Monthly Archives: May 2011

What’s the occasion?!

What’s the occasion, you ask?!!?  To have the cake stand and spring time cupcakes, there must be some grand occasion…right??

Yup!

The Bachelorette season premier!!!  You got it….I got out our nice cake stand (which, I had yet to use) and whipped up a batch of some springy cupcakes (with rainbow chip icing, no less) to celebrate the new season of the awfully addicting reality TV show.  My dear friend Laurie came over and we partied it up, while watching the new season.  No party is complete with out a batch of these!

The new season is now underway (currently watching an episode) and I can’t think of a better reason to make such a treat!

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Date Night!

Greg and I were talking to some friends a few weeks ago and they were talking about their “Date Night” from the previous week.  We casually talked about how we “go out” and definitely have nights where it’s just the two of us, but nothing formal where we plan it ahead, or put it on the calendar so that it’s uninterrupted and non-negotiable time.  Our friends suggested to us to get into a routine where we set aside at least one night a week to go out on a date.

Yes, we’re married, so we’re not “dating” per-say, but the purpose of going out on dates (in a dating relationship or marriage) is to spend time with just the other person, get to know each other better, and to do something out of the norm.  I am a homebody, so I would be fully content sitting at home most nights with Greg…but it really is pretty fun to have a night to look forward to and to do something special.   Not to mention that when I’m at home, I’m task oriented….so I’m always thinking of things I need to do…laundry, cleaning, asking Greg to kill spiders, etc.  Time is easily filled, and while we’re spending time together, having a date night established really gets us out of the house and really enjoying the company of each other.

So all that to say…we decided we need to get into a better routine of having a date night.  Which has been fab-o!

I have been meaning to document these evenings and the places we visit, but I only got pictures from the first night!  We went to Solos Pizza Cafe a couple weeks ago.  We saw this place shortly after we moved in and we were driving around.  I saw the sign “Pizza Cafe” and thought it must be a classy, low-lit cafe…you know, all romantic and stuff!  So we decided on it for date night and were semi surprised.  It was delicious pizza for sure….I mean take a look at it….

So, the food was delic, but the atmosphere was far from romantic 🙂  It was essentially a pizza version of Subway.  Lots of uncomfortable tables and chairs lined up, blinding bright lights, and high school kids serving our pizza.  It wasn’t a big deal, it’s just not what we had anticipated.  However, it was fun to just sit back and be together!

We also had date night last week and went to Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant just down the road (again).  Another great night of fun and laughing, talking and dreaming.

I’m just loving this newly adopted date night.  Such a fun time for us!!

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adios…see ya…bye bye

A while ago I wrote all about my worst nightmare coming true, right in my very own classroom…you know, the nightmare that everyone has:  get 100 squirmy mealworms and 5 huge fury caterpillars and watch them go through their life cycle.  Not just watch them, but also watch your students touch them and drop them, and flying through the air when one accidentally gets scared and catapults them…

Oh, it’s been a rough few weeks with those critters in here.  I seriously walk in the room every day and wonder…”I wonder if any of them got out last night and I am going to sit one, or step on one…or what if one was in the trash can and it crawls out….”  Yes, I was that paranoid.

The thing is that they’re just plain old gross.  And ewww…they are supposed to be in nature…not in my classroom.

Anyway, we’ve successfully made it through our unit and we now have butterflies (which still gross me out) and a handful of mealworms turned beetles.  Because we have seen at least a few of them go through the life cycle, I feel ok with wrapping up the unit and saying BYE BYE to all of them.

So today was the last day that we had our mealworm/beetles out, and the last day the kids get to watch the butterflies fluttering around (crammed as heck in their little “Butterfly Garden”).  The kids were sad and whispering sweet “I love you’s” and “I’m going to miss you” and “I’ll look for you outside…”

The thing is, they’re not going outside (well the butterflies are, the mealworm/beetles are not)….the beetles are going in a plastic bag, and then into the freezer.  I hate to say it, but I was given very strict directions to do this.  I didn’t really see the harm in just tossing them outside, but everyone said that 100 beetles were produce far more future mealworms/beetles than we want in this world.  So in order to keep the population under control, we freeze them.  They die peacefully, and the kids never know the difference.

They actually asked me why we were collecting them in a plastic bag at the end of our science time today (usually we keep them in little vials in a plastic bin)…I told them that I wanted them in a plastic bag so that I could easily release them into nature.  I lied.  I couldn’t tell them the truth…that I was going to freeze these things to their death.  No, I couldn’t do it.  They fully believe that I am going to take them and release them to live a happy life!

Oh my.  I feel badly for lying, but not badly enough not to do it…I did not need to deal with the tears and the screams if I told them the truth.  I have enough on my hands with those 25 kiddos…I didn’t need to add “school counselor” to my plate for this afternoon.

So here, it’s with great happiness that I get to say “ADIOS” to these little creatures.  They were gross….and they made me itch just thinking about them…but I am thankful that the kids got to learn something from having them around….and I am pleased that next year I will not have to teach this unit again.

Goodbye Mealworms.  Goodbye Butterflies.  Goodbye!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Oh, Pearl!

Pearl….how do you best describe this woman?!  If I had to use one word to describe Pearl I would use the word “spunky.”

Let me tell you a bit more about Pearl…

I met Pearl a few years ago when I moved into the South Minneapolis neighborhood with my roommates.  We decided to take some flowers to our neighbors as a way to meet them and get to know them….we figured taking over cookies or brownies was out because who is going to eat cookies made by people you don’t know?!  I surely wouldn’t.

Planting the flowers for our neighbors...

Anyway, we took flowers to the house on the corner and were greeted by this tiny (and I mean TINY) elderly (and I mean ELDERLY) woman who could have drop kicked us had we been trouble.  There was something fierce yet gentle about her.  Pearl then introduced us to her husband, Walter, who was eating dinner at the table in the back room.  We chit chatted with Pearl for a few minutes and grew to love with her spunky personality.

Over the years we have spent hours visiting with Pearl and Walter, playing dominoes, celebrating birthdays, chatting out on the sidewalk, and praying with them.  They really were pretty precious people to get to know.  Walter passed away earlier this year which I wrote about here.  After Walter passed away I have felt a little bit worried about Pearl.  Water was old when he passed away, and Pearl is younger…but not by much.  She’s all alone in her house, can barely hear when the doorbell rings, and looks so small and frail that I always wonder how she’s getting along by herself.  Granted she was Walter’s caregiver so she can practically do anything, but I still worry about her.

When I got married Pearl (and Walter) were very insistent that I don’t disappear from their lives….I told them I’d still be around and that Greg and I would visit and keep in touch.  There was a time frame, unfortunately shortly after Walter passed away, that I got so busy with life that I hadn’t visited Pearl for a month or something like that.  She called me and we talked and I told her that I wanted to have her over for dinner at our new house after things settled down.

Well that dinner happened last week.  Laurie, my former roommate, was sweet enough to pick up Pearl, bring her to our house, and join us for dinner.  And while I hadn’t seen Pearl in a while, not much had changed….

She walked into our house and from the moment she walked in until the moment she left, she dominated about 99& of the conversation.  Literally.  We would try to interject and contribute to the “conversation” but that didn’t do much…she either didn’t hear us, or chose not to hear us 🙂  Pearl walked around my house and critiqued every little thing…she asked how much we are paying in taxes…she told us about how to maintain the lawn…she insisted that we don’t have more than 4 children (she was under the impression that we wanted 8 or 10….I think her car ride over with Laurie contributed to that confusion:))…she just went on and on.  It was sweet, but tiring.  Really tiring!  I wanted to listen but at points the amount of words coming from her small little mouth was so comical that I had to turn my head as to not begin to laugh.

Pearl also told us all about the dogs she has had throughout her life…she reminisced about how she got each of them, and how each of them died…she cracked a few jokes that Walter often told…she even indulged us in the stories of the ducks that visit her house on a regular basis.  We all chuckled about that because she doesn’t live near water…why would ducks be at her house?!  But, we smiled and nodded and listened to all the words spewing from her mouth.  After dinner we got up and took a group picture as I know she is always amazed at the ability to view it instantly….

Laurie and her bro, Pearl, me and Greg...

The moments after I pressed the self timer button and when the picture took, were the few moments of the evening that Pearl was silent.  It felt odd.  After the picture, we went downstairs to indulge ourselves (well, me and Laurie) in a little wii Dance…I justified it by telling myself that Pearl would get a kick out of watching us dance….when really we all just needed a break from the talking.  Don’t get me wrong, we love her to death, but we just needed a few moments to regain energy to listen some more.  So Laurie and I danced and Pearl tapped her foot to the beat of a Katy Perry song we were dancing to and all was right in the world.  Then we looked out the sliding glass door which leads to our backyard and Laurie shouts, “Oh my gosh…there’s a duck….” WHHHHAT???  Pearl was just talking about ducks in her backyard, and I have never seen ducks here.  It was so odd, and somewhat eerie.

After we all freaked out about the duck, we realized it was time for Pearl to get home, so we said our goodbyes….Pearl held on tightly as I leaned down, and the high pitched noises shrieking from her hearing aid as I said goodbye (apparently too close to the aid).  It really was great to have her over here….even though she barely let us speak 2 words, and even though she told us what to do, and made us yawn at times….we really did love having her here…and still love that spunky personality that we grew to love just a few years ago!

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sweet tooth

It is no lie that I am a complete sweet tooth.  I will opt for candy, cookies, bars, cupcakes, and anything with sugar over most other things without even thinking!  This is not something I’m super proud of, but it’s the truth!

A few weeks ago we went to Indianapolis to visit the Mohr side of the fam and on our plane ride over there had this huge and really random craving for Now and Laters…you know, those delicious, artificially flavored candies that are a bit too hard to chew like Starbursts but just chewy enough to make you want to try!?  Yup, those.  I like Now and Laters, but I haven’t had them in years and they definitely aren’t my “go to” sweet treat.

Anyway, I couldn’t stop thinking about finding some.  Once we got into Indy, it was too late to look at the airport for N&L because we got in once most of the shops had closed.  I casually said something on the drive to the hotel, but I don’t htink any parties in the car thought I was serious.  Believe me, I was serious…who cares that it was nearly 11 pm.

Alas we didn’t get any and I was too tired to think about it much longer.  I fell asleep but woke up thinking about them.  Literally.  It was so odd.  I knew we didn’t have time to do anything about finding some, but I was not going to let this go.  Finally on our way back from Daniel’s graduation, we stopped at a gas station to refuel…I was actually asleep on most of the ride and when we stopped I knew it was my golden opportunity to find some of these treats.  I sat up quickly upon our hault and sweetly asked Greg to go look for some N&Ls (I think my half sleep state helped because I just sound so pitiful in those moments!)….he went in, and came out a few minutes later with a whole BAG full.  I was totally expecting a few, at the most, but he found a whole bag.  WOWZA…hit the jackpot!

I was happy and I have been snacking on these treats since.  I told Greg that they are really a great treat for me because after 2-3 N&Ls my sweet tooth has been satisfied and it’s not like I went crazy and ate 5 Snicker’s bars or anything.  The serving size for N&Ls is 9 whole candies….I usually only eat 3 a day (it always happens to be on my way home from work when I am sitting in traffic) which makes me feel like I’m not overindulging…or maybe that’s just what I want to tell myself 🙂

Anyway, I ate the last N&L out of the bag from the gas station yesterday and was feeling pretty sad.  I figured I could look for a big tub of N&Ls at Sam’s club to last me a lifetime…no such luck.  We had to stop at another grocery store after Sam’s and guess what I found?!?!  N&L heaven….they were sold in BULK!!!!  Yahoooooo.  I batted my eyes at Greg and told him “these will last a long time…” as I scooped handfuls in my bag.

I know, I know….find something else to snack on….spinach or something (that’s what this trainer at the gym suggested one time, promising it was so good)…but how could I do that when I have N&Ls?!?!  Mmmmmm:)

Yes, I purposely put this in front of my face...I have done nothing with myself today:)

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once a crafter…always a crafter…

When I was younger I loved doing art projects….coloring, making construction paper thingamajigs, decorating pillow cases, cross stitching, etc.  I think then I would have called myself pretty “crafty.”

So crafty, in fact, that I took on a “part time job” that required my crafty skills, in order to get a few extra dollas.  What job??  Get this…my mom had some “Work From Home” magazine, I picked a crafty job–making hair bows, purchased the supplies, and was convinced that I would be able to mass produce these hair bows, making heaps of money, all while getting to do a craft in the process.  I’m not sure why I assumed this would go so well…but the magazine made it look so easy, and I was desperate to make some money so that I could buy more Lisa Frank stickers, I figured it was worth trying.

It didn’t go so well.  In fact I don’t even think I completed one hair bow.  I got frustrated, cried, probably whined and got grumpy, and ended up with zero bows to show for it.  I actually remember finding the bag of supplies stuffed in my closet, years later.

That was the end of my so called crafty years.  I think I just got too frustrated and didn’t find it worth enough to try again…even just for fun.  That’s when I became un-crafty.

However, I am realizing that as much as I was denying my interest in projects and crafts and all that jazz, I still had it in me…this has come out just recently and I’m loving it.

I could spend hours at this place…

I follow so many blogs where people have inspired me to relearn my interest in craftiness.  Don’t get me wrong…I don’t plan to make bows, or even attempt to do any crafting in order to make money…but I have been inspired to jump back on the bandwagon simply to take part in something that is enjoyable and relaxing.

I was at Michael’s tonight (No, this is not a plug for Michael’s…although if they want to give me free stuff for writing their name a few times, I’ll take it…) looking for some things to use to make my sister in law’s baby shower invitations.  I needed some paper, envelopes and that was about it….but I ended up being in the store for over an hour.   Oh. my. gosh.  I can never get over the endless possibilities that store holds.  It brought back so many childhood memories…

Things like this puffy paint…

And this kit of thousands of stickers…

And CROSS STITCH…

The cross stitch was what put me over the edge, in joy.  I was extremely close to buying this cross stitch simply to do….who cares what it says or looks like, how fun would that be?!!?

I think what I’m trying to get at is that….I used to love craft types of things…and while the craft-things I like have changed, the fact that I like doing them has not changed.  And by golly, I’m not going to let that failed attempt at mega buck hair bows keep me livin’ it up at Michael’s from here on out!

Once a crafter…always a crafter!

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