Monday, December 7, 2009

Grandma's Recipe Book

I had a crazy idea this past summer...
before I was pregnant.
before we moved to Oklahoma.
before...well, before a lot of things.

That idea was to put Grandma Belle's favorite recipes into a cookbook scrapbook, but then, I knew if I made one other people in my family would want one, and it is too hard to make a bunch of them. So, I offered to purchase the supplies, make the original, and put together kits so that all the women could make one. That meant supplies for 10 books. That meant cutting out 10 of everything. That meant several trips to Staples to use their paper cutters because I am no longer employed at a school where I have access to awesome paper cutters - and - I have no idea how many millions of cuts I had to make through this process, but my little scrapping paper cutter would not have "cut" it. (a joke...)

So, for my family on my Mom's side, who will put together the books in a couple of weeks - here is a sneak peek of what is to come. The photos aren't necessarily great due to the fact that this Arizona lizard isn't use to sub-freezing temperatures outside (I'm not complaining because I get to wear my cute maternity coat and my newly made Christmas scarf - photos to come...) and was not going to go outside to photograph them, and because I don't have a DSLR camera...which I'm hoping Santa can help me with at some point because there is a baby coming. Anyway, the supplies made the move with me to Oklahoma, and as I was making the book I lamented the fact that Oklahoma does not have the a.m.a.z.i.n.g. scrapbook stores that AZ has. I've been to quite a few here, and they are cute, but Phoenix's are just superior and unbelievable.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Dear Mr. Monk,
Thank you for all the fun years of episodes where we got to watch you use your amazing gift to solve crimes. I loved laughing at your idiosyncrasies, but I always felt sorry for you in my heart. I couldn't imagine not knowing why Trudy was murdered. I've always felt a thankfulness to Captain Stottlemeyer, Natalie, and Randy for helping you out, trusting you, and having compassion on you. (Sharona, too, but she was kind of bratty to you...)

I'm thankful you were finally able to solve Trudy's murder, that you didn't die, and that you were finally able to find some happiness. My husband, who claimed to not like your show, even rewatched last week's episode and then watched last night's conclusion with me - and - I think he is even sad that your show is now over.

As your goodbye song says, I know I'm gonna miss you since you're gone!

P.S. At least I can still laugh at Shawn and Gus and watch the well-dressed Neal Caffrey - but - they aren't you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Sweet Lil' One Inside

We saw the baby today. I'm not really sure how to put into words how I feel. I woke up this morning thinking, "Today I get to see my baby!" Then I got nervous. Then I got excited. Then, when the living, live, actual baby was on the screen, I got emotional.

We saw the face.
We saw the head.
We saw the forehead.
We saw the arms.
We saw the hands.
We saw the fingers.
We saw the legs.
We saw the feet.
We saw the toes.
We saw the spine.
We saw the heart beat.

We saw the baby put his/her finger in his/her mouth and then pull it out.
We saw the baby have the hiccups.
All of this was going on inside of me - LIVE.
It is a miracle.

2 Things:
1) I'm especially fond of the baby's nose. It was precious.
2) No, we did not find out the gender of the wee one. For those of you who are about to go crazy not knowing - enjoy the ride with us...we don't know either...and what a fun, intense, crazy, exciting, thrilling, emotional moment we will have when the baby is born, and the doctor says,
"It's a ______!"
I'm teary just thinking about it.

I just wish I could go back and have another peek tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day and...well, you get the idea.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This post is dedicated to my wonderful sister-in-law, Becca. She has a deep and intense love, I mean hatred of birds. As a young girl, she was chased by a huge pterodactyl, I mean a big black bird, as she was riding her bike in Walsh. Ever since then, she despises all birds.

Anyway, one day when Aaron and I were staying out at my parents' farm waiting to move into our rental house, I looked outside and noticed a million, maybe even a trillion, birds. I fought the urge to feel like we needed to bar the windows and doors like we were in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds. Thankfully, Aaron and Mom convinced me that we were safe.

Palm Trees

When we moved to Arizona almost 7 years ago, I was amazed at the palm trees and cactus! I told myself that I should never get used to it, and I don't think I ever did. One of the most fun discoveries was when Aaron and I noticed the "palm tree" cell phone towers. The first time I saw one I was driving alone. When I got home, I told Aaron about the strangest looking palm tree, "It has boxes on it, like speakers. I wonder if they are tornado sirens, but we don't need warning sirens here." I couldn't wait to show him, and it became a game to us to find them everywhere we went.

By the way, yep, we're moved into our rental house, and we are trying desperately to adjust to this new life. Moving half way across the country, me quitting my job of 8 years, moving into a rental house (way different than owning a home!), having a baby on the way, Aaron's new job...we're feeling quite overwhelmed at times.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Farm Shoes

This is what happens when...
Hayley packs Aaron clothing to last a couple of weeks while they wait to move into a place to call home, and she forgets to pack Aaron "farm" shoes, so Aaron has to beg Hayley's brother to loan him some "farm" shoes, but the shoe laces in the shoes Nicholas has to loan Aaron have been chewed to smithereens by his two cats, so Hayley feels badly about it and pulls the shoe laces from her "farm" shoes to give to Aaron, and then she has no shoe laces in her "farm" shoes to wear on walks and other farm adventures, and she really doesn't want to have to buy shoestrings (that would be too normal), so they resort to taping them on her feet.
It actually works quite well in a pinch!


My last day at school was Friday, October 9. Saturday and Sunday were spent packing, and then Aaron got the truck Monday. We loaded all day Monday and Tuesday. Aaron's dad took off in the big truck Wednesday morning, and we stayed behind to load another trailer and clean the house/touch up paint, etc... Aaron and I left Wednesday afternoon (10/14 ~ goodbye Arizona). We drove until late, spent the night somewhere in New Mexico, and drove all day Thursday. We got to my grandparents late Thursday - just in time to eat Grandma's yummy stew and cornbread! We spent most of Friday unloading the truck and trailers into a huge storage unit in OKC, returning the truck and trailers, and crashing at my grandparents' house again. Saturday, Aaron and Grandpa took Aaron's dad to the airport, and we drove to Fairview where my parents live.
We have been relaxing and hanging out at my parents' farm since. We did find a rental in Edmond that we will be able to move into next week. My cousin, Kourt, helped me find a doctor, and I have my first appointment scheduled.

(The photo is on one of our many walks on the farm.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Baby Afghan Story

I was finally allowed to tell my students that I wouldn't be returning after fall break on Wednesday, October 7. In 3rd hour I have a sweet student named Kamry. Here is how the story goes:

I told the class I wouldn't be returning.
Kamry: "No, that ruins everything!"
Mrs. Abbott gives her a curious look.
Kamry: "I was going to make you a baby blanket."
Mrs. Abbott: "That is really sweet."
Kamry: "I guess I'll just have to mail it to you."
Mrs. Abbott: smile

Thursday (before school):
Kamry runs in my classroom, & she pulls out a small, crocheted yellow square to show me. It was the beginning of my baby blanket. I oohed and ahhed over it.

Friday (beginning of 3rd hour):
Kamry runs in my classroom, & she hands me a gift bag. I open it, and unbelievably, I pull out a completed, lovely, soft-as-can-be baby afghan. I was shocked. She told me that she and her mom and grandma stayed up Thursday night to finish it.

How do you say an appropriate thank you for that kind of generosity, kindness, and out-pouring of love from an 8th grader? I don't think it is possible.

Then...Natasha, another student in the same class, hands me another gift bag, and inside is the tiniest, most precious baby beanie (cap). I gasped again. She had knitted it for me. Once again, how do you say thank you?

This is what I will miss. When the world looks at me in disbelief that I actually prefer junior high to elementary or high school...this is why. They are not all obnoxious, smart-mouthed, lazy kids. Of course, some are...but, some are sweet, thoughtful, gentle, and amazing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Well, I'm officially a housewife! I'm super thrilled, and I can't wait to put all the effort I used to pour into my classroom into housewifery...and soon: motherhood! Here is part of my new list of things to do!

*Homemade cinnamon rolls
*Homemade Bierox (Mom, are you willing to help me?)
*Sew 2 baby quilts (a boy one and a girl one)
*Make yummy soups (Oklahoma has better soup weather than Phoenix.)
*Use our flannel sheets again
*Go on long walks
Yesterday was emotional to say the least. It started out with having to say goodbye to my principal of 6 years. I've never worked for anyone or done any one job for that long. (He got teary, folks, yes.he.did.) It was awkward again with the new teacher in the room, but we played Pulse, a fun game Becca taught me. I didn't cry at all saying goodbye to the students, but I was so touched by the efforts of two young gals. The story of the afghan and baby beanie will come soon. Then after I made it through the short half-day, I went up to the office to sign my keys over, and there they were: the two former students I had prayed would come see me. Seth and Garrett. I told them that if I have a son that turns out half as wonderful as they are, I would consider myself blessed. The two sophomore heart-throb athletes (The first time I saw Seth, he was on ESPN playing in the Little League Championships.) are amazing young fellows. They remembered my birthday last year, and came to see me. So, when they heard I was moving and that I was pregnant, they came to wish me, farewell, and to give me a hard copy of Winnie the Pooh, and two adorable baby outfits. I sobbed. It meant the world to me. Many others showed up, too, and I was deeply touched. Then I had my first baby shower. Such fun, adorable gifts! Then I had to say goodbye to my friends that I had worked with for 6 years. I was so happy when I finally could get in my car and drive off...knowing that emotional ride was over.

In other news: 12 years ago today, Aaron asked me to be his wife. We ate at the Spaghetti Factory and then went ice skating. He proposed on the ice. So clever and so Hayley! I had NO CLUE! He truly surprised me - which was my heart's desire for my whole life. I love surprises! Once again, I didn't sleep that night, and I had more fun the next morning telling my friends! We had an away soccer game, so as my team ate breakfast together I got to make the announcement. So extremely fun - I think my soccer cleats never actually hit the field during the game. Yay for me! I have all sorts of photos I could scan and post, but they are in the depths of a box in the garage right now awaiting a moving van to transport them to Oklahoma.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coming to an End

Today was my last full day of teaching. I have loved it while it lasted, but other than feeling the sadness of leaving a staff full of wonderful people, I'm feeling very excited. I'm not sure if my brain could grade another set of 170 essays.

Today was a bit hard. The teacher who will be taking over my classes started her contract today. This meant she was in my room all day with me and the students. She seems really nice and great, but it was still a bit awkward knowing that these were some of the last few moments I had with my students, and she was there. Thankfully I found out yesterday that she was coming, so Aaron and I hurried and cleaned out my classroom last night. This was nice so I didn't have to try to do that while she was there. It is a good thing I did. Any spare moment was spent showing her the textbooks, the novels, the teacher guides, the copy room, the bathroom, the counseling office, the spirit store, the printer, the faculty handbook, the attendance program on the computer... I could go on and on. Hopefully this will make the transition with the students better, though.

Tomorrow is my last official day. It is a half day with the students, then my super nice school friends are giving me a going-away baby shower in the afternoon. All week long, former students have been showing up to say goodbye. This causes lots of emotion...knowing they still care about me. I heard through the grapevine that a "whole slew of 'em are coming tomorrow"! I'm excited, but I'm bracing myself. There are a few that I hope against hope will show up. I know it is supposedly the teacher's job to influence the students, but there have been a few students that have made quite an impact on me. We'll see if I can possibly make it through the day without crying a bucket full of tears.

Today was also the day I said so long to Chris, my workout buddy. Not only do I hate telling her goodbye, but I just found out she tore her achilles tendon. OUCH! It will take many months for that to heal...Best wishes, Chris.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


October 6, 1996
Thirteen years ago today, Aaron and I became sweethearts. We were pals, buddies, friends for a couple of months prior to that date. After church, he came over to my dorm room for Open House (yes, the door was ajar...), and we watched a missionary video that he liked and wanted me to see. At one point he reached his hand out to tickle me, and I grabbed his hand and didn't let go. For a gal who refused to call boys that was a big deal. He didn't let go either.

Somewhere along the line that afternoon Nicole and Jason mentioned going to the lake to roast hotdogs. Sunday evening grocery shopping is fairly nonexistent in Hillsboro, so we headed over to Ampride (a gas station) for hotdogs, buns, etc... Then the four of us drove out to Marion Lake.

Later that night, Aaron and I went on one of our marathon walks and over by the Tabor College gazebo, Aaron made it clear that he didn't want to be just pals, buddies, friends any longer. We were officially sweethearts.

I don't think I slept that night. I am pretty sure that if I would have been daring enough, I might have climbed on top of the Ad Building and announced it from the rooftop. Or, I might have used shoe polish to write it all over the cafeteria windows. Or, I might have put an announcement in the local newspaper. You see, I had prayed for my future husband since I was in Pioneer Girls in church (6th grade or so), and I was pretty sure Aaron was the one I'd been praying for all along. Turns out, I was right.

He's my forever sweetheart.

P.S. I asked him this afternoon if he remembered what today was. He proceeded to tell me in detail. I love that about him. He doesn't forget the special days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Last season was Castle's debut. I knew immediately upon seeing advertisements that it was a show for me. Writing, mystery, humor. My kind of show. If you haven't seen it, Castle is a crime writer who gets to follow around a cutie pie detective, Beckett. He is using her as his muse in a new crime series he is writing. He is hilarious. I love his sense of humor. I love that he writes. I love his perspective on the crimes. I love how he interacts with Beckett. I love his daughter, Alexis. I tell Aaron every week that someday I want a daughter like her: level-headed, conscientious, responsible, adorable, and trustworthy. Anyway, I giggle through each episode, and last night was no exception - but - it was even better! The episode is called, "The Double Down". He talks about/gets upset about poor grammar. Hysterical! Here is a scene from the beginning of the show. And yes, I did rewind it - or I used "picture go backwards" as Monk would say (another favorite) over and over to get this to be exact.

Background: There is a dead female psychiatrist on a couch with the words, "Your out of time" written on her face.
Dr. Parish (medical examiner): "It looks like a patient lost their patience."
Castle: "Also his command of grammar. Your should be you apostrophe r-e as in you are. It's not even a tough one - not like when to use who or whom."
Beckett: "Do you really think that's the take away here, Castle?"
Castle: "I'm just saying whoever killed her also murdered the English language."
--a little other action takes place, and then...
Beckett: "Her husband calls before 6, and the food's picked up at 6:02. She knew who she was having dinner with."
Castle: "Someone with bad grammar."
--a little later in the squad room, and he is still upset...
Castle: "It's not like you're just leaving yourself a note - you know to buy bread on the way home. You're writing on a person you just murdered. You're trying to make a point - a point you care a great deal about presumably because you just killed someone to make it. So, how do you not make sure that you're using the proper language to make that point?"

I love it! Watch Castle on Monday nights - or - if you are watching Monday Night Football like we do - just DVR it and watch it later. Then you can even fast forward (or "picture go faster" as Monk says) through the commercials.

Monday, September 28, 2009


{Sing it with me, folks, LOUD and PROUD!}
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plains
and the waving wheat, can sure smell sweet
when the wind comes right behind the rain!

Oklahoma, every night my honey lamb and I
will sit alone and talk
and watch a hawk making lazy circles in the sky.

We know we belong to the land
and the land we belong to is grand!
So when we say, "Yip! Ayipioeeay!!"
we're simply sayin'
Oklahoma, OK!

{Yep, it is true. We're moving back to Oklahoma. We know no details except that Aaron starts work on November 1st.}

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Baby Pictures

Back on August 5, 2009, a day of actual misery in the nausea department, there was a bright ray of sunshine. This was the day that Aaron and I got our first glimpse of our baby and got to see his/her heartbeat. It was amazing. I was only 6 weeks pregnant at the time, and it was more than reassuring to see so that I knew that, "Yes, I actually am pregnant, and yes, all the nausea and headaches are worth it."

So although you can't really see much but black and white squiggles and smudges, I promise there is a baby there. The yellow dashed line is measuring the baby. I think they said the baby was approximately the size of a piece of rice at that time. I can tell you that the baby is much bigger now at 13.5 weeks. I go next Wednesday for another check up, and we'll get to hear the heartbeat again.

I realize I'm not the first gal to ever have a baby, but it is MY first baby, and I'm marveling. There are 2 heartbeats inside of me. There is another human in my tummy. That human is our baby - a gift to us from the Lord. That baby goes with me wherever I go. I could go on and on, but if I let myself think about it, I get overwhelmed.

Speaking of overwhelmed, I must make a confession: I have a difficult time reading about what is happening during my pregnancy. When I read that "eye balls are forming" or "today your baby's spine is fusing" or other such wonderments, I kind of have a mini panic attack. I feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel like I need to swallow a whole bottle of prenatal vitamins (don't worry - I WON'T...), or that I need to take a bath in vegetables. So, I sort of avoid reading about it as much as possible and trust that God is taking care of the baby and just using me as the incubator. {I remember having chicken eggs (I think) under the heat lamp in our bathroom while I was growing up... Miraculously, they hatched into chicks. What that has to do with anything, I don't know, but I felt the need to share.}

Anyway, one last comment: Today my 3rd and 4th hours (Evidently most of them have 2nd hour together, and they had discussed this then.) decided I should name the baby Bagel Nosh after a super yummy bagel shop down the road. Then they decided that if Bagel Nosh wasn't an option that I should consider Muffin. 4th hour is also the same class period where I looked up and a student was licking all four of his ink pens. In answer to my astonished, bewildered, grossed out, what-are-you-doing look, he said, "Kiani was trying to steal them. I figured if I licked them, she wouldn't touch them." Yes, I do have control of my class. This all took place before the bell rang to begin. The adventures in teaching 8th graders - never a dull moment, let me tell ya!

Monday, September 21, 2009

13 Weeks

Yesterday was 13 weeks. In my mind this is the end of my first trimester... 12+12+12=36 13+13+13=39
A pregnancy is supposedly 40 weeks, so 39 is more accurate...okay, enough with the mathematics.

Pre-pregnancy, I spent 2+ hours a day at an LA Fitness or out-and-about exercising/working out. Of all my many various hobbies, this is my favorite. I guess I have changed a bit from when Mom picked me up from Mother's Day Out when I was teeny, and I was crying because, "They made me sweat!" Anyway, now the sweating, muscles aching, body challenging workouts are what I crave. If I don't burn over 1,000 calories in a work out I feel that I haven't done enough. I want to be pushed to the max, completely worn out, and feeling like I left it all in the gym when I leave. These 2 people are my workout cohorts. Leigh "Pain-Is-Weakness-Leaving-The-Body" (my trainer) and Chris (my daily workout buddy) are two amazing people. Leigh could get Arnold Schwarzenegger to do "one more rep" and Chris is supportive and helpful and kind. Since I've had to go to the "heartrate under 140" pregnancy category, I haven't been able to work out with Leigh and Chris. I miss them, but because I had to quit training with them, they were the first non-family people who heard about our baby.

Other Information:
*I told the staff at my school last Monday. They were all so sweet about it - tons of emails and well-wishes.
*I told my students on Wednesday. I wasn't sure what to expect from 8th graders, but they were so adorable and funny. Several are just positive that if the baby is a girl that we will name her Rachel. Evidently, that just seems like a name I would choose. :) Some were upset that I kept it a secret from them for so long.
*At this point we don't think we are going to find out the gender of the baby until the birth. The ultimate surprise! I'm just hoping the ultrasound technician doesn't give it away. My doctor has assured me that they can keep secrets!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My First Nursery Rhyme

I have a hidden talent that mostly only my family knows about.
I am a poet. Seriously. I am really good.
For most of my life I have written birthday poems, anniversary poems, and random poems.
I also write songs.
I just know I could be famous.
If you don't believe me, you must hear the lovely songs I write for my dogs or my new nephew.
They are really something else.
One of my favorite poems was one I wrote to teach my students rhyme scheme.
It goes like this:
There once was a girl I knew
Who wore a red shoe.
She stopped on the road
And saw a toad
Who asked if she had some glue.

I know you are amazed. I amaze myself!

So, it was only appropriate that I wrote a little poem for Aaron to give to him when I found out we were having a baby.
It goes like this:
"I don't know
if it is a boy or girl,
but a Little Baby
is going to rock our world."

I figure that is the first stanza. I might just keep adding to the "Nursery Rhyme" as we progress. I'll be sure to keep you updated!

P.S. Surely you know I'm being sarcastic about my amazing ability...
P.P.S Also, I come by this talent naturally seeing as how my mom makes up silly songs/sayings, and my dad actually started the whole singing songs to the dog thing...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We Are Glad, Glad, Glad!

Due Date: March 28, 2010
Photo Taken: July 22, 2009
Today: The 12 week mark!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's FINALLY That Time of Year Again!

"I'm a Sooner born and a Sooner bred
and when I die I'll be a Sooner dead
Rah Oklahoma! Rah Oklahoma!
Rah Oklahoma! OK U"

Let the Saturday football action begin!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Queen Elizabeth

Mom has always called me "Queen Elizabeth".
I'm not sure why.
I just want what I want and when I want it.
Is that too much to ask for? :)

Seriously, I've always known I was royalty.
Several years ago when I was a youth sponsor in Hillsboro, my theme one year for my small group of high school girls was: We are princesses. We discussed the meaning of our Christian royalty, what this means on earth, how to conduct ourselves, etc...
In addition, one of my favorite stories in the Bible is Esther. I've always loved it. When I was a little girl, we had a cassette tape of the story of Esther in our car, and we'd listen to it often. The story has always intrigued me, so when our church announced that the women's ministry would be doing the Beth Moore study on Esther, I signed up immediately. Beth Moore and Esther - who could resist? On page 40 of our study book, Beth writes, "Those of us who know Jesus personally live under divine rule where all us girls get to be princesses." See, I KNEW IT! I am Princess Elizabeth. Only MY KING is THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! The exciting news is that if you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, you, too, are royalty. Our King wore a crown of thorns on earth, but He rose again. Our citizenship isn't here on earth; it is in Heaven where OUR GOD REIGNS!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Matryoshkas on my Shelf

I've always loved nesting dolls. I love how they start big and then get so itty bitty, and just when you think it is too little that they can't possibly fit another inside, you indeed can - where the ittiest bittiest one resides, safe and sound tucked away. My collection is very new - starting with Christmas 2008.

The top: The little one was purchased at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show last March. The middle one is from one of my favorite stores in the world: Blissful Living (part of Domestic Bliss) in Mesa, AZ. The salt and pepper shakers were a gift from Aaron, and he purchased them at another one of my most favorite stores: Anthropologie.

The middle: I made these one day the week before Christmas 2008 as I relished my time off from school and while I watched Shirley Temple in The Little Princess. I made them from the book Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle by Tilda, and I purchased the fabric and ribbon online from England. I love the pink and red together.

The bottom: The Asian one is from Pier 1. I don't love this one quite as much as the rest, but my idea is that someday this will be the set I let my children play with... The middle is a gift from Aaron's parents. The pieces are actually measuring cups - so neatO! They were also purchased from Anthropologie. The blank ones were purchased online. I have zero artistic painting ability, but someday I hope to get inspired to paint them into something special! (Maybe my favorite OU players or my favorite figure skaters or maybe just solid colors with googly eyes - which is more my level of artistry)

Just looking at these makes me happy. Opening them up makes me even happier. If you come see me, and if you promise to be super careful, I might just let you open them all up and play with them, too! I'm hoping that the next time I visit Nicholas - if I promise to be super good and super careful - he will let me open and play with his OU Sooners set.

Note: The lovely shelf was made by my father-in-law. It works perfectly to house this collection.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy birthday to my dad who loves
his family
OU Sooners
Joe's BBQ
the farm
Mexican food
old Western movies
organ music
Car Talk with Click and Clack on NPR

I wish I could have flown to Oklahoma to spend the weekend with him.
Love you, Dad!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I always say that playing soccer in college was one of the three best decisions I have ever made. I believe that for many reasons. Here are a few in no particular order.
#1) I made terrific, wonderful friends.
#2) It started my love of running.
#3) It renewed my love of team sports.
#4) We had more fun than should be allowed.
#5) I love soccer uniforms...mostly the shin guards and long socks.
#6) If we played at night, we got to play on the football field with lights!
#7) We went from awful to good (maybe just decent...Tonya, what do you think?).
#8) I love the fall weather.
#9) The memories of the games, practices, & overall experience is too great for words.
#10)We got to take fun photos like this one. (grin) Notice the flat ball.
#11)Tonya and I were the first two Tabor women to letter 4 years in the sport of soccer.
#12)We got to go tubing at Marion Lake with our team/coaches.

I wish I could sit for hours and just write out all the memories that come to mind, but I will settle for typing just a few.
**I love that the first soccer game I ever saw was the first game I played in. I didn't even know all the rules. In fact I got a yellow card for catching the ball when I was guarding the post. I thought if you were in the goal box, you could touch the ball. Oops. In my mind that yellow card is still about the size of a poster board.
**I still laugh out loud when I remember Amy Greb running with a side ache hunched over. She was so awesome that she wouldn't quit.
**Our team would show up with our hair in pony tails with matching ribbons while the other teams were belching and/or spitting on the field. It totally grossed me out. I love how girlie our team was.
**I love the feeling of scoring goals. I didn't score many, and they were hard to come by, but I loved it.
**I loved my position - right midfield. Midfielders run our hearts out, and I loved it.
**I love that Coach Brubacher and his family would run with us during conditioning, and they'd also show up to scrimmage us.
**I love that Aaron begged my coach to sell him my old jersey after our last season. I still have it and love it. #5

I am so GLAD that I took the risk and tried something new. Thank you, Tonya, for asking me to try a new sport that first week at Tabor.
Go Bluejays!

P.S. I think I might go put on some shin guards and soccer socks just for the fun of it.

Photo: Miriam Winslow, Tonya Raugust, Hayley Kusch, Jill Sammer - maiden names...1996...Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas

Planning & Grading

I have an issue with having things just the way I want them.
If it doesn't meet my requirements, I try to fix it or change it or finagle it until it does.
Example: My planning/grade book
The first year I taught at Mesquite Junior High, the previous teacher had left 2 plan books. They were old, but never used, and they were perfect! It had everything I require in a lesson planning book, and nothing I don't. I was able to squeeze two years in each planning book getting me through the first 4 years at MJHS, but then last year, I had a dilemma. I needed another "perfect" plan book. Yes, I have shopped teacher supply stores, office supply stores (including my favorite Mardel), shopped online, etc... Nothing. So, I made a photocopy of one of the pages in my "perfect" plan books, whited things out, and decided to make my own. Then I had this terrific idea to consolidate my lesson plan book with my grade book. Yes, I do realize that I am one of maybe two teachers left in the world who still write their grades by hand before entering them into the computer. That is another one of my issues...I want to be prepared just in case something happens to the computer software program housing all 170 of my students' many grades. Which if you are familiar with my school district, you might know that I have good reason to fear. Anyway, my newly created book worked superbly. So much so, that I made another this year. And no one can say I'm not green. Not only do I recycle here at home, I recycle at school through our recycling program and by using the backs of copy paper for more assignments, etc... This year, my lesson plan book/grade book is also green. I used paper sacks from items we purchased on our recent trip to Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The front is from Yokes Fresh Market, and the back is from Fred Meyer. I loved the stores, I loved the trip, and I thought it would be a delightful way to remember fun times when I am not doing such fun things...such as grading and planning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

As Far As the NFL Goes...

We are Denver Broncos fans. Broncos pillowcases, Elway jerseys, & Denver bumper stickers. Aaron has loved the Broncos his whole life, and when we got married he agreed to be a Sooner fan if I agreed to be a Broncos fan. Seeing as how I could not have cared less at the time about the NFL, that was a done deal. The deal has stuck. Living out towards the west coast means we cross our fingers every week that we'll get to see a televised Broncos game. When we do, Aaron is screaming and hollering through the entire game.

So, although I am a Broncos fan, that doesn't mean I don't have other teams I root for. For instance, who could live in Phoenix and not love the Arizona Cardinals with Kurt Warner? What an outstanding role model he is!

Furthermore, for the last couple of seasons, I have kept my eye on the Minnesota Vikings, and as long as they aren't playing the Broncos, I cheer for them. I mean, come on, ADRIAN PETERSON! He is after all the best running back in the history of the world. (Don't argue with me - I will win.) He makes me proud when I watch him. Then, with this latest draft, the Vikings picked up another former OU Sooner: Phil Loadholt! I'm so happy! But then...drumroll...with yesterday's news, I am overjoyed! Brett Favre!!! No way! So, you better believe I will be makin' some noise for the Vikings this season! In fact, Aaron and I are hoping to see the Vikings play the Cardinals in Glendale this year. Two outstanding quarterbacks leading the way. (And maybe a couple of OU players will actually win a game in Arizona...)

P.S. I just wish the Broncos could find a decent quarterback. It would make life with Aaron a bit easier! (grin)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make Lemonade in a Vase

First Day of School...
What a day - the beginning of my 8th year of teaching.
I love English. I love 8th graders. I love Mesquite Junior High.
The first day is always so weird...
I miss last year's students, but I look forward to learning to love these new students.
I wonder what is in store for us this year as I spend 5 days a week with these teenagers - teaching writing, reading, poetry, and grammar.

Every year, Aaron spoils me on the first day of school with a bouquet of flowers.
I secretly wonder every year if he will do it again.
I never say anything ahead of time.
He never forgets.
This year, the bouquet is called, "Make Lemonade in a Vase". I love it.
A lemon even rests in the bottom of the vase.

Friday, July 31, 2009

From Basketball Camp to Sonic

First, thank you for all the sweet emails and comments on our sadness this week. We are gradually feeling better.

So, I was thinking this morning of some fond summer memories. Back around my middle school years, a week each summer was spent at Lindsay Basketball Camp with my cousin, Kourtney. {She was like a sister to me, and we'd spend hours chatting in Grandma Belle's bathroom and tickling each others' arms or backs while counting to 100 then switching.} Anyway, at that time Kourt and I played 6 on 6 basketball at our schools, and we both played defense only. You couldn't convince us to choose other partners for the one-on-one tournaments at camp (which were really 2-on-2), though, so I ended up playing offense most of the time. We might not have been the best players, but we had more heart than anyone there and made it to the finals against Sarah and Megan (from somewhere in the panhandle, I believe) who were amazingly great. It would be lovely to say we defeated them soundly, but I believe that we lost. Another fun memory from basketball camp is that Aunt Joyce would spoil us with Ocean Waters from Sonic. Ocean Waters (& Cherry Limeades) were the only drinks for me from Sonic until recently, which brings me to Lemon Berry Slushes & a slight change of subject.

Back at the end of May, I went home to Oklahoma, and Mom treated me to a Lemon Berry Slush. I love LEMON, and how could I not love the strawberry chunks that get stuck in the straw?! Aaron and I had never been to a Sonic in AZ. There are just too many other options. So a month or so passed, and then one Saturday afternoon we were hot (imagine that in Phoenix in the summer), and it was around half-price happy hour time, so Aaron and I headed to Sonic for Lemon Berry Slushes. He fell in love, too. My suggestion is this: go to Sonic today between 2 and 4 for a large Lemon Berry Slush. {A Route 44 seems to be too big for me to finish, but a medium is too small.} You'll thank me.

By the way, Aaron had only been to a Sonic in Fairview, OK until this summer. Amazing, huh!?!

Note: This blog is not sponsored by Sonic, although I wish it were.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Glad Game is not always easy...

I'm having a hard time being glad right now...
Yesterday, Meadow passed away.
For anyone who knows us, Fletcher and Meadow are our hearts covered in fur.
They are our welcoming home committee. Our friends.
The cause of much of our laughter.
We wanted to treat those friends to a romp in the cooler air of Prescott.
It proved to be too much for Meadow.
We will miss her forever.
So, for Pollyanna's sake (and mine), I will loudly pronounce that I am so GLAD that I got to be Meadow's mom.
Keep lickin', Happy Feet, I love you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Glad Game

Why The Glad Game?
Mom fell in love with the name Hayley from Hayley Mills. Dad loved it, & it became my name. I love all things Hayley Mills, including Pollyanna & her "Glad Game".

I thought it was time to begin a blog to communicate and document the goings-on in our household & lives. Here we go!