Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fun Pictures

I told you guys I was trying to get in the habit of wearing skirts more often. I really like this one!

Put up your dukes....we fight clean and fair.

My mom played photographer....I love the pictures that she takes. We had lunch with my dad, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. We went back to hang out at the house, and got to see mom too. We decided not to go to a movie, because everyone was a bit tired.
We are watching Undercover Boss, then it is off to bed. My mom told me about it last week, and I like to concept of CEOs getting down in the trenches. I know that Disney requires all their executives to work one week in the park every year.
We are going to be at the school at the crack of dawn putting my classroom back together.

Our Shirts....

HH posed while we were waiting to get out of the parking garage last night.

In a Funk...

I had to bring a boatload of school work home this weekend. This really did not sit well with me, and left me in a bitter mood. I bust my tail all week, and I hate when I have to bring even a little bit of schoolwork home on the weekend, let alone how much I have brought home this particular weekend! I am even doing work on the drive to and from my parent's house today. Ok, time to build a bridge and move on.

Brian Reagan was amazing last night. Tons and tons of laughs! I had never heard of him before meeting HH, but I can sure see why HH likes him so much. HH even wore his "I love Tiffany" shirt to match my "I love Ben" shirt last night. We were cute. (Pictures tonight, if I am not buried alive in school work.)

I absolutely have one thing to look forward to this week: ADVANCED TRAINING begins in cooking class. I am so looking forward to summer when I won't feel so tired, and I have some free time to actually cook. I cannot wait to see the newest schedule for Spring classes and start picking what I want to take next. I know I am going to do six cake decorating classes, the rest I will have to see what is offered.

Off to get ready for church.


I will miss the Olympics!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Never a Dull Moment...End of the Day Shots

I am finally getting rid of my mammoth old banker's desk in my classroom! I have hated this thing since DAY ONE! I got rid of my desk at my old school, and was very happy with that arrangement. Now, my room is a hot mess. (The custodial staff was removing it yesterday evening.)
HH is going to be at work with me at 7:00 on Monday morning in order to put all the pieces back together again! When I get into a rearranging mode, I go into overdrive until everything is perfectly where I want it. HH doesn't understand this aspect, but is happy to help out.
Last night was pizza with a great friend, then onto our basketball game, and capping the night off with SINBAD!!! This is our second time seeing him live, and he is amazing! I sat right by a guy who had the coolest mohawk I had ever seen.

Ha Ha!

Things Made Better By Coffee (From Shoebox)

1. Life

2. Stuff

3. Whatnot

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lots of Randomness....

It's Friday morning, and random is all I got left in me...

The absolute BEST was what happened at cooking class last night. I took an individual class, since there is a one week break between basic and advanced training. At the break, a lady comes up to me and asks me, "What restaurant are you a chef at?" I laughed and told her I was a newlywed trying to navigate my way through the kitchen. She said, "You ask really detailed and good questions, so I just assummed that you were a chef."

I also realized that even planning a "stay-cation" will require some work. I told Ben it was all about going to some restaurants that I'd been wanting to try for some time. I have fourteen restaurants, but have decided that we need to widdle that down to seven. Decisions. Decisions. We also have brainstormed a good size list of things to do locally.

Today is my student teacher's last day. While it is not fair, I have naturally compared him to the four previous student teachers I have had over the years. He by far is the best. Perfect, no.....but a desire to do the best, ABSOLUTELY! I will be sad to see him go. HH (who is the best), got him a gift card to his favorite pizza place yesterday, along with a big musical card from the kids. I also did my standard favorite gift for teachers, "A Jar of Memories and Thanks"....the kids wrote on three colored slips of paper things that they would remember about him, and thanking him for what he taught them. HH had the best time trying to decipher what all the cards meant last night. He had the mistaken notion that because they were in fifth grade, grammar and spelling would be evident and that all the content would make sense. I guess as a teacher, you become immune to some of that, but I was dying laughing listening to him read what they wrote, and hearing his comments.

While eating dinner before cooking class, I called HH. I really miss my dad. We talk all the time, at least once a day. I have not seen him since Christmas day. We live forty minutes away. We have made plans a few times, weather has happened, etc. Other times though, it has just been my priorities....I've chosen to do other things rather than go visit my dad. I asked HH if it was ok if we went and hung out with my dad Sunday after church (I typically reserve this time for a long nap, but I can do without). He said that would be great. I know we'll go to THE Mexican restaurant, along with going to see The Tooth Fairy. Never underestimate God's power to restore a relationship. My dad and I had the worst relationship during middle an high school. It took a long time, but God has truly healed our relationship. I am so close to my dad.

After school I am going with my friend who was really discouraged about teaching out to have pizza. We didn't end up getting to eat together on the night I had wanted, so I want to have some good one on one time with her. Then, it is off to basketball. We have three more games, and HH and I plan to make them all.

I need to get going, but you MUST go read this post over at the Hobo Teacher (Chi Town are going to LOVE this!!!).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Being All Grown Up....

HH and I went to sign for our taxes last night. We talked about how we are going to use the money, and decided that it really is the smartest thing to save it now. Yes, we'd love to take a holiday, and heaven knows I don't want to turn that down.....BUT.....

with HH not working now, and the good probability that I may not find full time employment once HH starts working, it really is best to put the money to pad our rainy day fund. The fund was doing decent, now it is very nice.

We are going to spend a small sum around town. I love going to new fancy restaurants, so that will be in the works. We'll see what else comes about. Only 26 school days until spring break, not that I'm counting or anything.

Moderation? Not So Much....

What happens if you drink a can of Coke for a year? (I was a HUGE Coca-Cola addict pre-WLS.)

You will take in 32,850 calories and 40 CUPS of sugar.

Drink a Coca-Cola a day for a decade?

That will equal 94 pounds of calories from Coca-Cola, and 400 CUPS of sugar.

I'm really glad I quit Coca-Cola. Liquid calories bite.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So Long Insecurity: Chapter Three

"No person on earth can love you perfectly enough to mend a tear in the crimson fabric of your soul."

"Be careful who you covet. Be careful how you judge. Be slow to size somebody up and think you know all about her type. She's no different from you. Nobody's unbreakable here on this planet. Only the dead don't bleed when they're cut. We all fear that we aren't who we are pretending to be. The more careful we are about what we're projecting, the more driven we tend to be by fear." (I have certainly fallen victim to this.)

"Don't ask if that's okay with them. Here's the real question: is that okay with you? You and I are going to have to come to a place where we stop handing people the kind of power only God should wield over us."

"Most of us have what I'll call a prominent false positive: one thing that we think would make us more secure in all things. You want to know how you can pinpoint your own prominent false positive? The thing you tend to associate most with security." (Hello.....the scale....body image.)

"Acquiring your prominent false positive is like putting a finger in the crack of a bulging dam. You can tr to stop up a leak in one place, but the pressure's going to build up in another, and one day that levee's going to burst."

"Any of those things might soothe the savage beast for a while, but it will inevitably wake back up, and the hope deferred will make it angrier than ever. No one solitary thing on this entire planet has the power to secure everything else."

"Although we may have something unhealthy deep inside of us, those in whom Christ dwells also have something deeper. Something whole. Something so infinitely healthy that if it would but invade the rest of us, we would be healed."

Our Challenge...

"To let the healthy, utterly whole, and completely secure part of us increasingly overtake our earthen vessels until it drives our every emotion, reaction, and relationship. When we allow God's truth to eclipse every false positive and let our eyes spring open to the treasure we have, there in His glorious reflection we'll also see the treasure we are. And the beauty of the Lord our God will be upon us (Psalm 90:17 NKJV)"

Quote from one of my students....

I had mentioned last week that I was making an effort to stop dressing like a vagabond. I'd gotten lazy in January, and the clothing was reflecting that. This will make an entire week I've only worn skirts. I have nice clothes, I was just being lazy.

Haley says to me, "Mrs. F, what is the deal with all the skirts?"

Kids crack me up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God Save The Queen....

MY TAGALONGS HAVE ARRIVED!!!! Self-Control...what is that again???

Product Endorsement

I have been going back to basics on my eating. I've gotten a little bit too carb happy, so I am going back old school to what really works well for my body. I've been heavy on the tuna salad lately. While I make an awesome BBQ tuna salad, I have to have some carbs to eat this stuff twice a day. Enter Triscuits. Forget about the cardboard Triscuits you had in your youth, these are not your mama's Triscuits. They pack quite a flavorful punch, and make just about anything you eat more palatable.
Try some today. Your taste buds will thank you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baby Shower Fun

My niece Mallory.

My cousins are going to get their daughter from China on February 25th. They have tried to have a child on their own since 1997. I am so happy for them, and know they will make wonderful parents!

HH and I together. He is writing a letter to Kate for her second birthday. Every guest wrote a letter for her to open on a different birthday. That was a cool shower idea....I had HH write our letter because he is much better with words than I am.
On an unrelated note, I have really enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics with HH. We have watched quite a bit. What I've not enjoyed this evening has been filling out the super long evaluation form for my student teacher. I am 2/3's the way done with it, and only have one more to do, along with his letter of recommendation before the end of the week.
Ok....I know that you have been wondering where are the new recipes I have been making? Well, I know I am taking a ton of cooking classes, but when you throw GED classes into the mix (will have them on Monday and Wednesday in March), and on the weekends I want to go out for some meals.....that equals not much innovation going on in the home front kitchen. This will change when the school year winds down, I promise. I am learning lots of cool things that I want to flaunt! HH has been very patient, but I know he wants some good meals too. (I promise they will come soon honey!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

So Long Insecurity: Quotes from the First Two Chapters

I've just starting digging into this book by Beth Moore, and I'm going to give some quotes that have resonated with me. A few may not make sense since I will be giving them in a short context, not a full quote.

"Somethings wrong with us for us to value ourselves so little."

"Men are not our problem; it's what we are trying to get from them that messes us up. We use guys like mirrors to see if we're valuable."

"Setbacks, on the other hand, just make us feel weak and stupid: I should have conquered this by now. I happened on a question not long ago that oerfectly expresses this mentality: How many times must I prove myself an idiot?"

"The question is whether or not our insecurities are substantial enough to hurt, limit, or even distract us from profound effectiveness or fulfillment of purpose." (Body image does this for me.)

One specialist's definition of insecurity:

"Insecurity refers to a profoud sense of self-doubt--a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate." (Words in italics are things that I underlined that really hit home with me.)

"Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an art form."

"Insecurity is miserable. That's the bottom line. We don't need it. We don't want it. And we really can live without it. So what would happen if we quite being accomplices in our own misery?"

HH is HOME!!!

HH is posing with a singing fish that we saw at Walgreens. We went to dinner at Red Robin and watched my students play basketball. We lost, but it is not our last game....three more to go!

At dinner, I once again proved just how difficult it is for me to keep a secret. I had told Ben that I had a reading meeting in Cincinnati in April on a work night. I asked him to take me to the meeting, because I would be tired. Of course, HH readily agreed. About twenty minutes later, I tell him that I found tickets for us to see Craig Ferguson perform comedy live. I am so nerdy!

This brownie pan is significant. This is the first time in my memory that I let a dessert go bad. I seriously "forgot" about it....and thus didn't feel the need to clear the pan. This is a victory for me.
HH and I watched a documentary on the Style Network called, "Too Fat at Fifteen," about a British teen who weighed 465 pounds before enrolling in the residential Wellspring Academy based out of North Carolina. She spent nine months there, and lost 202 pounds. I applaud the courage it took to be in such an intensive program, and dealing with issues head on.
On Friday I got into another disagreement with the counselor. I try to be very vague about work here, but I want to share some. The counselor and I do have a history. I know she thinks I intentionally seek out situations to assert my opinion, and be more difficult than necessary....but in the cases that I've chosen to battle with her on, I truly feel that I am in the right. The counselor sends me an email for an IEP meeting that she scheduled without checking my schedule. I have to meet with my student teacher's university supervisor to determine his grade for the first eight weeks of his student teaching. I cannot meet on the date/time she wanted. I write back and tell her it will need to be rescheduled. She writes back to see if someone else on my team could come to the meeting in my place. I go to another lady who is in an administrative position in our building (knows the laws, regulations, etc.) to explain my thinking and to make sure I was in the right. (We teachers forget that WE have rights too when it comes to our students with IEPs.) As I was telling her the situation, the counselor walks by. It looked like I was badmouthing her, but I was just telling the facts, making sure that I had the right to raise a fuss about this. I don't want some other teacher sitting in on a meeting that is important to me. I need to be there. I stood my ground, and said I wanted the meeting rescheduled.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Your Ministry

Over at Kelly's Korner Blog, today is about showing your ministry. I think losing weight and offering hope to others who are in the process is my ministry.
I have been overweight since the third grade. In middle school I was already well into the two hundred pound range. By my junior year of high school, I tipped the scales at 317 pounds. By the time I was twenty seven, I hit my all time high weight of 393.6 pounds. To say that I was at an emotional low when I reached this weight was an understatement. I prayed about it, and decided the best option for me was to have weight loss surgery.
I started this blog as a way to process my feelings as I lost the weight. There is no easy fix to losing weight, and the emotional battle is still the hardest battle that one has to endure in this whole process. I know the ridicule and humiliation that people have been through in this area of their life, and just how bad it feels to be kicked when you are already down.
Ask me questions, I'm pretty much an open book on this subject. You won't find judgement here, just love, and a person who is willing to shed some tears with you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

LL Bean Spring

These are a few of my favorite things!!! I hope to be ordering them soon! :)


Tonight was the final night of Basics 101 Cooking Class. I made the following:

* Homemade Applesauce
* Rice Pudding
* Tabouli
* Potato Latkes
* Chocolate Ravioli (from scratch)

This class has really given me confidence that I can make things, and much of cooking is not as complicated as it looks. I've learned how to make intense flavors...flavors that I've rarely had outside of fine dining restaurants. I've met some really nice people, and we've had so much fun about two-thirds of the class is continuing on to the Advanced Training course.

My student teacher is doing his five day solo as required for his university grading, he made the funniest comment, "Mrs. F I now know why you sit down when we go to recess in the gym at the end of the is tiring when you are running the whole class."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Hair

Here is a picture of Jerry and I. I really like my new outfit. (Operation Stop Dressing Like a Vagabond...I've been getting lazy with what I wear to work, and it is sad because I have lots of nice clothing.)

Self-Portrait....HH is away, but it shows you my hair.

Tree Trunks in a World Full of Tooth Picks

Yesterday was very taxing on my mind. The scale is up some, my jeans fit tighter, and my mind was on mental overload. My thighs felt larger than the tree trunks of the Redwood Forest, and every where I looked I kept seeing women with these toothpick legs. It really was taxing my mind. I tried not to focus on it, but I couldn't help it.

I'm also mad at the system right now. A dear friend of mine is really burned out, she is one of these teachers who is amazing...yet the system has a way of breaking and wearing down these teachers. I have been in her shoes before. I'm going to have dinner with her tonight, and I hope to provide some encouragement.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz is having a show today in honoring his 100th episode by having people who have lost 100 pounds. It is very inspiring. He was talking about how the body starts to repair itself as you lose weight, which was encouraging to me....he was showing how your knee cartilage can tear apart, but how it can repair it also. My knees are an area that I have been concerned with. I don't want to be my mom, and need a knee replacement early in life.

I have struggled with squatting, because I couldn't do it with so much weight. When I started losing weight I "could" squat, but it was still painful and also awkward. I had not tried it in a long time, but today when I did it, it was not painful, but it still feels awkward. That makes me think that maybe the cartlidge in my knees is repairing itself.

Jamie Oliver's TED award speech.

I love me some Jamie Oliver!!! Great message!

Snow Day

We have a snow day here. I am taking HH to the airport shortly, and have decided to make the most of the day. I am going to get my hair cut and colored, and I'm also going to try to get inwith my PCP, instead of waiting for next month's appointment. I could make a big deal about having the day off, but why do that at all? I might as well enjoy it. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day: Part III

We went to Lynn's for our "Relive Your Prom" experience. Rachel brought homemade cupcakes that were decorated very festively.


Rachel made my necklace, bracelet, and earrings.

Fun, festive decor....always a Lynn's staple

The corsage that I made the big hype about....yeah, I FORGOT IT in our fridge. I felt so bad.

Here is a "picture of the picture" they took of us at Lynn's.....Prom King and Queen. :)

We've had a very festive it is time to relax.

On Love...

"You know you are in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day: Part II

This note was to make sure that HH didn't open the fridge to find the heart shapped pizza I cooked for him. No, this wasn't made from scratch, it was Papa Murphys. It was the first time I had their pizza, and I bought it strictly for the novelty, but it was pretty good.

This is not a great picture, but there are lamps lighting the walkway to our destination.

My fine dining companion:

Not too bad of a picture of me:

Holding the rose each lady was given for the evening:

Our event: An Evening Under the Stars. I wanted to do this last year, but it sold out by the time I learned about it.

Fun decor:

HH out on the dance floor bustin some moves. We first danced to a song to find out who was the oldest married couple. We were obviously out in the first minute, but the final couple had been married for 41 years. After that, we finished our dessert (it was supposed to be romantic and you share the dessert, but I am a total dessert girl, and wasn't down with the sharing. HH is so sweet, and let me eat most of it). The first dance song was "Billie Jean" by MJ, and Ben and I made a mad sprint heading to the dance floor.
Random piece of art I made HH stand by:

Yeah, he is that cool....

I got this dress today at Dress Barn, and I am really loving it!

Acting silly, pretending to bite the rose:

A man took this of us together, we will also get a professional portrait in the mail.

My favorite of HH and I:

HH is acting tomorrow at KidStuff, and because of pending weather we moved our dinner reservation up to four. That way we should be home when the bad weather hits.