Sunday, May 31, 2009

6 years!

May 31, of the happiest days of my entire life...
I married my best friend.

I'm so thankful that I did.
I love you so much and praise God for our marriage. These have been the most wonderful 6 years of my entire life.
Here's to the next 50!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Finally paying off

3 years, 3 months, 5 days old and she is finally earning her keep...

and she was SO proud of her work!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Enjoy your 30's, they're great! See you in 20 days!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I have had a lot of trouble sitting down the past few days.

This is the reason why:
We are owners of the EA Sports Active for the Wii. And it is helping prove that I am not in the shape that I thought I was in.

It's sad.It gives a really, REALLY good workout.

It has a 30-day workout challenge that I am participating in right now. I'm on day 4 and been feeling muscles that I didn't even know existed.

We don't have the Wii Fit, but I have talked to people that do and they have said that the Active gives a better workout.

I don't know about that, I just know that when I try to put a t-shirt on I nearly start crying because my muscles are screaming at me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Developmentally appropriate...I think

So, Nora doesn't really like to learn from me or Matthew.

Our family would never make it in the Homeschooling world. Nora would end up hating me and I would end up disowning her. Thank God for the public/private school systems!

It's funny, I'm a teacher, I stay at home with my kids. People sometimes assume that I spend 3 hours a day in "study" with my children.

Um, I don't. We play a lot.

Oh sure, I'll try and break out some schooling every now and then because the guilt has gotten to me. What usually happens though is that I spend 15 minutes getting all the stuff out, arranged, pumping Nora up for the fun we are about to have and then, either Elyn destroys it or Nora loses interest in about 2 seconds.

Then I remember we are paying good money for her to go to Mother's Day Out two days a week next year and I get out the tea set and we have a party.

I have posted before about how I was worried about how she didn't know her colors...she does now.

I get nervous because she can only identify 2 or 3 letters of the alphabet...then I remember she is 3.

She can count to 20, but skips 15 and 16. Maybe subconsciously she realizes these are going to be, potentially, difficult years of her life and she is already trying to avoid them.

Whenever she "reads" something and points to the letters, she ALWAYS says, "N. O. R. A". So, yeah, she can spell her name, but she thinks EVERYTHING is spelled N.O.R.A.

Speaking of reading, the girl would lay in her bed for HOURS looking at books, so I feel as if I have been successful in that area of her education.

As far as coloring and drawing goes, she is only mildly interested in those. She recently discovered that by staying "in the lines" of a picture she is coloring, she will get a ton of praise from me and Matthew. (And by "in the lines", I mean, NEAR the lines).

She likes to write. She loves to make lists and write letters to people. HOWEVER, if I attempt to correct her finger placement on the pen/crayon/pencil, she gets frustrated with me and insists she can do it herself. Also, if I try to teach her how to draw a letter or a picture, I am met with the same stubborn child.

It's a wonder I haven't given up all together.

Today Matthew and the girls were playing in the garage. Nora ran inside to tell me to come and look at her picture:
I was SO excited to see her picture of a head on two legs! (By the way, it's a picture of me).

I, being the teacher I am, immediately started going through my professional books to find out if she was on track developmentally or, as I feared, developmentally behind.

Here is what I found:

...The next stage is usually referred to as the Preschematic Stage, where
children make their first representational attempts. This stage usually
starts at about four years of age and lasts until around seven. Here
children draw the typical head-feet representation of a person and begin to draw
a number of other objects in their environment with which they have had
contact. (from Creative and Mental Growth)
Well, hallelujah! It looks like she might be on track. (She turned 3 in February.)

I also went to the Internet and found this site that reaffirmed what my outdated college textbook told me.

I rarely get to brag about "what Nora knows", I'm happy to have a reason today.

And thank you for taking a few minutes to humor a proud mom.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Menu Plan Monday

Here it is...for the next two weeks:

Monday (25th)-carry over from last menu-Italian Pasta Bake, lima beans, salad (for lunch, we are having a picnic for dinner)

Tuesday (26th)-tostados, southwestern style rice, mandarin oranges

Wednesday (27th)-tuna sandwiches, apple slices, chips

Thursday (28th)-County-Style Pork Loin, green beans with almonds, egg noodles

Friday (29th)-Baked Tilapia with brown butter, peas, baked potatoes

Saturday (30th)-taking food to friends (zesty chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, mexicorn, brownies), DATE NIGHT

Sunday (31st)- sandwiches (lunch), Bible Study (dinner)

Monday-Thursday-the girls and I are going to Texas so Matthew is on his own (leftovers, meatball subs, frozen pizza-he won't starve)

Friday (5th)-hamburgers, tator tots, grilled corn on the cob

Saturday (6th)-crispy chicken cutlets with creamy romaine salad, broccoli

Sunday (7th)-leftovers/Bible Study

Friday, May 22, 2009


I know that there are a lot of people out there that dress their kids in really cute p.j.s. Each season, they go and get new pajamas and dress their kids up really cute at night.

We're not those people.

Oh, sure, for special occasions, I will get the girls new pajamas (Christmas, Easter, I got cute Valentine's Day pj's this year) but for the rest of the year, it's usually t-shirts or onesies.

It's hard for me to justify spending over $10 on pajamas that they SLEEP in.

When Nora's friend, Gibson, came to spend the night with she wore a Princess nightgown to sleep in. Nora wore a red t-shirt.

Since that weekend, Nora has constantly, CONSTANTLY, asked for a Princess "lightdown".

And I have had NO IDEA what she has been talking about. When I pull out her t-shirt for bedtime, she has started crying saying it's not her "favorite" and wants a "lightdown"-like Gibson.

Finally, I realized what she was talking about and told her that the next time we went to the store we would see if they had one. That was about 3 days ago and she has reminded me every single day since.

At one point she even said, "Maybe Michael and Gibson could get me one?" The kid is desperate for a nightgown!

Well, today was the day. Nora gets to go to sleep tonight feeling like a princess in her very own Tinkerbell "lightdown".
A nightgown that cost $13.

I guess it takes money to be a princess (or fairy).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love/Hate problem

Yummy! Doesn't that look good? This was our dinner tonight.

I love when we get to start grilling out! We have a charcoal grill, which is a bit high-maintenance, but gives really good flavor. Each summer we say we need a gas grill, but we've never gotten one. I have decided that it is high time for me to start sharing in the grilling process. (I've discovered it's not that hard.)

As much as I love grilling, I HATE the flies! HATE. THE. FLIES.

I feel like I fight the fly battle all summer long. Yelling at everyone to "SHUT THE DOOR, YOU'RE LETTING FLIES IN" to keeping a tally of how many I kill in a day.

We hung a bag of water above our backdoor, hoping that will help some. But what other tricks do you have for keeping the flies to a minimum?
Eating on our patio is also a favorite of mine. However, I feel like I am doing an arm workout the entire time we are eating trying to keep the flies off of our food. Any ideas for that?
Help me love my outdoor eating! And help me keep the flies OUT of my house.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


If you missed out on Fox's Glee last night, here is a snippet. I loved it and cannot wait for the Fall, when it returns!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At least I'll have it for the next 10 years...

Matthew and I are thinking of taking a trip at the end of the summer that requires a passport (just thinking, not committed to it...just thinking).

We both have passports but haven't used them since our honeymoon.

I know mine is no good anymore because I no longer go by my maiden name. Nope, I switched to his (although my sister still calls me Dallas Hill occasionally). And my passport also expired last year.

We know his is no good because it expired a while back (6 years ago).

Since we are THINKING about taking this trip, we figured now would be as good a time as any to renew our passports.

What goes into renewing a passport, you might ask? Well, you have to fill out a form, show legal documentation that your name has officially been changed, send a check, and get a new picture taken.

I was kind of disappointed about getting a new picture. I was perfectly happy with my old one. I wanted to be forever 21 (I totally understand why the brains behind the store chose that name) in the eyes of everyone who scanned my passport.

Apparently, the people who scan my passport want to see me at 32.

We went to Walgreens tonight to get our passport picture taken. It was really high-tech. The lady pulled out her $50.00 digital camera and pulled down a projector screen.

High tech.

I had already been practicing smiles, lowering my chin to just the right angle, flipping my hair to give it just the right amount of volume in the mirror all afternoon. I was ready to be documented.

I (without the lady photographing me really noticing) gave my hair one last shake and positioned it in the most flattering way to frame my face, while angling my chin down just enough to make my face thinner.

I flashed my best "million-dollar" smile while silently reprimanding myself for not using a little Vaseline on my teeth for a brilliant shine.

I was set and ready to go. Nigel Barker could not have asked for a better model.

Then she started giving me commands..."Put your hair behind your ears-THEY HAVE TO SEE YOUR EARS." "You have to smile without showing your teeth. It's one of their rules. They want to see you in your most 'natural form'." "Oh, and lift your chin up, we need to see your neck too."

Well, let me tell you what is the most awkward smile for me. The "no-teeth smile". I HATE the no-teeth smile. My step-father is a professional photographer and when he requests that smile from me, I rebel and say absolutely not. Do you know why? Because I look like I have just heard a secret and can't tell it. It's pitiful how bad the no-teeth smile looks on me.

I tried to explain this and say that my photo would not look "natural" at all. And did she realize how flat my hair was going to be with me sticking it behind my ears? And my face was going to look super-round if she didn't let me lower my chin?

But, she ignored me and insisted that I follow her stipulations.

So I did. And this is what my new passport photo looks like:
I know your laughing. It's horrific. Like the necklace? I was probably so distraught with throwing my hair behind my ears and concentrating so hard on NOT showing teeth that I tucked half of my necklace out of sight. Horrifying.

I think the people scanning my passport at security stops will have to do a double take to make sure it really is me.

Because I'll show them my teeth.

I like...but...

  • I like folding laundry, but don't like putting it away
  • I like it when my girls snuggle up to me if they are crying, but don't like it when they are sad
  • I like to be tan, but don't like to lay out
  • I like the beach, but don't like the ocean
  • I like nuts in my salads, but don't like nuts in my desserts
  • I like fruit, but don't like fruit pies
  • I like mornings, but don't like getting out of bed
  • I like running, but don't like starting the run
  • I like to sew, but don't like cutting the fabric
  • I like to have a lit house, but don't like to use overhead lighting
  • I like to travel, but don't like to pack

What are some of your "I like...but...". We're all a little crazy, so it's okay.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Her first year in school

Here Nora is on her first day of Mother's Day Out, back in August. I was so excited for her to go to school! She was mostly excited about her lunchbox.

Here she is again, on the first day, just having met her teachers, Mrs. Tricia and Mrs. Angie.

And here she is today, the last day of Mother's Day Out for this year. Her favorite friend at school was Ally. I really hope they get to be in the same class together next year!

And her last day with Mrs. Angie and Mrs. Tricia. They have been fabulous!
I have loved Nora's Mother's Day Out program this year and so has she. She never complained about going and looked forward to our Monday's.

It was nice to spend time alone with Elyn each Monday, but we always looked forward to picking Nora up.

Next year, she will get to go two days a week and Elyn will go one day (what will I do with a whole day all to myself?).

Nora has really grown this year and has learned so many different things. It makes me sad to think that she only has two more years before she goes to school "full-time" and thankful that I have had the opportunity to spend this time at home with her.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some things...

I have begun my summer reading. You all left some great titles/ideas and I am excited about tackling the list.

I went Thursday to the library with my list of books. Some of the books are not found at my library, some are already checked out (and I found out that if I want to reserve it, I have to pay 50 cents! I think this is ridiculous-does anybody else have to do this?), and some were waiting on the shelves for me to read them.

I got these three:
I have already started The Glass Castle and am enjoying it so far. I read Running with Scissors last summer and this is reminding me of that book some. The Glass Castle is not as dark, but I find myself making comparisons early on.

I'll let you ALL know my review of the books.
Matthew and I went to see Fiddler on the Roof Friday night. It is Topol's Farewell Tour. When he first walked out on stage, the crowd went crazy. I was a little bit surprised. But, considering how long he has played the role of Tevye, I understood. This website gives a little info on him. It's one of my favorite musicals and he was amazing.

And finally, check out this forecast...
It has been raining for the past 3 weeks. This forecast is absolutely amazing to me! I cannot wait to spend the week outside, soaking up some sun and enjoying our yard!
I hope you all have a great week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day

Now, here it is...finally, I can quit worrying about posting about Mother's Day. (My favorite part of my blog is the scrapbook that it is. Since I do an awful job writing in baby books, this takes the place of that. When I don't post about certain events, I am sad when I go back to the archives and realize I don't have documentation of it.)

Can you hear it...*GULP*, swallowing my pride, and showing the World Wide Web this picture. It's not the worst picture I could show you, but considering my face is still "nighttime puffy" and my hair is hanging in wet strings around my face, it's not the best.
This is me and my gift...a house. When I took the roof off, it was filled with other goodies-a bucket and shovel from Nora, a boomarang from Elyn, a new book, a pedi gift certificate and two random pieces of wood. I asked Matthew what those pieces of wood were (still wondering why my gifts were put in a house he made). He told me that the pieces of wood were supposed to be attached to the roof-they were a fiddle. He got me Fiddler on the Roof tickets!!!! How creative is my husband?

Me and my family

My sweet oldest daughter...what a blessing!

She's also quite the lady-ha ha ha!

My mischievous baby girl...another blessing!

I love this picture because it appears like she doesn't want to leave my side, which she didn't-she wanted to be right next to me. But, what I really love is that she is being "typical Elyn" and picking the petals off of the flower and throwing it all over the lobby of church.

Sunday morning, we drove to Fort Smith to attend church with Matthew's mom and grandma. His sister, Julia, and her family also were there. Here is Julia with Noah on her first Mother's Day. (They passed out carnations to all the moms at church)

Noah looks pretty comfortable here, huh? The best one of the cousins.

After church, we went back to Matthew's grandma's house for lunch. While we were waiting for the food to get done, I showed Brian how to use the Baby Bjorn. Noah was eating, so he couldn't do the demo...we used Elyn instead. This picture is so funny! Elyn looks like she is saying bad things to me in her head...I guess this is the face I will see when she is 16.

Gram and her grandchildren.

Matthew's grandma and my girls. They insisted on helping open her gifts.

Gram opening her gift from all of her kids/kids-in-law/grandkids. We are taking her to the beach for a family vacation! Only 35 more days!

It was a fabulous Mother's Day! I am so thankful for my own mom...I pray that I show my girls the kind of love she has shown me and my sister through the years-I love you mom!
I am also thankful for my mother-in-law...thank you for raising such a wonderful son. He is the greatest blessing in my life!
I am of course thankful to carry the title "Mom". It has been my pleasure and my great honor to be a mom to Nora and Elyn. This is such a hard job and such a wonderful job. I am, daily, amazed that they are mine. It's still so hard to believe! I love them both so much.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let's review...

Congratulations, you weigh 117 pounds. That is TINY! I'm impressed.
You should be so proud, look how far you have come. I cannot believe it!

And Tara/Taara, you came a long way too! I really thought you would win. I mean, you were unstoppable this season. You won TWELVE challenges and NEVER went below the yellow line. I bet you are sad today. But, with your new body...

I bet you start modeling and make $250,000. You look beautiful...and happy.

And Kristin, I shed a tear or two when I saw your current weight. GOOD FOR YOU! You were my favorite, all season! You have such a good attitude and I loved your accent. Keep it up girl!
Okay, so last nights' finale was a tad long (really, 3 hours, was that necessary?). I missed seeing the final four at home, getting ready for the finale. But, instead we got to see the two random girls running on the treadmill-I could have done without that too.

Overall, I loved the show. I CANNOT believe Jerry won the 100,000 dollars. And he did it AT HOME. Loved that!

I fast forwarded through Joelle. I cannot stand to hear her talk! She makes absolutely NO SENSE at all. I really can't hear her. But, she did lose 80 pounds, so good for her. And Carla, bless her heart for getting a partner like Joelle, really did a great job on her own.

David...oh David, you lost 10% of your body weight. TEN PERCENT! And Daniel, the largest player ever lost over 30%!!!!!!! How awesome! AND he said that he still has a lot of weight to lose. How can they be partners? Obviously one of them was motivated and one wasn't. Do you think David felt bad last night? Or motivated?

And let's talk for a minute about Allison Sweeney's dress....FABULOUS! I want one in every color! She has the greatest stylist!

Mike and Ron looked AWESOME. I think Max (the brother) should be on the new season, wouldn't that be great!

Nicole and Damien, love that couple. She is so fit and so pretty. I'm happy she gets to wear a size 8 wedding dress.

Sione and Filipe danced for us one last time and it was GREAT!

Did you feel bad for Aubrey? I did. I don't think she has lost any weight since she went home. Poor girl. I mean, she has 5 kids...that must be so hard to work out. Mandi looked great though.

And finally, the rhyming cousins, Blaine and Dane. They have been busy lately, 1/2 marathon, full marathon, and 1/2 ironman. Impressed!

I imagine it will be hard to maintain these new weights now that life will go back to normal for them. I really hope though that none of them got back to the "before" image! They all are inspirations!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

...and it's FREE!

Okay, it might be Father's Day before I actually write a post about Mother's Day...I should have done it Sunday, but I gave myself the gift of a 9:30pm bedtime, and didn't have the energy.

Okay, so I have mentioned once or three hundred times that my metabolism has STOPPED. Completely quit. Do you remember when I ran a 1/2 marathon? Yeah, it was in December. Well, I started training for that bad boy in August. From August to December I lost approximately 1 pound.

Now, I know you are all going to tell me "muscle weighs more than fat", blah, blah, blah. I understand that. What I didn't understand was how none of my clothes fit differently.

When I trained for my first 1/2 marathon, I was 25. I lost about 15 pounds during that training. It was heaven.

I totally expected those results this time too. I was disappointed, let me tell you!

I think the 3,000-4,000 calories a day I was consuming wasn't helping matters much either.

Oh, I love good food. Okay, so it wasn't 3-4 thousand calories, but it was definitely more than I should have been eating.

Now, before I get all these comments about how good I look and how I don't need to lose a single pound, let me finish.

I KNOW I will never get back to the weight I was before I had my babies AND even if I did, my body is so different. I'm okay with that, I love that I was able to carry my babies and would rather have 200 body changes than not have my girls.

But, come on, what girl doesn't like to see the number dwindle on the scale and have her jeans feel a little baggy? Or reach to the back of the closet to wear the "before" clothes because the "now" ones are too big?

Easter weekend, I was trying on a black skirt. A black skirt that I wore in September. A skirt, that when I tried it on Easter weekend, was a little tight. Grrrrrrrrr! At the moment that I discovered it was tight, I hated every single piece of clothing in my closet (you know you've been there too).

And I decided to do something about it.

I went to this website and signed up. I've done Weight Watcher online before, so I was familiar with the setup...but this was FREE!

And guess what, I have lost THREE POUNDS! Yahooooooooooo!

No big deal to some, but I ran 13.1 miles and lost ONE pound. I've been doing this since April 11 and have lost 3. Don't think I have given up exercise completely because I have still been running...just doing both has proven to be more effective.

And guess what, I get to eat WHAT I WANT...just not 6 servings of everything.

Slow and steady wins the race, right? And it has been SLOW, but also STEADY.

If you are looking to lose a few pounds, try this out! If you're really brave, you can find out your BMI and if you are considered a "healthy weight" "slightly overweight" "moderately overweight" or "obese".

Good times reading the description of your body.

Break out the swimsuits and the confidence to wear one.

Oh, and the finale of the Biggest Loser is tonight...I think that it is between Mike and Tara (or Tarra-as Jillian calls her). I bet if they would have found this website, they would not be competing for $250,000 right now.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

So much to catch up on...I feel like I have been living in constant "fast-forward" for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Today is the first day that has felt normal to me. I am ready to catch up on so many things...first thing, our menu for the next two weeks:

Monday-Sloppy Joes/tator tots/apple slices

Tuesday-Baked Potatoes/green beans

Wednesday-Honey chicken skewers with grilled corn salad

Thursday-Easy Beef Stroganoff/broccoli

Friday-DATE NIGHT,out to eat, for the adults/chicken nuggets/mac and cheese/peas-for the girls

Saturday-Grilled Garlic Chicken/roasted zucchini/roasted potatoes


Monday-Barbecue chicken sandwiches/chips

Tuesday-Salmon with potatoes and mushrooms/green beans

Wednesday-Poppyseed Chicken/broccoli

Thursday-Italian Pasta Bake/lima beans/salad

Friday-Homemade pizza/kernal corn

Saturday-French toast/bacon/fruit


My recipes are, again, full of Real Simple ones. I just LOVE them so much!

Stay tuned (for those that care) for posts about my dad's visit and Mother's Day. Happy eating!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Have you heard the news?

No, you haven't heard?

Well, click here to find out!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

so that she will know why she hates tight places...

When Elyn turned 16 months old, her pacis started living in her bed. She only gets "the gold" when she is napping or it's night time. I don't know why "16 months", it's what we did with Nora and, although I know I will never treat them the exact same, I try to keep it equal when I have that power.

Elyn knows the drill...I go in to get her and greet her with all kinds of love-"Good morning baby girl! Did you sleep good? You sure look happy!"-, I pick her up, and then we make an act of saying "bye-bye" to paci while Elyn throws it back into her crib.

Sometimes her aim is pretty good and other times it stinks. And by "stinks", the paci falls on the floor behind the crib. When that happens, I let it lie until we need it again.

My little Elyn is already figuring out how things work though. She knows that if she throws the paci on top of one of her blankets, then she can go back in her room later and pull the blanket towards her, giving her easy access to her paci. She also knows that if she drops it close to the edge of the mattress, she can put her little arm in later and grab it. She LOVES her paci!

I've seen how her mind works, and quite frankly, it's scary. How can she figure those things out at 19 months of age? Sooooooo, I usually re-deposit the paci in the middle of the crib, not on top of a blankets.

This morning, when we were going through our "good morning" ritual, she threw her paci and it fell on the floor, on the back side of the crib. I left it thinking I would go back later and get it.

About an hour later, I am in the kitchen cleaning up from breakfast when I hear Elyn crying.

Now, hearing Elyn crying is not an unusual thing. She has big sister who really likes to antagonize her and take toys out of her hands. I can usually tell when she is giving me the "I DON'T LIKE NORA AND HER SASSINESS" cry.

This cry, however, was a blood curdling scream.

I dropped what I was doing and followed the cry into her bedroom.

I could not find her ANYWHERE and I was starting to panick. I opened the closet door, thinking she had shut herself in and couldn't get Elyn.

I looked behind the recliner in her room, thinking she was trapped behind Elyn.

I am getting panicky because she is crying so hard and I don't see her.

Then, I understand what has happened...she has gone after her paci.

She was trapped underneath her crib. And she could not get out.

I have NO IDEA how she got under the crib. The space is not that large. (Her sister could have never made it with her large head size, so that's probably why I didn't think it was possible.)

I duck down and peer under the crib, and there she is, wild-eyed, screaming, and clutching her paci-the treasure.

I moved the crib and got her out and let her take a few pulls on the beloved paci before we put it back in the bed.

She was so scared and slightly shaking when I finally rescued her. I wanted to cry with her but knew I had to put on a strong face. I kept saying, "You were stuck! You were stuck!" and she kept saying, "tuck. tuck. tuck.". Poor baby.

Her emotions and state-of-mind were not the only things that were injured during the "mission impossible" crawl.

Her poor little back is all scraped up too. Her mattress is lowered down as far as it can go and when she crawled under, the springs tore up her sweet baby flesh. The pictures really don't do it justice:

She is fine, but hopefully she'll never go on another treasure hunt for the paci. Poor baby!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I appreciate you!

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day to my favorite teacher...Mr. Henderson. (Sorry it's one day late, honey)

I know that people think teachers have the "easiest" jobs around. I mean, come on, they get 8 weeks off in the summer, a two-week vacation during the winter, a week off in the spring, several days off over Thanksgiving. The workday is 7am-3pm and you do the same thing year after year after year.

Easiest job on the planet...right?

Wrong! It's not the easiest and definitely not for everyone.

And, in my opinion, I am married to one of the best. And one of the most humble.

Let me tell you a little about why I appreciate him so much.

His work day actually begins about a half an hour before all the other teachers. He does detention each and every morning to earn a little extra money for our family. I'm sure you can imagine that detention is not the "creme de la creme" of students and occasionally I worry about his safety with a hostile student. (I don't need that phone call.) But, he goes, every day without complaint.

He teaches math (gag!) and LOVES it. He really tries to have meaningful conversations and relationships with his students. Which, I cannot imagine trying to do with 8th grade people, but he truly enjoys it.

He also teaches for Harding one night a week. This summer, he is teaching two. Although teaching these classes increases his workload and his time away from home, he does it for the love of teaching and because he really wants those students to learn.

I could not appreciate him more. He allows me to stay at home with our girls, something we both think is extremely important.

As a "retired" teacher, I remember how tiring a day surrounded by students and demands could be. I loved coming home at the end of a day and just collapsing and putting my feet up. That rarely happens for Matthew though. The second he walks in door he usually has two small girls running at him, screaming "DADDY!" and demanding his time and attention. And he NEVER complains about that. (Especially when I collapse on the couch and put my feet up.)

He doesn't just teach 8th grade and classes for Harding though. He also co-teaches a Sunday school class at church. I love sitting in class when he is leading it. At least once, every time he teaches, I learn something and am amazed at his knowledge of the Bible. I am thankful for the Spiritual leader/teacher he is.

So, my favorite teacher, if your students forget to tell you they appreciate you, if you get no gifts this year, if you feel like you are not making a difference...know this-I think you are the best teacher, I love you more than anything, I know that our girls will be so proud of you as they grow up and witness what a fabulous teacher you are...

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Here are some recipes I have tried recently and are super good...enjoy!

Pesto Chicken (from Tanya)
1 rotisserie chicken
1 jar of pesto sauce
1 bag of frozen veggies
brown rice

Put frozen veggies on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Cook in a 225 degree oven for about 30 minutes (until they are thaw and the water is out of them.

While the veggies are cooking, take the meat off the rotisserie chicken and shred.  Put in a bowl and pour the jar of pesto sauce over it.  Put veggies in bowl and stir all together.

Cook brown rice and serve chicken mix over rice.

EASY AND DELICIOUS!  Both of my girls gobbled it up.

Chocolate chip sour cream cake

1 box of butter recipe cake mix
1 small box of chocolate instant pudding
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup of oil (I KNOW, but it's really good)
1/3 cup of water
4 eggs
6 oz. milk chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together except the eggs and chocolate chips.  After ingredients are mixed together, mix in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Then fold in chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and cook on 350 degrees for 1 hour.


Friday, May 01, 2009


*Updated-Sadly, Micah's body has been found. I cannot imagine the grief her family is experiencing right now. Please pray for her parents, brother and his family, her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and her husband. Her husband is in police custody right now as he has confessed to accidentally shooting her. I have known Micah for over 20 years and think she was an outstanding woman. Words fail me...please pray for peace for her loved ones.*

Micah Rine Pate and her family need your prayers RIGHT NOW!

This is an email that I received this morning:

Micah Rine Pate, the
daughter of Dennis and Terri Rine and wife of Thomas Pate, is missing. She
and Thomas live in Bartlett , TN , a suburb of Memphis . A missing persons
report was filed late last night and the police are searching for her. She
went for a walk at 8:00 last night and has not been heard from or seen

If you are a member of Facebook, there is a group you can join called "Praying for Micah Rine Pate".

Please, please, drop to your knees and beseech our Lord on her behalf.

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