Friday, December 29, 2006

It's gonna be a long one, kids...

With the holidays upon us, there are so many things to reflect upon!! And I don't even know where to start! So, I guess I'll start with what I'm most grateful for, and that is not having to work this week. And also, that I will only have 3 weeks with this set of kids before the start of the new semester. Egads. School has been ridiculously stressful, and it was capped off the last day before break when one of my students was suspended for exposing himself to a girl in my class. It was a lovely scene, where I exploded in such fury (this wasn't the first offense by this kid) on this boy that jaws dropped all around the room, and people walking down the hallway stopped to look in my window and see what was going on! Not good, so I sent him to the office and that was that. It's almost over... I keep telling myself that! But what's almost STARTING is Grad School! Hooray! For those who haven't heard, I'll be getting my masters in American Studies from Penn State, Harrisburg. Classes start in two weeks, and I'm very excited to get it under way. I'm also very excited that the school will pay for most of it! Hooray again!

Oh, I should mention school isn't all bad, I actually had a really great experience running a shoe drive. It was great, we collected almost 500 pairs of shoes for the local Salvation Army Emergency Services. They were very grateful, and a lot of kids got experience in serving others. It was fun!

We've also been very busy with the house. For those who have been here, you know that we have a "scary" laundry room. Well, we are working on fixing that! We've got it painted a nice blue/gray that really brightens it up. We've also put a fresh coat of white on the sink, and cabinets that are down there. We are half way through putting laminate tiles on the floor. It was a much more practical option for us than real tile, because the floor is so uneven. Regardless, it looks great with the tiles and we can't wait until it's finished! (Actually, we can, because we've been putting it off for about a week now... it's rough on the knees and back, ouch.) And I am currently in the process of building, from scratch, a cabinet/folder counter to go along the wall next to the washer and dryer. It's giving me major problems, but I'm having fun building. It's brining me back to my days of manual labor at Acorn Manufacturing!! In addition to all that, Mike and I have finally scheduled to have our house resided and insulated in March!! We got a very good quote from the siding company that recently resided my in-laws house, and the workmanship was very good, so we've got it all scheduled. The guy from ShreveCo actually stopped by last night to give us color samples... we're leaning towards Cape Cod Gray with Natural Linen Trim... should be an improvement upon our currently "pink" house.

Moving on, Christmas was great! It was a considerably smaller crowd than usual, but we still had a nice time at mom and dad's on Christmas Eve. It was us, Bird, mom and dad, and my best friend, Jean. We played games, ate lots of shrimp, cheese and crackers, and other random goodies, and then read the Christmas story in Luke as usual. Then we exchanged gifts and had a good time. Once all that settled down, we decided to turn on TBS' 24 hour marathon of The Christmas Story. Apparently mom and dad have never seen it, but they just thought it was hilarious... getting the mouth washed out with soap, then having visions of himself as a blind man as a result of soap poisoning, his trip to see Santa Claus, and having to get dressed up in that Pink Bunny suit. You know how mom is when she gets on a roll laughing... it was more hilarious to see her reaction than to watch the movie in the first place!! A good night...

Then, Christmas morning, Mike and I opened our gifts! It was great, and we both got just what we wanted! Mike got his Shop Vac, and I got... A KITCHENAIDE MIXER!!! It was great... Then we got to work cooking Christmas dinner for Bird, Mom and Dad. Mike was in charge of the turkey, and I did everything else. We had mashed potatoes, cranberries, green bean casserole and stuffing. Then, there was brownie-cookies and key lime pie for dessert! Not a huge meal, but it was plenty for the five of us!!! It was a great time!

And the last thing I'd like to update you on is a bit of a sensitive subject for me. You see, Anna and Sara have this thing, where they think no matter what I eat, or what I do, I am just a skinny minnie. Ya know, it's like the hours working out, running, playing volleyball, etc. mean nothing, and I am just "lucky" that way to be skinny. And this comes after years of Sam tormenting me and telling me every day how fat I was, and after years of Anna and her friend Jamie Aerheart (sp??) telling me what a chubbo I was... I used to hide under the bed when I knew Jamie was coming over... but anyway, I digress. So Anna and Sara tell me about this "experiment" they've got planned, where they'll feed me a pound of fudge everyday. Their hypothesis is that either the fudge will have no impact on me whatsoever, or, that my body will systematically turn the fudge into lean muscle mass. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd love it if it really happened that way. But let's just say, if this experiment were to be carried out, I promised Sara and Anna that they'd get the bill for my gastric bypass surgery in about ten years... Hahaha, jokes, right?? Well I just HAVE to share this story for those of you out there who think I'm just skin and bones, not an ounce of fat on me... Let's just say, you know you've had one too many Christmas Cookies when you bend over to pick up a sock, and split your pants. And yes indeed, this truly did happen to me! It was the day after Christmas, and I was busy doing laundry and getting ready to run my other errands while Mike was at work. I was heading out the garage door when I noticed a sock that had slipped between the washer and dryer. I dashed over quickly to pick it up, but as I bent down, I heard the sickening tear! This has NEVER happened to me before. I was in shock, and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I felt the back of my jeans, but couldn't feel a tear, so I thought, "Well, these jeans are getting old, probably just a stitch or two came loose." So, since I didn't feel anything, I made my way out to the car and headed to the post office. I parked the car, turned off the engine, and leaned to the side to step out of the car. I heard it again, that sickening tear. So I reach back to try and find the rip, and am grabbing around at my butt in the middle of a busy parking lot on a busy street. Only this time, I find something. A HUGE something, right on my right butt cheek. It was BIG. Like, my butt was showing through my pants! And I'm standing there in the post office parking lot like an idiot groping my butt with people staring at me like I'm a freak! I just didn't know what to do! The post office was busy, so I figured nobody would notice, besides my coat was long enough that you'd kind of have to bend over and look up my coat to even notice. So I decide to get in line. Given that this was the day after Christmas, the post office was hectic. I got in line, and tried to ignore the breeze that kept shooting up my pants everytime someone opened the door, when wouldn't you know, a woman gets in line behind me with a small child holding her hand. Oh great, I thought, I'm going to scar this child for life by exposing my huge butt about a foot from her face... so I kind of danced around, and wiggled my coat down so it was sort of covering my bum. The other people in line probably thought I had to go to the bathroom or something, and I was just feeling like a huge idiot, so I decided to cut out of line, and head back to the car. And of course in my rush to leave, I tripped on the side walk and fell face first. I put my hands out to catch myself, which left my butt sticking straight up in the air, and again I heard another sickening rip, and the hole got bigger!!! Not a great sight for the people on the crowded sidewalk. So I ducked back in my car and headed straight home to see the damage. My, it was a big hole right underneath my back pocket on the right side. I was so mortified. I couldn't figure out if I was embarrased because I'd exposed my bum to more people than I ever thought possible, or if it was because I couldn't believe my butt could get big enough to do that much damage to a poor pair of jeans!! At any rate, I am very thankful that Kohl's was having a huge day after Christmas sale so I could buy some new jeans, and that Mike consoled me when I called to tell him what happened. I know it sounds a bit far fetched, but I honestly couldn't make this up! And here's a picture to prove it! So, Sara, Anna... I think you need to find someone else to force feed a pound of fudge everyday!! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year! Love you all!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Well, we had an interesting activity for mutual last night. Our objective was to do a "Ding Dong Ditch" for a family in the ward that is less well off. So, last week we took the girls shopping and had them buy gifts for the family. Last night we started off by having the girls wrap the gifts, and make cookies to go along with it. Then the fun started. We piled into two cars (6 people in my Honda Civic, and about 9 in the other ladies Suburban) and headed into downtown Harrisburg. The objective of a Ding Dong Ditch is to pile the stuff on the doorstep as quietly as you can, then ring the bell and RUN so they don't know who it's from! It was a bit more complicated from the get-go! Getting closer to downtown harrisburg, it all runs downhill towards the river. The particular neighborhood we went to was kind of wierd. The street ran downhill, but the homes were built up higher along a retaining wall to protect them from flooding. So, we parked along the street, and very quietly scaled the 5 ft' retaining wall like little spider people. Well, actually, Emily my little 4'6 beehive could make it up the wall, so I had to lift her. But aside from that, getting UP the wall was fine. We sneakily made our way to the doorstep, which was at the top of about 10 steps, with a 90 degree turn half way up. So we had our 15 people crammed on the doorstep with our bags of goodies. We slowly backed down the steps, and Dymeah was left to "knock and run" because she's one of the sportier, more agile girls. Well turns out Dymeah is also a chicken, and she BARELY tapped on the door! So we are all freaking out, sprinting across a full parking lot trying to get out of there. In the meantime I had to throw emily over the wall and hope she didn't break her leg. Then I jumped down, lost a shoe (clogs were not a good choice for this activity), dropped my scarf in the middle of the road, and then FINALLY REALIZED we had jumped into oncoming traffic. Not quite the smartest thing I've ever done. So I grabbed emily, threw her on the sidewalk. Then I hopped back up on top of the retaining wall, and did the army crawl along the nasty ground to find my shoe. Once found I jumped back down onto the street, and went on a reconnasance (sp?) mission for my scarf. I found it in the middle of the road and snatched it up just in time to get out of the way of a speedy little coupe.

So, in all the commotion to avoid being detected, Dymeah finally tells us that she doesn't think she knocked hard enough. So, we decided to drive my packed little car back up by the house(there was a VERY TIGHT LITTLE ROAD at the top of the retaining wall right in front of the homes) to see if it was still sitting on the doorstep. This time I sat at the ready in the drivers seat while Tammy, the YW president, sprinted up the steps, and nearly broke the door down pounding on it so hard. She jumped in the car, and away we went!! I'm still not sure if they got it or not... hopefully they were home!!

So, mission accomplished. But the night was not over! Oh no... see, we were running a little late. Mutual is supposed to be over at 8, and most of the girls parents were waiting for them at the church. Well it was already 8 by the time we left from the DDD, so needless to say we were booking it back to the church. I was following Deann, driving the Suburban, when we got to the light on Union Deposit where it goes from two lanes, to one. Deann and I were side by side, and I thought it would be funny to rev my engine, and challenge her to a race. The girls started laughing their butts off! It was hilarious, and Deann and I were staring each other down. Then I was a total idiot, and got so caught up giving dirty looks, that I didn't realize the light turned green! I got burned... but it was fun!! That is, until little Emily spoke up! She started laughing and saying that she was going to tell her mother we had been drag racing all night! Joking, I told her she better not, or I'd tell her mom that Emily had skipped Mutual to go do drugs!!! Well wouldn't you know it, as soon as we get there, Emily runs to tell her mom about the drag racing, and warned her that I might tell her Emily was on drugs. Uh... she was not a happy mother. But after a few minutes of begging and pleading for her to calm down so I could explain, she finally stopped screaming and let me explain.

Ahhhh... it was fun:)

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Things here have been relatively calm since the weather is getting colder. The hole in the side of our house will be there until Spring, at least. We're hoping to be able to find someone to re-side our house at that point. We also have the following projects in mind: Clean up/ re-do the scary laundry room, build shelves in the basement, put the ceiling back up in the basement, re-wire the whole house, paint various rooms, and figure out what to do with the attic space. And I'm sure Mike has a ton of other insane projects he hasn't even told me yet... By the way, he and his dad are doing the re-wiring themselves. Some of it is already done... it's been interesting. Yelps, and cries of "OH NO" and "OH CRAP" are not exactly reassuring to hear as they are down there poking around in wires... At any rate, we are having fun. The dishwasher is installed and is AMAZING! Very quiet, and honestly two months of doing dishes in the sink (or watching MIKE do the dishes in the sink) was enough to make me very grateful for this luxury.

Ok, well it's time for this entry to come to an end. There is snow in the forecast, and (DARE I JINX IT?!?) I am anxiously awaiting a phone call about a 2 hour delay. A cancellation would be bad, because then we'd have to make up the day... but a 2 hour delay would be amazing. That would mean that my first period class, which I hate because they are a bunch of jerkwadfaces, would only be 20 minutes, instead of 86! HEAVEN, pure heaven! So, cross your fingers for me!