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Saturday, January 31, 2009

What? A Burger?

On our drive to Orlando today, Ian and I had our first "Whataburger" experience.

Besides me being really confused at why their burger had no ketchup or cheese, but it DID have mustard, we were generally pleased with the results.
It's not McDonald's, that's for sure.
(I loooooove me a double cheeseburger from the golden arches.)
But it was good, and had lots of fresh-ish veggies on it.
And by veggies, I mean iceburg lettuce, and onions.
Of course.












Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend at a Glance

After a really tough week (REALLY, really tough,) I am honestly looking forward to this weekend, busy or not. Tonight we are hanging out at Sam's apartment (where I am typing this at,) to eat dinner, hang out with him and his roommates, play some video games (me, I'll be reading my blogs/book,) and watching a movie (probably Hotel Rwanda, but I brought October Sky to try to persuade them.)

Tomorrow, we are waking up at our leisure, then heading to Orlando for a short little day trip. We want to see the house, and see my parents, since they are probably closing and leaving the house within the end of February.

Sunday, we will be back in Gainesville, because we teach a college Sunday School class. So we will go to our sunday school, to service, then to the class we teach. It makes for a pretty long morning.

It's not so bad when I stuff my purse with cookies.

That night, we will make an appearance at the college group's Super Bowl party, and I am supposed to bring a pot of chili and cornbread, so I will be making that in the afternoon. Also, Ian and I have some IMB paperwork we are working through, and have to take a 556 question personality test. 

Fun. 

(just got in a ten minute classics book discussion with one of the roommates.)

Time to eat!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

SOLD

I am so excited for my parents, but in slight shock, over the fact that my childhood home has SOLD!!!

In less than three months on the market!!

But now they are moving to Tennessee. :(

So we are going to see them and the house this weekend. Pictures of our lovely home, coming soon.

Adventures in WHERE?!

Odyssey of course.

Because life is all about the journey.

Growing up, I am so lucky to have been surrounded by these wonderful programs. I would ask for them for Christmas and my birthday, and then hole myself up in my room, listening to the entire set.

What are they, you ask?

Well, they are a radio program of course! Just like in the ol' days. Where you have to listen, and visualize what's going on. They are set in the small town of Odyssey, USA, and their cast of characters include Whit, Connie, Eugene, and a plethora of other minor/major characters. You follow the lives of these people as they are faced with different real life situations, and how they handle them in a Biblical way.

The funny thing is, I have learned ALOT just from listening to them.

Take "The Merchant of Venice," for instance. Since, in Odyssey (I know it's made up, but bare with me here,) there is a theater that puts on Shakespeare plays, one of the episodes is the entire play 'acted' out on radio.

Or take the fact that Eugene, one of the main characters, is a genius, and uses a vocabulary on a PhD level. I was understanding them in context from a very young age.

Now, I have heard one or two now that I am 'grown up,' and they aren't so entertaining anymore, but, I know that they are PERFECT-ly entertaining for kids.

There are also books, and videos based on this series. Plus, they come on CD's now. (Whoa-so new-age, right?)

Just a bit of Nostalgia for my readers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random(ish) Facts About Me

1. I have extreme stage fright.

2. I love Michael Buble music.

3. The Florida Gators are my favorite team in the world.

4. I am obsessed with watching large families on TLC and the Discovery channel.

5. When choosing between two of the same books, but with different covers... I definitely judge a book by its cover.

6. I have a speech impediment. R's mess me up big time, to this day.

7. In second grade, I cheated my way into winning a "rolling R's" contest for Spanish. (yeah, the little girl who can't say "biRd" correctly, SURELY practiced rolling her R's everyday for six months. Riiiiight. Who would believe that?)

8. I have broken 4 bones in my body, and bruised three ribs, and gotten my ear stitched up.

9. I like to surf, but have become recently afraid of sharks.

10. My favorite candy in the world is Jelly Belly's (but only the Watermelon, Juicy Pear, and Peach.)

11. When I was seven, I cut off my cat's whiskers.... and lied about it.

12. I never EVER ride without a seat belt.

13. I usually drive on Cruise Control- so I don't speed.

14. I don't like spicy food.

15. When I wake up in the morning, I have to immediately take a shower, or I don't fully wake up.

16. I have been to: Brazil (3 times,) Canada, England, France, and Jordan. Soon more?

17. I used to say I wanted 20 kids. 10 seems kind of crazy now, but I think I MIGHT be able to handle 8 (not that I WANT that many.)

18. I love Bread. I LOVE BREAD. I can eat a whole loaf of it.

19. Also. Don't let me near a vat of cookie dough. It will mysteriously disappear.

20. I hog the left lane. It's true. I will get over for you, but I drive in it because I feel safer.

21. I swam competetively for 6 years. Backstroke was my deal.

22. I don't like coffee, but I do love instant coffee.

23. I like playing video games, though not shooting ones. Too intense.

24. I don't like touching raw meat. It grosses me out.

25. I don't like it when people call something "Random," when it's not ACTUALLY randomly generated or selected. Too much AP Statistics rubbed into my brain or something.

To NC and Back Again

Our trip to NC, besides the illness, was wonderful! We made it there in about 7 1/2 hours, and just had a good time talking, eating hummus and fruit (in the car!) and listening to some sermons. Whenever we travel, we load some podcasts of some of our favorite pastors onto Ian's iPod, and then listen to them as we drive. It makes the drive go by very quickly!

We arrived in NC around 11:30 that night, said "hi," to Courtney, and then crashed. That next morning, she had left for work, and Ian needed alot more sleep than I did, so I showered and watched The Office on Courtney's DVR. We finally got up and moving around noon, for a Panera's lunch and then over to his Aunt Stephanie's house to "help," with whatever we could (mind you, we were feeling our crummiest right then, so we didn't think we would be much help.)

Ian's little cousin Noah, was there, and I just fell in love with this little boy. What a cutie! Wish I had taken pictures but that was the farthest thing from my mind. We kept him entertained out on the trampoline, then took him with us when we went to the church to set up.
Drove back to his aunt's house, to drop off the van and Noah, and to pick up our car, and go back to Courtney's house to get cleaned up for dress rehearsal, which was at 6:30. Dinner was at 8:30 at this cute Italian restaurant in town.

Oh wait.
Did I tell you that this was a Protestant/American/Messianic Jewish/Brazilian wedding?
Um...
It was.

And Ian's dad performed the protestant side of the wedding while their cantor performed the jewish side, and the egroom's friend translated into Portuguese into his headset for all of those watching it online.

Yeah.
I know.
Sureal.

After dinner, we went back to his aunt's house for desert (cheesecake!) then home to Courtney's for some chatting and some sleep!

Saturday morning, Courtney and I went out to a local breakfast place, called, The Flying Biscuit, where we ate, and talked for a couple of hours. I had delicious blueberry pancakes that tasted like muffins! It was so good to get caught up with her some! I'm lucky to have a friend, who, I can not see for 8 months, but when we do it is like no time has passed!

Back to her house for a nap and then to get ready for the 3:00 wedding. Quick stop to pick up some lighters for the wedding candles, and then the very unique wedding ceremony.

Mazel Tov!
I'm not kidding.

Then a reception, where, by choice, Ian and I just really hung out with 4 year old Noah. It was a low key thing, and we both had horribly sore throats and didn't feel like chatting.

Bride and Groom on chairs, being raised by white southerners?

Check.
Dinner with his parents afterwards at JJ's (a PF chang's knock off-but good,) and then back to Courtney's for sleep!

Sunday, we got to "sleep in" until about 8, then up and ready, hanging out with Courtney, until we got a phone call.

That phone call was John and Staz. Remember them? Oh you know! The Rhode Island couple! We spent the day with them at a local shopping center, just hanging out, eating and talking. It was great of them to drive 3 hours from VA just to see us!

Then, back in the car for a "quick" trip back. Lots of family and friend time. It was great.

Mazel Tov!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sick, Sicker, Sickest

Ian and I battled it out over who was more sick. The votes are still out and I am not really sure if we will ever know, haha.

To be fair, he felt sick FIRST, by waking up Thursday with a horribly sore throat and a slight headache, I didn't feel bad at all until that afternoon.

By that night, I had the aches all over and the chills, but his throat was passable as long as he kept something cold around (strawberries and grapes helped!)

By Friday I had a cough, sore throat, and major conjestion, but thanks to the lovely mucinex, it was under control and NOT heading to my lungs like last time.

Friday night, Ian and the worst congestion I think he has ever had.

it'S NOT that big of a deal, right? hahaha.

Right. Saturday, Ian was on the mend, and I napped half the day to make it through the parts that I HAD to be awake for.

Sunday, Ian was almost all better. Me, I had fever and chills, and general muscle fatigue...and, oh yeah, no voice. But I was technically feeling better.

By Monday, it was all almost a dream, except for how exhausted we both were.

And today? Only a slight headache.

Did I mention we were staying with my friend, Courtney, the whole time?

I hope she doesn't get sick!!!!

Blogging Book Goal- Book #4

For my fourth book, I read The Merchant of Venice, by the honorable Mr. William Shakespeare.

Now, I have read SOME Shakespeare (Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet,) and I liked each story.

And each time, I try to buy it in the Side-by-side version, with Shakespeare on the left side of a page spread, and modern English translation on the right. This helps me to keep moving at a good pace, if, say, like any other human being, you don't know what the heck he's talking about.

I will just glance to the right, reread it in English, and then revert to the original work in Shakespearean English.

AND you can't beat the 6-7 dollars a book. That's a great deal! Especially for such a well known work of written art. Now, you can get compilations of his work for 20-30 dollars (which, yes, would technically save you money,) but I don't like reading out of such a bulky books, and most of those don't have the translation.

Right. So, I read the Merchant of Venice in three sittings. It was interesting, it involved intrigue and romance, and of course, the ever famous wit.

It doesn't paint a very pretty picture of Jews though.

Ian thinks that maybe Shakespeare was Anti-Semitic.

I said Oi.

In conclusion, good book, funny wit, familiar story.

Familiar, you ask? Why, yes. I have heard the Adventures in Odyssey on it many MANY times. What? I haven't talked to you about Adventures in Odyssey? More to come on that later.

My School...

At MY school:

The teacher's lounge ONLY serves sweet tea. No questions asked.

The saftey patrol wear bright orange belts...and cowboy hats.

Boots and camo jackets are part of the dress code, (unofficially. I am SO un cultured in my Steve Madden's.)

It's normal for "ya'lls," and "oh my words," to escape the mouths of students and teachers without correction.

To earn money for the library, the librarian sells giant pickles on Fridays.

If the kids are too rambunctious, it is perfectly normal to open the door and let them run in the field.

"Riblets," make a normal appearance on the kids lunch menu.

My name is prounounced. Mizzes Gal-way.

The classes do not have phones.

The kids get excited about the rodeo coming. Pee-wee bull riding, is, in fact, for children.

Prayer is said before the staff meeting begins.

There is a family of cats that lives under the shed. One of my student calls him "Target Practice."

They often write about their guns or how many deer they shot that weekend.

It's very interesting.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lima Beans

I absolutely can NOT believe I forgot to tell you this story. It is an important one. And it even has a moral....sort of.

Last Thursday, the class and I started our unit on plants. And, like any other warm blooded elementary school teacher, I decided to do the old stand by....The lima bean in the baggie.

So on Thursday, the students investigated (fancy word for : drove me crazy with using their magnifying glasses to look at each other's mouths/up each other's noses,) dry lima beans. As they left that day, they plopped their handful into a bin to soak overnight.

The next day they each pulled out ONE bean and put it in a baggie with a paper towel, taped to the window. After that was done, we still had about 60 beans in the pot of water. We also had several kids absent, so I decided to just leave them until Monday.

Unfortunately for me, Monday was MLK day, and we had no school. Also unfortunately for me, the directions, which I had read, by the way, stated to "not leave the lima beans for more than 24 hours for they will begin to ferment."

They were not kidding.

I walked into the room on Tuesday morning and the first thing I thought was "Gee, give me a bucket so I can puke! What is that smell?" My nostrils led me over to the culprit. The vat of lima beans.

The pot was now filled with 'corn' yellow colored water and the entire room was stinky. It took me about 20 minutes to dispose of the toxic mess appropriately, but in the end, I learned, that science manuals do their best to NOT lie. 

I should really pay more attention to them.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Excitement!!

I am So so SO excited for this weekend trip! It will be a nice break from teaching and Gainesville, though it's very possible I will freeze my hiney off.

I packed some wonderful snacks for our drive, and there is a chance that I am really excited about our brownie cookies and our hummus and pita for snack. And our Strawberries. And our Diet Caffeine Free Coke, (or DCFC, as we refer to it inthe Galloway household.) Did I tell you Ian can't have caffeine? Gives him horrible headaches, bordering on migraine level. We need to get him tested for that one though before it's official.

Mmmmm. Hummus.

Also, over at Bound To Books, the votes are in, we are reading The Count of Monte Cristo. Head on over there for directions to join our virtual book club!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Contingency

What? I didn't tell you I'm going to North Carolina for the weekend?

Hmmm. That's weird.

Maybe because it's such a whirlwind trip I kinda forgot, myself. (uhhhhh, it HAS been on the calendar since Christmas though,)

What? You are still wondering why I am going? Well, I will tell you.

Ian's cousin Esther is getting married in/near Charlotte this weekend and since Ian's dad is officiating and it is Ian's mom's 50th birthday this weekend, we felt as if we really shouldn't miss it.

What? You are wondering how we are going to drive up there, attend a wedding, and drive back, all in a weekend?

Well, we are leaving directly after I finish teaching on Thursday, driving until we get there around 11 on Thursday night. Friday we are just going to chill in Charlotte somewhere, Friday night is the rehearsal/dinner, Saturday is the wedding/family celebration time for Mom G's 50th, and Sunday we are maybe meeting with some friends and then leaving around 3-4ish and coming home.

Crazy, I know.

Don't remind me.

Also, I have discovered I am a contingency packer. For instance, I KNOW it's going to be in the 40-50, but what if it is in the 20's? I most definitely need those extra layers then.

What? I didn't tell you that we are staying with my loveliest loveliest friend, Courtney Watson. She's a teacher up there and has opened our home to us so we don't have to pay for a hotel! Hurrah!

And don't forget the bathing suit.

I will try to update before I leave tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Think He's On to Me....

Yesterday, as I was transferring one load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, I noticed all of our hangers were missing.

I called for my sweet husband to bring in an armload of hangers, please.

He kindly obliged and shuffled into the laundry room a minute later.

After placing the hangers on the rack, I asked him if he could help hang up the clean clothes.

"Oh," he said, "it was a trap."

hahaha

___________________________

Today went by SO quickly, even the kids were surprised. It, by no means, was a good day, it just was a bad day that went by quickly.

I found out that the paddle is still used as a form of punishment in some school districts. I was SHOCKED when I found out. Well, first of all, I thought the child was kidding/lying. Then I thought, "oh my gosh! some administrator is beating the kids without anyone knowing!"

Then, I ran into that administrator and she told me that she gave said student 3 licks and asked me how he was doing.

SHOCKED I tell you.

So I have given alot of thought to this today, and I think I have decided I am definitely NOT okay with corporal punishment in the school system. I think it is something that should be a private family choice and that should not be given by anyone other than the parents. I'm even against grandparents and aunts/uncles doing it. I just think that if, like people say, it is a tool meant to teach children there are painful consequences for their actions, then by having so many people 'whooping' them into submission will send the wrong message.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for spanking. Spanking your own children. Even in my years upon years of babysitting/nannying I never took that discipline system onto myself. Some of you are probably thinking "Good, I wouldn't want my babysitter spanking my kids!" Well, I was with most of my families so long, some of them had given me express permission to spank when absolutely necessary, (probably because they knew I wasn't just going to beat their kids silly, and I was trusted.)

I actually did once. To a child that I had been given permission to. And although I felt that the kid learned the lesson, I just didn't feel like it was my place to do it. So I never have again.

I have no doubt that Ian and I will use it one day down the road, but only because both of our parents were such excellent models of it.
1. They did not do it out of anger.
2. They explained what we did wrong.
3. They gave a chance for apology afterwards (which is super important, I think)
4. To my knowledge, they were the only ones who ever did spanking(although it's very possible I could have been spanked once or twice by other family members for my sas.) I respected them for it, but I really think I would have been fearful of anyone else who "had the power" to physically harm me whenever possible.

So, what do you think on this issue?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blogging Book Goal- Book #3

I feel like I am on a definite roll here, with the book reading, but that could quickly come to a halt with a difficult or long book on the forecast.

And I am trying really hard to make it so that there is not more than a week between book postings. But, for instance, since I am writing about #3, and I have already finished #4, but won't be writing about THAT one until Thursday, I will have more than a week for #5, which I hope will be long enough, because it's a doozy!

Before I talk about my #3, let me remind you to go on over to Bound to Books and vote on which book you want for book club. Voting ends on Wednesday!

Book #3

Freakanomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Now, I am not really a non-fiction kind of girl, but, as an educator, I know how important it is to diversify your reading genres. And since Ian is a total nonfiction kind of boy, I have plenty of option. I, of course, chose to read his Christmas present, which is this book. He hasn't gotten to it yet.

Muah ha ha ha.

Right. Not evil. I was just interested in reading it while he was preoccupied with other literature.

So, I sat down to read a book about economic and statistical issues, all pertaining to (gasp) math! Which, if you know me at all, you too would be shocked, seeing as this is my least favorite subject.

Well, it was a really easy read, and if you have only a basic understanding of statistics you would understand it too! He covers some interesting topics (how are Sumo wrestlers and teachers alike?) and is written in a manner that is super easy to read through. I finished this one in three days.

My one complaint is this: Now, I am not a math genius by any means, but I do remember this one statement from AP Statistics : Correlation does not prove Causation. Fancy terms for "just because two things SEEM to be connected does not necessarily mean one causes the other."

I think the author forgot this key fact in several places, (even though he quotes that statement several times saying he wants to stay away from it,) in order to have more of a WOW factor in his book. I would have to read through it a second time in order to be certain of this, which I don't much feel like doing right now. Maybe another time.
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to broaden their reading genres and who has a sense of humor. It's pretty witty.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh La La- Take Two

Turns out tonight was "oh la la," worthy!

A pseudo date with my husband with a quiet dinner, a movie, and ice cream afterwards. And I say pseudo, because Sam was there, but it still was alot of fun.

We went and saw Defiance, which was about a family that protected a bunch of Jewish people in the Russian woods during WWII. It was SO well done. And great. And like everything I would have wanted in a movie.

Did you know, as a child, I was somewhat obsessed with WWII and the holocaust? No? Well, I was. I read everything I could get my hands on on the matter, and knew much more than your average 9 year old on the topic.

Right. So the movie was great, and I would recommend it. The whole theater was enthralled, which I think is the most fun to go to. There were collective gasps, and laughs, and the applause at the end made it all worth it.

Except for that annoying guy behind me, who thought it was a good idea to tap his foot incessantly. It's not, by the way.

Then, a run out to the car in the cold rain, and over to a local ice cream/coffee shop to chat and eat.

And now, I am sitting cozy on our couch, while said husband plays a video game (Brawl, Heather!) and am waiting for the load of laundry to finish so I can go to sleep.

A very good weekend. AND I have tomorrow off.

AND I just finished my book.

*sigh* all is right in the world.

Oh La La

Fancy Schmancy day yesterday. It was tres incredible (pronounced Tray On Cre Dee Bluh for all of you wanna be French speakers,) and alot of fun.

Started my day by waking up at my friend Katie's house, where we dined on Toaster Strudel's and water for breakfast before dashing out the door to the bridal store.

Our friend, Courtney, is getting married to her college sweetheart, Sean, in May, and several of us are bridesmaids. So off to the super store of bridal things to try on the dresses she had picked out for us. They are yellow (I know, I am very afraid of it too! Hopefully I can get some color on me before May 9th,) and cut at the knee, and look beautiful!

Then, off to lunch at Chili's where I had the Delectable Cajun Chicken Pasta. Yum.

Drove back to G-ville and continued my Fancy Schmancy day.

Ian and I went to our friend, Sam's apartment, for dinner and a movie with him and his roommate Andy and Andy's girlfriend Allie. We wined and dined and then took in an Opera.

I know. Aren't we just the fanciest?

Okay, so it was Phantom of the Opera, but they had never seen the movie and they LOVED it!

Today = not so fancy, but that's alright. With sunday school, and church, and teaching sunday school, and eating homemade chicken noodle soup, and taking a Sunday afternoon nap, and sleeping through our Sunday school leadership meeting, it has all been a very busy day.

Now, we are going to eat some cereal for dinner and go see the movie Defiance with Sam and Andy, on gift cards.

Because we are not rich people.

Just fancy-ish.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Neglecting

I have been neglecting my blog these past couple of days, but I am not ashamed of it at all. I mean, technically, if I want to reach my 300 blog posts by the end of the year, that means that I need to only miss about 5 days a month, and if that's so, then I am already at my limit.

I really don't feel bad about this, you see, because I believe I have other, more important things, that come first.

Like spending time with my husband
And with my Lord
And talking with my family
And calling my friends
And feeding my husband
And going to Orlando to visit friends (I did that this weekend!)
And keeping our home clean and oasis-y
And relaxing with my husband
And reading
And, oh yeah, working

All this to say is, I have not forgot about you, oh worthy blog! But I have my priorities straight, and I will catch up another day. Perhaps when I have something more exciting to say.

For now, this little update will have to do.

The end.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, Gregory

I was thinking today, as my kids were all working on their writing assignment (what would YOU do if you ran away, by the way?) about an incident that happened while at my senior internship, and I about died from laughter, thinking about it. Of course, then the kids, who already think I'm crazy, were really concerned. Here it is:

I was working in a fifth grade classroom and had *taken over* for the semester as teacher. I had walked the kids down to PE, on a cold, rainy day, and had left, not thinking anything about it. When I picked them up, 45 minutes later, we marched, single file, up the stairs, and into the classroom. We started our reading lesson, and about 20 minutes in, I realized one of my students was missing.

Now, you have to know something about this kid. First of all, He was GIANT. He had about 4-5 inches on me! Secondly, along with his height, he had a ginormous head. He was also a klutz. And a mess. And was just generally a "spaced out," child. And, like most teachers know, weird behaviors in the child are usually explained by the behaviors of the parents. His mom, was a cymbol wearing, grass juice drinking, belly dancing for a living, kind of mom.

It so totally explains it.

Right. So, missing student. I asked the class where he was and several of them told me he had fallen in the mud and went to the clinic to call his mom for new clothes.

An hour passes, no student comes back.

I call up to the front office and they tell me that the clinic has been closed all day (apparently nurses get sick too,) and that they haven't seen him at all.

The teacher who is in charge, takes over, and he calls down to PE, and they haven't seen him. Then he calls the office and gets them in on the search party. They make several announcements over the loud speaker, but still, no sign.

Finally, they pull out the big guns, they call the police. Soon we have police searching our little suburban school campus, and police dogs coming into our room to get a scent sample from his backpack.

About an hour before the end of the day they FINALLY find him.

He is in the PE bathroom. He is wet and muddy. He is crying. And he is completely clotheless!!!

Apparently, after going to the clinic and finding it closed, he decided to remedy that problem by washing his jeans in the sink. So he gets undressed, washes them, and then, because we all know what happens to wet jeans, he can't get them back on. Somehow or another his shirt gets soaked so he takes that off TOO! And he just sits there. All day. And students from the afternooon PE (kindergarteners and first graders,) come in all day and whisper about "naked boy," but NO ONE thinks to tell a teacher about a non dressed student in the boys bathroom.

So, he was slightly embarressed the next day, but all I have to say is, he's lucky that didn't make the news!!!!

Blogging Book Goal- Book #2

Now, don't think I am a super super fast reader, because I promise I did not just finish this book in 3 days! It actually took me about a week in whole to read, and the first hundred pages or so were painful, trying to get into it.

So, for my second book of the year, I read, Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen. I have seen the movie probably a dozen times, or so, and so I wasn't really expecting to be WOWed by the book, however, I totally was!!

The characters are so funny and witty, and the plot has more depth to it than I expected. I think, after finishing my second Jane Austen book, there are some definite trends and patterns to her writing, but easy to overcome because of how relatable the characters are!

The story is about two of the Dashwood sisters, Marianne and Elinor, and their quest for marriage. Marianne is very opinionated about who she thinks is worthy to be her husband, while Elinor is much more 'sensible.' Of course, like any good Austen book, there has to be problem along the way with the match ups, and the heartache they go through almost brought me to tears.

I would definitely recommend this book, if you are in need of a good "chick flick," via literature. I wouldn't recommend this book if you were looking for an easy read though...it's really one you have to earn, to finish.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Speaking Of...

Speaking of Books and Reading (see post below,) over at Bound to Books we are starting our new book.

Not sure what Bound to Books is? Well, it's easy. After talking to several of my friends and family, I realized we all had a common problem. There were many "classics" that we didn't have the chance to read in school, but weren't sure if we had the motivation to read them by ourselves.

Our solution? An online "book club," where we decide on a book, read it at the same pace, and then discuss it!

Brilliant, right?

It's a really low key, low commitment, low pressure situation, which is what I love! Discuss as much as you want, read posts as much as you want, but hopefully you read the whole book.

In the fall, we read three books:
Persuasions by Jane Austen
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Head on over to Bound to Books to put in your two cents for suggestions on books. Voting will take place, starting next Monday until Saturday. Our book will be announced on Saturday the 24th, and we will start discussions on the First of February!

I hope you join in!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blogging Book Goal- Book #1

As the new year rang in, I was reading a book that hadn't graced my presence in almost a decade!

In 1999, I was in seventh grade, in Mrs. Feverston's Gifted Resource Class. It was this very strange class we had to take that was an amalgamation of rigorous academics with a splash of logic learning, and a dash of creativity.

For instance, in sixth grade, we did a 5 month research project on our family history, and is, to this day, my most comprehensive resource on my family. However, that year, I also spent an entire month organizing her 4 20ft long book shelves, so, you know. The "rigorous" part comes and goes.

Right. So in seventh grade, we started the year off with a novel about the events of Florida's settlement (pre and post civil war era,) and I loved it! About a year ago, I saw the book in a book store and my reaction was something like this:

"Egads! I love this book! I don't remember alot about it, but I love it! I MUST have it!"

Okay, so maybe I didn't say "egads," but you get the point.

So, I bought it, and have been toting it around everywhere with me since I got married. Actually, I think I brought it with my on my honeymoon (along with Robinson Crusoe,) funnily enough.

Anyways, the book is called "A Land Remembered," by Patrick Smith. The author was a professor of history, who, if I am not mistaken, worked at Brevard Community College until he retired. He is also the recipient of the award "The Order of the South," which is one of the most prestigious academic awards in the south. I know, I know, it's not like it's from Harvard or something, but still, we've got some brains down here, too!


The book follows the life of the McIvey family, as they settle down in north central Florida, then throughout the subsequent generations, in central, and south Florida. It uses real facts (did you know Miami wasn't anything special until almost 1900?!) and paints a very vivid picture of what life was like then. The language is a litle bad (especially the first chapter for some reason, so don't be shocked,) and I am kind of surprised that they let us read this as 12 year olds. But really it's clean and I don't have any hesitations recommending this as a read for anyone over 15 or so.

It's used in schools all over the state from any grade such as second all the way up through college. And you can pick it up at any chain book store (in the state of FL, of course,) or online. Also, if you DO have or know of a child who would like this type of story, (think western, FL style,) they make and sell a "Student Edition," which comes in two volumes (so it's not so big, bulky, and scary,) with all of the "questionable," parts cut out and at 8 dollars a pop. The regular one is about 14, so not bad at all!

I really recommend this book to anyone who lives in/has visited the "real" Florida, and knows it for more than just it's beaches and resorts.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Congratulations Gators!!!

BCS National Champions

2008

University of Florida

Gators


I am so proud to say I have always been, and always will be a Gator fan. from my earlies memories my Dad was insane about the Gators, and I soon came to love them. I have to tell you, I had a slight 8 year old crush on Danny Wuerfel right before they one the championship in the Sugar Bowl in 1996.


And now! 12 years later and I am LIVING in Gator Nation! It was soooo incredible to be here in town when they were going for the SEC championship and then the National Championship. The people here go nuts!


Anyways. Here is to a great season Gators! And many more to come. And even if you have some rough spots, I will always love you.

Also. Ian is becoming more of a fan, and less embarressed of his Gator studentdom. I actually made him say "I am a Florida Gator," awhile back. It took quite awhile. But he's realizing the it's possible to like two teams, as long as you like one more than the other. And unfortunately, his heart may always lie with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Also, my Dad must still be the biggest fan. He wore his tattoos that I gave him AND he called me at 6:30 in the morning today to ask us to pick him up a paper (ok, so I wasn't so fond of him calling at 6:30 when I was up until almost 1 the night before, especially since it wasn't an "emergency," but whatev. And Ian wasn't too happy when, after I hung up, he called Ian's phone to make sure the message went across. Not cool because Ian was supposed to be sleeping in.) However he is still the biggest fan so I guess it is excusable. Just remember Dad, you only got away with it because I know you love the Gators!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

10 Minutes and Counting

I have 10 minutes until I need to be in bed. Funny, as a child I never pictured my grown up self giving me a bedtime. But, I definitely need the sleep. I usually run on 8 hours of sleep- a steady, strong 8 hours. However these last 4-5 nights it has been more like 5-6 hours, plus the added stress of the new classroom/job, so I am in need of some R&R.

Speaking of class, today it was considerably better. Not good by any measure, but better than yesterday for sure. I have an optimistic outlook on this situation, and hopefully by the end of next week, they will have calmed down some. I have a delicate balance and scaring them with my sternness and wowing them with my utter awesomeness. We'll see how that works out.

Ian and I drove ALL the way to Jacksonville tonight, and back again, and got to try out Zaxby's for the first time. We were pretty impressed. They give you a ton of food for not so much money. Ian was just cheesed that they gave you "slush" ice in your drink-which apparently means for good chewing.

Time for Bed....and Gilmore Girls of course.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Class...Again

Well, today was my first day with the new third grade class. I kinda got a sinking feeling about it yesterday, when the teacher who was briefing me on everything told me that I would not be doing the lesson plans, or the grading. Yeah. She told me that the teacher, who was on maternity leave, would be doing all of that.

Why go on leave if you are going to insist on doing all of that? So weird.

So I am just in a glorified babysitting position now.

It's all right though. I'll deal.

And Deal I did. Today was a HORRIBLE Day. The kids were just wild, and disrespectful. Seriously. I would say to "stop talking," or "get back to your seat," and they would just shrug it off and go about their business. I've worked in a lot of classes, and I have never seen such disrespect.

Since they use the "color" changing system, I often forget who I have given their first warning to, throughout the day. So, I think tomorrow I will have a paper named "Warnings" and will write the child's name on as soon as I give them their warning. That way, I will be able to be a little more consistent in using the teacher's discipline system and perhaps they will take me a little more serious.

That's all for now. I am heading to bed early. Despite an hour long nap during Oprah (which I was seriously sad I missed!) and an hour long walk with my husband, I am hoping to finally get a good night's sleep. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A treat

Today, I went shopping.

For new clothes.

Enough said.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How I Got Started

I know, these past couple of blog posts have not been nearly as entertaining, but I figure a little seriousness is alright everyonce in awhile, as long as yo uare not morose.

The question of HOW I got started blogging goes WAY back.

In fact, it goes back to OVER five years ago! November 17th, 2003 to be exact. I believe my postings that month had to do with my wisdom teeth getting pulled and having to sleep on the floor when family came in for Thanksgiving.

I LOVE love LOVE looking back at those posts because it documents some of my high school and college career. I say 'some' loosely too, because I really only posted 3-4 times a month and some months would have nothing all together!

Oh, right. The story of how it happened. I, um, actually don't know how my Xanga got started, (check it out here) so if you do know, let me know. I think maybe one of my friends started theirs and I followed suit.

Then, about a year ago, I "friended" a woman from church who I vaguely remembered, on facebook, and found a link to her blog on her facebook page. I began reading Kaylyn's blog and it soon became a slight obsession. I just loved that I had a window into someone else's life for the little details, important or non important. Not that I was a blog stalker or anything. Really. Well, I guess it did take me a couple of months to comment on her blog and let her know that I was reading, but that doesn't mean I was a blog stalker....does it?

Oh well. I am fine with blog stalking her, because I fell in L-O-V-E with blogger and how they run. And just in the last few months I really have come to like blogging more and more.

So, that is my story. I have had almost NO frustrations with this site and am so happy at how customizable it is. Really, if I have any blog stalkers right now, come out with it! And join the blogging world.

The End

Friday, January 2, 2009

Why I Blog

I had told you yesterday, that I would be explaining more into depth of why I like to blog.

And I thought about it, and thought about it. And I even talked to my friends Katie and Raphaela about it too!

And really, it just comes down to it....

I am, and always have been a sentimental person. I love memories. I love reliving moments that made me laugh and smile, or cry until my eyes dried out. This doesn't mean that I don't like living "in" the moment, but I certainly do love the memories of all I have lived through. Even the crummy stuff.

AND if you know me at all, you know that my memory is horrible.

I forget details of stories... like WHO it happened to, or WHEN. Kind of important things. I forget whole eras of my life, like friends I once hung out with or books I once read. And, when someone reminds me of it, it always takes a minute or two of reminding before it really clicks in my mind.

So, after gathering that evidence, it would be logical to conclude that I like having my blog around to remind me of the happy and sad memories that I will more than likely forget.

Plus, it's cathartic. I get to say what I am thinking and be as funny or as serious as I want to be despite the mood of the moment.

PLUS, I'm alot funnier in writing than in person. Sorry to break it to you. And I kind of like being funny.

Also, I think my "written voice," loses alot of the sarcasm it has taken on over the past 8 years or so. Don't get me wrong, I love sarcasm. But after awhile, sarcasm turns into bitterness and cynicism and I don't want to be like that. Or remembered like that.

So, in conclusion, I blog because I will like to have the memories when I am older (oh, say, 24,) It is cathartic, and it let's me express myself in ways I can't in person.

I'm working on a few weekly blog posts that I can do when I just can't think of anything else to write about. So far this is what I have:

  • Each week I will write a review for whatever book I just read
  • I might review some of my favorite movies *might* is the key word. I don't want to bore you!
  • I am going to do little blog posts on my favorite "things." Basically little things around my house that I use/see that just make me happy or things that I really like to use.
  • I will write a "Betcha Didn't Know," posts about my quirks. And believe me, I am very quirky. Sometimes it surprises myself!

That's all for now. I really just wrote that list out to remind myself of things I can do when I have writers block.

Also, soon to come, "How I Began Blogging." Which is kind of a funny tale.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolution

I am not usually one to write resolutions, mainly because I never follow through with them. And it's not because I don't want to follow through, it's purely because I forget the resolutions I made with such "resolve."

About a month ago, though, when I thought I had lost my job, I was thinking about some goals that I would like to accomplish. Then when I got a job back, I figured that those goals would just go out the window. I think, however, that I still want to try for it.

Just know that if for whatever reason I find out these goals are unreasonable, I will write about it here before giving up/altering the goals.

So, without further ado, I present to you my resolutions.

New Year's Resolutions for 2009
(holy crap! I can't believe it's 2009!)

1. Read 50 books in a year. I know. that's almost one entire book a week. Sounds crazy, but I have alot to read, and if I just sit back on my haunches watching endless hours of reality tv, I will never read them all. So, one book a week about is the goal. Stay tuned for some of my book reviewing!

2. Write 300 blog posts this year. I will be posting on why I like to blog in a little bit, but for now, know that it is very cathartic to write and I like having some of my life written down for the future. 300 may seem a bit much, but I originally said 350 then brought it back some in order to make it more realistic.

3. Finish reading the Old Testament. I just finished Psalms and I really want to make it through the rest of it this year. I always get stuck in the Old Testament because of the language and how the writing style loses me. This one I think will be somewhat easily accomplished though.

That's it. I know they are really reading/writing centralized, but those are some of my main loves in life.

I would like to say I am also trying to cook more recipes that I haven't tried and to do soem activities that I haven't done while here, but that is all financially dependent so I am not going to keep my hopes on them.

What are your goals if you are setting any?