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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big sigh...

It's been a very tiring week so far. And it's only Wednesday.

I have been working and sleeping and working and sleeping. I think I am fighting off a cold due to the tight throat, achey ears (but not like an ear infection ache,) and dry eyes. Or it could just be those darn allergies. I suppose I should start taking my medicine then eh? But that would mean buying my non insurance covered Veramyst. Might as well chop off my arm and sell it on the black market. No, no, no, that won't work. I'll just have to rest, drink water, and take my other medicines.

I have been trying to put up some pictures on facebook from the wedding, but it may take awhile. An album a day is about the pace I have set for myself. I am really satisfied with our professional pictures, though I did think of like 10 poses I had wanted to get, but didn't. Eh, either way the pictures are beautiful and I will try to do a wedding memories post here soon, since I never really talked about it.

I have also had some interview this week. I had my final interview with the private school on Tuesday, and got an offer from them Tuesday night. Ian and I are still crunching numbers and seeing if we can make it work, but I'm guessing it won't, which kind of breaks my heart a little because I hate turning people down and these people have been so nice to me this whole time. I also had a public school interview on Tuesday, and though I thought I did a good job answering the questions and making an impression, I came away with a bad feeling about it. Mainly because the principal told me that the position I was interview for was about to be deleted from the system because they didn't have enough students. Fabulous.

So we'll just keep praying and looking, and I will fill out my substitute form and take my transcripts into the county office for submisison. Please pray that it will all just work out. And also, that Ian will at least get a call. 75 applications later and he hasn't even gotten a call from someone saying they are interested. Poor boy.

Plus, I have discovered something about myself that is a little disturbing.

Well, let's face it. I have always known it about myself, I just didn't see how it was a negative aspect until just recently.

I am a perfectionist.

Not so much in the everyday things of my life, but in the work/task oriented things. I guess since I have always worked with kids and succeeded with that, I have never had many times where I just flat out did something incorrectly. Sure, sometimes I wouldn't get the kids into bed at exactly 8 (right Mrs. Emily?) but I always did when it mattered (school nights and such.) Sure I might have put the dirty clothes in the wrong hamper, but I never got a lecture about it before! I am pretty sensitive of a person already, and being told that I am doing something wrong has always made me tear up a little, so you can imagine how hard it was to fight off the flood gates when I was told that I had to dig through the trash to find all of these papers that I threw away, that I shouldn't have. I was so embarressed.

Mortified actually.

But then my boss did it himself.

Maybe he's the perfectionist.

Scratch the above then. I just embarress easily. Yes, that's it. and have always known that about myself. So. In other words. Nothing new to report here!


Also, make sure to check out Bound to Books for an update on when we are starting our online book club and what we are reading. If you haven't joined in yet, you are still more than welcome to!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm Back!

Hi friends! I even want to say hi to all of those people who I don't know who are reading this blog. I would love to get to know you! Leave a little comment!

Ian and I returned from our Rhode Island adventure around 3 this morning., and let me tell you, what an adventure it was! So brace yourself, this might be a long post, if I can keep my eyes open long enough to type it all!

On Wednesday afternoon, Ian and I hopped in the car and drove to Orlando. We spent the afternoon running errands around Oviedo that we can't do in Gainesville because it is lacking in alot of the stores that we have gift cards to. Then, that night, Ian dropped me off at girls night while he headed over to see his brothers. I surprised the girls and I think they like the surprise! Spent the evening just getting caught up with my friends and taking in the new dynamics of the group. It's definately different, but I am praying they figure out how to make it a "good" different.

Thursday morning, we woke up at my parent's house, ate some delicious cinnamon rolls (thanks mom!) then mom drove us to the airport. No problems with that flight, except that Ian and didn't get to sit near each other because we checked in so late, (we rode with SouthWest.) John (the groom,) picked us up in the pouring rain at the Providence, Rhode Island airport, stopped to pick us up some food, then headed out to the beach house where all of the boys were staying and where the wedding was taking place.

Let me tell you, I have never met a more generous, hard working, hospitable person than Mr. Seamus, the owner of the property. He goes by the philosphy of "God has blessed me, so it is my duty and honor to bless others." So his ritzy property is not really his, but all of the people he lends it out to. Pastors, ms, or families going through a rough time are all welcome in his own little northern paradise.

Anyways. Thursday afternoon, we spent some time at the beach staying out of the rain and I worked with Onastazia (staz,) and Mr. Seamus' daughter, Christine, to plan, organize, and coordinate the wedding. Staz had a lot of stuff done already, but she also had alot of stuff not done, lol. Christine, Alicia, and I were asked to coordinate and run the reception, for 250 people! 48 hours before it happened! Sheesh.

Thursday night, we had rehearsal underneath of the tent in the pouring rain, then headed out to downtown Providence for some Italian food. Something we learned very quickly, is that Staz's family, although being Italian/Greek, hold a similar time management viewpoint that you would expect from a Latin family. We were an hour late to rehearsal dinner. Hmph. Everyone should be forwarned that I eat. All the time. And that I expect to be fed when hungry.

Apparently they didn't get that memo.

Friday the girls and I all got up and hung out at Staz's house until 1-2, then headed over to the beach house to frantically get the centerpieces made, the drinkware ready, and to go over some last minute details.

Friday night was the bachelor/bachelorette parties. The men headed out to a game and fishing club where they ate venison, salmon, and could fly fish. The girls hung out on the DeLuca's back porch, in the garden, eating, talking, and opening presents.

Saturday morning, the coordinating girls had to get up super early and drive out to the beach house. We came prepared for a long hard day's work, and boy did we work! From 9-3 we ran around outside, setting up the tables, the linens, the silverware, the plates, the appetizer station, the gift tables, the cake area, the beach/ceremony spot. Then, around 2:30-3 we all kicked the boys out of the master bedroom and showered and dressed as fast as we could. I was one of the first done and ran downstairs to make sure no one messed anything up.

They did.

Those DUMB ol' caterers had taken every. single. plate. off of the tables, and had stuck all of the menus under the candles and there was just silverware in a jumble EVERYWHERE.

I, in turn, gave them a piece of my mind.

15 minutes later I had 3 caterers and 3 of "my people," running around fixing the error, and slamming down yellow napkins with bottled pinapple juice in every which direction.

It turned out beautifully.

My only regret was that I actually didn't get to see the wedding.

You see, there was this little problem, and since most of the girls were already seated in the audience, it was left up to Christine and I to fix it.

We noticed it when the bridal party was lining up. The cake was leaning. LEANING!

No big deal though, right? I mean, how much can a cake lean on its own?

Well, the answer is, only a little before it falls. We were chatting with the caterer trying to figure out how to make it stop leaning when she said "OH! I think I just saw it fall!" and we all looked over but the cake looked fine. So I walked over there to inspect it.

HOLY CRAP! Two whole layers had catapulted themselves off of the cake onto the table and the floor, leaving a huge hole right on the top, and one whole side was melting away.

So, we dd the only thing we could think of. Scrape the icing off of the fallen pieces, with our hands, and shmear it all over the top, trying to make it look a little more normal. Half an hour later, it looked at least presentable, and we crossed our fingers hoping the bride wouldn't notice.

How would someone NOT notice a 7 layer cake becoming a 5 layer cake is beyond me. But still. We hoped. The rest of the evening went well, and I made myself sit back and enjoy the reception and let some other people worry about some details for awhile. Ian and I danced, ate, talked, and watched the Greek dances going on. I chatted with the groom's dad for awhile and showed him how smart I was, by beating a bunch of his riddles. Then, around 11, I became exhausted. The bride and the groom left, and then we all rushed around to take down everything we had set up. I was in bed by 1230, and woke up the next morning to a rainy Rhode Island. Ian, Svein, and I cleaned up the beach house (everyone else had left,) and watched several episodes of MonsterQuest on Discovery channel, lol. I learned alot about giant squids, and so did my Norweigan friend. He had a quite a few things to say about the Loch Ness monster too!

Ian and I got to the airport at 3 for our 350 flight, but ended up not taking off until 9 because all ofthe planes were grounded due to a horrible storm. We landed in Orlando around 11:30, got our baggage, and our car, and headed for Gainesville. That was our trip! It was very stressful and busy but so great to see all of those people again!


Some of the groomsmen on the Beach house's second story porch. Starting from the right, Ian, John (the groom,) Svein, Eric, and Jake.

The view of the gazebo, tent, and beach from the porch.

The beautiful head table with my questionably illegal beach grass cuttings.

Me, Svein, and Ian at the wedding. I miss that kid! He's off to Toronto then he is going to buy a bicycle (not a motorcycle but a *buy one from target* kind of bike,) and bike the Mississippi River. Crazy kid.


The 5 layered cake. See? Not too much of a difference from a 7 layer one , right?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To see the Yankees

No, not the baseball team. I am a Braves girl, through and through.

I am talking about the Northerners. Ian and I are headed to Rhode Island for a long weekend for our friends John and Onastazia's wedding. They are true northerners and it just cracks me up when John and Ian argue of who is the best.

Most of the time, I don't know what to say to them. Not because I have nothing to say, but usually because I didn't understand what they said. Haha. Weird accents. Strange jokes. And NO, it is NOT unusual to say "ya'll and Ma'am." Sheesh. Where have manners gone?

Lol, as if saying ya'll makes me polite.

So we fly into Rhode Island on Thursday, and their rehearsal and dinner is that night. On Friday, all of the groomsmen (oh, yes, Ian's a groomsman,) are going out on a deep sea fishing trip. I told him to pack his long johns. He thought I was kidding. I wasn't.

Saturday is the wedding on the beach at some mansion, whose mansion, I am not really sure of. Then Sunday Ian and I will probably take a train in to Boston to see some things before our 3:30 flight. We'll see. Svein should be there. So hopefully some fun Norweigan stories will be coming your way.

I'm taking a notebook to record some of the things that happen so that whenever I can get a hold of some internet I can let you all in on the fun! I can't wait to read all about ya'lls weekend!

Love,
Brittney

Monday, July 21, 2008

EXCITING!

I have something really REALLY exciting to tell you about! (no it is nothing to do with a job.)

We are starting an online book club, on blogger!

I have been thinking about this for a couple of days now, but was worried that it was a crazy idea of mine. I always get these over adventureous ideas and no one else seems to jump on the band wagon with me.

Let's hope this isn't like that.

But, I talked to Heather about it, and she didn't laugh! And said she was interested! Which means I'm not crazy! WOo HOo!

So anyways, the deal is, we're starting a blogging book club, in about two weeks, and want YOU to join. And your friends. And your family. The more the merrier.

To read more about it, check out the book club's site Bound to Books, to learn about how it is going to work and to vote for the first book.

Spread the word!

Oops. My bad.

So, I read over my last post, and I realized that once I got on my rabbit trail, I never got back on to explaining how AMAZING Batman was.

Yes, it was creepy. But in a good way. The acting was absolutely incredible, the transformation that the actors took on to portray their characters was mind boggling.

The sets and action were really good too.

And the plot. OH the plot!!! Okay, I am not going to say anything about the plot. But I will talk about the moral dilemma that it presents.

IT was a movie that really made me think,"If I was in this situation, would I make the right choice, could I put the greater good above my own personal gain?"

The audience was enthralled. You gasped together, laughed together, and clapped together.

The hushed silence that filled the air as the movie started showed the anticipation that they all had. Even the kids. But, I digress.

So if I accidentally convinced you to not go see it.....

Bazappy!

There, did I convince you to go see it?

It's really really good, I promise. You'll sit on the edge of your seats and be gripped with anticipation with how it is going to end.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Creepy McCreeperson

I had a day full of weird people. Maybe "full," is a little strong, but let me tell you about it, and you can decide.

So Ian and I pull into the gas station to fill up, when we notice this homeless man. Now, there are alot of homeless people around the 75 on and off ramps here in Gaines-Vegas, but that wasn't the creepy part. The Creepy part, was the fact that behind his back he was holding an aluminum baseball bat, and kind of lurching around. As you can imagine, I was not happy about being left in the car while Ian "filled her up," but, eventually my fear that the strange hobo man was going to walk up and smash our windshield to smitheriens (sp?) proved incorrect, because he crossed the road to the best western. I figure he's gonna get a nice night's rest.

We went and saw Batman today. It was CrEEpy. I can NOT believe parents took their children in to see that. I am so glad that my parents protected me from PG-13 movies until I was ready to see them. I understand that some kids are ready a little earlier, but SERIOUSLY! This is not the time to take your 9 year old to the movie. Try HSM 3 in 3 months. But not this one! Seriously people.

Hmm. That was definately a rabbit trail. The point was, that the movie is very creepy. And shows true evil. and is going to give me nightmares for weeks. Maybe I wasn't ready to see that!

Tomorrow we have church in the morning, and then, in the afternoon, my first official shift at Borders. Now, during my training, I did learn that there are alot of blogging rules, so I may not be able to tell you alot about my job here. But I will refer to it in code.

I'll call it.... The bookstore. :)

Lol. Think that's code enough?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Dash Of Hope

Today has been a pretty eventful day, which I appreciate, because the past week has been stressful and boring. Not much humor in this post today, I apologize, it's really just an update. Things have been very "matter of fact" lately, and I think my lack of human interaction might be the cause for my not so funny blogging subjects. I can't wait to start working again. I get to see PEOPLE!!!

I probably won't be saying that in three weeks. It'll probably sound something like this:

"Why won't everyone leave me alone? If I could JUST have 30 minutes of quiet!"

But. You know. That's just how life goes, I guess.

Right. Back to my update. So this morning, I hop in the car and head to Mrs. Muni's house, the principal of academics at Cornerstone Academy here in Gainesville. I was intending to drop off Ian and I's applications and get to know the voice from the phone who I had been talking to for 72 hours.

She had other plans. Or rather, made other plans. So after two or three minutes there, we jumped in our cars and headed to the school's campus to get the teacher text book so I could have a look. I met some of the other teachers while there, and got to see my potential classroom. It was pretty danky without any decorations or posters right now, and it is in desperate need of a new area rug, (the one that is in the room is white with big black/brown splotches, kinda sketchy if you ask me.) She told me that the church they are renting from stopped maintaining the school campus, so they are making do for this school year until they can move into a new campus.

She handed me the teacher text book and a student version, so I could get used to the curriculum, and that was about it!

I did learn some very interesting things about the job however. It is a fulltime teaching position for 5/6 grade science. The school runs T, W, and F from 8-3. They are also starting up an optional Thursday program for enrichment purposes and are looking for someone to run the science part of that. So I could potentially work Tuesday through Friday, 8-3.

So off I headed to my Borders interview with much happier feelings about the school. walked in and my interviewer wasn't back from lunch yet, so I wandered. He came in about 10 minutes later, and took me back to the offices. Asked me the same questions the lady from yesterday asked me, and then offered me the job!

Hurray!

So I go in tomorrow (Thursday,) to fill out all of the paperwork, and I believe I start training on either Friday or Saturday! I also told him that I was going to be starting teaching, and he said that was no problem, that this was a part time position anyways!

Double Hurray!

So now we have to find "Master Ian," (as Clara V. calls him,) a job. The school wants to use him as an Algebra 3 and Pre-Calc teacher, but if you know Ian, you know how funny this is. God will have our children be mathematical prodigies just to make us laugh. So he met with the principal and talked to the math Chairperson, and picked up the textbooks to see if he can handle it.

It would be very nice if he decided to take the jobs (OR if they offered them to him,) because of how flexible the work would be. The two classes could fit inside of his Grad work time, which is very hard to work around at a normal part-time job.

So now, we are just waiting for an offer from the school. I know she is checking my references because after she talked to Mr. Sacket (my internship supervising teacher,) she called me to tell me how much he bragged about me. I laughed. She was impressed, which is good, I guess.

I hope to hear something back from the school by this weekend, and I am kind of hoping I don't hear back anything from the public schools. I would just have to make a tough decision that I don't want to make: Teach at a school that honors God and let's you teach "willing to learn" kids with helpful parents, but for not so much money (enough to survive comfortably though,) or, teach at a school with nearly double the pay, but in a public system that has challenged children and hard to deal with parents. I don't know what I would do!

But I don't really think I am going to hear from them.

I just have a feeling about this.

Have you ever had one of those "gut" feelings?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Update

The interview at Borders went well. If you can call it an interview. It was about 5 minutes long! I am on to round two tomorrow, at noon. I am also meeting with a principal from a private school around here. I may be teaching 5th and 6th science, and 5th/6th Latin, if it all works out. It doesn't seem to phase them that I do not know a lick of Latin. I guess they figure I will learn!

I am kind of excited about the science/ Latin thing, but am waiting on getting my hopes up until I find out more about their pay system. I will update again tomorrow.

Principal meeting at 10:30
Borders Interview at 12

Please be in prayer!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Ho-Hum Day

Remember how I posted last night, saying how exhausted I was? Well, I did. And then I went to bed. But not much sleep came. I kept waking up all night long, and then, around 3:30, Ian's phone rang. He didn't wake up, so I was like:

B-"Ian. Your phone. "
I- "Hmm?"
B- "Your phone just rang!"

It turned out to be his voicemail alerting him to the fact that it was deleting some old messages.

Fabulous.

So we tried to get more sleep. And when I say we, I mean, he slept perfectly fine, but I did not.

All of that to say, I started my day feeling pretty groggy. There wasn't much of substance to my day, since I couldn't really focus on my "learning," so I ended up doing house work and stuff for the morning/afternoon until Ian got back from school.

Have I ever told you about my ironing? I don't think I have. You must first know, to my mother's horror, that I, and my sister, both iron backwards. I don't really know how it's backwards, something about the how we face the pointy side of the board the wrong way, but, in the long run, it's always worked for me.

Anyways, in the new house, we are poor. Hahaha. Right. Which means we have no ironing board. I didn't think this would be a big obstacle because I have seen other ironing techniques from my friends.

Please picture this: the top of the washing machine, cleared off, except for a folded white towel, and the plugged in iron. You see, you can't go straight onto the top of the washing machine due to some kind of "heat distribution," problem. So I use a towel.

Sounds good right?

Wrong.

About one sleeve into my ironing, the towel begins to slowly slip off of the machine, taking the shirt with it, making me reach in desperation to keep the towel/shirt off of the floor with my knee, because my hands are otherwise occupied with the iron, and pulling up the towel from above.

I figured out a pretty good system though. It just includes alot of pausing and readjusting. Took me about an hour to do 6 of Ian's dress shirts, which was just ridiculous.

Hmm. I can't wait to have an ironing board.

Otherwise, the day has just kind of crept by. I am exhausted and about ready to hit the hay.

Please be in prayer for my two o'clock interview with Borders on Tuesday. It's no teaching job, but it is something to help us out until I get some call backs. Plus, I wouldn't mind having a seasonal job available for when I am not teaching around Christmas/Summer.

Love you all!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A quick trip:

Today seemed to be a pretty great day, though I am flat out exhausted as I write this.

Woke up for church and got ready. Dashed out the door at 9:25, because, pshh, who needs to leave any earlier for church than five minutes until the service? I mean, come on. I have never been known to be one who leaves EARLIER than necessary in the morning!

Parked, and got into the 9:30 service before the first music started. Pastor Calvin (of our new church~ North Central Baptist Church which is literally 1.5 minutes away,) gave a great message on persecution of the Church and how there are different types and how to deal with/embrace them.

As soon as the service was out, we jetted back to the coffee bar (mmmm, isn't it amazing? A church with good coffee!) then headed out. We had to miss Sunday school this morning, but it was for a good cause.

We came to OVIEDO!! But only for a short little visit again. Ian dropped me off at my friend Katie R's house, and we headed over to a wedding shower for our friends. My momma was there and she was pretty happy to see me too! Two hours, cake, and presents later, Mom and I headed out for home, chatting happily. I got to wake my dad up from his afternoon nap, and got tons of barks and kisses from my puppy. Dad gave us a tour of his new BEAUTIFUL truck, and then gave us a ride in it.

Then. Came the best part.

We went out to eat!!!! We went to Bahama Breeze which is one of Ian's and I's favorite restaurant (along with PF Changs of course,) and had a wonderful dinner with my parents. We left straight from there and came home.

Whirlwind of a trip, but good. Didn't get to see everyone I wanted, but still.... a great trip.

Friday, July 11, 2008

To Do Today: Conquer the World

I have never seen the movie, but I have heard from many many people that it is a great example of excellent acting. Once I get my netflix up and going, I will watch it right away!

I thought I would share with you my "bucket list." I wrote it during a time in my life that I would probably label as my "darkest hour." Of course, I know that I will have much harder times to go through as I grow up, but this time was particularly tough.

It was during my freshman semester of college, when half of my best friends moved away for college, and the other half stayed here. Ian had just moved to Virginia for school, and though we didn't realize it at the time, we had just started falling for each other that summer. In case you didn't know, that was also the semester that my health deteriorated. Doctor visits and pain medications, steroids and referrals, tears and fears over a health problem that was physically wrecking havoc. It was muscular. It was in my joints. It was in my bones. The pain that I remember was unbearable, and the fatigue that came with it was strange. At first I couldn't climb stairs, which meant that I had to find spots to park on the ground level, and always had to wait for elevators at school. But then it grew worse. I remember the day I tried to grip a pencil for longer than 30 seconds, and realizing the muscle fatigue would make it impossible to write.

My mom went with me to all of those appointments and was this incredible rock on to which I could lean on. It was so scary not knowing what the problem was. I remember being afraid that I wasn't going to live. And then, prayers from everyone we knew began to surround us, and although the doctors remained stumped despite the bloodtests with no results, I at least had hope.

That's when I sat down with a notebook that two of my dear friends, Ben Hogue and Amanda Crane had given me, to write out all of the things I wanted to do with my life once I got through this.

So below is some from my list of gigantic "to do's." I haven't accomplished most of them, but of course, that's the point! I have my whole life to live to see and do all of the things on my list. I hope this might inspire you to dig out your old list (or begin one!) and decide some things YOU want to accomplish!

  • Go Parasailing
  • See DaVinci's "The Last Supper"
  • Go to a Movie Premier
  • Learn Arabic or Swahili
  • See a volcano...in action!
  • Make a good lasagna
  • Go skydiving
  • Ride a Jetski
  • Go to Europe
  • Speak French in France
  • See the Eiffel Tower- to the top!
  • Graduate College
  • Paint a room
  • Learn to Drive Stickshift
  • Visit Normandy
  • Learn to Whistle
  • Get married
  • Learn to Wink
  • Visit Rome
  • Learn to Juggle
  • See the Blue Grotto
  • Read the Entire Bible
  • Have 5,000 in savings
  • Have 10,000 in savings
  • Make a mosaic design
  • Read Frankenstein
  • Send a letter to the president
  • Receive a response from the President
  • Go horseback riding on a beach
  • Stand underneath of a waterfall
  • Visit Petra
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Shake hands or hug a monkey
  • Ride a Camel
  • Have hcildren
  • Learn to ballroom dance
  • Play the harmonica
  • Visit Ellis Island
  • Learn to play chess
  • Walk along the Great China Wall
  • See the Florida Keys
  • Go Snorkeling
  • Write a book
  • Get a book published
  • keep a journal for 1 year
  • Work at a summer camp
  • Be a lifeguard
  • Rescue someone as a lifeguard
  • Adopt an animal
  • Go to an important Braves game
  • Learn CPR
  • Grow a sunflower
  • Send out Christmas Cards
  • Go to an Opera
  • See Snowfall
  • Make a snowman
  • Have a snowball fight
  • No longer need contacts
  • Dye my hair
  • Cut someone's hair
  • Hold a frog
  • Learn to knit
  • Play golf with my dad
  • Make meatloaf
  • Play tennis and get good at it
  • Make a quilt
  • Learn to crochet
  • Throw a surprise party
  • Straddle state lines
  • Learn archery
  • Go swimming with dolphins
  • Make a full Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Flip a House
  • Ride in a Hot Air balloon
  • Go to a Carnival or Fair
  • Read Pride and Prejudice
  • Learn to play the violin

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In stitches...

Let me preface this whole blog entry by telling you a little secret:

I routinely talk to myself.

And this is usually where I get my kicks and giggles from. Not interactions with other. Not things that other people say. Not even things that I say to others. No, no, no, I laugh the hardest when I am talking to my self about stuff that just starts me giggling.

So, I sit down in our guest closet, to figure out the sewing machine the girls got me. I have had some experience on my mom's machine, but I realized today, that she usually loads the thread/bobbin for me before I start off. Let me tell you, the only saving factor was the illustrated manual that came with the sewing machine. So this is how today's conversation went down:

"Okay, hmmm. The manual says to remove the bobbin from the shuttle. Shuttle?!? Why the heck would there be something called a shuttle on a sewing machine?! Does Singer have a particular desire for their customers to BLAST OFF?" hmmm probably not.

"Yes! Got the bobbin loaded. But. Um. The thread is down there (below the, um, flat surface thing,) and I need it to be up here (above the flat surface thing.) So maybe I just need to load the bobbin differently. Let me consult the manual...........(flip page, flip page).......Ugh......(more page flipping) Grrrr, why doesn't this thing tell me how? I could just mess with it for awhile. ....... Nah... (email mom to find out how to get the thread about the surface.)

Oh. Oops. Found it. Thank goodness for that manual!"

So, this continues on for awhile. I apparently thought I was a sewing savant somewhere around Pg 32 "how to load the top needle," when, by luck, I get the thread correctly loaded with a few swishes of the wrist.

Now, if only I had some fabric to mess with. I could use some of my old t-shirts or something...

Nah. "HONEY! Do you have any clothes that need...um....repair?"

Perfect. 3 pairs of cargo shorts with missing buttons, ripped patches, or holey pockets later, and I have a mountain of clothes just waiting to be experimented on!

The buttons were no problem. I am a button master. For some reason, Ian's buttons are always falling off and I seem to always be repairing them. I think that's why he fell in love with me. So he can keep his britches up without a belt.

Now onto repairing the holey pockets. It WAS just one holey pocket, but then, when trying to get the extra button off of a pair of shorts to resew on, I ripped another pocket. So. TWO pockets to practice on. It was SEW easy! hahahahaha. No really. It took like 30 seconds.

"Honey!! Come see this!" he comes in leaving our dinner guest alone in the family room.
Ian- "Wow! Now I have a real wife!"

Yeah. As oppossed to the fake one you have had around you for the past month. Hmph.

Now. Onto the patch. You must understand. My mother sewed on this patch (okay, ironed, but she is perfectly able to sew it on, so I didn't want to make it sound like she wasn't) for Ian about 6 months ago. Since that time, one side of the patch has detached itself from the fabric. And Ian STILL wears the shorts. In public.

Did I mention the the patch is directly on the butt? Because it is.

(did I mention the machine is stored on top of a chest so I sit cross legged in front of it and use my knee on the pedal for now. weird. I know. But I just have to make do.)

So, I lifted up the little foot, and started pulling the shorts in. Only one problem. Cargo shorts have very big pockets. So big that it is a strain to navigate the shorts to the right spot. Bingo. Got it. So, I'm sewing, I'm sewing, when:

"Ahhhhhh! It's eating the shorts! It's eating the shorts! What do I do?! Okay, knee off the pedal. Good. Got it to stop making that horrible noise. hmm. Now how do I get it out of here?"

20 minutes later and a lot of pulled out thread, the shorts have been victoriously freed and I am left with a pair of still ripped shorts.

On to hand sewing. After all. My husband can't think he has a "fake" wife again right?

LOL. Well the shorts are finished and he is so proud, and likes the story of how they came to be. I hope you did to.

Monday, July 7, 2008

[aw-toh-dahy-dakt ]

I have a confession to make.

I have an illness that may never be cured.

I am an autodidact.

"What's that?", you ask.

Well let me first ease your worries and let you know it's not a REAL illness, just a metaphor (Relax Mrs. Angela and Emily, don't have panic attacks.) An autodidact is a person who has a thirst for knowledge that can not be quenched through traditional schooling methods. So, after all is said and done, and my pretty little college diploma is hanging on my wall, I still feel like I have a ton to learn.

And let me tell you what... I am in good company! Socrates, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Edison were all autodidactics.

The real problem is that I don't feel that my education taught me very much. Sure, I learned all of the names of great educational philosphers, and I know how to teach a child addition without saying "add," but do I really know anything about history, biology, math (pshhhh, we all know that I have very little knowledge about that one!) The basics are what I seem to be missing!

So, about a week ago, I set out to fix this little problem. I researched and there is this AMAZING thing called "Open Course Ware," which allows you access to entire classes from schools like Notre Dame, MIT, and John Hopkins. You get the syllabus, access to all of the podcasted lectures, and do the assignments- All for free!

I figure I will start a couple of those in the fall, probably Biology, Cultural Anthropology, International Nutrition, and Introduction to Economics.


For now however, let me fill you in on what I have been doing.

This is a World History textbook of Ian's. He took AP World and apparently kept his book. I did not take AP that year. I think because I was focusing on swim and was trying water polo that year. Definately a large gap in my education.

This is a picture of my gigantic timeline. It is over 20 pieces of paper long and is not yet completed. So far it stretches from 500 BC to 200 AD- one page per 50 years. The idea is that if you fill out one consecutive timeline, you are able to remember more of history because you can "place" the events in the right area of time, (one of the biggest problems students face is their lack of historical understanding.)

Close up of the timeline. I'll keep you updated as I fill it out and extend it!

This is a book of 823 words that "every person" should know. I do 5 words a day, writing their name and definition on an index card, then reviewing the entire stack all mixed in.


This is the French book. I took french for 3 years in high school, and 2 semesters in college. Unfortunately, that really got me nowhere. I have a big sense of stage fright of things like practicing speaking french out loud, playing the piano in front of an audience, or anything that I could potentially "mess up," on and feel dumb over. I am working on that. I do about 15 pages in this a day, and it's a great book!

This is a book of devotionals that I am working on. Some may not really consider it learning, but I enjoy reading it because it contains stories from all over the world that I am learning from other people's experiences! 3-4 pages a day in this one.


This is my Bible Study, but it is really something you would expect from a Christian university or seminary. It goes really into depth, analyzing the people and the places, looking into word root and origins. I really enjoy this and try not to rush through it. 5-10 pages a day, depending on how much time I have.

Okay, so, I'm a dork. So what?

No, really. What do you think?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Peach Pie and a Lack of Fireworks

Our fourth of July was pretty tame this year. Well, in comparison to last year.

One year ago, on July 4th, 2007, Ian was toting around the engagement ring as we headed to Central Winds Park for their annual fireworks desplay. Only thing was, I KNEW the ring was in the backpack.

I mean, come on. When has Ian ever packed a bag and carried it around voluntarily? And when has he ever insisted that I not touch it or get anything out of it.

So, of course, all night long I was SO excited to finally be engaged. The night was wonderful. We had a picnic in the back of the MDX, then set up camp in the park. There was a cheerfully outgoing drunk man next to us, and a rumbunctious family in front of us. We laid back to watch the fireworks, and I kept saying to myself "Now, is when he is going to propose. ...... or....NOW."

Unfortunately, the drunk man proved to be an irritant for my now husband, and I guess, in his head, it was not the perfect moment. So we headed home. Him, a very irritated soon to be fiance, and me, and EXTREMELY agitated soon to be fiance.

*Sigh* I love fourth of July.

This year was pretty uneventful though. We woke up and hit the road for O-town, got in around 12, and helped the lunch preparations become under way.

*Gasp!* Did you know....peaches can be skinned? I mean, I guess I knew that. I have had peach cobbler before and there was no skin on it. I just assumed it was a super human feat and the factories must be where peaches were skinned.

Well, my mother-in-law skinned a whole bunch of peaches, and I, in my stuper of amazement, sliced them up. We made a wonderful peach pie, and then I headed out for my quick "errand."

I stopped by Mrs. Angela's house! But no one was there. And I was very disappointed. So I said to myself, where could they be? Out with her mom at the beach? Perhaps. At Grandma Joyce's? Probably not. At the Vargas'? Possibly.

And since the Vargas' were only a street or two over, and they were on my list to visit too, I hopped on over there, hoping that they would be home at least.

I pulled in and saw two vans sitting in the driveway. "I hit the motherlode!" I said, then quickly scampered up to the door and rang the doorbell.

You can read all about it here.

It was alot of fun to see everyone, I miss both of those families SO much. Spent a little time hanging out there before heading back to the house to eat a wonderful lunch. Then we headed out to the movies to see Hancock-which was a very surprising movie!

We were going to go out to eat, but were stuffed still from lunch, so Ian and I hit the road and came home. Spent the evening listening to fire crackers from the parking lot, and worked on the grocery list for next week's meals.

So that is it for now. Today's activities include running errands, reading, and working on my French. More about that later...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flashback #1

Flashback posts will be funny stories from my past for any time I want to post and don't have much to really say.

Let me first preface this flashback by letting you know a little something about me. Now, not many people know this, so don't let it get out too far. When I was little, I was very mischievious. And, had a great love for my older sister and her many belongings. And I loved dolls.

Now, these little known secrets are not something that frequently crossed paths, but on this one occassion, the stars aligned to bring me trouble.

I was about 7 years old, and my sister was gone for the day. I wandered into her room, and there, sitting on her bed, was her beloved doll, Tiffany.

So, I did what any red-blooded American child would do.... I took her.
TO PLAY with, not to steal.

I marched outside, and played with Tiffany joyously, swinging her in circles and tossing her in the air and catching her.

The problem arouse when I ran a little too close to the house. Up Tiffany soared into the air...down she fell....onto the GUTTER!

You would think that the problem would be Tiffany getting stuck on the roof. But, alas, if it was only that easy.

Down came Tiffany...in two pieces!! The wonderful and beloved doll was decapitated in a way that only scared me down to my very soul.

In I ran into the house, stealthily sneaking into her room to replace the wounded doll. I sat her body in the same place, then carefully positioned the head atop.

I am sure you can imagine the next scene.

Heather comes home from her playdate, goes to her room to check on all her things, picks up her doll to embrace her, when...

BAM!!!!

Headless doll.

She is still scarred to this day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A little more conversation...

Yesterday turned out to be an okay day as well, which was kind of unexpected. Ian had his first day of class, so he was out the door pretty early and Svein wanted to see the apartment complex's many ammenities.

I showed him the mailboxes, and explained how we drop off our mail, which was a great surprise to him. Apparently, his mail people won't take mail from people. I asked if that was because the mail man drove a boat among the fjords. Apparently, that's not really the case.

Then we hopped across the road to our lovely trash compactor. Except... it was broken and taken away for repair so signs told us to put our trash in the dumpster. Small problem....no dumpster. So we just neatly laid it on the ground NEXT to where the compacter belonged and I told Svein that we wouldn't get arrested unless the police traced the trash back to our address. He was slightly concerned.

Then, off to the clubhouse and pool! When going through the front doors of the clubhouse, I pointed out a police posted sign for a wanted man- "Hey! That's our lawn man!" He did NOT think that was too funny. Mainly because he thought I said "Law Man," like a governor or mayor. So I untangled that conversational knot as we stepped out onto the pool deck.

Here was a little less eventful. We laid out in the sun, read our books, and occassionaly jumped into the pool to cool off. I did, what is a perfectly acceptable sport here in fine America. People Watching. The watering hole is a great place to see a collection of interesting people.

Apparently, people watching is not an international sport. In fact, Svein was quite concerned that I would get caught watching other people, and informed me that it was considered very rude where he came from. I told him that, of course, I don't STARE. And continued to teach him the subtle art of people watching where you glance here and there in order to figure things out about the people around you. And...if someone decides to stare back at you, then, and only then, if you are brazen enough, may you stare back.
The middle age group of women who intently watched me back because I was reading a Christian novel that they recognized (A voice in the wind.)

The mom with two sons who must be fresh off the boat from Japan. They were very good swimmers though.

The young family with their baby daughter who they insisted wore a GIGANTIC sun hat that she could barely keep her head up with.

And then, a foreign family with 3 young boys. I had seen this family before, and was very intrigued. The father chooses one son to work with, and "coaches" him on swimming technique for hours. The poor boy of choice is very obediant and does lap after lap while his other brothers and other pool children play. The only thing is, their accent is unidentifiable. I thought that maybe it was italian, but decided it wasn't. Then Svein joined in and helped me rule out Greek, Russian, and Romanian. We finally decided it was probably Hungarian. I am glad that I taught Svein something important from the US. People watching is a skill that every body should learn.

So here's to happy "pEEple wootching." What kind of interesting people have you seen today?
Currently, my husband is explaining the many *benefits* of eating raisin bran. A conversation I am glad to be not a part of.