Saturday, February 6, 2016

What I Read: December / January Edition

Wow!  It's been months since I've written a blog post!  Now that the holidays are over and my students have finished their writing process, I have once again returned to devouring books.  I read so much faster and so much more often on my Kindle.  Why is that?  I truly would love to solve that mystery, but in the meantime I'll simply keep enjoying my escapes into so many fascinating lives and the truths we can learn about our Creator when we learn about His created.

So that I can look back and remember what I've read and so that you can hopefully glean something for your reading list, here's what I read in December and January.  So much credit is owed to the blog and podcast by "Modern Mrs. Darcy."  She has truly kept my to-read list long and stacked with wonderfully engaging tales tailored just to my liking.  It's hard not to read when you can't put a book down!

This was incredibly fun and fruitful and has sent me on a quest to have a clutter-free home.  Surprise bonus: insight into a Japanese woman's life and stuff and day.  Turns out we're not that different after all. Loved that cherry on top.

Nothing here was new, but it was a refreshing read nonetheless.  Sometimes it simply helps to hear someone else validate ways to keep the plates spinning.

I recently discovered my love for the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.  The analysis I've gleaned from pamphlet-sized books like this one and podcasts like "The Personality Hacker" have been invaluable to me and truly answered prayer to aid me in growing and learning through challenges.


Wow.  What an enthralling biography!  I cannot say enough about this book!  Whatever your views on Johnson, this is well worth the read.  Goodwin is a gifted biographer and was the guiding source for the film, "Lincoln."  This was simply so so interesting.  I LOVE when reality collides with an engaging story!

This was short and sweet and cute.  

This was fun.  I would tell you how I learned to tame my fly-aways in my hair-do now, but on second thought that doesn't seem poised enough.  You'll have to read for yourself, my dear.

The class I teach motivated me to buy this as I thought I could glean some great tips to pass along to my students.  Not only did I do that, but I also found some wonderfully applicable ways to improve my own teaching and course design as well.  It was quick and beneficial!  

And we can't forget this one:
"Dragons Love Tacos," by Adam Rubin.  Paired with tacos for dinner, of course.

Stay tuned for more reading updates!  This was fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2 Squared Is Not 4. It's Just More 2.

I ran down the street chasing my child in my pajamas this morning, as in all the way onto the next street, and with the little old retired baptist preacher who lives across from us (and who was already in his collared shirt and pressed jeans for the day at 6:00am) watching us.  I thought for a moment how embarrassed I was.  Then I decided no - you know what?  I am a boy mom!  I am a 2 year old boy mom and these pajamas were on sale at JCrew outlet and are fall / winter fabulous and I am gonna catch that kid so hear me roar!

And I caught that kid even though, Shel Silverstein, the sidewalk ending poses no real predicament to an escaped toddler.  And when I caught that kid I scooped him up with his little legs flailing and all his free will squashed like a pancake and I marched him back home with pride.


Until I discovered once home that some random piece of laundry - I suppose the thermal shirt I had layered under my pajama sweater the day before - was hanging out from underneath.  

(A note on the sweater: I took my cues from the mannequin because, quite frankly, she seemed to have it all together and if she wears a sweater for pajamas and I wear a sweater for pajamas then maybe - just MAYBE - I will be like her.  Calm.  Skinny.  Not running.)

So, I could tell you I haven't posted here in months because I am full time working mama of a high maintenance clone, or I could tell you the truth:  I am a princess trapped in a frat house.  Please find me and return me to Nordstrom. 

Sure, hot chocolate is fine.  Let me just get a towel and another towel and follow you around like a hawk since you decide to pour your cup out wherever you are standing or sitting the second you decide you're finished.  

No.  I didn't want all that on the shelves.

Nope.  Didn't want that stuff on those shelves, either.

See?  I told you clothes were cool.

Yes, your form is amazing.  Yes, I'll announce you.  Yes, I want the instant replay.

Yes.  You are PRECIOUS.  No, in fact, I don't care that you don't want to hear it. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thank You Notes

Thank you, South Texas, for forcing me to spend money to make it Autumn. 

Thank you, random coloring pages given to us by some man at the Farmer's Market dressed in green and leaves and twigs for being in my car when the candy store said they didn't have any tissue paper and I know they did.

P.S. Thank you, self, for not cleaning out the car.

Thank you, Oma and Opa, for watching Jonah so I could go out with a man named Howard.  We had a nice time.  I think we'll go out sometime again.

Thank you, Jonah, for being on a COMPLETELY different diet than I am.

Really, it's so fun to drink a protein shake and plea bargain with you to eat one bite of anything breaded, cheesed, buttered, and sugared.

Thank you, Jonah, for saying, "Home" instead of "um," and "OK" like an adult, but in really odd places in the conversation.

Thank you, Jesus, for friends.

Thank you, Howard, for teaching Sunday School and allowing me to learn so much from you.  Today your lesson made me realize that while we often try to remind ourselves that suffering will work out in the end, we can also take a step back and realize that God didn't have to include us in this story at all.  So the fact that we're in the middle of it means we're in it.  That in and of itself may not be immediately fun, but is a profound blessing.

Thank you, Nonna and Bearpaw for these precious boots that were made for walkin to church (well, to the car that drove us to church and then the walk from the car to the building).

Thank you, Lord, for our jobs, our town, our family, our friends, Jonah's teachers, 
and Fall (or the opportunity to copy your Northeastern work).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Where the Wild Things Went

Jonah and I camped and kayaked on the Guadalupe this weekend thanks to kind friends extending an invite and more kind friends loaning us gear!  My little camper did so well!!!  I can't believe it!  We had SO much fun hiking, kayaking, setting up camp, making s'mores, playing football with big boys, and sweating our ever loving souls right out of our bodies.  The best part (besides all the tender "Hi Momma" moments) was waking up to trees and birds.  I quote Jonah upon waking: "Twees?  Biwds?"  It made my heart so happy.

These were the days I dreamt of when I opened that blue cupcake two years ago.  As much fun as we had, he was thrilled to be back at preschool this morning and ran to his teacher!  
And so we move from bouquets of wild flowers to bouquets of sharpened pencils...ahhhh.  Both so sweet!! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Birtday.

I am taking a break from party planning to jot down some memories from this week.

Yes, I idolize my child and he is at the center of my life and we hang images of him throughout our home to honor him and sing praise songs to him every day.  Why do you ask?

So, back to my break from Jonah to tell you about Jonah.  He started preschool this week and we couldn't be happier with how it's going.  He loves it, and we love it so much that if he didn't we would second guess him before the school.  It's that good.  

Aside from trying to solve the mystery about who Abigail is and why he should be nice to her, I heard the sweetest recollection from him about his day.  Last night as I was putting him to bed I was going through the events of the day with him (he loves this and gets really still and pays close attention) and when I got to the review of snack time and the lesson at school, he pointed to himself and said, "My name Jonah."  Then he pointed to me and said, "My name Mama."  


They've been talking about names and family this week and I hadn't even brought that up in our review of the day.  I think Mamas and Papas are the best teachers, so to hear that he is learning and growing even though we're apart during the day washed me over with peace.

I'm prepared for the peace to be fleeting if his made-up girlfriend Abigail dumps him tomorrow.

Howard and I aren't back at work yet so I've been working a little on decorating my classroom and a lot on Jonah's birthday party (ies).  It helps to work out the missing of him.  I'm about to go make 'healthy' cookies for his school party tomorrow but before I do, you have to know that I was working so hard on this chalkboard sign this morning.  I got carried away and had so much fun representing all the things Jonah likes.  Howard even so sweetly surprised me with my favorite lunch because he saw the sweat I am pouring into a 2 year old's birthday party where he'll only care about the M&Ms.

I was proud and took pics.

Before the addition of Larry the Cucumber:

Larry was added:

I went and did some other things and walked back through the kitchen again, and it hit me. 

I misspelled "Birthday."


I'm not redoing it.  

Jonah tells people all the time "Happy Birtday" as a sign of affection.  So there you go, Jo.  Happy Birtday.  

It's probably best you have other teachers in your young life, after all.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Big Hug, Summer!

The day is done and summer too.

So much we saw and did (and threw).

A trip to Tulsa and twice to the beach, to the pool and swim lessons where we learned to kick feet.

Frozen yogurt and cookies and popcorn galore.  Every day was an occasion.  Don't forget s'mores!

Lots of firsts this summer did see, like riding rides at the toddler park and the start of climbing trees.

Now it's off to school, but when our days are through, we'll meet again for playtime, for snuggles, and for YOU.

(In case the above wasn't clear, the snuggles are for Jonah - not you, the reader.  Please don't come to our house asking for snuggles.  That would be really weird. Thanks.)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Now & Later Lasagna


1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 16 oz jar Tomato Basil Pasta sauce (I like HEB brand)
1 package oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 package sliced mozzarella 
1 package grated Italian blend cheese

Ramekins or non-paper oven safe cupcake liners and muffin pan

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with non-paper cupcake liners (I used Reynolds foil liners).

2. Brown and drain the sausage.  Keep in pan and set aside.

3. Add a spoonful of sauce to the bottom of each liner.  Add the rest of the jar to the sausage and stir over warm until heated through.  Cover and set aside.

4.  Break up noodles and start layering noodle, 1/4 mozzerella slice, grated cheese, sausage mixture, until all ingredients but a little grated cheese are used up.

5. Top with remaining grated cheese and bake for 30 min at 350.

6. Serve some now and freeze the rest!  Reheat later in the oven or pop out of liner to microwave.