Sunday, September 27, 2009

victory & defeat

You might begin to notice that my life (or at least my blog) tends to revolve around football this time of year: practice three nights a week and two games most every Saturday. If Jared is home he will go to practice with them. If I take them, it's drop off and pick up style. Sometimes I feel out of the loop but I have to keep the home fires burnin'. Here are the football hilights from this week as we played our biggest "rivals" - the other Crandall teams. It's almost as big as the Crandall Pirates vs. Forney Jackrabbits rivalry. The good thing is that they still walk away friends.

Crandall Black vs. Crandall Gold (10 & under)
featuring: *Trey* #42*defense/ kickoff return*team captain*

Trey's game was a 6-0 victory. Both teams played hard.

Crandall Black vs. Crandall Gold (12 & under) featuring *Clayson * #44* offense/defense/kickoff return*

Clayson's game started over an hour late and by the time it got started it was too dark for me to take pictures without my external flash. Above are the pregame smiles and excitement. After the game the smiles had turned to frowns and the excitement had turned to frustration. They lost 8-6. The agony of defeat struck the boys hard. Maybe next time.


Among other things...

* It was donuts for dad for Ashlyn and Trey this week. Here is Ashlyn and her daddy.

* I planned and purchased for ten meals! I tend to cook the same things over and over or just don't cook at all because I get so beat down with not knowing what to cook and not having all the necessary ingredients. So, I sat and made a list of complete meals and what groceries I would need to make each one complete. (Granted, I made this list when it was nice and cool, some may have to wait for it to cool off again before they are served up.) I'll share my list with you, if you will share your list with me :0)

1.) beef stroganoff, corn and lima beans

2.) chicken spaghetti, garlic breadsticks, seasoned green beans

3.) frito pie

4.) king ranch chicken, rice, ranch style beans

5.) steak fingers, mashed potatoes, baked beans

6.) chicken & dumplins, pork 'n beans

7.) beef enchiladas, burritos, spanish rice and beans

8.) taco soup and chips

9.) baked potato soup and crackers

10.) chicken and dressing, mashed potatoes, string green beans

* I also bought corny dogs and frozen pizza for those nights that I can't / won't cook. And then, there is always cereal as back-up, too.

For desserts I am thinking:

a.) cherry cheesecake

b.) oatmeal cookies

c.) snickerdoodle cookies

d.) brownies

I am just proud of myself for taking the big plunge at Wal-Mart. It is a place that I do not enjoy going anymore. Jared went there for me last Sunday for some staple items and it completely made my day. I told him that he was amazing. It's the little things in life that we should be thankful for.

Last night we celebrated a birthday party for a dear friend/ teaching partner/ life mentor. It was a blast hanging with my girls after a long day of football games and a long week of working hard.

(disclaimer: this is a mobile uploaded picture and not very good quality)

I still LOVE my job and where I am teaching. I have made so many new friends and am missing the ones that are at different campuses.

This week is going to be a busy one with curriculum night, three photo shoots, football and cooking ;) Hope you all have a great week! Count your many blessings ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a dream becomes a reality

Last Thursday I was laying in bed fixing to watch "Ellen" when an announcement caught my attention - Joe Montana appearing in Dallas. What?! I had barely been listening so I paused the TV, just to make sure I was not hearing things. There it was - a picture of Joe Montana and an event at SMU listed. I am not sure how many times I rewound this to make sure I was not dreaming and to get all of the facts straight.

(Here's how the rest of that night went... ) SMU! That's where my brother went to college as a football trainer. He still has connections. I called him immediately. And, at the same time I was FB chatting with my mother-in-law and she tells me that Jennifer's dad (Jennifer is an employee of hers), was the head trainer at SMU and she told me his name. Oh my gosh, what a small world. Jennifer's dad was my brother's boss. Now I was thinking this would get me in to the athletic forum event for sure... or at least I was hoping.

Sunday: Jason, my brother, told me that one of the girls I used to babysit and also taught in 5th grade, Emily, was getting an award at the ceremony. I mentioned all of this to Emily's mom and they told me that her event was on Tuesday night. The SMU athletic forum was on Wednesday. At this point I am thinking, that just doubled the opportunities for a chance encounter with my hero.

Sunday evening: Turns out I could not get any tickets to either event but I was already coming up with a plan to be in Dallas - same time, same place - as this amazing quarterback.

Today: I was kind of debating on whether to make the attempt. I was tired, out of sorts with random things at school and have something to do every night this week. But deep down I knew that I would never forgive myself if I didn't try. After all, I had traveled to Oakland, California for his training camp (18 years ago) and went to his football game in Houston (16 years ago) and tonight he was just 30 minutes up the road in Dallas.

I called the Fairmont Hotel just to make sure I would even be able to get into the lobby. The concierge, Daniel, was also a big fan and told me to come on. I joked with him, hoping to get on his good side and wanting a "hook up" when I got there.

I asked Trey to come along with me. (Like his teacher said - might as well teach him how crazy women can be.) We drove to Dallas, wandered around on some random streets in downtown and finally found this fancy hotel. We parked and made our way inside. Walking around, scouting out the area, we did not see him. But then I found my friend Daniel. I asked him if he was there and he said yes and in a kind of hush-hush manner told me where to find him and suggested I send Trey in front of me, maybe to make it seem less stalkerish. I thought he was kidding but he so wasn't!

We found Joe Montana sitting with his back to the lobby, practically hidden. Woohoo!! I smiled so big and said, "oh my gosh, you're my hero", so cheesy but it was my first reaction and I could not hold back the excitement. He saw my biggo camera and told me he doesn't take photos because he had already been to court twice over them. A little disappointing but understandable. He did, however, autograph a football folder for Trey. I could not quit smiling as he talked to Trey and shook his hand with those massive quarterback hands. (Trey really has no clue who he is or what he means to me ... he was just happy to be there - but not near as happy as me.)

It was an experience I will NEVER forget! 19 years ago it became a dream, today it became a reality.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

weekend * wows

Friday wows:
* Jared went to South Texas for the weekend to get hunting season started.
* It was the perfect football weather - cool and cloudy - until those clouds opened up just as they announced the homecoming queen. The rains came down and the gym filled up - with soaking wet fans. The hard rain slowed to a drizzle and fans were able to go back into the bleachers for the Crandall Pirate football game and they didn't let us down with the win.
* Friday night all of the kids went to my mom's because I had to be at school early the next morning and I couldn't even muster up the energy to go to Denny's with friends. After I peeled off the wet jeans and found my pajama pants, it was all over.

Saturday wows:
* The biggest wow of the week was that the sun came out!
* All three of the Crandall elementary schools held dedication ceremonies to honor the namesakes and I attended the one at my campus. It was a nice tribute to Mr. Martin, a former elementary principal of mine.
* Trey's football game was not rained out, just moved to a different location. Taking pictures was not easy but I managed to get a few of my little lineman. The sun came out in full force and made the heat index go straight to hot and sweaty on the 83 degree day.

* I cleaned house, did laundry and ironed clothes for 8 hours.
* Clayson got invited to spend the night with a friend, Trey went to his Nana's and Ashlyn ended up at my mom's for the night.
* Again - home alone - and I stayed home. Ashlyn's messy room kept me occupied on Saturday night. There is a wow effect for how bad it was and a wow effect for how clean it became.

Sunday wows:
* I made it to Sunday School. (This isn't a big wow, I try to make it often).
* Kids still all shuffled around so I went to Kohls and shopped for ME.
* I finally found a pair of tennis shoes after searching and searching and they are discontinued and could not even find the match to the display that I was willing to wear a little big.
* Came home to a clean house and enjoyed the last bit of quiet time before church and the Cowboys football game.
WOW of the weekend:
* I heard that Joe Montana is coming to Dallas Tuesday night and Wednesday, speaking at two different hotels. I am ready to put those teenage years of stalking experience to good use as I muster up a plan to be in Dallas, at the hotels, both days. (For those who don't know me, he is my hero! I fell in love with him in 9th grade and went to great lengths to cover my room in 49ers and Montana memorabilia. I even ended up with a six foot cardboard statue of him thanks to a friend willing to "steal" him for me. His wife's face was covered with pictures of me on the Hanes tags that I ripped off of clothes. My grandparents took me to his training camp in California, where I was able to get his autograph on a cap. For my 18th birthday my parents got me tickets to watch him as a Kansas City Chief, play in Houston. I touched his arm and it melted my heart.) I was past the point of obsession then and even now I cannot let this opportunity of maybe getting to meet him slip away. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

bit of this & bit of that

It’s so hard to believe that I haven’t blogged in nine days. I am such a slacker. I can’t come up with any reasons besides football practices, lesson planning, grading, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, taking and editing pictures, spending time with friends and family, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, Friday night football, baking for a school luncheon and new in 2009/2010 – ironing the school clothes.

After five days of rain we are left with gloomy skies and cooler temperatures. The sun must be taking a hiatus. I do love the onset of fall. I won’t kid myself because I am aware that it is only September and the Texas heat may rise again before it falls for good. I will enjoy the cool temperatures while they last and I will refrain from putting on my corduroy pants – for now. For dinner I have found myself wanting to cook taco soup, chili and baked potato soup. I am ready to go up to the attic and bring down the fall decorations. I think about making a Christmas list often. (Honestly, I would have cooked those things if I had the ingredients. I’m holding out until October to fill my house with orange pumpkins and the scent of pumpkin spice. The Christmas list is a fleeting thought that really needs to be put down on paper. My kids are throwing out the “I wants” and all are currently following up that statement with laptops.)

We are still rocking along in school. It’s hard to believe that we are in our 4th week. For me, this has been a life changing year. Having smaller classes has given me the opportunity to get to know my kids on a more personal level, how to meet their needs on academic levels and time to teach without the constant interruptions. Going from 28 students to a class of 20, a class of 17 and a class of 19 is HUGE. I didn’t know small classes with empty desks even existed. I love the new building that I am in, all the people that I work with and especially those that I work for. It is so cute to see my 5th graders react to the three and four year olds in Headstart and Pre-K. It makes all of us smile to see the bubbles in their mouths (I have even tried that strategy for walking down the hall quietly and it works). I see Trey at lunch (with his dirty face) and at recess. At least once a week I pass Ashlyn’s class in the hall and she tries the sneaky wave (up under her chin). She comes into my classroom at the end of the day with a burst of energy and hunger. Her thoughts this week have been 1.) how many years after first grade and 2.) in the midst of a morning fit – lunch is the only good thing about school. Some days, I might agree. Trey has made new friends and he has a blast after school. It is hard to get him and Ashlyn ready to leave school, they have so much fun when it is over. I can find Ashlyn by following the popcorn trail and Trey by finding a group of sweaty boys. Clayson has had some minor setbacks in his 6th grade journey. He has gotten in trouble in the hall, forgotten his belt and was tardy to class. I think that it is going to be a roller coaster ride all year. Both of us will just have to learn how to deal with teacher personalities and the rules and regulations all while I encourage him to make better choices and making sure he knows that the school rule “in trouble at school – in trouble at home” will always apply.

And, lastly, we interrupt this marriage to bring you hunting season. Jared will be on the road a lot … starting tomorrow.

Hope this blog finds you having fun and looking forward to the months ahead. Always remember to live, to laugh and to love.

Monday, September 7, 2009

it's the little things

I had forgotten what a three day weekend felt like. I feel like I have had a nice break from the BTS hustle and bustle that has been going on for two weeks (wow).

Friday night I did laundry and found myself in the recliner inbetween loads. Jared was not happy that I had taken over "his" chair for the evening. You would have thought he was Archie Bunker but I am definitely no Edith.

Saturday morning I had a senior shoot. Saturday afternoon I edited for hours and we realized that we really did not have enough time to go to the lake as we had hoped. But, it all worked out because we spontaneously met with two other couples and friends for dinner. (We've talked about getting together since summer started and on a whim it worked out.)

Sunday, the kids and I went to Sunday School and then headed out to do some shopping. It had been SO long since Ihad taken a shopping trip. It's the time of year that kids will need jeans and for the first time, I am prepared for the jean-wearing-season. We met my grandparents, parents, Jason & Megan for lunch at Roadhouse and then left Mesquite to go to Grapevine Mills. It was crowded but I didn't notice. I found some good deals and splurged by buying myself a shirt and bubble bath (from Bath & Body - where Trey knocked over a glass shelf toppling all of the antibacterial handsoap that was three for $10). I saw a couple of things that reminded me that it would be time to start Christmas shopping soon.

Sunday night I headed out on a journey to Tonya and Kenneth's for a get-together. We had a good time hanging out on the patio, listening to some country music, feeding the catfish in the pond and laughing a lot. Laid back... it's how I roll (as of lately).

Today...apparently the lake plans are shot down again and I am doing laundry again. I am also cleaning a house that I thought I had just cleaned. If only I could learn to just sit and relax sometimes instead of always finding things that need to be done when I am home. OCD, it's big part of who I am.

Here are some "small thing" realizations that I have experienced over this three day weekend:

* I love the smells of Fall and could not pass up the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap at Bath & Body. In fact, I bought three.

* There is nothing like 40% off on Gap school pants.

* I finally learned not to order a meal at Texas Roadhouse because the rolls and free appetizers are meal enough. And this way ordering a $2 coke doesn't seem so bad.

* New iPhone covers excite me.

*Cotton candy while shopping gives you the needed energy to get you around all six areas of Grapevine Mills and leaves children with sticky hands for the ride home.

* If you want your car washed, plan a dinner with friends. Jared was too ashamed to take it dirty so he washed it first.

* As much as I dig the Cotton Festival I did not buy the kids the bracelets for unlimited rides this year.

* I might have an infatuation with updating my facebook statuses.

* Double Dave's chocolate chip pizzas are only $4.99 and are scrumptious when reheated in the microwave for a late night snack.

* Silence is golden.

*I used to not procrastinate, now I do. I used to could make decisions easily, now I can't. I used to like to be on the go, now I like staying home. I used to like to go out with friends, now I like hanging at someone's house. I used to make plans, now I like to be spontaneous. I used to like to spend money, now I like to save it. I used to like Wal-Mart, now I hate it.