Monday, March 31, 2008

Homemade Noodles

So... I haven't let Dale make lasagna for the last 6 months because I didn't like it. So, we tried out a new (time-intensive) recipe. Dale was the operations manager and I was the creative director. We got our recipe out of How to Cook Everything which I would recommend to anyone. So, Mark Bittman, recommends that you make homemade noodles to make the pasta bolonesge style. So, Dale was willing to make them and he made a meat sauce in the slow cooker. I made the bechmal sauce, and Dale assembled it with freshly grated parmesan cheese from S & S ($11.00). So Dale layered the noodles, behmal sauce (white sauce), meat sauce, and parmesan sauce. I'll have to say it was by far the most delicious lasagna I've had. Mmm! I took some for lunch today.

And, I was recovering this weekend from finishing my book Thursday and Friday night. I realized, upon further reflection, that I finished it so quickly because another teacher had told me on Tuesday that she finished the book in 4 days. So, my first thoughts were: "Phew! I'm glad I don't do that any more! Why rush a book and stay up too late when I could pace myself? I am so glad that at my age I understand the value of self-discipline and rest." Also, when I read in bed, Dale wants me to turn the light off at a reasonable hour. However, Thursday and Friday night I was on the couch to all hours finishing the book ravenously. Weird, huh? It' that streak of getting away with something, but all it meant was that I had to take a 2 hour nap on Saturday.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Friday

Well, we made it to Friday. I'm missing my mom because she's in Sammamish with my sister. I know they are having all of this "talk" time. This is a picture from Easter last week.
The picture of the boys is when I had them help me make dinner Monday. S* is making a frittata. I let him have some creative control, determining the amount of ingredients in the frittata. We had sausage, broccoli & pasta. Z* chopped the strawberries for strawberry shortcake. (This was on a day I was NOT working.) S* was checking out the cookbook for the next frittata: bacon and sausage.

This is a card I made for my boss for helping push through my paperwork for my master's. Don't you love that ribbon? I am hoping to make a baby card this weekend because my coworker's granddaughter is scheduled to be born tomorrow. I just got a cute baby stamp, and I can use PINK paper (always a thrill.) Well, last night, I read 400 pages of "The Pillars of the Earth" and stayed up until 2 a.m. So I didn't get up and do pilates, but tomorrow for sure!!
Thanks for visiting today and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday - BB #3

Just took Z* to little league this afternoon. This is practice #3 of the week, tomorrow will be #4. Z* asked me in his most sincere voice tonight if I was going to work part time next year. I said no. It pains me because he is getting too old for his afterschool program and what's a mom to do? So I have been beset with worries about the next school year...after 2 days of perfect bliss brought on by vacation and pilates. I should have taken a picture of Z*, though, he got his hair cut tonight. When he was at practice today, he would take his cap off and shove all his hair back and putting the cap back on. Then we estimated the wrong size of the shirt because minor's shirts are cut differently than t-shirts. So his shirt kept falling his shoulder to show off his collarbone. He was not the most fashionable baseball player today. One of the coaches who refer to Z* by his last name makes many unabashed comments about his hair. So... at dinner we decided that we would get his bangs cut, so at least he could see the ball. Since I beset by afore mentioned worries, Dale offered to leave the house. So Z* came back with a short haircut (not super short). In hindsight, I wish I left the house so I could have controlled the style of haircuts. I don't even recognize him, but I like seeing his face again. Z* is already planning on growing it out again. It actually makes him look younger which I would never say in my outside voice. I'll post a picture later when I have recovered my sunshinyness. (Before picture with his locks)
Grad update: BCOE faxed their approval to Chico State...getting warmer!
Did you know they are planning a "green" high school for Chico in 2010? Who knew? check it out on their website. There is a meeting next week.
Kitchen update: We are ordering our sliding glass door this weekend and basically waiting until May for our floors to be redone. We are also getting our entry way sanded and refinished. I can't wait, it will look so much better!
Little Chicoism: I met my cardio instructor's wife the day after my class when I was buying a custom length of theraband for my new pilates exercises. It was a little dicey because I wanted 7 feet and they sell it by the yard..Alas! math teacher to the rescue!
And I met a mom from S*'s farm team who is taking prealgebra to enter the dental hygienist program. She needs a 3.5 just to enter the program. I told her I would help her if she needed it, and she looked at me closely, "What do you teach??" She also told me about a book, The Secret. Of course I am in page 230 out of 900something of my Pillars book, I'm trying to pace myself. Off to bed!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grad Update

Well, thanks to my Mom, I was able to get a lot of stuff done for my master's thesis. I met with Yuichi to sign my application. I met with Chris at the department to join my committee, and I dropped off my application at the Human Subjects Committee. Keep your fingers crossed that it will go for a short review rather than the full board on 4/4. Yuichi used the metaphor of a garden of how I should "tend" my master's. I should be visiting it everyday. Does he have kids? tennis to play? work to do? Anyway, I was moderately inspired and hopefully that will help with my procrastination tendencies.

And, I hope your Easter was fun. We did our 2nd annual bike ride to grandma's house for Easter lunch. Last year Sean cried for about 10 minutes straight on the ride with passerbys staring at us torturing Sean. This year we only had 2 mini tantrums. The lunch was delicious, and the weather was stupendous. The park was so beautiful. Nothing like Spring Green...
Well, I'm off to bed and back to work tomorrow!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day x of Spring Break

Hi, this blog entry is dedicated to Lauri. She told me that she couldn't quite make it through 3 days without an entry. I realize being home with kids and then doing things with kids is a) tiring; b) fun; c) antiblog. Anyway, I have so much to share! So here is a summary of spring break:

  1. Frisbee Golf

  2. Fribee Golf

  3. Frisbee Golf

  4. Seeing Juno

  5. Playdates

  6. Private classes in Pilates

  7. Assembling a LOT of stamp sets
  8. Working on my master's (of course!!)

So, Jillian introduced us to frisbee golf on Tuesday, and Z* thought it was the best thing since... mud. Apparently, they had just opened a small course (9 holes/poles) in Bidwell Park. So we went everyday and then we tried out the "real" frisbee golf course on Friday. There is no map, so you just wander around looking for clumps of rocks with spray painted numbers on them. I invited my mom, and she was the only one up for going out of order. M*, Z*, S* and I thought it was downright sacriledge. We did get some help from friendly golfers. It was an absolute gorgeous day! My only connection to frisbee golf is all of the editorials I used to read in the local paper, the Enterprise Record. There is a raving controversy about the course. I think it's ironic because they mow down field and natural areas for homes all the time.

I finally got do a challenge on Splitcoast Stampers. I usually read them and salivate, but I usually don't have time to do them. This is from the sketch challenge for this week. I am having so much fun creating in my new larger craft area. I need to spend time organizing it, but it will have to happen in stages. I can't wait to try out my new stamp sets!

I also updated my library on library thing. After 200 books, you have to pay a subscription to list any more books. Why did Dale have to walk in the room when I was spending $12, so I could list more books on my virtual library? Of course, the competitive side is coming out in me, and I am wanting to read books so I can list them in my library. I made it through 100 pages of Pillars of the Earth (1/9 of the book is completed!)

I guess I have to blog about Pilates. This all started about a year ago when multiple people told me that I should do Pilates. So my podriatrist (in December) recommended that I go to pilates to work through my back pain since physical therapy was only making it worse. So, I hurt my shoulder in the meantime, but it's getting better and I thought this would be the ideal week to sign up for pilates. I am going to a studio that requires 4 "privates" before you can go to the classes. This is really good for me, since I am a)inflexible; b)clueless about my body; c)inflexible. So I went to 2 classes last week with the owner, Beth. She is from the South and very friendly and basically did a form of wellness "therapy" and assessed me. The only good thing about my body is that my knees are good and my large muscles are strong. The rest is a MESS! So, of course, I desperately need Pilates IMMEDIATELY! And, then, of course, I didn't really ask about the exact cost of the privates because when we talked in December it was $45, but now it's $55. Yikes! Anyway, I am thinking of starting in June because I am afraid if I add it now it might distract me from my master's...or maybe it would make me feel better? I don't know what to do. She just sent out an email about starting a 6 a.m. class on Tues/Thurs... Leave me a comment if you have any thoughts that would help.

Breaking news on my master's: my grad advisor is signing off my application on Monday, and I should get permission from my district on Wednesday, so that means the real work starts!

Well, thanks for visiting and have a Happy Easter!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 1 - Spring Break

I made this card based on a card that I received from Kathy S. It was simple and quick, but fun. I just sold my first card via paypal. I was telling my sister how much I loved my tinkerbella card, but I didn't know anyone who had a birthday in March.
She did, and offered to buy it!
I hope everyone had a great weekend. My Dad & Melanie came out to visit. We went to the park both days and played frisbee and track ball. Melanie & I went shopping at Chico's. They tried to get me to try on some "Spanx" They are basically a girdle. I said no 3 times, but finally relented. Melanie pointed out that women's lib put a stop to wearing foundation garments. Anyway, I couldn't pull the girdle past my knees, so I gave up. No smooth lines for me! You can buy them at Nordstrom's. I did have a lot of fun shopping even though the sales team outnumbered Melanie and I. After we went shopping, Melanie, Dad, Dale & I went to Red Tavern for dinner. They serve all local food with interesting terms like: nibs. The chocolate dessert had "cocoa nibs" on it. Sitting at the table next to us were the parents of S*'s best friend from preschool. Apparently the dad is working on a committee to build a "green" high school in Chico. One major highlight is that Melanie picked up "Breakthrough Tennis" for me at the book sale at the library for 25 cents. (even though it was written .25 cents!) And! I had a breakthrough...hopefully it wasn't a fluke!

So I just finished my first day of vacation with my kids. S* stated at 9:38 a.m. that he was bored. Of course, they woke up and made homemade delicious waffles for breakfast, so they could have only went downhill from there!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good morning!

I saw this picture last night, and I had to share because the model reminds me so much of Zachary! It must be the style. And, I am posting this morning because I was able to rewrite some of my interview questions this morning at 5:30 a.m. It took me 15 minutes to get out of bed, 10 minutes to locate materials and 9 minutes to rewrite the questions. So, it took me 7 days to find 9 minutes. Wow! My sister had a great idea to help motivate me. She said I should use a carrot for each little part that I get done. It's ironic that I am using the same system for my boys, but it's always harder when you are trying to motivate yourself. Thanks for stopping by, and happy Friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quick Note

It's been a busy week, especially since I am busy procrastinating about rereading my interview questions for my master's. I printed them out and am taking them to little league practice today, so I can look at them.
So, I met with my work book club on Tuesday at Upper Crust where we discussed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I am surprised how many changes we made in our lives after reading the book. My biggest changes are shopping at S&S, going to the farmer's market and hiding all of the prices of my pricey food from Dale. I don't think I am going to give up bananas, though, check with me in 6 months. Barbara Kingsolver refers to bananas as the "Hummer of fruits." I am also on the fence about Organic milk since it's twice the price. One of our members has starting drinking raw milk (!) One member ordered a cheese kit online to make her own mozzarella. There is a whole section in the book about canning tomatoes from the farmer's market (check with me in July).
But the biggest news is that I had a rockin' Stampin' Up party and am getting $95 in merchandise and 6 stamp sets. I can't wait!
We started our first little league practice for S* yesterday. There were a lot of boys from his school and they looked cute. Dale is going to be the assistant coach with another Dad from the team.
And I played doubles for 2.5 hours last night, and I won 1 set and lost 2 which was so much better than losing 3! I got a couple really good smashes in which is the fun part of doubles. So I am feeling some of my muscles today.
And to continue in my computer time as incentive saga... the kids have to completely get ready for bed by 8:20 p.m. with no reminders at all. For every minute that they have to get ready after 8:20 p.m., they are penalized 5 minutes of computer time. (This is a good way to teach ratios!) So Tuesday night, S* was still in the shower and Dale said, "I have to remind him, he doesn't realize how long he's been in the shower." I said, "Absolutely not, the penalty is supposed to work, so that he figures out how long he is supposed to shower without a parent nagging him." Dale got up from the couch, sat down, got up again, and just when he was about to remind Sean....Sean came out of the bathroom! Of course, Dale & I have to remember if they lose computer time which is another thing altogether. I am trying this because we had gotten into the habit of reminding the kids constantly of every step to get ready for bed. It really breaks up the whole evening when you are focusing on what they are supposed to be doing. Dale & I might actually be able to have a conversation!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


So, I've been "oogling" this stamp company for almost a year, but they require acrylic blocks.

This is a whole new system of stamps, so I've been warming up to the idea. This stamp is called "Tinkerbella" (You can see all the bella stamps on the bella website). They even have grumpybella! Anyway, I ordered 2 bellas in February and just got them a week ago, but I had a Stampin' Up party Friday night which inspired many things. Dale and I moved the futon out of the office and into the playroom. We added a 6 foot table to my craft area, but the best part is that if someone is on the computer, they won't bump into me while I'm craftin'! Also I was so inspired after the party I was dying to make a card!

We got our bed yesterday, and I can't stand the new mattress smell. In fact, I wake up with the taste of chemicals in my mouth. So I am sleeping on the futon tonight. I miss a few things about my waterbed, but I know I'll get used to it... stay tuned for the sleepnumber bed saga.

Comments??! Feel free to leave a comment, I love to hear from you! Just click on comments, and if you don't want to sign in, just leave an anonymous comment. You can sign your name in the comment body so I know who you are. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Online Libraries Abound!

Hi! I just have gotten reacquainted with library thing. You can sign up to review books on their blog! I almost signed up, but, no, I am working on my thesis, so I don't need another item to distract me right now. But I was thinking of you, my faithful reader. Maybe you want to sign up to review books, sounds fun, huh? Anyway, you can catalog all of the books you've read on library thing. Then, you can enjoy surfing through other people's "online" libraries. If you click on "my library" to the right, you can see all of the books I catalogued so far.

I finally finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last night! Wow! That was such an amazing book. The ending of the book was so fitting when Barbara K. realized that her turkeys might procreate. Turkey procreation does not occur naturally among the majority of turkeys in our modern world. I learned, among other things, all of our butterball turkeys multiply by way of artificial insemination.

My creative brain has taken a vacation since I've been sick the past few days. So for family news: S* is on a farm little league team! Z* is doing a science project that is coming together...he did the mentos + diet coke experiment. I am about to embark on Pillars of the Earth as my next book.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Well, I was blog browsing (I'm sure there is a more hip term for that), and I ran across a link for a tutorial to make girl skirts on How About Orange. (There was a list of other things you could make with fabric.) So I clicked on the link, and it had very clear, easy to read, step-by-step instructions. So, I just had to share! Especially since a) I can't sew worth a bean; b) I don't have a girl. Just seeing it, though, made me want to make one. Maybe you too? Just click on skirt tutorial and voila! You're there! It's part of the Grand Revival blog. Let me know if you make one, so I can drool.

Anyway, I am posting during work hours because I have this real yukky body ache/congestion thing. I am OK when I lie down or sit, but not stand, so I decided to stay home. I only had to make 20 calls to make this happen (I'm not kidding.) I am going back to bed after my post. Last night I was in bed after I nearly killed my family for not understanding that mommy was NOT feeling well. I finished "It Takes a Worried Man" last night. It was a very honest, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, funny and touching memoir. I thought the funniest parts were when the author would talk about certain musicians and what he thought of their music. I would highly recommend it. I am definitely in a memoir phase of reading. (Maybe I should write one?)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Blogging Update

Hi! My good friend's (Ellen) husband just started a blog, Mr. Dad, hop on by to take a peek! This is the 3rd blogger I know personally! Welcome to the club!

Ahh! A surface clean

Well, I did a little cleaning this weekend. I cleaned the upstairs bathroom, and the boys "cleaned" the downstairs bathroom (*wish I had a picture*). I have written extensive instructions which S*, of course, reads and follows. My favorite part today was cleaning of a little piece of counter that has had clutter on it since it has been installed. (I won't mention where the clutter has found a home!) It brought me joy to see a clean surface if only for minutes. In one of more maniacal moments, I've thought of posting pictures of how surfaces should look around the house.

This morning:
1. Trying to go grocery shopping before picking up Z* at 10:00 a.m....... stressful
2. Going to Safeway instead of Winco to save time.................$25.00 more
3. Seeing one of my graduate committee member at Safeway...............meant to be

Grad progress:
I need to get permission from my district, but I am not sure from whom. I am starting my first pilot interview tomorrow, even though I have been nervous about it all day.

I started 3 books simultaneously this weekend:
  • (1) It Takes a Worried Man, which is a diary/memior of a husband whose wife has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer - I like it, but I don't know if I'll make it through the intense medical stuff;
  • (2)Tuesdays for Morrie which is a sports writer detailing his visits with one of his professors who is dying - A little condescending, but motivational and easy to start/stop;
  • (3)Queen of Dreams by Chitra Divakaruni is a story about an 2nd generation Indian woman in Northern California - So good so far.

My book club is meeting next week to discuss AVM, we've spent 2 months on it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sunshine, sunshine

Well, the sun was out for the past few days and it has been marvelous. I've been in housecleaning mode especially since I can't find my graduate plan. I am trying out a new system where the boys can play on the computer if the playroom and their room is clean. So, I have NEVER seen the playroom cleaned up so quickly! I'm ambivalent about all of that computer time, but I am experimenting with it until I find the perfect solution. (or, good enough?) So, I was thinking I could also add various chores... folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc.
So, today we were at S & S buying lunch meat when S* saw the shrimp and announced that he wanted to buy some shrimp. So he picked out the shrimp that was intended for salad. I did ask where the shrimp came from, but the butcher said, "Good question." So we made shrimp salad for dinner, but the recipe we picked was a little to heavy on the dressing, so we made up for it by having carmel popcorn for dessert. And, I found out from 2 moms this week that they cried when S* sang, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" during his share time. Apparently he was conducting the class so they could only sing with him during the chorus.
Z* started minor league practice on Thursday, and they worked him hard. He seemed tired out, but he didn't have any sore muscles the next day. Friday was a hard day for me becuase Thursday night (after practice), I mixed some cosmos wrong, so they were VERY strong. Hope you are all having a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!