Thursday, December 18, 2008

it's been awhile

I have had things to write. It's just getting on the computer, which I sometimes hate, and being awake enough hours in the day whlie at home. It seems like whenever I'm not at work, or driving to work, I'm sleeping. In fact, that's what I would like to do now -- sleep. But, I'm trying to stay awake to finish up a few last minute Christmas presents. I didn't even start the journals I was going to embroider, and I'm haven't picked up the baby blankets in months, but I have knitted about a billion (well, eight) scarves. And they are soft and/or pretty. Which would you choose? Soft or pretty? It would probably depend on the time of day and my mood.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

all in a day's work

A shrew's, the smallest mammal, heart beats at one thousand beats per minute.
An elephant's, I think the second largest mammal, beats at thirty beats per minutes.
I love shrews and elephants. But I love baby more.
Baby's heart beats at one hundred and fifty beats per minute as of yesterday.

In four weeks from yesterday, December 23rd, I'll see baby again in my next ultrasound, where I will see if baby is a boy or a girl. A Nathan or a Charlotte?

Today's work is baking sweet potatoes (with bacon and cheese instead of a sweet topping) and cleaning out from under the bed. Andy can't stand things to be under there, and I don't put things under there unless we have surprise visitors. And then, of course, I forget about it and it stays under there for months. So I promised him I would take care of it today...
But now I'm going to take a nap. It's 10:30 and that's the perfect time to take a nap when you have a day off from work. And then, another one at 3pm is also nice. This morning's work was going through a big bin of fabric scraps that my mom left me. She left it for me to go through and then return, but I'm thinking I may keep it. I found so many sets that could be cute pieced pillows or one huge crazy quilt. So after I clean under the bed, and after I take my first nap, and after I stick the potatoes in the oven, out comes the sewing machine.
I love being at home.

Monday, November 24, 2008

getting fatter every day

My mom and sister spoiled me by buying me tons of maternity clothes, which I needed because my lower abdomen magically expanded in my sleep. Just two weeks ago I could still wear my jeans, and then last week I couldn't button them, and now I can't wear them at all. People notice that my ice-cream belly is bigger, but that is because my baby belly is popping out underneath it.

Mom and I also bought some cute fabric for the baby room. All in all the fabric and the bigger belly made me feel like the baby is really coming. OK, I just slept three hours and it is only 8:30 and I need to go back to sleep. Cheese Whiz, baby making is hard work!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm not feeling so hot. I feel funny during the day and then sick at night. I go to bed at nine and wake up naturally at five thirty. I'm an old woman!

And I stopped watching Ugly Betty. It's not as funny as it was -- Samantha Who? is much better, I think.

This past weekend Andy and I spend exactly 24 hours in Dallas to watch my brother's boxing match -- the firemen vs. the police officers. The judges gave the match to the other guy, but my brother did very well (esp since he's new at this and the other guy ((we went to middle school with him)) has been boxing since middle school) and totally took his opponent down in the first round. He looked pretty scary out there and we were all very proud of him. Also during that night, his son and my nephew, Max, barfed down both of my arms and in my mouth. Yeah. my mouth.
And the poor kid was hungry and exhausted and couldn't fall asleep in the loud arena. It really made me excited about May, let me tell you. But I loved having time with my family.

baby pics

Monday, October 27, 2008

I saw baby today

Andy and I saw our baby today with our first sonogram. It was amazing. In fact, I couldn't stop laughing so Tom had a hard time finding an image of the baby. He was like, "this won't work if you're laughing" with a grand-dad look on his face, which made me laugh all the more. And, thank the Lord, having a friend from the church, and an elder at that, as your OBG, wasn't wierd at all. I still didn't like being in a skimpy orange plaid apron thingy, or being poked and prodded, but I DID NOT care because I saw baby. And, baby is alone in my womb, just one little one in there. And not a monster baby like I thought (because below the belt I'm HUGE)but an average little fetus. Andy asked Tom if he could tell anything about the baby at this stage and Tom was like, "well, it has a head." Which made me laugh again.
But I mostly laughed because baby kicked its stumpy legs (Lord let them grow like Andy's and not stay stumpy like mine) and kind of bounced.
Then, Tom said it was sucking its thumb, which made me fell a wave of love, because I was notorious for sucking my thumb, and here is my baby, 11 weeks old, and has at least something from me. Besides half my genes, of course.

Friday, October 24, 2008

my awesome brother

Firefighter going in the ring for others
Daily Light Managing Editor
Published: Sunday, October 5, 2008 2:33 PM CDT
When the annual Guns and Hoses benefit boxing tournament comes around, Jacob Cooper will be one of two firefighters representing Waxahachie Fire Department.

The annual event’s card showcases firefighters boxing against law enforcement, with the money raised going toward a fund that assists the families of fallen public servants.

Cooper was one of about 28 selected from more than 140 who applied to participate in this year’s event, set for Nov. 8 at Resistol Arena in Mesquite.
Signups are in late spring, with an evaluation held in August to determine who will participate and who will be matched against whom.

Last year’s event, the sixth annual tournament, saw more than 6,000 people in attendance.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Now, I’ll get to say I did it,” said Cooper, a four-year Navy veteran who joined the Waxahachie department about seven months ago. A member of A shift, he’ll be joined in the tournament by C shift member Scott Safford.

“We encouraged Jacob to do it. It’s a great benefit to participate in,” said Waxahachie-based trainer Daniel Ortiz, who the past several years has worked with several police officers – Jeff Askin of Grand Prairie Police Department, George Williams of Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and Larry Wise of Cedar Hill Police Department. Those officers weren’t boxing this year, so Ortiz has taken on Cooper’s training regimen.

“It takes a lot of time and dedication,” Ortiz said, noting that Cooper began working out the first of July with a goal of peaking for the tournament.

As the weeks have progressed, the training has become more intense.

“He’s in good shape – he’s a firefighter – but he has to get into boxing shape,” Ortiz said, noting the workouts include both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, all focused toward enabling Cooper to do his best during his match.

The workouts, which can last up to 1 1/2 hours, include sprints, jogging, biometric work, shadow boxing, speed bags and hitting bags, resistance band work, focus mitts and sparring.

“This is a lot harder,” Cooper said of the conditioning as compared to the physical rigors of firefighting. “It’s at a different level.”

Each fight is set up for three, one-minute rounds, with the participants wearing headgear and 20-ounce gloves.
“They’re very careful with the fighters and match them up based on size and experience,” Ortiz said, noting, however, it is serious boxing and some participants in the past have suffered knockouts and broken noses, ribs or hands.

“I want Jacob to be confident, not overconfident, when he goes into the ring,” Ortiz said. “Your worst enemy is to be overconfident. I want him to be on his toes and moving and throwing at the same time. What ultimately matters is what’s in his heart and head.”

The benefit is heavily supported because of the good cause it funds.

“Everyone is 100 percent behind it,” Ortiz said.

There’s an odd number of matches on the card and either the firefighters or law enforcement side will be declared the overall winner at the end of the evening.

“The series is tied at three each,” Cooper said of the six years so far. “This year, we plan on winning.”

“They’re all heroes, although one side may think it’s a bigger hero than the other,” Ortiz said with a smile about the traditional rivalry between the two public service entities. “There’s a lot of friendly jibing back and forth in the weeks leading up to the week, but, that night, they’re not talking much. They’re all serious about wanting to win.

“It’s a big honor to coach these guys – police officers or firefighters,” Ortiz said. “It’s a big compliment to be asked to help these guys out.”

It’ll be Cooper’s first boxing match in a ring. Although he boxed a little on ship while in the Navy, this will be his first boxing match in a ring before a crowd, which he said will include his family, friends and fellow A shift members.

Fire Chief David Hudgins has given his blessing, as well, Cooper said of the support he’s received.

“I plan on doing my share to win the trophy for the firefighters’ side,” he said.

For sponsorship information and tickets on the boxing event, visit online at

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008


yayyyyyyyyyyy fall break is coming. I'm going to work on my Christmas presents and hopefully see my buddy Tran.
Now, the sad thing is, I don't have anything else to say. I'm happy to be alive. Baby is still making me sick, but I think about the little thing, who is making me sick and fat, and I get so happy my eyes water up. I sing and talk to baby sometimes, but not too often because I'm afraid Andy will think I'm nuts.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

my friend, the artist

Some of you have met or heard me talk about Tran and how she is the embodiment of awesomeness. She drew this on facebook for me. This isn't her first masterpiece, but this one is my favorite. Thank god for friends.
My stupid blog is cutting off the part with Daphne and Wilson under the table, but don't you love the bellybutton?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

jib jab!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

the woes and wonders of pregnancy

Today is officially the start of week 6! That means baby has a brain and a spine and is developing his or her heart (but it won't be four chambers until later on, it'll just be two). Baby is growing from the size of a sesame seed to the size of a blueberry.

I'm consistently nauseated but haven't vomited yet.
The smell of maple especially turns my stomach and Friday I suddenly couldn't eat the lunch I've eaten every day for over seven months -- a soy "chicken" patty on a wheat bun. I couldn't choke it down. So that night at the football game, I wolfed down two hot dogs and a huge pickle. (A fellow teacher walked by when I was eating my pickle and said, "oh, how typical -- where's your ice cream?").

So I'm craving pickles, and grilled onions in tortillas, chocolate milk, and fruit smoothies. And hot dogs taste better than anything. Not healthy for baby though, so I'm trying to include veggies and non-processed meats. It's apparently not so common to have such strong nausea so early (it began at 5 weeks) I'm taking this as a sign that hopefully baby is very healthy or maybe I have twins. I hope I have twins.

I've had a couple of other symptoms rear their ugly heads as well. Twice I've cried my eyes out over something completely silly (like Andy saying hi to the dogs when he came home one day before he said hi to me). And I've had flashes of blinding jealousy or fury, and very high highs which come whenever I sing Lori Chaffer's song that she wrote for her son in my head... which goes, "welcome outside of your mother's womb, I know that it's frightening, but now there's more room. Just think of all of the great things you'll do, just by you being you."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

your dreams have come true, now what?

I'm finally pregnant.

And it's a little hard to believe. I mean, I know I am because I'm nauseated most of the day, certain body parts are hurting, and I had a positive test a few weeks back. But it's hard to wrap my mind around it. For the last five years I've been whining about wanting to be pregnant and now I am. It kind of shut me up for awhile. I was giddy for the first few days, but now I only get giddy if I'm talking to my family about it. A person can't stay giddy I don't think, and I am tired, but still. Or maybe it's Andy. He has a way of mellowing out any giddiness and he still seems more worried about the future than excited. But he does assure me that he is excited, way deep down. My mind is wheeling with "what if" games and I can't seem to silence it. Boy or Girl? Are we moving or not? Who will the baby look like? When will I be able to get an ultrasound so I can see my baby? If we move, are we moving in town or out of the state again? What are the dogs going to be like around the baby? Will I have enough time for them? Will I continue to teach? Will I get fatter? When will I have a big tummy? Will my child love me when they are older? Will they be honest and honorable like their dad? Will they be quick and caring like me? Will they not like onions like their dad? Will they like to play board games with me? How close will they be to their cousins and grandparents if we live far away? How can we manage the holidays without those holidays becoming un-enjoyable? And such. I'll stop now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the problem I have with politics

The problem I have with politics isn't politics in itself per se. I have a problem with people (yes I'm saying it again) who think they have a hold on the TRUTH. I think, in particular with my parents' generation, but I've seen this in my fifteen-year-old students as well, is with over-confidence. They don't second guess themselves or their beliefs or their reasoning. While I know I don't do this all the time, I try to. I'm still not sure who I'm voting for, not because I'm terribly uninformed (as someone in my family said I was), although I know I should be more informed and am working on that. I'm still not sure who I'm voting for because I'm trying to second guess my decision and make the best decision I can, not just for me, but for the majority of Americans and for the world. And I don't know which candidate can do that.

I'm not gun-hoe about Obama, but on the other hand I'm disturbed by the Palin mania that has infected 80% of the people I know (seriously I saw a woman at a football game wearing a shirt that had Palin's face super-imposed on to Rosie the Riveter) and I'm disturbed by her and McCain's take on the environment. I am, of course, bothered by Obama's lack of experience and think he's ignorant of nuclear technology (something which a presidential candidate should not be). So, who knows. And really I'm wondering how much it truly matters, which makes me not want to vote while at the same time my "responsible American" voice is telling me that of course I must vote.

Anyway, it seems to me that misplaced confidence and ignorance about science and a tendency to look over the root of problems (like with oil) will make our country die hard and fast; like Rome. And we'll take the global poor with us when we go. And I don't really see a way out. I think there are movements of skepticism and the emerging church who will work wonders in teaching the public to second guess themselves, as it has for me, but I feel it is too little too late -- I hope it isn't. I hope to see an educated, skeptical, caring populace rise up who will cooperate with others for the benefit of the world and future generations.

So, in a few words, I'm sick of the circus. And I have to watch, because still don't know who to vote for.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NoiseTrade Widget

sick days

I'm at home sick today. Even though I've slept ten hours already I think I'm going to take another nap. I'm actually on the mend, I just couldn't handle my students when I didn't have energy or a voice. It seems like I get a bad respiratory infection every nine weeks. I don't get sick when I'm not around kids. GermX did not help this year, but enough of my whining.

My students are publishing their first newspaper installment of the year and I'm a little worried for them. They are seniors and therefore not up for teaching (trying to show them how to write better) so I don't know how to delicately say, "this sucks and you can do better." They did an interview of me, to introduce the new teacher to the school, and I gave elaborate and well written answers to their questions. I really worked hard at it. But they cut it down so that it was the minimum requirement of 250 words and it was trite and it didn't flow well and it was just, well, crap. I hate to redo the article for the student, but I also hate that an interview with me is going to be portrayed in a bad piece of writing.

Other than that I'm having no real problems with my kids. The only two issues are: one, that all the students describe things as being "gay," which is offensive and therefore not allowed in my classroom, and two, that some of my male students are whining about detentions... that they are unfair (puh-leaz) and that they are going to tell their dads and I hope their dads tell them the same thing I did, which was, "suck it up and act like a man; pay the consequences of your actions."
Besides those two very small things, I adore my kids. They are hilarious and I can't blame them for being apathetic about grammar and about the classics. I was too once. They are all so unique, even in their trying-to-be-cool emo or hick (yes, those are the only two options in Wellston) sameness.

I've got more news, but no more energy to type it. Till next time, have a great week and may the Lord keep your from germs and bless you with a love for others.

Monday, September 08, 2008

my new classroom

It's messy, and I thought about picking it up before I took pics, but then, that wouldn't be my true classroom. Since these photos were taken, I've added a Howl's Moving Castle and Lord of the Rings poster and a lot of student artwork will be going up soon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

and later today...getting mushy

"ponder anew what the Almighty can do"

yeah, that's what I'm doing. That's a line from one of my favorite hymns. My outlook is better when thinking about this. He can do whatever the heck he wants. And he knows my heart, he knows what I want and need. And, although I haven't always gotten what I wanted, I still believe I will have those things: children, peace, joy.
And look at what he's give me in the last five years, esp. the last three: love, intimacy, hope, friendship, and more confidence in him.
I love living with a happy god, you know. It changes everything.

school has begun, making blog posts few

The web-isodes of "Heroes" bite. I can't believe how cheesy they are; I do not like feeling like I'm watching the SciFi channel at three in the morning.

So I'm not watching them. I have too much to do anyway. I can't believe how much planning teaching takes and how I still seem to wing it, even though I've made plans. I'm completely pooped.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

realted unrealted things, that's how my brain works

I'm listening to Tori Amos's songs off of Tran's facebook page. I'm surprised, but I shouldn't be, that I know all the words and tunes still. I relish these weird moments where I feel like two people. The person I was and the one I'm becoming. We're related, but not.

I wanted to use this post to display some pics I took off Andy's budding bug collection. These are mostly sphinx moths and an order of bugs called the True Beetles (which is funny to me, it makes me think of the book on display at our church called the Total Truth -- what a crock!) and I think those are June Bugs, notice they aren't what we normally call June beetles, because those are actually May beetles (the brown ones who make thudding noises in the summer because they are running into your glass window -- did I ever tell you my dad used to squish those in his bare feet when he was about my age and I was just a widdle baby). Those pieces of paper and pins are to hold the insect in place as it dries. They are amazing, aren't they?

Guess what?!?! I get to take a CREDIT CARD that doesn't belong to me and go to hobby lobby. I have to get art supplies for the school since they've never offered art before I came along and begged my way to my dreams. I'm going to start with graphite, oil pastel, and charcoal drawings. And then I'm going to buy some watercolor pencils (they are $1.50 a piece!). This isn't all I'd like to use, but it's a nice start and I think I can write a few grants to get the cooler stuff. Speaking of cool stuff, I'm going to this totally awesome convention with the elementary art teacher (a sweet and soft spoken and fashionable grandma) and you won't believe it -- I get to take art classes for four days that are taught by professional artists!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

holy frijoles

Tonight: the first night of the school year.
I'm so pumped and I'm freakin' out.
I'm reading a book on how to get students to keep a writer's notebook. It isn't written for my age-group, but the principles are the same. The first page accurately described my first year of trying this -- frustrated and performing most of the work, wanting the entries to be student-driven, but coming up with topics for the kiddos who don't have brains.
So, what I have to do is figure out how to teach 10th graders how to think about their own topics. Should I just teach them how to write as professionals do? Or should I start them off with prompts (these are usually stupid). I remember mine from 11th grade -- it was a coach teaching the class and I read and wrote more than he did, but he was a good hearted man -- they were things like, would you tear a butterfly's wings off for a thousand dollars, or would you eat a bowl of live crickets for a thousand dollars and why? He was obsessed about doing things for a thousand dollars. I answered as I knew he wanted me to just to play with him. As you can see it wasn't genuine or (if you are a writer you would probably not say deep but...) significant. And all but perhaps two out of 110 students I had last year wrote significant notebook entries. So what to do? What to do?
I'm not at all worried about the two classes I'm teaching that I have never taught before (Art and Yearbook), instead I'm worried about English again. That great subject at which I've excelled more than my intimate peers and yet, has always made me feel inferior and ignorant. And that's got me saying, "holy frijoles."
It's hard being a jack-of-all-trades and queen of none. I want so badly to be a, as Doug said, rock-star teacher. A Earl Schrock, Donna White, or Trey Philpotts. A Mr. Dewar, my ninth grade geometry teacher, he is an Earl Schrock. I wonder how long it took him to get there. He used to call me "enigma" when he was frustrated with me and "Coop" when he wasn't. My whole life has been shaped by that first nickname, which, again, is the reason I'm thinking "holy frijoles" when I realize I'll have students in my room again in three days. Why is that? Mr. Dewar called me enigma, he said, because I was the smartest student he had and I wasted it. Here I am with the incredible opportunity of Wellston. Classes I've wanted to teach. A new huge room with computers and new supplies. A welcoming faculty. A fresh start, a new year at a new school. And I'm afraid I'll waste it by being me.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

summer vacation

This is the campsite we made the first night. We hiked about 32 miles and went up about 4,000 feet in elevation in four days. It was tough and we smelled really really bad, but it was fun. And that red blob is me. You don't get to see the closer pics of us, because we were so dirty -- you couldn't wash up because it was cold and the streams are snow-melt.

This is my view from where I was sitting.

This picture does not do the mountain justice. We were both very nervous at this point and I had mild vertigo. It was very high and barren. The trail wasn't wide enough to place both of your feet together and it was pure gravel, which doesn't look or feel sturdy anytime, let alone when you're on top of the second highest mountain in New Mexico.

Notice those storm clouds? Not good!

This is, I think, the highest point of our hike, about 12500 feet above sea level. We looked for the big horned sheep and ptarmigans, but we didn't see them. Although, we did see a marmot and a pika.

Here is a part of Palo Duro Canyon, a beautiful place just south of Amarillo. After our four day hike, we spent the night at a motel in Amarillo. It was wonderful. I washed myself and my hair twice and I used three Qtips. Then we got cokes and huge hot sandwiches and watched TV (we flipped between Ultimate Fighting and the Food Network) on the biggest bed I've ever seen (and it felt like it was the fluffiest as well).
Here is a group of baby barn swallows we saw at the interpretive center at the canyon. I hate interpretive centers, but I like these serious looking baby birds.

Here's the two inch blister I had the last day of hiking. I knew I had one earlier, but we didn't take our socks off so I tried to ignore it until we were back at the trail head. You're lucky I didn't include the horrendously long leg hair.

Friday, August 01, 2008

don't hate me because I'm funny

OK, I know this is blasphemous. But it is also very funny. I found it off a website I frequent:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm ready! --SpongeBob

Andy and I are getting ready for our backpacking trip this week. First we're stopping in Dallas to attend my cousin's baby shower (I'm still not done with the quilt! See pic below) and then we're off for a week of backpacking over mountains in New Mexico. It was my job, of course, to get the food. And since I don't want to take too much because you have to carry that weight on your back (Andy didn't think I had enough so we went back to the grocery store, I still think it too much but he is a big guy I guess) I rationed the food out by day and meal. So I have all the breakfasts in one bag, all the dinners in two, and everything in between cream of wheat and ramen noodles in its own bag by day. It was fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

let the little children rock unto Me

This is Ethan rocking out to Andy's metallica tribute band. Ethan is pretty much the coolest kid ever.

Monday, July 21, 2008

my, my, blueberry pie

I'm sitting here eating the remains of my blueberry pie.
I woke up this morning with eight minutes to get ready and arrive for my walking date with Leslie and the Bunting kiddos. I am thankful to be around them. It helps me work on my conversational skills (the girls clammed up when Leslie sat down with Andrew, her youngest) and it helps me realize that my life isn't all about me (because it's sometimes difficult to hold a conversation with a woman who has four kids when those four are inexplicably hyper at seven in the morning). Man, I sound stupid and selfish. But Eck, such is life (said in my head in Jewish-accented (or would that be Yiddish?) English. So, blueberry pie makes me happy and this sentence reminds me of a funny quote I read the other day: "You can't buy happiness. But you can buy ice cream, and that's almost the same thing." I am still working on the quilts for Erika and Connie, my cousin. I didn't think they would be this hard or that it would take me this long. I hope they love them. Too often I see people, well, kids mostly, receive gifts and not appreciate them. But then I thought, it doesn't really matter if they appreciate them or even like them, because it is myself I'm serving by making these. It's me expressing my love and, as is normal in my interactions with others, that is often not seen, or at least not commented upon, or not understood. Andy and I often talk about the things we do for each other to show our love that we either didn't notice or don't care about. Last night I logged on to facebook and saw that Tran said that my "love language" is touch and I know hers is spending quality time without having to peek at her results. And Andy's is probably acts of service. So it is funny that I try to love Andy by giving him hugs and he tries to love me by mowing the lawn. I think the sugar in the pie has gone to my head. By the way, that was not an invitation for all of you to come give me a hug. I only like to be touched by family or very close friends. Spending time with me shows me love too, I promise. And I do bite. Here's to rabies awareness (I raised my fork).

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Last night Andy convinced me to drive him around town at 11pm to look for bugs for his collection. After a lot of frustration and bug bites we found a prime location on the over-lighted tennis courts (seriously, why waste the energy to keep these courts lit during the night? the waste makes me mad). I, of course, found the most and the coolest. For some reason, which I enjoy, I always do better than Andy at things he likes to do. Like looking for birds or bugs or catching fish... which is great for me because he still consistently kicks my butt at chess and boggle (I quit playing boggle because I'm so ashamed, an English major should make a killing with boggle). I found a mole cricket and I really did scream a little when I saw it.
And I found several amazing sphinx moths of different species.
And, ladies listen up, Andy was very happy with me and is very loving today because I gave him the side-by-side time he craves (that means men love doing the things they love with the ones they love) and so I'm pretty much giggling through the day. I'm even going to offer to go looking for bugs tonight too-- even though mosquitoes bit my toosh through my shorts. Ouch!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

5 years

Yesterday was our 5 year anniversary.
We went to the natural history museum at OU, which was great because it was short and sweet (only took about 2 hours), it costs only 5 bucks, and they have a fantastic dinosaur exhibit. I was in awe with the triceratops, whose skull holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of being the largest skull found on earth (as opposed to those found on Mars). I couldn't believe how large and ornamental it was. I'm sure it was the toast of the town in its hay-day. Andy liked the super-gator exhibit the best. It was a little scary. The skull of this gator was the same size as Andy, over 6 feet long, with the body being 40 feet long. It was massive.
After that we went to Ted's, my favorite Oklahoman restaurant (see: and I ate beef tamales and refried beans with fresh hand-made tortillas. Yum! I just finished the leftovers while Andy is out mowing the lawn... I hope he doesn't notice.
It was a good anniversary, and I'm still very glad I'm married to him.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I feel happy oh so happy!

but I don't really know why.
Sometimes when I get hyper and giggly, Andy will look at me and ask, "Why are you happy? What's there to be happy about?" It's very funny so in response I usually do a crazy dance. We love crazy dances. When we were first married we used to have dance-offs, just to act stupid, but I've talked about this before so...

I was just thinking how I title each post before I write it, which is the opposite of what I writer should do (or at least that's what Dr. Philpotts says).

I feel like my heart is a treacherous and confused thing. Which, it is, but I feel it tonight. I wish I felt more joy at the right things and more sadness at the wrong things. I wish I weren't so Americanly ignorant and apathetic.

What else What else... I met Tricia today. Her last name is Klopfenstein. Say that fast, it's a wonderful last name. She looks like a Irish girl to me though, strawberry blonde and lots of freckles. She was talkative without being too gregarious, which made me wonder if she wanted to be my friend or not. She did smile a lot when we talked about our dogs though -- just as mommies with new babies flock to other mommies with new babies. Andy says everyone feels as awkward (isn't it cool that that word has two Ws?) as I, but that doesn't make me feel any more confident, and logically it shouldn't, should it?

Did I write that we weren't going to Alaska? I had let myself hope, even though I really knew it was impossible. It's way to late in the game to get plane tickets. So, we're thinking a cheap vacation so we can go to Alaska next year. So -- the closest cool area from Stillwater is the northeastern side of New Mexico. So I'm going backpacking for the first time in my life. Andy is worried that I can't handle being dirty for days, which is silly because it isn't anything different than camping except that you move your site down the trail each day. And we camp a lot. I am only nervous about being out there alone. The last time we hiked to a campsite no one was within miles (and I mean miles) of us (because we were dumb and camped in winter, which I will NEVER do again) and I kept thinking of scary movies I'd seen where people are lost in the wilderness.

wow I just got tired and I still have dishes to do, so, g'night!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

looking forward to fall

Fall is my favorite season. Mostly for the changing leaves and the smell. Nothing smells better than a crisp fall day.

But, there are a few more exciting things about fall...
making applesauce
still believing that your students aren't evil
mums are in bloom (I love mums because they are so hard to kill, so you know I can keep them alive)
getting ready for Christmas
visiting family

And there are some exciting this for this fall in particular...
The release of a new installment in three wonderful books series: InkDeath, Dance of Dragons, and Brisingr (in that order, guys, seriously, if you like fantasy at all, and if you love young adult lit as I do, you should read Cornelia Funke's InkHeart series).

And there are more exciting things for this coming fall that I can't tell you about because I don't know. I have a few plans, but everything (for the third time in my life) is up in the air. Andy and I don't know where we'll be this time next year and this fall is (hopefully) when we'll figure that out.

Monday, July 07, 2008

monday night madness

I'm restless on Monday nights. It's the first night that Andy is gone during the summer weeks and I don't like it. I feel like I have nothing important to do besides wash the dishes. And I get sick of reading sometimes. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me, I don't know too many people who read as much as I do and if I do anything too much I get sick of it. I often find myself forcing myself to brush my teeth or take a shower because I've grown sick of the monotony.
Let's see... what is something happy... don't you just love the cheap summer fruits? I had a huge fruit salad today and it was wonderful. All Andy and I have been eating is fruit salad or smoothies and either a quesadilla or a skillet pizza (the kind that is only mozz and tomatoes and basil -- what's it's name? and we make it in the skillet so we don't have to turn the oven on b/c it gets so hot). So just fruit and cheese, my favorites. And it makes me laugh at myself for how much this affects my mood.
Andy and I took the pups to the vet today and the doctor heard a murmur in Daphne's heart. I freaked out, but Andy was calm. In fact, the doctor asked me if I was okay because I "seemed upset." I was shocked that he took the time to notice and felt open enough to confront me. I wish more people were as sensitive to others' feelings as that doctor was to me. But then, he also told me Daphne was a little chubby, which is ridiculous, she looks great and runs like crazy every day. Andy isn't worried about the murmur because it's only 10% likely, the doc said, that it would be something serious that would kill her. But he also said that it is common for dogs who have this to just fall over dead, without any signs that a owner might notice (because they come so gradually). So I was told to check her resting heart rate to monitor the problem. I know that Daphne is only an animal, but she is our first pup as a family, and she has such a spunky and quirky personality; I've never met another dog like her. She's mostly a pain, but I love her so much.
Well, this is my 200th blog posting. That sounds kind of sad. I wouldn't even bother posting usually, but I have to leach myself sometimes and typing is a heck of a lot faster than writing in my journal. And I don't like writing in my journal because every time I do I think of people who use the verb "journaling" as in, "Oh, do you journal?" No I don't journal, I write in a journal you wierdo. And I don't like the word because freaky and-how-does-that-make-you-feel people suggest that people like me should write in journals. Writing in a blog has gotten a bad rap too, so I'll shut my trap now. It's time to give Daphne a belly rub and start back into my book.

Friday, July 04, 2008

movie review

I watched this last night and I really enjoyed this film. It felt real, believable, and one of the main characters is a dark handsome man with a beard.
It's a sad film, but there is redemption in a way that seems true-to-life, not in a overly mushy christian romance book sort of way. The film shows how we make plans, but how all those plans can change in an instant by an accident or a risky decision. I recommend that you rent this film when you feel like drama.

"Donnie Darko"
I watched this because it's a new cult classic, and I remembered some friends from TECH who talked about it. But... I didn't like it. The huge bunny freaked me out, of course, and I couldn't figure out why all of this was happening to Donnie. I got that all the bad things happened when he listened to Frank the rabbit, so that in the end he decided not to do what Frank says. I just don't get why the only option was to die. And I wonder what is going to happen to Donnie's girlfriend now? It wasn't enough for me.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

caffeine addiction

I was going to title this post coke addiction, but then I thought that might look bad.
I just wanted to tell you something funny: Andy is at the motel again tonight (no, I didn't kick him out yet, he's working at his fields and they are 2.5 hours away and he has to be in the field at 6am) and he needed his bedtime snack, but all I sent with him was bread, peanut butter, gum, water, and popcorn. So, dejected that I'm still not making cookies for him (because I eat way too many of them and I'm SICK of being chubs) he decided he would pop the corn. But, he wanted a coke to go with it. The guy has trouble sleeping and what does he want? caffeine. Hmm. And just this morning he was telling me how I shouldn't drink so much coffee being caffeine is a drug and if we exercised more and ate healthier and got enough sleep we wouldn't need drugs to keep us awake.
So, all he has is a ten dollar bill and he's in a small town where there isn't anything open, not even a gas station (and I think there's only one anyway). BUT there is a coke machine. He finds 13 cents in his truck and looks at his coins and his ten dollar bill. The lobby at the motel is closed. So, what does he do... he checks under the nasty sticky (he told me it was sticky) motel couch cushions for coins. I feel bad for him, especially since I just had a diet coke, but it made me laugh.
My lanta that looks good; honestly, my mouth is watering.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Hollow Kingdom trilogy

The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
This trilogy was fun! I started it last night and just finished. The first book was a little frightening at the beginning, but then, about halfway, you realize the bad guys aren't bad -- just brutally honest (you can see why I'd like it). It's funny and heartwarming. Perfect for anyone 13 and up. Especially girls. I'd tell you more about it, but I don't want to give it away. Each of the books focuses mostly on one girl, a different one for each book and it also focuses on a few strange and quirky men.
The theme of the book is how people misunderstand people unlike themselves and despise others for doing things they also do (but, they don't see that of course).

farmer's market

I don't know if the people I met today are what I'd call farmers, or at least they aren't the type I bought from in Arkansas.
These people looked liked they just had large gardens that they spend their days in now that they are retired. But, I get a lot of pleasure from buying things from people, rather than Wal-mart or any other store for that matter.

And, even though no one had blueberries, which was my purpose for going, they did have yellow tomatoes (they aren't as acidic) and Japanese (I think that's what it is called) eggplant. And of course, had to buy two of my favorites: yellow squash and peaches. I know this may not be exciting to you -- but as I've established on much earlier posts, I love food, especially fresh homegrown food.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

senseless sleepy

I'm so sleepy.
There are 8th graders, I guess since it's summer they're actually 9th graders, hanging outside screaming and giggling and having a good time.
And so I can't sleep. I'm so grouchy!
But, then, most of you haven't taught 8th graders, and I'm really wishing I could give them detentions. Summer... sheesh. I can't believe I'm still surrounded by them.
At least this year I'll have 16 year olds, whom I've heard are lesser weevils.
By the way, close up, weevils are very cute. They are also called snout beetles (Andy is doing a bug collection this summer, so yeah, you know) and I think their noses are endearing. I'm thinking of embroidering one on a pillow for my stepmom. She's having a weevil problem and this past weekend she and my dad were arguing about whether they had gotten into their cornbread mix. By the way, I've made several different types of cornbread (well, two types really, southern and northern, but different recipes for each) and Jiffy is still the best. And, I learned a trick of using my waffle iron to quickly make cornbread. Not only is the shape more fun, but they get crispy and soft, just as cornbread should be.

I just got this off the Jiffy website, I'll try it tomorrow with some venison chili. My dad brought me almost a whole deer when he visited... and although I'm thankful for free food... that's a lot of venison.

Jalapeno Corn Bread
(12-15 servings)
1 pkg. "JIFFY" Corn Muffin Mix
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
4 jalapeno peppers-cored, seeded and diced
1 small red pepper, diced
4 Tbsp. margarine or butter, diced
Preheat oven to 400°, grease 10" cast iron skillet and preheat in oven. Combine egg yolks, buttermilk and sour cream; mix well. Add muffin mix and diced peppers; mix until moist. Whip egg whites to stiff peak and fold them and butter pieces into batter. Pour mixture into heated skillet. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Show and Tell

I'm so irritated about my last post that I decided to take a break from all of my theology (I've been thinking about it nonstop for three days) and post some pics.
My first guitar is a bass that Andy bought me when we were dating. I loved learning it, and I enjoy playing, but I don't normally get asked to because practically everyone can play the bass. It looks black, but it's actually a dark sparkly brown. I saw it at Mars one day and loved it, and it was on sale, and since you know how much Andy and I love things on sale, he went back for it later and bought it for me -- I think 6 years ago, maybe longer.

My second guitar has a lot of sentimental value. I love my dad and used to watch him play his guitar (A D45 until it was stolen, I forgot what he has now, but it's almost as nice as the 45) when I was very little. I can remember several occasions, but for some reason I never thought of playing myself. Then I married Andy, who taught me to play, and my dad was so glad that I was learning, that he bought me this baby Taylor for my birthday -- I think that was 3 years ago.

Then, this year for Christmas my uncle Mark MADE me a guitar. Yes, he made this! The electronics and everything! Can you believe it? Look at that inlay!
The funny thing about me getting this guitar is that Andy broke his acousic guitar (and we had just sold his bright blue bass) by dropping it on its neck, so the main player in our family, Andy, didn't have a single guitar and I had three. The same day uncle Mark gave me this guitar, I was planning on giving Andy his Christmas present, which was a beautiful Martin, so it worked out in the end -- but I milked it for all it was worth, saying, "Oh Andy, I'm so sorry you still don't have a guitar..." So, of course, he was giddy, in an Andy sort of way, when he got his guitar later that afternoon.

the irrationality of Christianity

Andy listened to this radio broadcast yesterday that reminded me of a lot of what I've heard on contemporary Christian radio stations and it made me upset. He said that two professors from Christian universities were talking about how to "talk about God" to others and the "rationality of Christianity." I think that is disgusting. To suggest that Christianity is in any way rational is a hoax. It is full of mystery, almost nothing is clear, and Jesus teaches in parables, stories, not in a three point essay or thesis. As our friend Doug said, it is revelation not rationalization. Nothing about the gospel makes rational sense. To be powerful by being weak, to invite people who want to kill or hurt you over for dinner... please, it goes against everything within us. That's the whole point. We can't fully grasp it, just as we can't fully grasp God or his ways. And what we do understand must be understood with humility, with the idea that we may very well be wrong or at least, not completely right. And, the gospel is something to be wrestled with, something to have faith in, not something to dissect and be convinced of through a list of facts. AND the fact that these two guys think that the gospel is rational is a round-a-bout way of saying that all those who are not convinced must be stupid. GIVE ME A BREAK!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

surprise, it looks decent

Yes, I finally called momma (which is better than mailing the quilt to her) and she gave me some cheater tips on how to make appliques. So I'll share them with you. Instead of trying the amazingly hard (props to all of you crafters who can do this) under-over method, she told me to go buy some lightweight interfacing and sew the right sides together (the side of the fabric I want to show against the glue side of the interfacing). Then I cut a small slit in the interfacing and flip it inside-out, which makes it where I can see my lovely fabric again. Then you iron and it makes a flat semi-firm disc ready to sew on with almost perfect shape (Andy reminded me that perfect circles don't occur in nature, so my more "organic" ((that's the book's word, Tran, not mine!)) circles were okay) and with much much more ease. TA-DA!
I took a few pics to show you the first step of the quilt. The circles you see here are only the ones I had to attach at the very beginning process -- there will be a lot more.
This is it all laid out on my guest bed.

Here are a couple close-ups of the fabric. A lot of it was scraps that my mom mailed me.

Here's the workspace, my kitchen. The quit is the same size as my table, so it gets a little crowded. And I did sweep when I was finished.

And just for fun here's a pic of Daphne and Wilson, because this is what they look like while I'm working. Wilson wishes I'd give him a treat, and Daphne can't remember the last time she saw her leash.