE OUT OF SCHOOL FOR THE SUMMER!). One is raising three adoptive almost adolescent boys while I have one toddler girl. One is an amazing Martha Stewart type woman (that is meant in the most complementary way) who can work, sew (without a pattern, nonetheless), take amazing photos, garden, cook and raise toddlers while I struggle to work and raise a toddler.

5.) I love the support the blog world provides for those in the club. When in need, bloggers gather around and support. I enjoy being part of that club.

I think that might sum up why I blog. At least for now. It might change over time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Home again

Home again, home again, jig-a-ty jig.

Will post tomorrow about our WONDERFUL weekend away.

I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day and thought often about the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

One little note: We were at the beach this morning and a group of military jets flew over us several times. People on the beach clapped and cheered for them, waving their arms and other items in the air. I hope the pilots and their crews could see us and feel the love and thanks we were sending their way.

Friday, May 25, 2007


H is taking us away for a few days. We need a quiet family weekend together. We're going to visit my family and just rest and relax. We're leaving M with her grandparents for a few days. That will be a major adjustment for me.

Pictures will come next week. I'll miss MBS Monday, but I might post Tuesday just for me.

I went to Target today for a few pick me up know, end of the year rewards. I didn't buy myself anything, but had fun shopping for M. Just wait until you see the cutie pie bikini I got her. I ate my mothering words. I swore she would NEVER wear a bikini because, a heck, I don't know. So, she is now the cutest owner of the cutest pink and brown bikini ever made.

On my high horse

I stumbled upon a blog a few minutes ago that incensed me. It was a homeschooling blog (no problem with that, but it does color my response) and the responses to the topic the author posed caused my blood to boil. It's not even that I agree with the interview the author is writing about. It was the comments that caused me to fall over the emotional-end of year teacher abyss. You can check it out if you are so inclined:

Here is my response:

I'm not sure I should even get involved in this conversation as I am a public school teacher who loves her job and constantly has students who perform above standards on state mandated tests. School just ended, so I am going to refer to everything in past tense.

I had twenty students: 5 gifted, 3 ESOL (English as a second language), 3 on the autism spectrum, 3 SLD (diagnosed with learning difficulties), and several behavior problems (otherwise known as B.A.D.). My students sat quietly on the rug every single day as they were read to. They worked in mixed ability groups in math and reading. They can tell anyone more about GA history than most other 2nd graders because they were so intrigued about the story of the colonies that we threw most other content out of the window for a few weeks as we delved into our state history. They did draw about it, read about it, watch appropriate videos, act it out, build models of cities, etc.

I am so sick to death of hearing that educators should raise expectations. Public school teachers are not babysitting all day. We are busting our bottoms to teach children who come to school without any prior knowledge or schooling. When I was a child (I'm almost 30), I had been to a zoo, a beach, several large cities, museums, the public library, the grocery store, etc, etc, etc, all before I started school. My mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends' parents read to me before going to kindergarten. I knew how to hold a book, pencil, scissors, use the restroom, and feed myself independently prior to the first day of school. There are 5 and 6 year olds who have never left their neighborhoods, never touched a book, never helped their mothers cook before coming to school. These children must be taught about life before they can be "educated" (that limited term again, I know).

If I expected any more out of my second graders they would completely shut down. I already teach them to multiply and write in cursive before they graduate to third grade. As new standards have been implemented, I am required to teach more to younger students. I CLEARLY remember learning to multiply in 4th grade. And it was a breeze. My students struggle to learn that skill. Why? Because they are not developmentally ready for it. Sure, some of them learned all their facts before school was over. They were ready. But some of my students were not developmentally prepared to learn repeated addition= multiplication.

People, we can't raise our expectations any more. We're doing the absolute best we can with the material we have. I love my job--more money wouldn't make it better. In fact, more money would not even attract more qualified teachers. There are plenty of mediocre teachers who teach to earn our current salary. Do you not think MORE money would attract the same exact type of people? CEO's are not going to leave their positions to come teach in a classroom with not enough textbooks, students who come to school unclean and hungry, deal with their parents who think their child does no wrong, fill out the gazillions of forms we are required to fill out, and still teach the children.

"And of course, teachers would be upset at having to master multiple levels of material and actually be creative!" (quoted from one of the responses prior to mine)

I don't think that's a fair statement at all. I do master multiple levels of material and I am incredibly creative in my classroom--read my class population above. I have to be creative to meet all the needs of the children. I have to be able to keep each child engaged in my lesson regardless of their learning needs. And I have to remember who needs what medication, the name of each parent, who is allowed to be dismissed to which parent on which day, how each child gets home from school, what modifications each child is required to have by law.

Good teachers teach not matter how much money we make. It's who we are.

I don't care if you homeschool or not. There are a myriad of reasons to not send your children to public school. I'm in the trenches every single day, I TOTALLY understand. But to imply that public school educators do not do a good job is a big, fat, judgemental lie. I get up day after day after day to teach. I would never say all engineers are lazy. Or all doctors have poor bedside manners. Or all stay-at-home mothers are fat and barefoot and watch soap operas all day (but you can admit it if you d0!). I teach with some amazing women. It's a slap in our face to say we need to raise our expectations or that we are failing our students. There are, without any doubt at all, problems with public education. But the problem is not with my effort or my concern about the future of this country and the impact my students will have on that future. Give me a break.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


M and I went to church last night for Wednesday evening supper.

I'm very exhausted because it's the end of the school year.

Probably not a good combination. (church and my exhaustion)

Our church is our family. The members there love and care for us. We love and care for them. Sometimes too much. M was running (really it's more like a slightly quicker walk with her head hunched in front of her and her hands thrown behind her back. Try to imagine a duck as it quickly waddles to protect it's young. I'll have to try to capture this image on film.) down the hall. One of the sweet, old ladies, bless her soul, said something about M's foot. I stopped...and stared at her. What in the world is she talking about? I wondered. I knew, of course, that she was trying to be kind. But did she REALLY have to let her thought come out of her mouth? Is the love and concern of our church family going to be something I have from which I have to protect M?

I wanted more than anything in that very moment to snatch my perfect toddler up and run away with her in my arms--protected in a mommy embrace. I know my irrational reaction was the direct result of my exhaustion, but darn it...M was walking. Of COURSE her foot is doing great. Sure, she still pulls it in a little and might sometimes wobble to the left, but SHE'S. WALKING.

Is she going to be 16 and someone say to her: "I remember when you were a little baby and you had to wear those special shoes." or "We brought your mama and daddy dinner the night you had surgery. You were such a tiny baby." or "It's such a joy to see you run/cheer/dance after all you went through with your foot."

How do you get people to see beyond that one thing so they can see the WHOLE PERSON?

I really, really do know and understand that this is an emotional post because I am way, way, way past tired. I need about a week to hibernate before my emotions return to a normal state. I know that my reaction was in direct relation to my exhaustion.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Encouragement Needed

I haven't done my Miracle Mile in two days. My poor old leg muscles ache! I really do intend to get back on the walking trail (IE: my living room floor with the fan in high speed and my walking instructor on the television) tomorrow. I just needed a few days off. Please send encouraging thoughts my way!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

All done

I sent them on their way. Twenty little 7 and 8 year olds are now big and pesky 3rd graders. I encouraged them to not visit too often next year. I reminded them that I would see them in the hallways.

I had a bottle of wine.

I'm all done.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

8 Hours

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am so very pleased to tell you that there are only 8 hours left in this school year. Tomorrow the children will arrive at 8:30 and when they leave 8 hours later they will officially be 3rd graders. Praise the Lord. He sustained me this year. There were moments, days, even, when I felt as if I wasn't sure I could make it. There are several children that I adore and will miss a bit. But overall, it is, without a doubt, time for this class to move on. They are as ready for 3rd grade as they could possibly be. I worked them hard and they worked hard for me. They have achieved so much.

Goodbye, my students. I will wave to you as you pass down the hall. Keep working hard. Goodbye.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Best Shot Monday--Real Entry

Changed my mind. This is my real entry for MBS. This is M (on the L) with her best friend, M. The other M is 10 months older than M. They love each other. They were swinging in our new hammock together. I asked my M to hold the other M's hand. Both girls reached for each other immediately. The other M has a younger sister (10 months younger than my M) who is also M. We took picture of all three M's in the hammock, but this one is my favorite.

My Best Shot Monday

Not a fantastic photo, but M was right there helping me with this project. H tried to entertain her with other projects, but she wouldn't leave my, lap. Sweet memory more than anything else.

Check out Picture This ( ) for AWESOME entries for my best shot Monday. I'm not in their league.

New Family Addition

We have a new addition to our family. She wasn't expected, but alas, we couldn't leave her.

Her name is Vanny. She's our new GPS thingy for the van.

M adores her. She laughs every time Vanny provides directions. M cried when we left Vanny in the van last night after dinner.

H thinks she's the hottest thing he's ever seen. He might divorce me and marry her. She doesn't talk back or eat off his plate or tell him what to do and when to do it. Wow...she sounds perfect, doesn't she?

I wasn't sure we needed her. After all, I'm pretty good with directions. But the joy on H's face and his excitement over her makes it all worth it.

Does anyone out there have a GPS thingy for their cars/vans/SUVS? Do you love it?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Update on the Miracle Mile

I am pleased to tell the ENTIRE world that I have done the Miracle Mile every day for 7 days. I did not do it today, though. But I have a really good excuse, um...I mean reason. Tonight was supper club. My dear friends, the host and hostess, hired a dance instructor to teach us to swing dance! Sooooo, instead of walking the Miracle Mile, I danced my little tush off for about 45 minutes. Surely that will take the place of the Miracle Mile today.

And I am ALSO pleased to tell the entire world that I lost not one pound, but TWO AND A HALF pounds this week! YEAH!!!! I didn't make many changes to my diet this week. For example, H bought a cheesecake to serve as dessert for his meeting Monday evening. Instead of letting that go to waste, I did have one and a half pieces of eat during the week. I could have done without that. I also had a REALLY stressful day yesterday, so H treated me to a small blizzard from the DQ. I could have done without that, too. I did live without a Starbucks this week. YES! I also opted for Subway (turkey and bacon on whole wheat) instead of my numero uno favorite Mexican.

This is not going to be a diet blog. I just wanted to share some good news.

Want some funny school news? I know I said I wouldn't share any more school stories, but this one is funny and I'm sure if his mom stumbled across this blog, she wouldn't mind my sharing. Yesterday was award's day, so I dressed up and took heels to change into right before the ceremony. As my kids were lining up, I just slipped them on. I didn't think to tell them I was changing--why would they care? As we were walking toward the stairs, I overheard one of my boys (he's only seven--keep that in mind) say to his buddy, "Mrs. Benson should wear heels more often. She's got a set of legs!" I busted out laughing. Out of the mouths of babes. (Just for the official record...I do have a set of legs--fat, dimply, short, and not of the attractive variety!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My pleasure to introduce you...

Everyone, this is my little piece of paradise. I never, ever, ever--not in a million years--thought I would love a little piece of land so much. See that hammock? Ahhh...there will be MANY nights spent snuggling, relaxing, reading, sipping, day dreaming in those braided ropes. See that little house? That's M's special place. She loves ringing the door bell and rushing inside when the voice calls out "hello?" She laughs! Oh, how she laughs. She's big enough now that she can sit herself in the swing (next to the red slide). She likes to take a book outside and sit in the swing to read.

When you enter this play area from the driveway, H has planted a crepe myrtle ( sp?) on each side with yellow lantana around the base. There are pits (not sure the entire name...that's just what we call them) around the border with some type of evergreen (not sure of the name right now...end of school year brain) on the road side. Eventually the pits will create a nice tall border and the evergreens will help create a sound absorber for the road noise. So far, the road noise hasn't been too bad. I'm going to start getting M some touchable and feelable plants for the area that she can rub and sniff whenever we're out there.
If you ever need us and we're not answering the phones, just swing on by. There is a 10 out of 10 chance that we're hanging out together in our little piece of paradise.

View from the driveway

M and I play here every afternoon when we get home. She loves the hammock as much as I do. We snuggle in it and giggle about our day. The play toys are not in their final resting spots. H is going to buy us a big person bench and then I'll get things where I want them to stay.

Little Piece of Paradise

Preview...more to come. Feel free to drop by for a glass of wine and a swing in the hammock.

I'm off to walk my Miracle Mile (day 6, thank you very much...and 1.5 lbs!)


Monday, May 14, 2007

Day 4

I thought I was not going to get my Miracle Mile in today, but alas, technology did agree with me. Our DVD player wasn't recognizing my Miracle Mile DVD. Don't know what that's about, but finally H got it to play for me. Four days straight of exercise. I'm sure that's a first for me in my whole life. It was late tonight...atleast 9:40 when I started. I'm going to have to work on getting that little exercise in earlier in the day.

I hope you had a great day. I missed My Best Shot Monday at Picture This. I only cried a little, even though I'm so sad. I did go over and check out many of the submissions. There are some really talented photographers out there!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Hello, hello, hello!

This is your very happy Mother on Mother's Day. I enjoyed a very special day with two of my friends in the big city of Atlanta. We drove up to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit...AWESOME. We ate a precious little sandwich shop, shopped around the sandwich shop for a few minutes (where I got M matching crocs, a tiny little purse, and the most amazing herb labels for her new touch garden), went to the museum (and got a book signed), had an awesome dinner and returned home. I've been single parenting so much lately while H works in the new play area for M. He never gets home before M goes to bed, so during the week, the only time he has with her is breakfast. We both agreed that I could go away for the entire day, even if that meant not spending the whole day with M. It was a Mom's dream day...but I certainly did miss H and M.

Now, that day in itself would have been an amazing Mother's Day. But, oh, husband totally ROCKS. He bought me Mary Jane crocs (M and I now have matching shoes! HOW FUN!), a hammock for the new play area (pictures coming tomorrow), AND....AND....AND... AN I-POD!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband rocks this world.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rear-end Part II

My friend (who doesn't know she's my friend) at the amazing shrinking mom ( has lost an incredible amount of weight. My real life friend (she does know she's my friend) joined weight watcher's this morning. My mom is doing the biggest loser with her coworkers.

Melodee, the shrinking mom, believes in dieting naked. No, not getting undressed to diet, but being totally honest about dieting--how much she weighs, how she does, etc. She checks in with her blog-o-followers and lets us know the highs and lows of her new lifestyle. She's really rather incredible. Well, she's on an exercise streak. I can't remember how many days she's gone now, but I'm joining that band--er...exercise wagon. I'm not quite ready to diet naked yet--you know, confess those little black numbers on the scale, but suffice to say that are much, much, much too high. I will be honest and let you know (because I'm sure you're very curious) how much I lose.

How was your Saturday? Here is what happened at the Benson household:
I slept in late (yeah...until 8:00).
I washed two loads of laundry.
I WALKED THE MIRACLE MILE AGAIN. (M was so confused about the women on TV doing something and mama doing it too! She got the idea that I was following the TV women--she did a few little walk moves of her own. She is so darn cute!)
The entire Benson family went to watch M's cousin play the wrong time, so we came home again.
I did more laundry.
I cleaned a little bit.
I did more laundry.
We ate lunch.
M took a nap.
I did more laundry.
I rested for 45 minutes.
I packed M and H up and sent them back to the ball field to watch the game at the correct time.
I took a bath.
I left to help my friend cater.
It's midnight and I'm not in bed yet.

Okay--surely all this extra movement today burned some calories. I'm on an exercise streak. Day Two...check, check!

Happy, happy Mother's Day to my blog friends. I hope you have a wonderful day with your sweet children.


Friday, May 11, 2007


No, I wasn't hit in the rear of my car.

Let me set up my little situation:
I've swapped my "hide me" winter clothes (which I ADORE) for my "can't hide me" summer clothes (which I absolutely despise).
I can't wear many of my summer clothes.
Basically, I'm fat.

M and I went to do a little shopping this afternoon. I went to one of those discount stores--you know, dig through the super cheap merchandise kinds of places. Everything my style, if you get my drift.

So, I pulled my usual: let me buy a pair of shoes to make myself feel better.

I got TWO pairs of shoes, a pool bag, a totally cute straw hat.

Then, what to my wandering eyes should appear, but...

a whole bunch of exercise DVD's!

I don't own the first exercise anything. Not pants, not shoes, not sports undergarments.

I bought myself not one, BUT TWO exercise DVD's. Get ready to laugh hysterically. Go ahead...giggle.

One is a dance DVD. Since you don't really KNOW me, you might not understand the significance of a dance DVD. I've been teaching for 7 years. Every single year, my kids try to teach me how to dance...EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. Each group has given up. But, I don't really have to worry about others seeing me dance in my own living room, do I?

The other is the Miracle Mile walk DVD. I can hear you laughing now. Just stop for a minute and hear me out. I do walk with M every once in a while. We do own a stroller and a nifty hiking carrier thingy that I put her in and strap her in and pray that we survive a walk. I only use that when I need to take the dog with us. Many years ago, H and I drove around and I memorized the one- and two-mile, so I usually can gauge how far I've walked. And I walk a mile fairly regularly.

Obviously not enough to count for exercise. The Miracle Mile kicked my BUTT from here to next week. Ya'll, it's only 15 minutes long, but my face is still purple from exertion!

I'll keep you updated. I need to get some more water.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

So...sewing class


I did it. I'm taking another sewing class. When one wants to sew, one must learn from the master. Seeing how I keep making the same outfit over, and over, and over, and over, and over again....and one more time for good measure, I decided to sign up for another sewing class. Prior to attending class tonight, I cut out my pattern, washed and ironed my fabric and got thoroughly confused on how to lay out the pieces to cut them out. That stupid picture they gave just didn't make any sense to my tired brain. Thankfully, the master sewer had it figured out in just seconds. I spent the next 120 minutes cutting out the dress.

I tell you what, M better wear this dress when she marries. Pictures will follow soon.

On another note (filed under "and other stuff"), Kari over at has an interesting post about privacy and the relationship between privacy and blogging. She raises some interesting points for me to consider. I don't ever want to invade or violate my students' privacy, so I think I'm going to refrain from sharing any school stories. I would hate, more than anything, for a parent to stumble across this blog and feel as if I had shared something they didn't want public for all of cyberspace to know. I don't feel as if I violate M or H's privacy...they are my life. If I didn't write about them, I wouldn't have much to say. When M is 12, I might shut down the blog (don't've got 11 years before that happens) to avoid any embarrassment for her. I try not to let on too much about H's profession or anything related to him (his family, etc.) that could cause a problem (not that there is anything, of course). What to you think about the privacy issue? Have you had an incidents? I don't read blogs to find out about YOU...I look for advice or ideas or inspiration. I find blogging relaxing and enjoyable. Anyway...just an something to think about, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Update on a father's love

I cooked tonight (shocked gasp, I hear you!), so H came home, ate dinner, ran back to our local home improvement store (otherwise known as his second home), and has been working in the play area since 9:00 PM. Yep, that's right. Nine o'clock PM! It's 10:30 now. He told me over dinner that he hopes to have the area completed by this Saturday evening. Maybe I should mention that my chicken almost caused my death as I was choking on it. I adore H, but this project has progressed much more quickly than most of our other home improvement projects.

For example, our house is still only 2/3 painted. He started that last summer.

Our backyard fence is falling down. And has been for atleast 2 years now.

Not to worry, though, dear neighbors. The white-trash neighbors are going to take care of all their yard woes with a nice fat check from Uncle Sam!

H takes excellent care of the front yard, but is negligent of the back yard--no one sees it, he says! M and I can't wait for all the yard/house work to be finished so we have our other family member back.

Look for pictures soon of the play area. The plants are schedule to arrive tomorrow. H has sweet talked a local nursery owner to SPECIAL ORDER the particular type of plants he wants--and to give him a discount. He's good, girls....very good.

You're It...

My best blog friend Melody ( tagged me for the Seven (7) Things About Me meme. For about a nanosecond I was feeling pretty darn special. Then I realized you're supposed to tag seven people. I wasn't jealous that she tagged her six OTHER best blog friends. My immediate thought was that I don't have seven friends that I can tag!! She tagged a few of my fellow-favorite blogs, so I don't really have anyone to tag.

So, I'm just going to tell you seven things about me. I wish I could tell you how interesting I am or all the amazing things I've done in my life. *sigh* Maybe in another life.

1.) I am a klutz. Luckily I've grown out of the klutz-i-est part of my life, but I'm still super cautious, just in case. When I was in fourth grade, I was on crouches or casts more than not. Once, I sprained my ankle walking across the room. I'm pretty sure my childhood doctor was convinced my parents beat the stew out of me, but could never prove it (they didn't, I assure you!).

2.) I have a religious studies minor because I had the BIGGEST crush on my religion professor in college. I taught his son last year. I still can not believe I survived those parent-teacher conferences. My heart was thudding so loudly in my chest that I thought the walls of the school would crumble.

3.) I'm a tea snob. I drink hot tea that I make myself using loose tea leaves, water boiled to the perfect temperature, and just the right amount of sugar for the tea of the day. I can't do the tea bags from the grocery store any more.

4.) Yes, I'm a tea snob, but I ADORE a good Starbucks every once in a while (okay, okay, like three times a week now that Starbucks has opened about 2.5 minutes from my house).

5.) I've never been out of the county, except to those connected to the United States, but I yearn to see the African plain and Italy. My favorite cities in the United States (and Canada) are Toronto, Chicago, and San Francisco. I like Boston, but I didn't get to spend much time there and I was pregnant with M, so I didn't enjoy it as much I wish I had. I do love the North Shore area, though.

6.) I read very, very, very fast. I can finish a novel in one day or less. My husband got so fed up with my Barnes and Nobel expense account that he prohibited me from buying any new books and got me a library card himself. The librarian used to know my name (before M and grad. school).

7.) I'm not very domestic. I can only cook if I have a recipe that tells me how long to boil the water. When I first started scrapbooking, I told H that I was crazy because I wasn't very creative--I'm still not creative, but I accept my crazy desire to scrapbook and papercraft. I tried to learn to sew many times from my mother, but we would drive each other crazy. It's only been with the help of friends and a sewing teacher that I've learned how. I'm a terrible house keeper. H and I both wish I did a better job of cleaning the house. I want to have a garden, but I don't follow through with it.

Now, my mysterious blog friends, I tag you. Leave a comment and let me know you've told us seven things about you. I can't wait to learn a little more about you!


Monday, May 7, 2007

My Best Shot Monday

She discovered the bubbles and had a blast.
Check out other best shots at:

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Where did the weekend go?

How can it already be Sunday evening--I mean NIGHT?? Just as soon as I start to unwind from the week, it's time to get going again. Fifteen days until summer vacation.
This weekend, my big projects were to finish items for the school art auction. So, I made three pairs of those adorable flip flops. Each pair is different and just as adorable.
I made packages of cards for the auction. All materials are Stampin' Up! This was the first time I used the Polka Dots and Paisley set (the one on top) and I loved, loved, loved it! My usual style is simple and uncomplicated. However, I loved stamping all over the card and layering. I hope these bring in a little money.
I wanted to do some sewing to contribute, but time did not permit. For some reason, spending time with my own little student was just a little more important than working on more items to auction off for school.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The love of a father

Sometimes you think you know a person. Then you learn a little more about them and you realize you don't know them so well, after all.

Here are some things I know about my husband:
--He loves Star Wars
--He is the youngest son
--He is an amazing cook
--He HATES to read
--He is very, very handy (and knows a lot about handy-ness, too)
--He's a pretty good guy, thank you very much.

Something it took me 5.5 years of marriage to learn about him:
--If you really want something done, tell him it's for his daughter.

We live in a town home--two story, connected to one other town home, etc. Not our dream home, but it's ours and we really do love it. Since the beginning of time, I have wanted one specific area cleared so we could have an outdoor seating area. (Just as an aside: H LOVES having a nice yard. He's diligent about fertilizing, mowing, planting, plucking, edging, blowing, what-ever-else-must-be-done-in-the-yard-that-will-keep-him-out-of-the-house-so-he-doesn't-have-to-clean. We often have the nicest yard in our modest neighborhood.) This particular area was overgrown with weeds, vines, spiny trees, etc. It had such potential, you see. I could envision a few nice patio chairs, a table, a glass of wine being enjoyed by yours truly while reading a nice book. Yeah, only too bad for me, that never happened. UNTIL...

I had the biggest brainstorm of my life! Just start buying M outside toys. H would never, ever let them sit on his beloved grass, so he's going to have to find some place for them to go. What better place than my poor overgrown sitting area!?!?! It worked! I asked him if he would design an area for M to play with her new toys.

Genius at work here, please watch out for smoking ears and crossed eyes.

H has been working so, so, so hard on this play area. He's hauled away 32 bags of yard debris, chopped down at least 3 trees, drawn up a plan, researched the costs of plants, wood chips, whatever-else-is-required-for-this-project. He even likes the idea of a touch garden and is giving me blanche carte on the plants, pots, ideas for that.

He bought a tiller...which thrills me to no end. There is something about KNOWING that you are tilling the land...preparing the earth. It moves me. MOVES. ME. I do feel slightly guilty that the tiller is already all tangled with the vines that grew along the ground. H assures me that I can untangle the mess. I'll let you know how that goes.

Aside from untangling the tiller, I have appointed myself QUEEN OF THE BEAST-TO-BEAUTY PROJECT. I like to sit in my queen chair and boss H around. He pretends to be too busy to hear me. It actually works out quite nice for us. Until he asks me, so sweetly, to use the ax to cut through a root. Then I remembered some important work I needed to be doing inside.

The love of a father is a powerful thing.

Between Beast and Beauty

Between beast and beauty...

These hands....this man

Here he is: the man who labors for the transformation from beast to beauty.

Tangled Tiller

Poor little tiller got all tangled up.

The Garbage

32 bags of yard debris, plus tree limbs cut into 3-4 foot sections...all removed from said play area

The Queen

The Queen: That's me.
I'm bossing the worker bee around.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A-W-E-S-O-M-E Friends

I can hear you. You're asking yourself what in the world do awesome friends and this amazing mug have in common, aren't you?

I have two sweet friends (okay, I have lots more than TWO sweet friends, but these are two of my sweet friends (Ana and Andria) who happen to be suffering through the master's cohort with me) who spoil me a lot. We went to an amazing art show of ceramics called Fired Works. There were many, many talented artist exhibiting. I told my two friends that I have always wanted a handmade cup for my hot tea. I asked them to please tell H so he might get one for my birthday in the fall. They helped me look for a cup that I liked a lot, assuring me they would tell H. When we all gathered for class on Sunday, those girls had lied to me, I tell you...LIED to me! They got the cup for me!!!!

Bottom's up, everyone (I think you're supposed to say that when you're drinking alcohol...not a coffee and hot chocolate concoction!). Here's to enjoying a de-lish-ous cup of hot tea and even sweeter friendship. Girls, I love you.


Throwing a fit

M? Throwing a fit? I know it is hard to believe, but sadly, it's true. She was Tee-TOE-TA-LEE (that is totally) p-o'd that I wouldn't give her crackers while I fixed her dinner a few nights ago. She would march in the kitchen, point at the crackers and GRUNT. I would send her back to play with her toys, where she would put her head in the chair and sob...SOB, I tell you...for about 3 seconds before she would try again. She would march into the kitchen, point to the crackers, and grunt. I would send her back to play with her toys, where she would put her head in the chair and sob again. Let me remind you, my dear faithful friends, that the sobbing--heart-wrenching, tear faced sobbing--only lasted a mere three seconds. This girl has some serious perseverence.
(Sorry for the fuzzy picture. She caught on to my sneaky, around-the-cabinet photo-op attempt and would rush back into the kitchen for her attempt at scoring some crackers. I had to be super quick so she didn't realize I was there)