Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve - Winter Break, Day 10

Ten glorious days off.  How fantastically awesome.  For whatever reason, I am thoroughly enjoying this break.  Perhaps documenting the days is proof that they really are not "flying" by--that every day has the same 24 hours?  Who knows?  But I'll take it.
  • Got up.  Cleaned the basement a bit after McDonalds oatmeal and an English Muffin.  
  • Used my Zumba Fitness 2 for the Wii for the first time with Kim.  I really liked it.  I like "real" classes better, but when "real" classes are not an option, this is a viable alternative.
  • Cleaned up and headed to Meijer, what I will label as a "zoo."  We were there Tuesday morning and it was dead.  Man I wish I could work from home, so leisurely Tuesday morning Meijer visits were in the realm of doable.  There's always my "breaks."
  • Took some photos for our new "adventure," Move More Eat Well 2012.  I also printed out some of the things we needed for the album.  We needed a photo of the shoes that would be "moving us," and of, well, us.  Here were the money shots:

  • We attended church, where, for whatever reason, I kept getting choked up.  It happens every now and again.  Songs usually.  We sang lots of Mary songs, including Hail Mary, Gentle Woman and What Child Is This?  Heck, even Father Luke got teared up during the Eucharistic Prayer.  Don't know what happened, but he's had quite a year of changes and loss, so I can only imagine which emotion took over.  He's such a good guy.  We are blessed to have him with us.
  • We had some homemade pizzas when we returned.  I will confess, that's my favorite kind of pizza.  However, a bit of cheese fell to the bottom of the oven--enough to cause a puff of smoke--then causing a cranky Scott (he felt I should have gotten the cheese off the 425 degree one bottom, despite it's immediate melting--and, eventually, causing the smoke detectors to go off (thus amplifying Scott's discomfort with the whole situation).  The pizza still tasted great, however. :)
  • Ignatius was invited to see the new Mission Impossible movie at 8:30, so he was dropped off at the theater to meet his friends and a set of parents.  And thus, an Asperger's/teenager moment.  So many things to pack into one social story, as, typically, he goes to the movies with one of us.  How to pay for the ticket?  Do not forget that the money needs to go toward Steak N Shake afterwards.  When at Steak N Shake, you will have to tip.  Here's how you figure that out.  So there I sat, watching my "prepared" son go in to the theater without buying a ticket.  As I exited my car to help, I saw he came back out to the ticket booth, so I did not enter.  I know he has to figure all of this out by himself...I could at age 14 with little dilemmas.  I was not Ignatius.  He survived and enjoyed the evening.  they decided not to go to Steak N Shake, so that portion of the preparation was unneeded.  Next time we're out somewhere, he will be determining the tip. 
  • Watched the ball drop in NYC at 11 after sharing a bottle of Spumante with the man and watching some marathon on BBC America.  Max was sound asleep in his martial pajamas.  It was kind of nice.
On to 2012!  And more Winter Break!

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Winter Break - Day 9

    A rainy Friday...the last Friday of 2011!  On today's docket:
    Can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2011.  This year went by really quickly!

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Winter Break - Day 8

    The sun was out and the weather mild.  Still, I could not convince Max to leave the house.  He adores being home.  I think the pace of the first semester just about wore the kid out.  His vacation is just being home.  I gotta respect that.

    As you can see, I was busy piling things on to my plate.  I should not say it so negatively.  I am setting up projects for myself that I will enjoy completing and will keep the creative side of my brain from dying out completely.  So, two scrapbook projects, in addition to ones already in motion.  That's what 2012 will bring.

    It was interesting, because the first part of the Move More, Eat Well project involved Scott and I coming up with 5 things that we are good at.  This was terribly hard for my hubby, which made me realize that he honestly believes the things he can list are things "anyone" can do if they just try.  Now, one would think he was just being irritatingly humble, but, in truth, this was a very challenging task for him.  We had--I guess it was a "discussion"-- about this for quite some time.  I did not want to give him the answers.  I wanted them to come intrinsically, as that is what the true spirit of the exercise included.  I had to be a very creative interrogator.  Eventually, I think five things came to the forefront.  More on this as the project unfolds.

    I attempted to work on science grades today.  It'll get there.  I swear.

    Did some Zumba. Great class.  I plan to try out my new Wii game on Saturday.  I think we will also be de-Christmasing the house on Saturday.

    Scott is currently watching The Big Bang Theory on TBS.  Laughing his behind off.  Made me come see Sheldon/Ignatius.

    I am still pining for snow.  I think I am out of luck.  Will this be one of those years where we get snow in April?  Because that will tick me off.

    An Instragram Metaphor

    Head on over to my crafty blog to read of my pursuits with Cathy Zielske's 2012 Move More, Eat Well scrapbook/life class.

    So, I shot this photo with my iPhone before I ate lunch today, as it looked so tasty.

    If you have used the Instagram app, you know that, once you snap the shot, you have an abundance of action choices, which is what is nice about the app.  Some of these actions would take either forever to come up with on Photoshop (if you are an amateur like myself), or forever to search for and try out via wonderful people who post them (and at times charge for them) on the web.  Instagram puts it all there, and you can browse through what its different actions do to your picture.

    My mind went a little overboard with this today.  Some of the actions made the food look downright revolting, others washed out the brilliance of the colors, and still others found that right balance to make this look as appealing as it looked to me.  And, isn't that life?  Sometimes, we sabotage our abilities to eat well with the "actions" that go on in our own minds. We say, "Ugh, I have to eat a salad today for lunch."  This salad was made with Butter Bliss lettuce (I love this stuff a little too much), baked ham from Christmas, a sprinkling of shredded cheddar, and my own dressing (a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 packet of Truvia, a bit of oregano, and a bit of garlic powder).  I also had a banana and some water with a bit of lemon juice.  Everything tasted delightful, yet my attitude could have harmed its taste.  It's all the perspective through which I look at this.

    Move More, Eat Well will, I think, be a continuation for me, not a beginning. That helps, too.  I am not starting up some crazy January 1 thing, only to be pissed by January 9.  It's a documentation of what is already true, and an accountability to myself.  Plus Scott's doing it with me.  Which is awesome.  More later.  Gotta go to Zumba. :)

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Winter Break, Days 6 and 7

    OK, so yesterday apparently flew by in a blur.  Here's what I know to be true of the past two days:

    • Ignatius completed a Cross Country running workshop over the last two mornings, held by Lake Run Club. Today he ran a mile in under 7 minutes.  He seemed to actually enjoy himself.
    • I went to Zumba yesterday AND got Zumba 2 for the Wii.  Good times.
    • Max is getting harder and harder to get out of the house.  He likes lounging and pretty much being a hermit. I am beginning to understand the attraction.
    • I have been trying to keep up with water drinking.  I feel like my insides are floating, but it's flushed out the ookies.
    • We got a wee sprinkling of snow, nothing major.
    • Pizza night on Monday.  Hot diggety.  I love Pizza Hut.
    • I watched a stupid show about Sasquatch on History Channel.  I also watched a series of American Pickers and Pawn Stars episodes that balanced out that stupidity.  
    • I signed up for an Ali Edwards scrapbooking class focusing on my "One Little Word" for 2012: Strength.

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Winter Break - Day 5

    Today consisted of:

    • Post-Christmas chillaxing.  Max played with his car wash and crayon maker.  He won't mix colors with the crayon maker, which cracks me up.  He will only melt the same color and make the same color, rather than creating a rainbow type of effect.  We go with his flow.
    • I ran (jogged) 3.1 today.  It started out sunny and nice and ended up cloudy and chilly in the course of my 41 minutes of running.  We did some exercises when I came home as well.
    • I worked on a wee bit of school stuff today.  I have been adding some audio to my website for students to follow along as they read.  That takes some time!
    • My brother, George, called, and we chatted for some time.
    • We all enjoyed down time, as no one had to be anywhere in particular today.  It was pleasant.  
    • The night ended with some snow.  Not much, but a nice dusting to break the grayness.

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    A Very Merry Christmas - Winter Break, Day 4

    Does this about sum it up?  We had Max getting his beloved car wash plus lots of other fun things, like a Slinky and blocks and a crayon maker.  Oh, and sour Gumi Worms.  Yum-mo!

    Ignatius hit the jackpot, too.
    Yes, I know you heard the heavens open and choirs of angels singing.  And you thought it was all about the Lord?  He acquired a new Dell Inspiron laptop with animation software and a Bamboo pad.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  I am so excited for him...if we can get the blue screen of death to stop popping up.

    What about mom and dad?  No complaints.  Santa left mom some cold hard cash and a variety of gift cards (woo hoo! I really do like gift cards a whole lot), not to mention a snazzy pair of gloves from the Coach outlet.  Dad got an aluma-wallet (not sure if he's keeping it, not big enough for all of his wallet needs) and various gift cards.  We all got good health and the finances to be able to have a nice Christmas.

    We spent our traditional evening with the Nicoson family.  We exchange gifts and just chill to a delightful dinner and good friends.  In all, I am feeling pretty blessed, though I do miss seeing my PA contingency.

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Winter Break, Day 3 - Christmas Eve

    • Slept in again.  This time until 10.  My family is spoiling me a bit too much.  I won't be able to go back to work!
    • Went for a run and then did some other toning exercises with Ignatius.  It was rough.  I have let myself get pretty "untoned."
    • Went out and about.  I love Christmas Eve.  All the Black Friday suckers do not know what they are missing.  It's such a calm afternoon.  Returned Scott's broken gift with one that works.
    • Had the best ribs for dinner.  Because of the unseasonable warm weather, Scott was able to use the Kamodo Joe.  Yum-mo.
    • Ignatius continued his quest for world latch hook domination.
    • Got all dressed up for church.  Snapped this pic of the family.
    • Attended Mass.  Max was wondering what happened to the candles (Advent wreath).  He loved the addition of the trees and all the lights.
    • Came home and popped open a bottle of Asti.
    • Max is now in his jammies watching The Polar Express.  Love his reaction to it!  Perfect Christmas Eve movie.
    Merry Christmas to All!

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Seize the Break, Day 2

    Today's highlights:
    • Slept "in" again until around 9. Much needed.  Woke up to sunshine.
    • Took some pictures of the boys in hopes of getting a holiday card completed.  We'll see.  Here's one I have been toying with.
    • Let's not forget my little diva and his love of the camera.

    • Finally got my box sent to the PA contingency.  A Christmas miracle!
    • Went out into the world of shopping.  Found a few additional items.  I think I am "done," but who knows?  One of the things I got for Scott does not work, so I must return it (maybe tomorrow if I feel brave).
    • Took an afternoon nap after the sun hid back behind the clouds.
    • Spent some of the evening wrapping gifts and helping Ignatius with the latch hook project.  He is really going to town on it.  Good purchase!
    • Worked a few minutes on a scholarship essay. Less than 500 words = torture JoLynn.  I'll do anything for a thousand bucks, though.
    • Spent some time on Facebook.  Became irritated hearing how WalMart employees must say "Happy Holidays," and are forbidden to say, "Merry Christmas."  Wondering where the ACLU is when it comes to these types of freedom of religion violations.
    And now,  we enter Jesus' Birthday Weekend!  Woot!

    Thursday, December 22, 2011


    Over the summer, a few of my pals and I dubbed ourselves the "Pinky Swear" ladies.  We are all teachers, and we were all bemoaning the scurrying summer months as we sat by a good friend's pool.  We reflected on the fact that this stretch of time each summer is a wonderful gift which very few professions have.  I remember pondering, about two weeks before school began, as we let "we only have two more weeks" slip through our lips, that the two weeks of Winter Break seem like a blessed gift from God, and we should try to make the last two weeks of summer "feel" like the two weeks of Winter Break.

    Here we are, months later, at the start of the coveted two weeks of Winter Break.  The first half of our school year is over.  Report cards for second quarter will be completed over this break.  Plans for serious ISAT prep will happen as we return.  But, for now, these fourteen days are precious and it feels great to have a break.  My goal is to document, at least here if not in scrapbook form, how we spend our days.

    Today was my first day of "break."  Here's a run down of the day:
    • For whatever reason, I was able to sleep until about 9:45 AM.  What a blessing!
    • A friend called me a little after 10 to tell me she was engaged.  That was very good news.  I have constantly called her guy a "keeper."  He is incredibly thoughtful of her.  I continually asked, after every trip or special evening, if a ring was involved, and this time, it was!
    • I traveled out to get my teeth taken care of at the Foehr Group.  Three teeth drilled, two temporary crowns, lots of novacaine.  I had already broken one of the teeth, so it was a much needed visit.  I found out that Dr. Foehr, my previous dentist who recently retired, has ALS, which is manifesting itself first in his throat.  He is unable to speak, communicating through his iPad.  He recently had a feeding tube put in.  Dr. Foehr is a great guy, and I hate that this is happening to him.  
    • I went to Lincoln Leisure and, still quite numb in the mouth, shook my boom boom at Zumba.  Good times were had by all.
    • We had a lovely dinner of carry out Olive Garden, sponsored partially by a gift card from one of my students.  Where I teach, those types of gift cards are few and far between, so I was really touched by the thoughtfulness of this parent.
    • Ignatius and I ventured out to Hobby Lobby.  I needed adhesive for the "Holiday Cards" that might eventually get made by me before 2012.  We bought some latch hook kits, inspired by a conversation I had with some younger colleagues regarding latch hook (and their blank stares as I mentioned it).  I figured it would be nice for him to learn something crafty from his old ma, and for him to have something non-electronic for passing the time.  He took to it pretty nicely.  Max was VERY interested in it as well, and wanted to help in any way he could.
    • As the night wound down, and the children finally went to bed, I began wrapping the gifts that have been needing attention.  I packed a box that will finally be heading to PA (hopefully FedEx tomorrow). Truly, I only have a few other odds and ends to get together, and then I think we're set. 
    Now, it's really Friday, but I am backdating this.  Friday will have a narrative all its own.  To bed!