Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Red Tent

The new book I'm reading is down right interesting. It's called The Red Tent and the storyline takes place in the biblical days of the Old Testament. Although this book is entirely fiction it is definately based on true characters of the bible. Now, if that doesn't spark your interest allow me to continue my persuasion.

The story is narrated by Dinah, pronounced DEE-Na. She is the only surviving daughter of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Jacob falls in love with the lovely Rachel but marries her older sister, Leah first who is "large" and has mismatched eye colors. He then marries his beloved Rachel but also takes on the women's other two sisters, Zilpah and Bilah. They all bare him many many sons, and like I mentioned, Dinah is the only child of Jacob's who is a girl.

The title, The Red Tent, is used in reference to the tent in which the women go to "rest" during their menstrual cycle! For three days they gather together eating sweets, drinking wine, rubbing each other's backs with oil, and laughing, all the while they are more than likely bloated, cramping, cranky, having headaches, feeling 10 pounds heavier, and of course bleeding onto straw.

The men in their camp do not understand anything about this monthly routine, nor do they wish to learn anything about it. To them, it is painful and unsanitary, but the women claim that it is the most joyous time of the month. Now, I for one, dread my period. My boobs swell and become painful and tender, I have cramps, my lower back aches, I get headaches, I become paranoid and emotional, and particularly dazed and "out of it." Just blogging about it makes me think anything about it being "joyous."

But the book states that in the biblical days, the women saw their menstrual cycle as meaning the death of last month and the beginning of life for a new month. They perceive it to be a cleansing of one's old self from a month ago. When the women started their very first cycle the blood was was sacrificed into the earth as an offering for good health and easy conception. The only thing women were expected of back then was to cook, marry, and deliver healthy strong sons.

I found this menstrual theory of the biblical women the most interesting about this book. I see my monthly period as a complete nuisance. Maybe I should also remember that it is in a way a cleansing experience of an old month and the start of a new one...now, I don't intend to go sacrifice my blood by any means, but I do hope and pray for a healthy and easy conception...one day and not in the near future. About another 5 years!

So there, ladies! Go have yourself a happy period and excuse me for being so vulger with this blog!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

16 and Pregnant

Last night at Abby's apartment we watched an episode of 16 and Pregnant. There really wan't anything else on and since Abby doesn't have a dvr to scroll through a tv guide, we couldn't tell if there was anything else that would have been more appealing. I'm sure there was, however, Abby asked if I had seen this episode. I had not. She said she watched it the night before and it made her cry. I had seen the commercials advertising this show. It was the season 1 finale of a 16 year old couple who were pregnant and made the decision to give the baby up for adoption.

While watching the show I kept thinking to myself how mad I would be at this couple if they decided to keep the baby in the end when they had already worked it out with a perfectly fit husband and wife that could not have children to allow them to adopt their baby. I noticed that this 16 year old couple had to be mature beyond their years to make the decision to selflessly give their child a much better life than what they knew they could offer. The pregnant girl's mother was completely against the adoption idea. She wanted her daughter to keep the child and raise her. The daughter was hurt that her mother was unsupportive of her decision. Instead she had to lean on her boyfriend and the boyfriend's mother who all agreed that this baby would be far better off with a family that had the capability of providing for her in the best possible way.

In the end the 16 year old couple does follow through and gives the baby up to the married husband and wife. There didn't seem to be any second guessing on the 16 year olds after the baby was born. They at first decided they would not even see the baby but they did hold the newborn for awhile. They both cried as they held her but they also reminded each other what a wonderful life she was going to have with a family that had everything it took to care for a baby.

After they said their goodbyes and the proud new adoptive parents drove off with the baby the 16 year olds went on with their teenaged lives. Studying for tests and spending time with friends. They remained together and even said when they were older they would like to get married and have children together...again. This couple came across as though they were the best of friends. As unlikely as it is for highschool couples to get married I couldn't help but hope that it does work out for them. They seemed to bring the best out in each other. Like I said earlier, they were mature for their age.

I hope they will be blessed for the rest of their lives because they gave their baby a chance to have a normal life in a household with a mother and father that were of age and had the finances to support this child. I could tell that it was the hardest thing for these teenagers to do but in the end they both exclaimed with happy smiles how they felt so much peace about their decision. Unlike the other teenaged parents on this show who kept their babies, this unique couple will get to experience their highschool life they way they should and maybe be in inspiration to other teenagers who are expecting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

No Title

I admit that I have slacked tremendously on blogging. The truth is I just can't think of anything interesting that would be worth reading. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but I live a boring life. Since it's summer and school is out, I wake up to no alarm and usually around 9 or 10. I roll out of bed, make coffee, eat a bowl of chocolate malt o' meal, and read my current library book until lunch time. After lunch I usually meet up with Abby to do something that we planned the day before. Today we are going to Dillard's so that I can get a makeover and buy some makeup for my wedding day.

Tuesday was my birthday so I'm using my birthday money to buy new makeup. Good makeup. On Sunday my wedding will be exactly 5 months away. I've been engaged already for 5 months and I'm getting married in another 5. These past few 5 months have flown by which means it will be here before I know it! It's exciteing to think about. I'm definately ready, but at the same time I want to enjoy and soak up this time of my engagement. All the planning and preparing is so much fun and I want to make the best of it.

One of my bridesmaids, Rachel, who is pregnant and due weeks before my wedding, called to tell me that she didn't feel like she would be able to be a bridesmaid anymore. She was very upset and disappointed and since she lives in Dallas and will be breastfeeding a new born, she's not even sure she will be able to make it. I was disappointed too. Rachel is one of my very best friends. She has always been a spiritual encourager and guider to me. She was there at the very beginning of mine and Bryan's relationship. I couldn't imagine her not standing up there beside me. But the most important thing is the care and well-being for her and her baby. I told her that I completely understood and not to worry because she will forever be a bridesmaid in my heart rather she's there or not. I told her that she needed to do what was best for her and her baby!

Other than wedding planning, I'm moving into my new classroom on Sunday. I'm half excited and half dreading it. I want it to be perfect and I am thrilled to no longer be in a portable but putting together an elementary classroom is a huge pain. Since Bryan is in Houston doing an internship with the Rockets til August, I have to rely on the help of myself and Abby to get it together. All of my stuff is packed away too, so part of the time will be unpacking and figuring out where to put stuff, then we will actually get down to work and start organizing and decorating.

Well, I'm done blogging for today. Maybe tomorrow I will have something more interesting to write about. I am going to a wedding that is going to be big and nice!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Granddad's update...Abby goes to London

Well, my granddad is doing teriffic. He was in high spirits all afternoon and even cracking wise jokes about his surgery. He was very relaxed and happy; not at all tired. After visiting with him for while Abby and my mom decided to go to eat lunch at Freebirds. I was going to wait on Bryan to arrive to the hospital so I didn't go. I was starving. Mimi went down to the cafeteria to get some lunch but I was in no way eating hospital cafeteria food. Plus, I wanted to stay with my granddad and keep him company.

I sat at the foot of his bed and talked with him glancing often at the monitor that displayed his heart rhythm and pulse. It had been at a steady beat of 70 beats per minute. I was making sure it stayed consistent not that there would be any reason why it wouldn't but being a nervous granddaughter I had to look every so often. I know granddad saw me looking at it each time but he never flinched or looked at it. I think he knew what I was doing and he understood, so he pretended not to notice my darting eyeballs peeking at the monitor every 3 minutes as he talked.

When Bryan arrived Granddad was talking about his brother, Johnnie. He asked me if I knew that Johnnie had died over the weekend. I said yes and then rubbed his knee and asked if he felt okay about his brother's death. Granddad is never one to complain or feel down and he quickly assured me that it was okay. He said Johnnie had three wives. His first wife died of gangrene infection when her appendix burst while she was pregnant with their first child, a girl named Dorthea Sue. After his wife died, Johnnie could not bear to take care of his baby so he let his and Granddad's parents raise her. Johnnie remarried a second time and had another daughter named Linda. They were married for awhile and then divorced. His third wife only stayed married to him for a couple of years before they divorced as well. I asked Granddad if Johnnie's first wife hadn't died would he have stayed married to her. Granddad said he believed that so and that they would both still be alive today.

When he said that I realized that Johnnie had lost his first true love early on. Having been a widow he died at 87 years old due to a stroke. He could have fought through it had he had something or someone to keep living for. At that moment I was so grateful that I was there with my granddad to remind him that I love him, I need him, and I am one out of many in his life that he lives for.

I took Abby to the airport today. Her flight left Lubbock at 6:15. She had a layover in Dallas and then she would go from Dallas to London as we all sleep tonight. I told her to call me as soon as she got to her Dallas gate. Expecting to hear from her at no later than 7:30, I became increasingly anxious when 7:50 rolled around and she still hadn't called. I texted and she didn't respond. I texted her again. Still no response. I called her. It rang once and then went to voicemail. I freaked for a minute and then said a prayer for her safety. I felt God's peace and therefore could somewhat carry on. Ten minutes later my phone rang and I jumped up hoping it would be Abby. It was! She said she is on the airplane about to take off. Her next stop would be London. I was relieved and could finally relax enough to read and watch tv.

It had been a long yet rewarding day. I didn't sleep much last night because I was somewhat worried about my granddad. After seeing how well the surgery went today I know I can sleep soundlessly tonight. Abby is somewhere above the ocean right now probably sleeping. We'll only be an ocean apart and yet I feel like she went to another planet. I'm already ready for her to come home!

Granddad

In my last blog I mentioned that I hoped something really cool would happen yesterday that way I would have an interesting blog to write about. Well, I would definately not refer to this as something cool, but rather unsettling news. I found out that my granddad was taken to the ER on Friday night by my Mimi because he was having chest pains and feeling lethargic. They admitted him to the hospital in Lubbock where the doctors said he needs to have a pace maker put in because his heart rhythm is irregular. He had the surgery this morning at 8:00.

My granddad is actually in pretty good health considering that he will be turning 87 in September. He does all his own yard work, still shoots the cats that come into his backyard with his beebee gun, and is very active at the First Baptist Church of Lamesa where he and Mimi are members. It's the same church my mom grew up in and married my dad. Granddad suffers from high blood pressure but he takes medicine that keeps it under control. He has had two major surgeries other than today's. When I was a sophomore in high school he had knee replacement surgery on both knees. The first surgery was that summer and the second surgery was during the beginning of the school year. In between his knee surgeries my Mimi found a lump in her right breast which turned out to be cancer. Luckily it was caught in the earliest stage and all she had to do was have a masectomy on her right breast. No chemotherapy or radiation, just the removal of her breast. It was a blessing. Unfortunately she had the surgery the same day as Granddad's second knee replacement. When each of them awoke from their surgeries the first thing they asked my mother was how the other was doing. They were much more concerned about eachother than they were their own selves.

Granddad is the third child of 8 kids. He was born and raised in Lamesa, TX. His dad was a farmer and his mother was a housewife. He had 6 brothers and only 1 sister. He joined the army as a late teenager and was accidentally stationed in Tennessee. Apparently there was another soldier with the last name Kidd who was supposed to go to Tennessee but they got them mixed up and sent my Granddad instead. While in the army, his mother gave birth to twin girls who died a few hours later. She actually had a total of 10 children. They were born too early and she was too old to be having babies. While in Tennessee Granddad met a girl named Faye McCulloch (Mimi). Faye's father did not want her to date a soldier but then he met Granddad and said he was an exception. They got married and moved back to Lamesa. They had two children, a son named Wayland and two years later, a daughter named Nancy (my mom).

Granddad is my only grandfather that I have ever met. My dad's father died when my dad was only 5 years old. He was killed in an accident at work in the oil rigs. As a child we regularly visited Mimi and Granddad in Lamesa. Granddad was a doting grandfather to all three of us. He would alternate pushing Abby and I on the swing set in their backyard and playing catch with Aaron. He would also play Uno with us and let us win occasionally. I remember when I was 16 he tried to teach me how to drive a standard. He was very very patient considering that I failed miserably.

My granddad is a very special man to me. I was very saddened yesterday and worried after I learned of his need for surgery this morning. I prayed all night long that things would go well. Most importantly I prayed that God would give him peace. I imagine it's not easy being the eldest surviving child of your siblings and having a few minor health problems. I know this is part of old age and that life is never a certain thing, but I hope my granddad never thinks about it and instead just keeps living his life!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Uninteresting Things

It's been awhile since my last blog but there hasn't been just a whole lot of interesting things going on that could turn into a fascinating story. I compare my blogging to Abby's, who is an excellent writer. I feel very inadequate so that may be the real reason why I boycotted blogging these past few weeks. But I've come to terms with the fact that Abby is a natural writer and her blogs are always up to par with interest, intellect, and perfect grammar. She's awesome!

Bryan and I took our engagement pictures last Thursday in the depot district of downtown Lubbock. I'm really looking forward to seeing the proofs! My photographer is Cris J. Duncan. He is hilarious and very professional with his work. He made the hour long session really fun for both of us. Awesome Abby came to help me get dressed in the three different outfits I brought. She also helped out Cris by holding certain lighting props. The pictures will be very urban and contemporary. We were in a run down alley for one location and as we were posing a homeless man walked by. Abby was highly fascinated but very concerned.

My new laptop finally arrived on Saturday morning at my parents house in Levelland. It's a pink Dell Inspirion 1545 with 3gb of memory and a 250gb hardrive. Basically a good laptop to upload lots and lots of pictures and still have plenty of memory to run fast. That's the whole basis of my new computer. I know it came with a lot of other really cool gadgets and games but I it will mostly be used to upload my millions of pictures and surf the internet on a regular basis.

On Wednesday Abby leaves for London for a week long vacation. She is staying at Josh Montgomery's flat. He works in London and has been for a year and a half. Amy Montgomery is there visiting also and so Abby and Amy will get to tour the streets of Europe during the day while Josh is at work. I'm really sad that she's leaving, but I'm also excited for her because this will be a teriffic trip and she has always wanted to go to London. I know it comes off weird but a week without her feels like a month. I've already cried about it. Abby is my best friend and the person I am the closest to. We have a 26 year old bond that no one can ever relate to or fully understand. We don't do well when we're apart from each other. If I go a day without seeing her I feel very empty inside like something is missing. To makes things worse...Bryan moves to Houston for his monthly internship on July 5th and Abby won't be back until the 8th. Good thing I have my parents!

Well, this is all the updating I can do for now. Maybe something really cool will happen so that I can actually write an interesting blog. Until then...take care, friends!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mimi's Cheesecake

As a kid growing up in the wonderful small town of Levelland, TX there were many predictable things to count on happening: a) there would be drama and gossip b) you went to church every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night c) Daddy would come to your rescue for every pickle you got yourself in and d) Mom always cooked dinner and occasionally some of the best desserts!

My mom cooked dinner every night unless there was some unusual occasion that we went out to eat or there was a banquet or party that she had to attend.  She also cooked lunch every Sunday.  My mom cooks up recipes that my Mimi has given her.  Unfortunately, I'm still a rookie when it comes to cooking...maybe soon I'll inherit Mom's and Mimi's recipes and be a genius in the kitchen with  the pots and pans.  

Other than recipes for meals, Mimi also has a ton of dessert recipes.  These desserts are either cakes, pies, cookies, fudge, candy...etc.  Mimi is a baking goddess!  I may not be great at cooking up meals but I do love to bake desserts!  Mimi's desserts, of course, are my favorite.  Everything is predominantly homemade.  Although following a recipe is easy...my desserts still can never taste as perfect as Mimi's.  One dessert recipe that I love to make is Mimi's Cheesecake.  That's what I call it because it's her's!  This homemade cheesecake is incredible and would even put the Cheesecake Factory to shame.  The secret is yellow cake mix added to the batter!  

I feel that summertime and Christmas time are the best seasons for desserts.  Cheesecake is perfect for summer because you eat it cold!  So, I went to the store yesterday to gather up the ingredients to make up Mimi's Cheesecake today!  I'm also sharing her recipe with you guys...as long as you promise to title it "Adriene's Mimi's Cheesecake."  We have to give Mimi credit!  

Mimi's Cheesecake:
1 package of yellow cake mix
2 Tbs. of oil
2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 C of sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C of milk
3 Tbs. of lemon juice
3 tsp. of vanilla
1 can of fruit pie filling

Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix.  Mix remaing cake mix, oil, and one egg in a large mixing bowl (This is the crust).  Press the mix into the bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch pan going half way up the sides.  Set crust aside.  In same mixing bowl blend cream cheese, 1 cup of reserved cake mix and sugar.  Beat on high for one minute.  Then on low, add 3 eggs and milk.  Blend for another minute.  Slowly add flavorings.  Blend again for another minute.  Pour batter onto crust.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45-55 minutes depending on your oven.  The center should be firm not jiggly when ready.  Let cool.  Add fruit pie filling (I like blueberry) and chill before serving!  Enjoy!




Monday, June 1, 2009

Conan! Pearl Jam!

I just got done watching the new Late Night show tonight, but the show is not what is new it's the host!  Conan O'Brien has replaced Jay Leno and tonight was the first airing of Conan as Late Night's new host.  He did a wonderful job!  I've never been a late night/late show watcher, but I will be an avid Conan watcher.  

My brother, Aaron has been a Letterman fan since as long as I can remember.  He even drew a sketch of David Letterman in his art class in high school.  Last summer I got to go to a live taping of Letterman.  I think he's a great commedian, but Conan is what I get into.  His sense of humor is more appealing to me than Leno and Letterman.  

As for Jimmy Fallon; he needs to be replaced immediately.  I do not think he's funny.  He acts awkward, uncomfortable, and insecure while he's hosting.  I didn't even like him on SNL.  Watching him kills me (so I don't).  I'm sorry to all you Fallon fans, but his humor is ridiculous.  

Back to Conan.  After a hilarious skit of being the tour guide for a Universal Studios tour (I can't even begin to exlain it) Will Ferrell came on...talked and left and then Pearl Jam, the musical guest, came on and played a song from their latest album which released back in the spring of 2006.  

Pearl Jam is my favorite band.  I'm not one of those emo freaks who are all about music and stuff...in fact I rarely listen or buy CDs, but I love Pearl Jam.  They came out in the early 90's...I was probably 6.  They were one of the first "grunge" bands and therefore creators of "grunge" music.  I don't know really what "grunge" means.  It's a broad term, I guess.  Anyway, Aaron was all about Pearl Jam in junior high and high school.  That's how I started listenng to them and I do not consider myself a connessiur of music and bands but Pearl Jam is very gifted and their music, both lyrics and sound are brilliant.  I've even had dreams about them!!  

Can I brag a minute?  My fiance, Bryan must really really love me.  I broke/abused the old dell laptop he gave me that was his before he got his brand new, very nice, very muched loved Mac laptop.  Don't ask about the abuse the old dell laptop took...let's just say...it was old...didn't work well...and I got mad...more than once.  Anyway, it's broken and does not work, so sweet precious Bryan told me I could take his prized Mac laptop home to use during the day while he is at school and I sit at home bored.  How sweet is he?  Now, if only he would buy me a new computer...


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Good day, good company, good buys!

Today was a very eventful and wonderful day filled with lots of good buys, good food, and downtime with my best friend/twin, Abby Rebecca Baggett.

We met at Freebirds for lunch. Freebirds is the best burrito joint in America. It's not only one of my favorite restaraunts in Lubbock but it also brings back very special memories of major events in my life. Let me explain: a) I ate at Freebirds with Bryan the week I moved to Lubbock. b) I ate at Freebirds for lunch with Abby and Bryan hours before Bryan took me to Buffalo Springs Lake to propose. c) I ate at Freebirds for lunch with Abby and my mom right after I found my dream wedding gown. So, yes, I love Freebirds. You can make things out of the foil wrapper that your burrito comes in and I made a large diamond ring. It is hanging in front of the door at Freebirds in the Central Park shopping center.

Anyway, so after mine and Abner's lunch date we walked over to Bella's Bridal boutique (same place I found my wedding gown) and picked up our bridesmaid dresses for Meghan's wedding. Then we got in Abby's car and drove to Target to look for dresses to wear for the rehearsal dinner. I found a whole lot more than just dresses. There was a sale so I bought two dresses and I could have bought more but I also bought two new blouses. I decided to stop there. I might got back and buy more clothes tomorrow, who knows.

Then we went to Dustee's accessory shop and I found some gorgeous faux pearl and diamond earrings that I'm going to wear with one of my new dresses to the rehearsal dinner (I haven't decided which dress to wear yet). I thought I was done shopping for the day, but Abby wanted to look for jewelry at a store in the mall, so we drove over to the mall and looked around.

I told Abby to come meet me in Victoria's Secret whenever she got done. I wanted to look at the lingirie to get an idea of what I want for my honeymoon! All the lingirie there is so pretty and sexy. I want them all! I'm real excited about my wedding night and honeymoon. I'm not going to be that girl that pretends to be nervous. I'm real excited and I feel like a bride should be. I have enough married friends that have informed me what to expect the first few times and therefore, I'm not worried about it. Besides, I'm going to be sleeping with my husband, the person who loves me and knows me completely. Why should I be nervous? I'm going to be a total sex kitten for Bryan! That doesn't make me a slut...it makes me a wife!

Well, the lingirie was awesome and I still want it all, but their makeup was 75% off. I bought some new cream compact makeup, two of them to be exact. I figured while they're on sale, I might as well stock up. I also bought some bronzer that doesn't make you too orangey. Then I found a bandeau swimsuit top that was red and pink and I had to have it. I didn't buy the bottoms because they looked too skimpy, and I knew that I had a red bikni at home that the bottoms could easily be paired to match the bandeau.

After a day of shopping and as I said before, some really good buys, I made a batch of fudgy chocolate chip brownies from scratch and watched reruns of The Hills on my dvr with my favorite companion, Abbidy Baggidy. Today officially marks my first day of summer. Yesterday shouldn't count since I was sick and that sucked, and since today was just perfect and I feel ten times better...today my summer vacation really begins!

One week from today and my little childhood friend, Meghan E. Harrell will become Mrs. Eugene Howard Dawson III! I better start tanning in my new bandeau top for the wedding!! Our bridesmaid dresses are black and strapless!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bryan turns 25 and I'm officially on Summer Vacay!

This week was the last week of school and summer officially began for me at 11:00 today. We had Monday off since it was Memorial Day and then Tuesday thru Friday of this week were all half days. Students left by noon and as soon as all the kids were out of the classroom, teachers were free to leave also.

I no longer have a classroom. The third grade portables were removed on Tuesday because they have added on a new third grade wing that will be ready to move into on July 1st so all third grade classes were relocated into other rooms in the building. Our furniture and classroom stuff is stored in a section of the gym. My kids and I spent all week in one of the computer labs. We watched movies and played on the computers and had long recess. It had been a very easy and simple week.

Yesterday I woke up and my throat and chest were aching. I toughed it out through the morning until noon when I was free to leave. I took a short one hour nap yesterday afternoon and woke up feeling a little better. Today I started to feel worse. I finally went to our school nurse and asked her to look in my throat. When she made a disgusted face I knew that it didn't look good in there. I was right. She said my tonsils looked horrible and my lymph nodes were very swollen. She took my temperature and it was over 100 degrees. My principal told me to go home. I said goodbye to my kids. I didn't even get to hug them because I didn't want them to get sick. :( That made me sad.

Anyway, this isn't exactly how I pictured my first day of summer to begin but I'm in high spirits. I'm about to go reward myself of another great year completed and buy a patio chaise lounge chair. I'm going to stick it outside in my strip, yes strip, of a backyard so that I can lay out during the day in privacy. I don't have a pool in my complex, but I do have a squirt bottle that I can spritz myself during my tanning time.

Bryan turned 25 on Tuesday and he had four celebration parties. The first celebration was with his parents the following weekend. Ramona and Steve came to the LBK to check out rehearsal dinner venues and help Bryan pick out groomsman suits. We're not doing tuxedos, instead the groomsman and groom are wearing black pin-striped suits. Bryan is wearing a cherry red tie with his suit and the groomsman are wearing Kiwi green ties that match the bridesmaids' dress color. I made Bryan an oreo cookie icecream pie that we shared with Ramona and Steve. Bryan got a new pair of shoes from his parents for his birthday.

The second celebration was also a memorial day cookout at Bryan and his roommate, Curt's house. Bryan and I along with Curt and his fiancee, Lauren, and Chris and Kylie ate grilled chicken and hamburgers and I brought my homemade fresh salsa and chips. We then watched the first episode of this season's Jon and Kate Plus 8.

The third celebration was on Bryan's actual birthday (Tuesday). I told him to meet me at my apartment at 6:30 that evening. I bought him a shirt he had his eye on and ordered take out from On the Border. I got Bryan his favorite OTB dish, The Border Sampler with no beans on the nachos. I arranged all his food neatly on dinner plates instead of the to-go boxes that it came in. He ate every bit of that meal!

The fourth and final celebration was Wednesday night. We drove to Levelland so that my parents could do something nice for Bryan. My dad grilled chicken, steaks, and jalepeno sausage and my mom made broccoli (Bryan loves broccoli), baked potatoes, salad, and angel biscuits. Then we had this really good cream cheese and strawberry pie that my mom made. My parents bought Bryan two polo shirts that I picked out and then Abby also bought him a polo shirt.

You may only turn 25 once, but Bryan just got spoiled with all these birthday parties, polo shirts, and pies! But yes, he does deserve them!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1 Timothy 4:12

Ahem...this is not necessarily a bible scripture study, however, in 1Timothy chapter 4, verse 12 it says "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for other believers in your speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity."

The first part of this scripture is what I am emphasizing. "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young..." Age has everything to do with the way a person perceives you. If you're older than a person, you could generally be looked up to, but if you're younger, well, then you are potentially looked down upon, and no, it's not entirely fair.

Now, let me share with you the reason for this verse being the main topic for this blog. This Friday our school is doing an Olympic Day. Basically it's an entire day of fun, games, eating goodies, and end of the year classroom parties. At Olympic Day there are different game booths for the students to go to. One of the booths happens to be the dunking booth. The principals, PE teachers, and one teacher from each grade level are participating. By participating I mean they are agreeing to sit in the booth to possibly get "dunked."

Please note that I mentioned one teacher from each grade level is asked to participate. Most of these teachers volunteer themselves or at least agree when they are asked, but today I learned that I was volunteered by my fellow third grade teacher colleagues. Their reason: I'm the youngest. It's really no big deal that I was "volunteered." The problem is that I was only volunteered because of my age. But wait, there is more...here is the UGLY part. This is how they told me I was going to be in the dunking booth: I was walking down the hallway to go to the lounge when one of my fellow workers stopped me and said, "You've been voted in." My response, "voted in for what?" "The dunking booth. We all got together and decided you have to do it since you're the youngest." Me: "haha, well, but..I don't really want to." Fellow worker: "Too bad we voted you in you have to do it." . It was the way I was informed of this that bothered me the most. It was done in a very unfriendly way.

I later told that teacher that my feelings were hurt that they would get together like that and decide that I have to do the dunking booth because I'm the youngest. She told me not to be hurt. Hmm...thanks. She later said she would split the time with me but I told her no. I guess the only way I can keep my co-workers from looking down on me is what the end of the verse goes on to say..."speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity." Maybe by having a good attitude about this they will stop looking down on me because of my age. Or I could just wear a T-Shirt in the booth that reads 1 Timothy 4:12!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Salsa like Woah!

I have already admitted my obsession and enjoyment of watching reality tv and also that I drink a pot of coffee every day, but these are certainly not my only obsessed fixations. My other guilty pleasure is salsa (sometimes called hot sauce, but there is a difference)! I eat salsa with most of my food. In fact, I'm a firm believer that some food just tastes better with it. I dip my sandwich in salsa, I dip vegetables in salsa, I put salsa on my eggs, I dip rice cakes in salsa, I add salsa to salads, and of course...chips and salsa are an all time favorite. For me, salsa is not just a condiment. It's a food group.

Although all salsa is delicious to me, I'm very picky about the taste. Most jarred salsa from the store just doesn't do it for me. All restraunt salsa are amazing. But there has been one type of salsa that has had me hooked for several months...freshly made tomato salsa!

Market Street makes the best fresh tomato salsa. I used to buy two containers of it almost $5.00 each. I could eat on one container in one to two days. It was costing me too much money to keep buying their salsa especially when I was determined that I could make my own.

So, for the past two weeks I have made three batches of homemade fresh tomato salsa trying to mimic the ever so wonderful salsa from Market Street. Each batch was made differently from the other and unfortunately the first two tasted not very well...not necessarily horrible, but not even close to Market Street's.

Batch #1 was way too spicy. I made it with 4 jalepenos and did not de-seed any of them. Needless to say, the next morning upon having made this salsa and eaten a good deal of it, I woke up with a tummy ache that had me on the pot for at least 30 minutes. (Sorry for the t.m.i). It was also way too chunky.

So I went on and made batch #2. It was even worse than the first one. It was not chunky what so ever, in fact it was more of a liquid than a sauce. It also didn't have a tomato salsa taste and tasted more like an onion than anything else. It was really awful.

Today, I made batch #3. It was easier than the first two (too much chopping). Now, this batch of salsa was perfect! Not exactly like Market Street's but it is still very good. It's my own and I finally found the perfect blend of ingredients that makes this salsa fresh, delicious, and has the perfect amount of flavors. So, for all you salsa lovers out there, here is my recipe for fresh salsa. Even if you're not addicted to salsa (like me), this salsa might have you steps from rehab...no, I'm kidding, but I hope it's as perfect to you as it is to me.

1 can of cut tomatoes with green chilis
1/4 c of white onion, chopped
1 fresh tomato on the vine, chopped
1 Jalepeno pepper, seeds removed
1 Tbs of black pepper
1/4 tsp of minced garlic
2 Tbs of lime juice

Drain can of tomatoes and chilis. Put in a strainer and rinse until all juices run clear. Place in blender. Add chopped fresh tomato on top of tomatoes and chilis in blender. Blend tomato mixture. Add chopped onion, Jalepeno, black pepper, lime juice, and garlic. Blend all ingredients together. I like my salsa smooth. Not too chunky but not liquidy, somewhere in between. Pour into plastic container and enjoy! Note: due to spices in salsa, your plastic container can absorb the flavors leaving a spicy taste in it. I use the same container over and over.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Update

I am so ready for summer it isn't even funny. If I could give my kids coloring sheets and let them watch movies all day I would do so in a heartbeat. Luckily we are doing something fun for the rest of the few weeks we have before school gets out. We are doing a unit on Japan! Today they decorated poster board suitcases that I had made for them. All the information and stuff that they do and make will go inside their suitcase. Next week we're going to go eat lunch at Shogun Japanese steak house. Unfortunately for me Japanese food gives me terrible indigestion. Then we're going to read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. It's kinda sad, but it will be good for the kids.

Little 3rd grade boys play very rough at recess. Someone is always getting hurt and needing to go to the nurse. But today, one of my little boys won the "Biggest Injury" award 0f all injuries for the year. I was not on recess duty today but from what I was told, he apparently fell on the blacktop hitting his head and his right shoulder so hard that he couldn't get up. They think he broke his right collar bone. He was crying. It was so sad. I left my class with a student teacher so I could sit in the nurse's office with him. You could tell his right collar bone was crooked. I felt so bad for him, but he's a tough boy. He didn't cry as much as I know I would have if I had broken a bone (ahem...knock on wood).

Bryan and I drove by some apartments yesterday and we've got a few options that are in our price range that look nice on the outside. Tomorrow we are going to go check out the inside to make sure they measure up to our standards. Not that we have super high standards, but we both feel that a home should be something you feel comfortable in and can enjoy. We just don't want something crappy. Therefore, they have to be nice on the inside. They already won our approval from the outside view.

I have to share the strangest thing that happened to Bryan and I on Saturday afternoon. We were about to go run some errands and eat lunch. We were sitting in my car at my apartment trying to get a game plan of where all we needed to go. As we were sitting there figuring it out this skinny, old, hispanic lady wearing black sunglasses and walking with a cane caught my eye. She was walking straight and then all of a sudden turned and starting coming right towards my car. Bryan and I didn't know what to do. She got a few inches away from my car, turned, and walked back straight. It was very bizarre. Bryan said he thought she was coming to ask for money. We later decided that she is proabably legally blind and didn't know where she was going until she got close enough. Either way, it was FREAKY!

That's the end of my update for everyone. The Hills comes on tonight at 9. I'll be watching! Hope everyone has a great week and don't forget Mother's Day this Sunday!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Best Bachelorette Party!






























This past weekend we celebrated my lifelong best friend, Meg's bachelorette party in San Antonio! We flew from Lubbock on Friday and arrived to SA in the late afternoon. We took Meg to Victoria's Secret where we each picked out a piece of lingerie that we liked for her. Her future mother in law left us a gift card to use at the front desk!

When we checked into our hotel suite, which had two bedrooms with a living area, dining area, and small kitchen as well as 3 bathrooms, we made Meg try on all of her new lingerie for us! As she tried each one on we came up with names for each garment that were desserts. On her honeymoon Trey(her fiance) will get to read his "menu" and choose which "dessert" he wants for that night! Very sexy!

After the lingerie show we went downtown on the riverwalk and had dinner on a boat that floated down the river! They gave us salad to start with and tortilla chips with the best salsa I have ever tasted, and I'm a connoisseur for salsa! The main course was a medium rare filet, a shrimp enchilada, and corn bread pudding. For dessert; key lime pie! We went back to the hotel and I told ghost stories to all the girls who stayed awake! The next morning we ordered room service, got ready, and Franco, our driver picked us up and took us to Sea World!

At Sea World we fed the dolphins first then went to look at the fish and shark exhibit. After that we went to eat lunch with Shamu! You have to have a reservation for the buffet lunch and the opportunity to meet Shamu and ask the trainers questions! We then went over to the Shamu show which was truly moving! It neat to think that one of God's creatures has the ability to do all those tricks!

We finished up the park by riding a few rollercoaster rides, going to the penguin exhibit and then alligator alley! Then it was time for Franco to pick us up and go check out Meg and Trey's new hosue which is gorgeous and very nice! We then went back to our suite to get ready for our dinner reservations at the Tower of Americas! With 8 girls and only 3 bathrooms we needed a lot of time, but luckily we were out the door right on time.

The tower was extremely nice! It spins as you eat and the food was amazing. I had the yellowfin fish ahi, which is a grilled medium rare tuna. For dessert we all split the molten chocolate lava cake which was the best I had ever had. It puts Chili's lava cake to shame! We went back to the hotel suite and played Bridal Bingo. Only a few of us played because the others fell asleep.

We woke up this morning pretty tired, anxious to get home, but sad our fabulous weekend was over! It had been one of the best vacations I had ever been on and I am so glad to share even more wonderful memories with old friends, new friends, and Meg, who I already share a life time worth of memories with! It was great!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hoorayonday

Today was a great day. My students completed all of the work that I had written out in my plans for today at school which is nice because that means tomorrow we won't be trying to get caught up from Monday's work. I got all of my papers graded and entered into the grade book from last week. Our field trip for this Friday almost fell through today due to a major mishap but we luckily got a few strings pulled and it's still scheduled.

I just feel that today progressed very smoothly and I myself feel very accomplished for working like a busy bee without any added pressure. I wish all weeks could start off with Mondays like this. I've decided that today is not a Monday but rather a Hoorayonday. It's a combination of Hooray and Monday. Much like Hollywood's naming couples; Brangelina, Speidi, etc.

More things to look forward to this evening: The day went great and fast and now it's relaxation time with chicken fajitas for dinner and a new episode of the Hills. Hoorayonday!

Yesterday afternoon I invented a new type of cookie. I call them Sugary Goodness Cookies. I had some left over Valentine chocolate candies that desperately wanted to be unwrapped so I bought some sugar cookie dough and wrapped the dough around a chocolate peanut buttercup candy. They look like ordinary sugar cookies until you bite in the middle and then it's a surprise sugary goodness of chocolate and peanut butter! I'm going to go buy some chocolate frosting and frost them because sugar cookies look too plain and boring. The frosting will give them more appeal. I told my co-workers about it and they are insisting that I bring some of my Sugary Goodness Cookies tomorrow. If I could quit teaching I might be a baker...or work from home. I can't decide.

I have been told that I am a "kid at heart" and I agree with this. However, I am also a self-proclaimed "cartoon at heart." Sometimes I wish we all lived in a cartoon world where we wore the same outfit everyday. Our appearances never changed. We worked jobs to define who we are and not to make money. Our neighborhoods and homes would all be little cartoons. This would be the life for me. Maybe this is why I am marrying a Simpson. Adriene Simpson. Hmm...I think I'm turning yellow right NOW!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

17 Again...no thank you


The new Zac Efron movie, 17 Again, came out yesterday and I was able to somehow drag Bryan to go see it with me and Kylie who was able to drag Chris too. The theater was crowded and seating was limited (very few if any men besides Chris and Bryan), but we were able to find two seats with two seats behind us. So, Kylie and I sat together because we were both excited about watching the movie and Chris and Bryan sat behind us.

The movie is about a guy (Matthew Perry) who wishes he could go back and relive his high school teenaged life. He gets his wish by the school janitor who plays the symbol of an angel/ghost of your past who also happened to look like Santa Claus. The guy gets his wish and turns back into his 17 year old body in present time (Zac Efron). Needless to say, the movie was predictable, corny, but still cute and funny at certain times.

Kylie leaned in and said she didn't think she could ever go back to being in high school and I agreed with her entirely. I was an obnoxious and immature 17 year old but I also played by the rules; I always wanted to please my teachers and my parents. Now, I did have a happy high school life. I wasn't miserable or annoyed with high school or anything, but I did have way more fun in college.

So, if I had to choose a time to go back and relive all over again I would be 19-22 again, not 17. *Please see previous March blog entitled Abilene Makes Me Miss College.

During the movie last night I periodically looked behind me to see how Chris and Bryan were enjoying the movie and based on their expressions and demeanor, the were not enjoying it. At one cheesy scene I actually heard Bryan say, "Oh my gosh this is gay." So, with that in mind, I wouldn't recommend taking your significant other to see this movie. It is more appropriate for 13+ girls.

By the way, the warmer this Texas weather gets the more desperate I become for summer to be here. I am dreading May because there will be almost no more curriculum left to teach which means more bored students prone to acting out. Also, the last week of school we have to pack up our portables and prepare to move into our new classrooms in the main building. It will all be worth it, it's just one obstacle I have to jump in order to have my precious summer vacation! Oh, dear summer, please hurry!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lubbock got a Storm Spanking

The southeast side of Lubbock received a heavy beating today with strong rain, hail, and funnel clouds that thankfully never touched the ground. We were in a Tornado Warning for about 30-45 minutes.

I left work at 4 and went to the grocery store and made it home just in time before it started raining. I was watching the weather channel and thinking how lucky I was that I didn't get stuck in the rain because by then it started picking up. Before I knew it the rain was coming down harder with pea-sized hail. I kinda started freaking out. The news said that wall clouds were spotted on southeast Lubbock (this is where I live). The rotation of the clouds were rotating at a very fast speed and the meteorologist instructed viewers to take shelter.

I got on my knees in my hallway clutching my cell phone to text Bryan occasionally and keep him updated on my side's condition (he was in the southwest part of Lubbock). I was pretty scared but trying to stay calm because there was really nothing I could do. The rain was hitting my windows so hard I was afraid they would break. I was also picturing all the damage that my car could possibly receive from the hail (it was quarter-sized by then).

When the storm finally slowed down and stopped I looked out my window to thankfully see that my car was fine. There were no broken windows or visible hail damage. The storm passed over me and headed up to the northeast side of Lubbock. I heard that a person became trapped in their car on 19th street and Buddy Holly Ave because rain water started coming in. That should tell you just how flooded it got.

I called my parents to inform them of my safety. I was certain they would be worried and concerned and pacing the floors waiting on my call, but to my surprise they weren't. In fact, they laughed at me instead. Maybe I was a bit over-dramatic.

A tornado did touch ground in Ralls, TX. I wonder if my parents would be worried if I was in Ralls during the tornado? I'd like to think so. Hmm.

Well, here is something that might put a smile on your face. I have a student in my class who is literally a 9 year old Dwight Shrute from the Office. Here are some examples of his "Dwight-ness":
1) I had complained that something smelled funny in our classroom one time and he said that it was the paint fumes from the walls that were probably melting.

2) He was the door holder for the week and as he was holding the door for the students he touched the wooden door and said "is this Oak?" He then sniffed the door (the wood is fake).

3) Anytime there is a computer/printer/overhead problem he is the first to declare that he can fix it.

4) When he finishes his work and turns it in he'll read his library book while others are still working, but I catch him spying on me instead of actually reading.

5) When we were doing an art activity that involved a lot of gluing, I told the students to let it dry before turning it in. He started blowing profusely on his work to help it dry faster, but ended up choking on his spit.

By the way, I just learned that I am lucky. According to the news following the updates from the storm, many cars and homes in my area had shattered windows and even roofs blown off!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A New Milestone

Well, friends and fellow bloggers, I have stepped onto the birth control milestone and took my first pill approximately 30 minutes ago.

I had to text Kylie to get the moral support first and when she gave me the "ok" I said "OKAY!" I popped the pill in my mouth and did not look back (not that there was anything to look back on).

I obviously don't physically fill any different, but mentally I feel like a new woman. No, not really. But I am glad that I finally got that first pill over with. Now, I have to take the pill every night at 9ish.

Hopefully there will be no side effects.

Also, Zac Efron (my celeb crush because he looks like Bryan) was the host of SNL this past Saturday night. I had already set it up to record on my DVR and after watching it I really felt embarassed and uncomfortable for ZE. I think he's a lovely actor and also just really lovely, but man, SNL is NOT funny. Poor Zac. Those skits they had him do were just silly. I don't know if it's the main actors or the writers but Saturday Night Live has taken a beating since the Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler days. It's just not entertaining or even good.

On another note, one of my best friends and bridesmaid called me yesterday to give me some very good news: Rachel Stewart is prego! She's expected to deliver a Baby Stew in mid November! Please keep her, the babe, and this pregnancy in your prayers. She has already heard the heartbeat and seen the baby in a sonogram! How cute!

Here is a wedding planning update: I met with my baker, Vida King to taste and choose a cake. Vida is originally from Africa. She escaped to the U.S. with the help of missionaries because her husband was physically abusive and violent. She began baking and cooking and eventually opened up her own bakery called Sweet Temptations. Vida has the best reputation in the Lubbock area for her miraculous and exquisite cakes. She has been known to spend time in prayer over each cake and the soon-to-wed couple. Every caterer recommends her too. I am so thrilled to know that my baker is not only the best at what she does but is also praying for me and Bryan. Talk about a "double-whammie!"

I chose a design and a flavor. I don't really know how to explain the design of the cake, but the flavor is going to be white cake with butter cream frosting and raspberry filling! I can still taste it from this afternoon! Hallelujah! Next on my list; registering!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Can Face Tomorrow

Here is a recap of my Easter weekend:

Bryan and I rode to the Dallas area with Chris and Kylie on Friday. They went to a birthday party of one of Kylie's friends in McKinney and we went to Bryan's cousin's baby's 1st birthday party in Forney.

The baby is Abigail and she is going to be the flowerbaby in our wedding. For a first year birthday party, Abigail had it made. Her daddy, Justin cooked beef and chicken fajitas that were incredibly wonderful. He even made homemade guacamole and salsa and the best beans I have ever eaten. Besides the food, Catherine (Bryan's cousin) and Justin also rented a bouncy house for all the kids to play in (including Bryan). Bryan and I hid easter eggs for all the kids and then we had cake and ice cream and watched Abigail open her presents (with extra assistance from Catherine).

We headed back to Lubbock after the party on Saturday with Chris and Kylie. I was extremely exhausted and did take a little cat nap after we stopped at Rosa's in Abilene. I slept until we got to Sweetwater. Then we played the radio game, guys vs. girls. The rules to the game are to scan through radio stations and guess the name of the artist of the song playing. I'm convinced that Kylie and I won, but we all did a horrible job at keeping score!

This morning Abby, Bryan and I drove to Levelland to celebrate Easter Sunday with my parents and grandparents at church and then for Easter lunch. At the end of the church service we sang the song "Because He Lives." The chorus is sung like this: because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. It's been a little uncomfortable at work lately because some of my coworkers do not like me. I understand that it really doesn't have anything to do with me personally because I have never been anything but friendly to them, but it still hurts my feelings. Anyhow, this song reminded me that I can face tomorrow because Jesus lives and He lives within me, and that gives me comofort to go to work each day and face all future "tomorrows."

After church we went back to my parents house and had chicken and rice with fruit salad, salad, homemade biscuits, steamed broccoli, deviled eggs, and pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream. My mom goes all out for Easter lunch! It was great!

God has given west Texas some very much needed rain today. I always think of Easter Sunday as being sunny and spring-like, but rainy days go very well with some decaf coffee and a little blogging.

So, Happy Easter to all of you fellow bloggers! I hope that it's as blessed as the blessing given to us!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Birth Control Methods are Over My Head!

I visited the gyno for the very first time not too long ago. The experience alone was surprisingly better than what I had expected or been told. It did not take long and although it was very uncomfortable and awkward the doctor walked me through everything. My purpose in seeing the "lady doctor" was mostly to have a mystery lump in my right breast examined (it was nothing) and also to discuss birth control options since I am getting married in 8 months.

My doctor immediately started talking to me about different types of birth control and how it works as she was in the middle of giving me a breast exam. I was so flustered and nervous that everything she said went in one ear and right out the other. I was too embarassed to ask questions and of course to say "umm, can you maybe repeat all that as soon as I have my clothes on again?" So instead, I have relied on the advice and help from my married friends. Unfortunately, all of them are on different methods; Yasmin, the Ring, IUD, planned parenting, and all of my friends have said the same thing; "the pill reacts differntly for everybody."

My doctor has given me samples of Loestrin 24 FE and Yaz. I haven't taken a single pill yet. I've read the directions and every Sunday I say to myself, "today I am going to take my first pill," and then of course I chicken out and decide I'll wait until next Sunday.

Both pills are low in estrogen, but the YAZ has a different type of progestin horomone in it that helps with PMDD. So, I've decided to try YAZ first. I've also set a starting date: April 26th. That's the day I intend to take my first birth control pill. I've counted up the days and starting on that day will mean my period will not fall on the week of my wedding or honeymoon. My doctor said to start taking it before the summer so that we can make sure that it is the right pill for me.

Has anyone used this pill before or know anyone that has?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Honor is another word for Value


Last night Kylie gave me a book to borrow called Before Planning Your Wedding, Plan Your Marriage. It's written by Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, a couple who have been married for 15 years now and have done their fair share of premarital and marital counseling with couples.

I delved into chapter 1 when I got home from work today and already took some important pointers from what I had read, but one thing that stood out to me the most from this chapter was what Dr. Greg and Erin call safety.

The truest form of emotional intimacy comes from feeling safe with your fiance. With safety, couples bring down the guards and make their true selves and feeling apparents to their soon-to-be spouse. But the way to achieve this intimacy that comes from the safety is to honor your mate.

Honor is another word for value, as Dr. Greg and Erin say. When I read that I started thinking about possessions that I value the most. I'm very proud of my furniture. It was my first big investment when I first became a teacher. I bought a couch, a queen-sized bed and mattress set. I also value my collection of children's books. Most of them are my absolute favorites and some are classics. I want to keep them in perfect condition that I will only let 3-4 students at a time into my classroom library so I can monitor the treatment of my books. Of course my newest possession that is definatly valued above all the others is my diamond ring!

Although these important things are valued greatly, they are still just "things" that do not provide any emotional intimacy for me. That is why Dr. Greg and Erin encourage couples to see eachother as valued possessions. When you choose to view and treat someone as a valued possession, the level of safety within the relationship increases and therefore so does the emotional intimacy.

This book has really opened my eyes about how marriage is supposed to be and I'm only in the first chapter. I'm excited about the other things that I am going to learn through this book. I want to be a good wife to Bryan not only for the sake of his feelings or for a healthy marriage, but because God commands the wife to honor thy husband!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Self-Proclaimed Reality TV Junkie




Tonight my favorite reality tv show comes back on for its 5th season; The Hills. I love the drama, the petty girl arguements, the boy issues, and the overall concept of being that rich yet still very pathetic. It's entartaining.


I'm not a fan of Lauren Conrad (LC). Regardless of how she may be in everyday life, the show personophies her personality of being possessive, controlling, selfish, and unable to ever be wrong. She also always plays the role of being a victim.


Audrina, is the quiet, goes with the flow character who is never satisfied with her relationship to Justin Bobby but doesn't have the guts to get out.


Heidi comes off as being very irresponsible both in her job and life in general, but her estranged friendship to LC makes this show all the more dramatic.


Spencer is the coniving boyfriend to Heidi who clashes with LC mainly because the two are exactly alike. He also stirs up the drama.


Brody is LC's on again off again boyfriend/friend/mentor. He is also very fond of the ladies which usually makes LC mad. Again; drama.


Now, I am fully aware that this show is 9 times out of 10 staged and has become more and more pathetic with each new season, but I have been a devoted watcher every Monday night since season 1. This is supposedly the last season airing, therefore, I need to finish what I've started.

I am a self-proclaimed reality tv junkie. I am certain that reality tv is not always "reality', but the drama entertains me completely.






I am also convinced that Joel McHale, host of E! Entertainment's weekly television show, The Soup, has the greatest job ever. All he does is watch tv and then pokes fun of it on his show. I have decided that if I could get paid to watch tv and then write up funny comments about it I would do it in a heartbeat. I think I would dog Lauren Conrad the most. Her pride is just a little too high for me to stand!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Etiquette Advice Giving

Another Friday, and something else is now grinding my gears. Last Friday it was the angry parent who, in a nut shell, literally got upset with me because I got on to her child for not completing class work (and for the record, the child simply did not even attempt to work...no mark on her paper not even her name).

Today is a new annoyance, but thankfully it isn't effecting me too personally yet it did get me thinking. Maybe it got me thinking too much because on my way home from reading my celebrity gossip magazines at Barnes and Noble tonight I was frustrated.

I am a firm believer in boundaries within relationships (rather romantic or friendly). One boundary that is important to me is receiving advice. I seek advice from only people who: I trust, love, who love me, and who I have a close relationship with. Anyone outside that box who over steps the "advice giving boundary" has crossed a line (with me at least).

Well, today I heard a person inform another person that their inspection sticker was expired on their car. Then this person proceeded to say that they "better go get that taken cared of". Now, I am only using this as an example. The two people in this scenario may feel comfortable enough for one of them to tell the other what they "should do." But it brought flashbacks to me for some reason of people who I considered to not necessarily be an acquaintance but not really a friend yet they felt compelled to give me advice on something or told me what I needed to do anyway.

This annoyed me greatly and it may be because I can be ultra sensitive to being told what to do by others. However, if I do not ask for the advice but yet it's being given or if a person who is giving me advice is outside my box then I become offended. I also think that my sensitivity to this issue is driven by the fact that I am a young woman and the people who I work with are older, married, have kids, or more work experience than I and therefore they subconsciously feel the need to "direct" me.

Here's my rule: There are people in my life who have every right to tell me or advise me in some way at any time in my life. Those people are: my close friends, my parents, my siblings, my higher authorities (mentor, boss, etc.) and anyone else who like I said before; I can trust, love, who love me, and who I have a close relationship with. Anyone else should only give advice when it is asked for. It's proper etiquette. I don't think it only applies to me but to others as well.

Now, maybe I'm just being a baby about all of it, but I still feel very strong in the fact that I only want advice from people who I have relationships with, not the "more than acquaintance but not quite a friend" people (unless I ask).

Does anyone else feel this way too? Maybe we could start a support group. :)

Okay, my whining spill is done...I'm off the soap box...and I read in the magazines tonight that Britney desperately wants K-Fed back. Hmm...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Charlotte's Web


Now that the TAKS test is over we can do reading lessons that are a little bit advanced for 3rd grade. I've decided to do a unit on Charlotte's Web. It's a book that is read mostly in 4th grade but since they aren't teaching it this year they lent me the copies to use.


I'm very excited about this unit and am starting it with my kiddos tomorrow. I think they're excited too because they saw the books on my back table and when I told them that we would be reading them they looked at their friends and smiled!


I remember when I first read Charlotte's Web. I was in 5th grade and I had checked it out of the school library. I mostly checked out ghost stories, but I felt I needed a break from them since I had been sleeping with my parents for like a week.


After I read Charlotte's Web I became obsessed with farms and farm animals and I desperately wanted a pet pig named Wilbur. I didn't care to have a friendly wise spider though.


So, tomorrow I will be introducing the book to the students, we'll learn about the author, E.B. White, discuss the voabulary words for chapters 1-3, and then begin reading chapter 1! I'm so excited!

Monday, March 30, 2009

"The Monday"

Happy Monday.

Last night Bryan and I went over to Chris and Kylie's house to eat and hang out. Chris is Bryan's friend and former college roommate. Kylie is my long lost sister in a past life. Okay, not really, but we're very much alike and yet still different but our differences compliment each other. Kylie and I have been good friends for a few years now, but our friendship is as if we have been good friends our whole lives. We never miss an opportunity to spend time with the Prathers. Bryan and Chris usually go off and play football in the yard or mario kart while me and Kylie talk, talk, and talk!

When I got home from the Prather's house I started to get ready for the next day since it's a work day. My routine in preparing for the next work day is as follows:

1. Make lunch
2. Prepare entire pot of coffee (I will drink it all) to begin brewing at 6:30 am.
3. Pick out clothes
4. Wash up, brush teeth, go to bed

As I was going through the motions of my routine I started to dread even waking up the next morning (that would be today), mostly because I remembered that I'm on recess duty this week (I hate doing recess) but also because I was certain that my angry parent from last week would send yet another demanding, petty note with her baby on Monday.

During my pouts and bitterness I decided to try and make the best of "The Monday." I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier that way I had a longer time to enjoy my morning and get ready. I move extremely slow in the mornings and knowing that I have extra time to get ready is like a cushion on a hard chair. I also took my shower in the morning. Showering in the mornings refreshes me some how and actually wakes me up faster. Then of course, I enjoyed the best part of my mornings and the first thing I think about as soon as I wake up; my coffee (Folgers said it best when they claimed their motto as "the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup)!"

So, needless to say, my Monday today wasn't so dreadful after all, and I think it mostly had to do with me enjoying the morning before work. It set my mood for the rest of the day! Monday is also reality tv night! I am a reality tv junkie, and tonight The City comes on at 9 and Dancing with the Stars comes on at 7. This will be my first time to actually watch DWTS, but two of the dancers were also on previous reality tv shows that were my favorites: Melissa Rycroft-Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader making the team and Holly Madison-The Girls Next Door!

Yay for "The Monday" that was actually pleasant!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I love Bryan




Yes, Bryan will take kissy pictures with me on one condition; I cannot post them to facebook. I think they're cute, but Bryan is never one for PDA. Unfortunately for Bryan, he doesn't read my blog!!! ;)

I have been praying for a man like Bryan since I was 10. One thing I prayed over and over for those many years was that my future husband would fall more and more in love with me each day. I know God has answered my prayer. I pray that God will help me love and respect Bryan the way a man deserves. I've decided that just because we're engaged and I know we're getting married doesn't mean I should stop praying!!! Love is a decision not a feeling. I've already made the decision to love Bryan...and I ask God everyday to help me feel that love for him the way I did when it was young and new!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I love my job but...

I cannot sleep right now because I cannot stop dwelling on how frustrating it is to deal with angry parents. I truly believe that the most difficult part about being a teacher is having to deal with a parent who finds little things to gripe about.

Some parents have legitimate reasons to have concerns with their child while he/she is at school. This year I have dealt with parents who were worried about their child's relationship with other students, grades, TAKS testing, and such; nothing petty, nothing to do with me personally and usually easy to resolve.

However, occasionally you have that one particular parent who finds irrelevant things to complain about, and rarely does this parent discuss these concerns with you personally. Instead they write little notes expressing their concerns. They write notes because these little irrelevant complaints are usually in regards to me. I refer to this kind of parent as the "helicopter parent" because they are always at their child's rescue on anything and everything rather the child is at fault.

Parents like these have a lot of nerve on paper, but like I said, they rarely bring their concerns to me either in person or in a phone conversation. It's easier to be ugly and mad on a piece of paper when there's not a way for them to get an immediate response.

Well, in my opinion, helicopter parents are only teaching their kids that they can never do anything wrong, and that they are never at fault for breaking rules of authority. I believe this is doing their kids more harm than good. Yes, they may be trying to protect their child and make things right for them, but when they fail to allow their children to receive consequences for their mistakes, imagine how they will be as teenagers? These types of parents are almost harder to deal with than the actual student.

I'm still frustrated, but at least I have blown off a little bit of steam. Okay, maybe now I can get some sleep.

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble

Today was a long day. I've noticed that Fridays tend to drag for me. Maybe because I stare at my watch until it's 3:30. It's particularly longer in the afternoons after lunch.

Bryan is in Abilene tonight at Ethan Moore's Bachelor Party. He called me earlier to tell me that his PaPaw is going to help us find a honeymoon vacation spot. Woo Hoo! We have already been talking about going to a ski resort since we're getting married in December. We're looking at Canada and places in the U.S. Bryan's concern about Canada is that it will be very very very cold up there during December; so cold that we wouldn't even want to go skiing. We have awhile to decide. I'd better go get my passport soon just in case.

Other than the honeymoon, the other big decision that Bryan and I have to make is where to live after we get married. I live in a small one bedroom apartment that is perfect in size for me. Bryan lives in a house with two roommates. We've decided we want a 2 bedroom apartment or duplex. We've looked around at a few places, and by look I mean just drove by and looked at pictures on the internet. I found these cottage duplexes that are very close to Tech that are in our price range and look really nice. So hopefully that will work out.


Only eight more weeks left of school! Hooray! I'm really looking forward to my summer vacation. Here is a list of my Summer Agenda (so far)!

1. Meg's wedding the first week of June (I'm a bridesmaid...she's a bridesmaid in mine...how cute)
2. Ethan and Sarah's wedding the following weekend
3. Engagement pictures
4. Gina's wedding and Phil and Emily's wedding (same day differe
nt times)
5. Mom's birthday on June 21
6. 4th of July!
7. My birthday
8. Reagan and Chase's wedding
9. Bryan and I register
10. Colorado at some point to see Kelly
11. Insert laying out at the pool any given day with Abby

12. Hopefully trips to DFW to see friends
13. My gown comes in sometime early-mid August

To get in the summer/beach mood look here ::







Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good News!



I am very happy to inform all of you that I have received my students' Reading TAKS scores...annnnnd...(drum roll please) ALL of my students PASSED!!! Out of my 17 students, 9 received commended performance. Commended performance means that the students missed between 0-3 questions on the entire test.

The reading TAKS test is the biggest test for all third graders because they MUST pass it within three tries to move on to the 4th grade. A lot of things have changed in standardized testing since our TAAS days. When former president George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he passed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which states that any child who can not pass a particular section of the TAKS test for their grade level cannot be promoted to the next grade because their scores show that they are not ready, and that if they did move on to the next grade they would be academically behind.

Now, I'm not a big fan of the TAKS test. It's a whole lot of pressure on the students and the teacher, but I do agree with the idea of using a standardized test to determine a student's academic capacity. I don't however, think that standardized tests should be used to determine a child's academic abiltiy or level (some students have test anxiety).

There is a difference between capacity and academic ability. Capacity gives a broadened awareness of a child's skills whereas ability shows what the child can or cannot do (more black and white). I hope this makes sense because in my head it certainly does!

On another note, Kassie's wedding was very sweet and pretty. It was nice to get to rekindle with old friends and reminice on memories. It also made me miss college and Abilene (see previous blog).

I know I'm rambling, but has anyone seen the new previews for the movie 17 Again? If you haven't you need to YouTube it. I've marked it on my calendar to go see it. It's coming out on April 17. I also have a confession...Zac Efron is the lead actor in this movie, and I have a slight celeb crush on him because I think he looks very similar to my fiance, Bryan. **Please note: I started dating Bryan long before I even heard of Zac Efron.

Do you see the resemblance?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Abilene makes me miss college

I have been out of college for almost 3 years now, yet every time I go to Abilene, TX where I attended Hardin-Simmons University, I am reminded of all the wonderful people and memories that filled my life for 4 years.

I only have two high school friends that I keep in touch with, but the rest of my good friends are the girls that I met in college. These are the girls that I have formed lasting friendships with.

I remember freshman year and my fondest memories were of pledging Tri Phi and going to Formal in Dallas and rooming with Kasha and Blair. I would also spend most of my nights on the 4th floor of Behrens dorms in Amber and Amelia's room with those two as well as Kelly and Stephanie Boozer, who I called "T-Dog." Then there was of course the night that I wrecked the car that I shared with Abby and I turned to Kelly for advice knowing that she herself had been in more car wrecks than she had fingers on her hand. One night Amber, T-Dog, and I went to IHOP to study for Strickland's class and got pretty much nothing done. We gave up and instead went and bought shoe polish and went around shoe polishing the cars in the parking lot of the boys dorm. It was the day before Easter weekend so we drew Easter eggs and bunnies and wrote corny phrases like "Hop your way home."

Sophomore year we lived in an even better dorm, Ferguson. It had private rooms and suites and just looked nicer and cleaner. I shared a corner suite with Abby on the 2nd floor. Blair lived next to us in a private room. Down the hall was Amber, Amelia, and Brynn each in their own private rooms. Across the hall lived Hannah, and down from her was Kelly and Bobcat in a corner suite and then Landra in a private room. The rest of Tri Phi was spread out. The best memories of sophomore year were Sing practice (Gangster's Paradise), going to Anson Lights and McCaulley Gym because they were supposedly haunted, staying with Blair and her parents for a week, formal in San Antonio with Rachel Frazier (now Stewart), rapping to Eminem with Blair, and riding bikes with Kelly all over Abilene in the middle of the night.

That summer I lived with Abby and Rachel in an apartment on Bruce Way. I spent most of that summer either with Kelly and Blair videoing everything and everyone around Abilene and throwing water balloons at people from Kelly's car which we actually wrecked during our water balloon incident. We call it our water balloon scandal. We hydroplaned into a parked car because we were trying to get away from another car chasing us who we had previously thrown balloons at. I also spent that summer with Cassie Darby. I was with her the night she became a vegetarian. If you had seen the ham she almost ate you would never eat meat again either.

At the end of the summer, before my Junior year, I moved into one of the campus apartments with Abby, Blair, and Cassie. The day we moved in I met a very handsome boy named Bryan in the parking lot who was working on the HSU rec team for the summer and about to move out of the campus apartments. The best memories of that year were of course Sing practice again, intramural softball, the best formal in Oklahoma City, Rachel getting engaged and her lingirie party, and of also hanging out with the Bryan from the parking lot I had met earlier in the year.

The summer after my Junior year was probaby one of the best summers of my life! Rachel's wedding was in May in Shreveport, LA! We had a road trip with Krissie and Deborah! Cassie and I were literally joined at the hip. We mostly spent our evenings over at Ryan Feerer's house with Mandi and some of the Rocketboys. We told ghost stories, went to shows, played sardines over at Chad and Seth's house, and went to Dallas for a Rocketboy concert which is where Ryan and Cassie fell in love and a little romance unraveled! If I wasn't with Cassie at Ryan's, we were with Blair and Abby at the apartment. We went to a Rangers game for our birthday and on our way there Blair got a call from an old friend named David Smith. It wasn't much longer before she herself was involved in her own fairytale romance.

My senior year was spent with Cassie and Abby of course , as well as Mandi, Kristen, and Ericka. We had slumber parties at Cassie's house after the fair, Sing practice again, Halloween date function (Bryan was my date), Formal in Austin on Lake Travis, Kristen's engagement and lingirie party, Mandi's surprise birthday, music videos, dance videos, and videos of everyone doing the "worm," Landra's bachelorette party in Dallas with Kelly, Landra and Jeff's wedding, and also Bryan and I kept hanging out every chance we had. That summer Kristen got married in Dallas, Cassie, Abby, and I spent most of our days at the pool when Abby and I weren't working on the Rec team, and Bryan moved to Connecticut to do mission work in August. He called every single day! Mandi, Ericka, Stephanie, Amelia, Brynn, Amber, Abby and I graduated in December and that February Bryan and I started dating! It was a great way to end my college career.

Looking back at each year, each semester, and each summer of college I can honestly say that I feel as if I lived it to the fullest! If there is a time in my life where I could go back to relive I would have to say it would be those four years. But I am so glad to know that I still have the memories and the friendships of these years so that I will never forget one some of the greatest times in my life!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Winnie

Today I had the great joy in visiting a wonderful and special friend. Her name is Winnie Harrison. She will be 94 on July 7th; one week before my birthday.

Winnie is my adopted grandmother. She is a very dear family friend who has known and loved me since I was only 6 months old. She would often come over to see my twin sister, Abby and I, and give our parents a break by watching us.

Before Abby and I started school, Winnie would often keep us while my mom did chores or ran errands, and sometimes just to get a break from having twin toddlers running around. We loved our Winnie so much that we had to have her as our own, so we referred to her as our adopted grandmother.

I often think back to the memories that we had at our Winnie's house. We would walk in and the entire house smelled of fresh blueberry muffins. She knew we liked blueberry muffins so she made them each morning before we arrived at her house.

I also remember whenever it was nap time and Winnie would put Abby and I in the "pink" room to sleep. We called it the "pink" room because everything was pink. Abby and I were never fond of nap time, and we didn't want to be apart from our Winnie, so she would have to lay down with us, one on each side of her, so that we could take our naps. She would then get up once she was certain we were sound asleep.

I also remember Winnie having a bowl of grapes on the kitchen table one day and I ate all of them. I think that's partly the reason I love grapes so much because they remind me of my sweet Winnie's house with every sweet bite!

Winnie has a granddaughter of her own who is much older than me. She was a teenager when I was born, and her name is also Adrienne. Yup, this is the girl I was named after! Adrienne was a very sweet Christian girl as a teenager and grew to become the same very sweet Christian woman today. People saw her faith shine on the inside out including my parents, thus deciding that their first daughter would be named Adriene, however, my name is spelled with only 1 'n' and her's is spelled correctly with 2. (Thanks Mom and Dad).

About five summers ago, Winnie came over one day to visit with us. She said she wanted to make our wedding garters so that we would have them ready whenever we got engaged and started planning a wedding. A week later Winnie came back over to deliver the lovely blue and white garters. Inside the garter is a tag that reads "made especially for you by Winnie Harrison."

We have tucked the garters away in a safe place to save them for our weddings. My mom pulled mine out a week ago and I put it on last night. Tears welled in my eyes as I knew that this garter was created by the precious hands of a woman who I hold a deep and strong love for; my Winnie.

I decided to call Winnie today to tell her the news of my engagement and catch up. When we went to go visit her, she did not look like the same Winnie that I had remembered. She is soon to be turning 94 years old. Her body is thin, her hair is white, and her hands suffer from arthritis. But her eyes and her smile have yet to age and her voice and laughter still sound exactly the same as my Winnie from years ago. Her short term memory was not as sharp, but she had no problem talking about the old memories that we shared.

I brought along the garter to show my Winnie that I still had it and was excited about wearing it on my wedding day knowing that it was made especially for me by her. She was delighted to see Abby and I and our mom. She repeated over and over how much she loved us.

Seeing Winnie today was like a breath of fresh air. It rejuvenated our souls and reminded us of how special it is when God puts people in our lives like my Winnie. I strongly believe that the friends and family I have are my gifts from God and how I choose to feel and interact with them is my gift back to Him.

Thank you, God, for the blessings (people) in my life!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oops!

I told myself if I was going to create a blog I was going to enter a post each week. Well, I did not stay true to my vow...so here I am playing catch up!

The biggest thing in my life now is my recent engagement to my boyfriend, Bryan Simpson! He proposed February 15th at Buffalo Springs Lake.

It all started as just a simple walk and hike out at the lake one afternoon after church. We hiked up a hill and Bryan wanted to take my picture with the lake behind me. After he took the picture he said he wanted to take one more of me with something from his backpack. He opened it up and pulled out my very favorite stuffed animal from when I was a little girl, named Sparkling Bunny. She is very special. I slept with her every night, took her with me to college, and loved her with my whole heart.

At first I did not understand why Bryan had Sparkling Bunny in his backpack. I thought he brought her out there just to be silly. Then I noticed a note tied around her neck with ribbon that read "Will you marry me?" Tied with the note was a diamond ring! That is when I realized that Bryan was proposing! Needless to say, I said yes!!

So, this past month I have gotten to take in all the joy and excitement of planning a wedding with Bryan and our families! We have set at date for the wedding. We will be getting married December 19, 2009 at the First Baptist Church of Levelland. It will be a traditional Baptist ceremony and reception with a winter-Christmas theme!

I am excited to be marrying Bryan! I have been praying for my future husband since I was 10. I didn't know exactly what I wanted in a husband but I did know I wanted someone who was tall, handsome, someone who would love me more and more each day, and someone who was a man of the Lord. God honored these prayers and gave all that plus so much more that He knew I needed in a mate. I truly believe that Bryan and I were made for each other!