Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh tie me to the end of a kite....

I am in the mood to travel. To go somewhere far away and for a few precious days, escape the worries and responsibilities of life. I know that those things will be waiting when I return, but to escape and forget about them for a few blissful days with hubs would be incredible. Does anyone have those days? When they

Until then, trapped in snow-mans-land......

Enjoy your weekend!

PS. Title of this post is from a Rosie Thomas song called Kite Song. So good, go listen to it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Waiting on Friday

We haven't had school on a Friday since before Christmas break! Snow and ice have kept us out every Friday of this month, which.... not gonna lie... has been wonderful! It's spoiled me though... so I'm a little disappointed that we will have school this Friday unless that huge storm gets to us before expected (it's supposed to hit here on Saturday). I love my job though so I can't complain! I couldn't ask for a better job, seriously.

Nothing to report on future home buying/building. We are in the process of all the paper work for the loan and it is blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. There are so many tiny words on these super huge legal pages. Haha. I don't even want to talk about it.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to start walking every morning at school (7:20 am) with some of the other teachers at work. I've walked every day that we've had school this week! Wooohooo go me! =) I am really enjoying it. It's cold on the hill where our school is and I couldn't feel my legs when I got back to my classroom this morning due to the 20 something degree temperature but I feel more energized throughout the day. I'm also getting to know the other teachers at my school a lot better which is great!

Some of you have asked which book we are studying in our Bible study/book club. We are reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It basically encourages people to live for God more radically and not be lukewarm. It's really good so far! There are videos online to go with each chapter which is cool.

Well I'll blog more as soon as I have more exciting news to share!

Happy Wednesday friends!

P.S. As a teacher I get paid on the last working day of every month (and so does hubs) so we haven't seen paychecks since Dec. 18th! GET HERE FAST FRIDAY!  =)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Very Blessed

This weekend was wonderful! Yesterday we had our first Bible study/book club meeting and it was so fun! We had a great time talking and enjoying our coffees (in my case a chai latte). I work with one of the girls and we don't know each other too well but her and I ended up talking for 2 and a half hours after Bible study ended. I am going to be walking with her and another girl at work every morning. What a blessing to make a new friend!
This morning I woke up and had just stepped into the shower when I got a call from our school system. I assumed we were gonna be an hour late because of flooding but it turns out we were closed! They needed to use our schools as evacuation centers. Hubs' school system was closed too so I crawled back in bed and slept for a few more hours! I don't know what kind of damage the flooding has caused but hopefully everyone and their houses are okay. It was minor flooding I believe... Keep the families that are affected in your prayers!
We also received some good news this morning from our landlord/builder. Turns out he knows the guy that builds the home that we want to build and can get the floor plans from him! He also thinks that he can get a good deal on a lot in a local subdivision. We are waiting to see what happens but I am trusting that whatever does happen is God's plan and I'm not going to spend my time worrying about things I can't control! That's one of the things that the book we are reading (Crazy Love) is focused on. Living life without fear. Trusting God and letting him be in control instead of trying to control our situations.
I'm thankful for all of the blessings that God has poured into my life lately!
Happy Monday friends!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In a funk (as weird as that sounds)

I am having a very hard time getting motivated to do anything. Lately it seems that all I do in the afternoons is sit on this computer and look up houses, check email, blogs, facebook, and of course dinner is thrown in there somewhere. I have got to get out of this blah routine asap. Help.
Hubs and I are in a funk. Not really with each other, just with our routines and life in general. It's been awhile since we've had a fun day together. He is extremely busy coaching basketball (tonight they are playing 2 hours away!) and I'm wrapped up in this home buying process and it's making me feel blah. We should be trying new recipes, planning weekends away or date days, joining and going to the gym everyday, walking our pups outside, cleaning and organizing the house, spending more time writing lesson plans and organizing files, spring cleaning, SOMETHING. Anything other than sitting here on this computer! But here I am... blogging away. Sigh. Can you tell I'm in a funk? Suggestions please! Does life ever get stale or complacent for anyone else?

On the upside, I did start a women's Bible study/book club which meets tomorrow at Starbucks! And two of the girls at work meet at 7:20 and walk every morning before school and I plan to join them starting Monday! Hubs and I are also going to look at 3 houses tomorrow and a few lots. It is looking like we are going to be able to build a house and I am so excited about that so pray that it all works out!

Enjoy your weekend! I welcome comments and suggestions on getting motivated and out of a funk! =)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lots of Updates

So I would love to have a week off. Yes I am well aware that I just had two weeks off in December. I don't care. Between Pals testing, Ganske, math computations and benchmarks, report cards, mid year writing samples, and teaching somwhere in between all of those things, I'm flat out exhausted. I'm sure that string of things meant nothing to many of you but let me tell you, I feel bad for kids today. They are tested.tested.tested. There is not enough time to teach everything the kids are expected to learn. *sigh*. Okay. I'll get off my soap box.
Back to life beyond school (Pause: Has there ever been such a thing for me? undergrad, working in higher ed, going to grad school, teaching elementary school. Nope, life has not existed for me without some kind of educational setting). Anyway....
Soon to be home buyers update: We have been approved for a loan. A mortgage loan. We could own a house within two months (these things take lots of time being processed at the bank). Eeeeeeeekkkk. I'm a little nervous. We might be moving out of our beloved house and into another house. I'm coming to terms with it. Getting slightly excited. We are still seeing about buying this house, we have one back up plan as of now. We will find out possibly tomorrow whether or not we will be staying here or moving out! If we decide to move out, we will be putting a contract on another house within a week I hope! I'll be sure to keep you all updated! =)

On another note, my friends and I are starting a small group/book club. We are meeting on Sunday nights at Starbucks. We decided to read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I've heard great things about it so our discussions should be interesting. Our first meeting is this Sunday! I can't wait! =)

Well that's enough for now! Happy Tuesday friends!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Relaxing Sunday

It's a rainy Sunday here in Virginia! Hubs and I are going out to his grandparent's farm for Sunday dinner. YUM. Nan is the BEST cook. After that I don't have too much planned. I'm going to come home and clean the house, do some laundry, and menu plan for the week. I must admit, I'm not a cook. I'd like to try to get better at it though. I'm going to try one new recipe a week (I hope!). I'll keep you informed if I stumble across any amazing recipes.
I'm meeting up with one of my best friends this afternoon to pick a book for our Bible study. We decided to meet once a week and do a Bible study together. I'm sure more people will join us as time goes on. I think it's going to be a great way for us to support each other. I'll let you know which book we choose!
Also, thanks to all who commented on my last post! I'm going to give vitamins a try and I'm going to go with the binder approach to keep all of my unit plans. I hope I can get myself organized and find binder big enough for everything I've accumulated! I'm also going to look into the Florida Keys vacation idea! Thanks a bunch! One more thing, does anyone go to the website We Heart It? It's a photography website... I keep trying to go there and it won't open on my computer. Does that happen to anyone else?

Have a blessed Sunday friends!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Advice Needed Please!

This will probably be a random blog. My thoughts are all over the place. I need a few suggestions from all of you lovely, intelligent bloggers!

Vitamins: Do you take them? Do they help? What kinds?
I don't currently take vitamins but I'm starting to feel like I should because as a teacher I am around germs all day long, I'm on my feet almost all day, and I feel very tired by the time I get home. Do you feel vitamins make a difference?

Books for a Bible Study: Any suggestions on a really good Bible study book? I've heard What Happens When Women Say Yes To God is a good one. A friend and I have decided to meet every Sunday and start our own small group. We both want to be more dedicated to God and hopefully we can hold each other accountable and invite others to join our group! Soooooooo suggestions please!

Joining a Gym: Do it? Don't do it? I'm the type that needs to take the classes. I get bored SO easily on a treadmill and I would never go if running on a boring machine was my only option. Any ideas for adding a gym membership to an already full daily schedule?

Unit plans: All you other teachers out there... Do you keep your unit plans/worksheets/etc in three ring binders? File folders? Right now I have all of mine separated into file folders For example, for Science and Social Studies I have folders for each unit "Magnets, Weather, Communnities/Citizenship, First/Native Americans" etc. Do you think its easier to put it all in three ring binders by subject so its more organized for next year?

Vacations: Favorite summer vacations? I've heard Martha's Vineyard is amazing.... anyone been there?

Just looking for ways to simplify and enrich my life! We have teacher work days tomorrow and Monday. Lots of test scores to be entered, lesson plans to be made, and report cards to get done!

Happy almost Friday everyone!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Late Monday Moment and other updates

Well I don't have too many updates on our home buying status. We are still working out a lot of details and a lot of our future is greatly dependent on the person who currently owns our house. He is trying to work something out with us, I just hope that he can get the price where we want it. So please be praying for him and us and this whole complicated process. We have a back-up house or two that we are interested in but we love, love, love the house we live in now (we've lived here for 2 and a half years and still love it!) and earlier this week making a deal didn't look promising but got a little good news today from him so keep praying!

I didn't get to post my Monday Moment yesterday so here it is:
I went to watch hubs coach his basketball team (they won! Yay! 7-2 record now) yesterday afternoon. Before I left, Hubs' granddad stopped by to drop off some cake and things that Nan had made for us so we rode to the game together. On our way home I mentioned to hubs that Nan had sent us six or seven slices of cake (I'm not sure what kind it was, Italian or something?). Anyways we got home and I went upstairs and hubs was downstairs with the dogs. Well a few minutes later he yelled up and asked me what was on the plate that was on the counter. I took one look at the plate and panicked. Apparently while hubs was bebopping along to his iPod and writing his practice plans, he didn't hear Mason (see pictures below) jump up on the counter with his front paws and proceed to eat all of the cake and the Saran wrap that was covering it. Yes that's right. He ate several pieces of cake and cellophane. Was I extremely worried? Not exactly. Labs are crazy and have stomaches of steel. He has eaten a screw (yes, we know this because he miraculously passed it), huge chunks of foam from a recliner he decided to demolish in his 3 year long puppy phase, wood (I mean whole sticks, people, that didn't get crushed in his digestive system), brownies (in my defense, that happened when he stayed with my mother-in-law one weekend), an entire chicken thigh (bones and all, not a trace left behind), and numerous other things that are not edible. He is invincible at this stage in his life. Crazy, wild, and loveable! =)

Happy Tuesday friends!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frowns to Favorites

I am still in a funk. This buying a house situation has been stressful and it's barely begun! I need to pray that God changes my attitude. I've been so moody, tired, and annoyed lately that even I'm getting sick of me! I hope that things turn around this week. I've been in a bad mood since the end of Christmas break. I guess I wasn't ready to go back and as soon as we returned we had so much to get through before the kids take another benchmark test that I've felt rushed. We have two teacher work days coming up, one on Friday (if there aren't any more snow days between now and then (light snow is in the forecast for tomorrow night) and one on Monday. I am looking forward to those days. I can take my time, get my report cards done, clean my classroom, and plan for the upcoming six weeks. We are approaching the end of the 3rd six weeks, which means we are half way through the school year! =) Anyways, hopefully my mood picks up this week... In an effort to post something positive, here is a list of my current loves!

5 Favorites:
Snack: Yogurt covered pretzels (so yum. Try them! They come in 100 calorie packs!)
Music: Rosie Thomas (so mellow)
TV Show: The Bachelor =)
Football team: Baltimore Ravens (I haven't been following all season but I watched some of the game today and enjoyed it. Figures I don't get interested till the playoffs.)
Form of relaxation: Hot bubble bath and a good book

Hope your weekend was fabulous!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Grouchy Homeowner-To-Be

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. For those of you that don't know what that means, it's the sound of the frustrated. It's not only known as ugh, but can be used interchangeably with grrrrrrrr and blah. That's how I feel about this housing process right now. The owner of our house isn't exactly agreeing with our informal offer. He wants a little more. Enough more that it will make our payment higher than what we want it to be. So we are still in the negiotiating stage. We looked at 4 houses last weekend and disliked them all. We are looking at one tomorrow (we've looked at this one before too, and we really like it, it's a lot bigger than our house now, but we are still unsure of whether or not we want this house enough to make an offer). I also found 4 other houses that we are going  to ride by tomorrow to see if they are worth calling the realtor to go look inside of them. We want to have a back-up plan in case we do have to/decide to move. It's just kind of frustrating because we are comparing all of the houses to the one we live in now because we love it. We are comfortable here but it is time to buy (and stop renting) because of the $8,000 tax credit. There will probably never be another opportunity for us to buy a house (as a first time homebuyer) and get $8,000 from the government for doing it. So we know that we have to make this huge purchase within the next month or two and it's a little stressful. I'm hoping we put a contract on something within the next two weeks. Say a little prayer for us please! I hope I didn't bum anyone out with my ranting! =)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day Friday

I am blogging from home at 10:15 on a Friday morning thanks to a light dusting of snow last night! I was so happy to see our school district flash across the TV screen saying CLOSED this morning. Hubs was off too (we don't work for the same school district but his school system closed as well). So we didn't roll out of bed until 9:45 which was wonderful. Now I'm enjoying my coffee and catching up on all of your lovely blogs. The snow we got last not was nothing compared to the 2 feet we received before Christmas. I'm kinda glad that it happened on the last day of school before Christmas break because that snow would have kept us out for over a week and then we would be extending our year in June!

I don't have too many new things to report. We are still waiting to hear back on whether or not our conditions for buying our house have been excepted. I'm getting anxious. Hopefully we will find out today! Buying a home can get pretty complicated but we are pushing to get it done as soon as possible so we can get the $8,000 tax credit for 1st time home buyers. We have until the end of April to make a deal and the end of June to close. I want it all to be done a lot sooner than that!

In other news, hubs' team won their basketball game last night by 1 point! And that was after their best player got a concussion and was taken out of the game. They are 6-2 now! A winning season so far. Good job hubs and team! =) I was so proud of him and his team at the game. He was a such a good coach, so confident as the game came down to its final seconds. I was nervously putting my hands over my face and peeking through my fingers! =)

Hopefully it will be a relaxing weekend. We don't have anything planned yet, but sometimes those are the best kind!

Happy Friday friends!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oh, Wednesday

Nothing to exciting to report this week. We are still waiting to hear back about making a deal on buying our house! I hope we find out something soon.
I'm completely and totally exhausted. Hubs has been dealing with some issues on his basketball team so we've been staying up late talking all week. I'm talking bed by 9:30 was my normal routine before break and this week it probably hasn't been before 11! Only for you hubs! =) Needless to say I'm guzzling coffee each morning and find myself being a little more irritable this week. Blah.
We (the teachers) are praying that the 60% chance of snow for tomorrow night keeps going up and lands us a snow day Friday. Wishful thinking I'm sure but hey, we can hope! =) We did just get 2+ feet of snow though so many people here do not want anymore! I say bring it on, 6 built in snow days to burn!

Happy (or sleepy?) Wednesday friends!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Houses, Crying, and Monday Moment

Hubs and I are in the process of trying to buy a house. We love the house that we are in and are in the process of working out a deal with the owner, but just to make sure there wasn't something else we wanted, we decided to look at some houses yesterday. We followed the realtor to 4 houses that we liked online. Not one of them lived up to our expectations. So my mood yesterday was blah. I was grouchy because of the upcoming work week and because of the houses so I decided I need to soak in the tub and read my latest book by Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song. Well, I didn't anticipate that I would be bawling like a baby crying for the rest of the night. Seriously. I couldn't stop reading it and I couldn't stop crying. My eyelids may or may not have been swollen this morning. I did admit to my reading group that I cried over a book last night. They were telling me they loved Dr. Seuss and Barbara Parks (author of Junie B.Jones series) so I admitted my love for Nicholas Sparks even though I am a blubbering mess at the end of his books. Second graders cannot relate. I need a book club! =)
On a new note, allow me to introduce my new Monday Moment tidbit. Instead of an entire Not Me Monday segment, that many of you do, which I totally love by the way. Hilarious! I thought I would start out with a Monday Moment. We've all had them.
Monday Moment: Our school district was an hour late this morning but I wanted to go in on time to get a few things ready and to ease myself into the day. Well I live about 20-25 minutes from my school. When I arrived at school I realized I left my lunch in the fridge at home. Well I decided that it would be a good idea to go all the way home and get it and drive back. Stupid. What sandwich and chips was worth wasting 45 minutes first thing in the morning? Instead of buying lunch at school, or stopping at Subway, I decided to drive home for that stupid sandwich! It took me over an hour to get to work this morning. I totally wasted my hour delay. I knew I should have listened to hubs and slept in!

Happy (or unhappy?)  Monday friends!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Advice Needed (JMU alums could help!)

What's this? Christina blogged two days in a row? Shocking. =) I should be at church right now, but I'm not. I'm sitting here, blogging, drinking coffee, and adding to my lesson plans for the week. The dreaded week. I have somewhat of a dilemma with church right now. I love my pastor and the music at our church, however, our church doesn't seem to offer anything past Sunday service for me. They have tons of Life Groups, small groups, etc, but none for people my age. The church is huge and I can't seem to get to know anyone there or become involved. So...... I'm contemplating switching churches. I don't exactly have one in mind yet, but since I live in a rural area, I may have to drive to say, Harrisonburg, to find a new church. That's okay with me, I think. Harrisonburg is only 30 minutes away. Finding a church that supports me, and allows me to become involved and give back would be well worth the drive. Do any of you bloggers have any suggestions for finding a new home church? Do any of you JMU alums know of any good ones in Harrisonburg or the surrounding area? I've heard Aletheia is good.... I'm open to suggestions!

Have a fabulous Sunday friends!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions and Travel Advice!

Happy New Year to everyone! I had a great time on New Years Eve. Hubs and I went to dinner and then to a friends house. The guys watched football and the girls talked, played Apples to Apples (such a funny game), and ate lots of yummy food. We all watched the ball drop, toasted champagne to the New Year, and then watched Travis Something or Other, jump his car off the ramp over the water. All in all it was a great, laidback New Year's celebration.
As for resolutions, I have some of the typical ones: exercise more, cook more, buy healthier foods, etc. The two resolutions that I hope to really stick with are this: Travel more and find a new church/or find better ways to become more involved in the one that I go to now. I love our pastor at the church we go to now, but there aren't many groups for people our age. It's hard to feel connected. There is no support group. They have tons of Life Groups but they are mostly comprised of people who are a lot older than us. I'd love to find a church that has a women's small group for people my age. So your prayers for me to find this are greatly appreciated!
Traveling more is important to me because I didn't get to do much last year because of grad school and work. Now that hubs and I both have summers off, I hope we can travel a lot more. We are going to NYC during our spring break in April, and we are trying to decide where we want to go this summer. We are thinking about going on a cruise. Thoughts or opinions on cruises? Did you feel claustrophobic in the small rooms? Seasick? Hate it? Love it? Wish you could cruise the world forever? Recommendations? I'd love to know what you thought!