March 30, 2009

[ quick one on the way out the door ]

One last quick post before Mom & I head to Seattle tomorrow. I'm getting pretty excited to go...lots to look forward to...lots of things to spend money on. :)
I went to town today to take Samson to the groomer, run errands, and hang out with Jess, Em, Amy, and Delaney. I stopped by Jamie's to pick up some Girl Scout cookies that I bought from Maddie (yum!), went to Wal-Mart, Target, PetSmart, Michael's, Costco, & picked up the JM DVD's. Whew. I had to leave Samson in the car for many of the stops. After I went to Michael's, I was parched, so I stopped by Starbucks for a Caramel Frappachino. From there, I went to pick up the DVD's. I talked to the videographer for about 15 minutes and when I got back into the car, Samson had helped himself to the whipped cream in my drink. I guess he was thirsty too?!
Once I got home, I got a lot done too! 4 loads of laundry, dinner, another round of chicken in the crockpot, and some organization in the craft room. I'll have to post pics when I get back - I'm weirdly excited by the organizing I did!
Tomorrow...if you're lucky, I'll post some pics of us around and about in Seattle - IKEA, U Village, Anthropologie, Sephora, Coach Outlet, Impress, Amuse, Claim Jumpers, Melting Pot, Pike's Place Market, Starbucks, oh my! :)
Why can't spring break come more than once a year?!

March 29, 2009

[ spring break sunday ]

Today turned out to be a great day! I went to church and to lunch with the fam. Then came home and started making chicken in the crockpot. The social committee at school is planning to surprise one of the teachers with a bunch of freezer meals when we get back after Spring Break. Her husband was recently deployed with the National Guard, they just moved into a new house the week before he left, and they have three young kids. I thought freezer meals was a great idea and am so happy to participate. Except for that I don't really cook! :) ha! I did find a good recipe online (googled freezer meal recipes). I'll post it below.

Then, this afternoon, Jessica Fife and the boys came! She's throwing a baby shower for her sister-in-law and asked me to help her with a shower invitation. I did a little research online and found a cute one that I thought I could replicate. She liked it, so we made 22 of them! There is a pocket - she's going to type up the information and make a little tag to put in there. I think they turned out so cute!

Tomorrow I'm heading to town - I have a whole list of errands to run. I'm also planning on getting my passport picture taken. I have got to renew mine before it expires!!!

Then Tuesday - we're off to become Seattleites for a few days!!

Here's the recipe:

Cream Cheese Chicken
1 .7-ounce envelope Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup butter
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 10.75-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 8-ounce package cream cheese

Turn slow cooker on High. Place butter in bottom of slow cooker. When the butter has melted, add one envelope Italian dressing dry mix. Stir into butter until well mixed. Cut chicken breasts into 1" strips. Place in slow cooker and stir to coat with butter and dressing mix. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours. Remove chicken to plate to cool. Add cream of chicken soup and cream cheese. Stir to melt and mix well until smooth and creamy. Remove sauce from slow cooker and allow to cool. Place chicken and sauce into a gallon resealable freezer bag. Label. Freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Heat until piping hot and bubbly. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or hot buttered noodles.

Life List

I've seen this on a few people's blogs or facebook's and thought it would be fun. I'm also killing time waiting for my mom to be ready for church!

I'll bold the ones I've done.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a Praying Mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from shore, of course)

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Been to the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

20. Slept on a train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Tied a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

7 7. Broken a Bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Visited Italy
Huh...lots that I want to do. I thought I've experienced a lot in my life, but apparently not so much according to this list!!

[ spring break day #2 ]

So, yesterday, I didn't get as much done as I hoped.

Instead, I braided most of the morning, then went to Elena Grassl's baby shower, then went to Lind & Ritzville with my Mom & Grandma.

First, We visited my Grandma's brother Melvin, who recently was diagnosed with brain cancer and had surgery to remove part of the tumor. His speech was affected and he still has a hard time coming up with the right words and putting them in the right order.

Then, we went to the Rose Garden Assisted Living Facility in Ritzville to visit my Grandma's sister-in-law Iris and my aunt Kim's mom Freda. They are so funny. They live next door to each other and I told them I thought their situation was a lot like my cousin Amber - getting to live next door to her friends in the dorm. :) Neither one of them hears very well and they both have glimpses of dimentia. They were so excited to have visitors and were very proud to show us their rooms.
This is my aunt Kim and Freda.

On the way home, we stopped in Lind to visit my Grandma's brother-in-law (my Grandpa's brother), Alvin. He was in the hospital for a few days this past week for fluid on his lungs. He will be moving on Monday to the Rose Garden to join his wife, Iris. I love visiting Alvin. He reminds me so much of my Grandpa and has the same teasing, loving, caring, fiesty attitude.
So, the day didn't go how I'd planned, but I'm glad I went with my Mom & Grandma. Maybe today I'll get some things done. Tomorrow, I'm heading to Tri-Cities to run some errands, take Samson to the groomer, and have some craft time with Jessica & Amy (can't wait!).

March 28, 2009

[ super super spring break ]

YAY! I'm so glad that it's Spring Break!! I can't believe it's already Spring Break, but I'm not complaining!!
I started the break yesterday by going to the soccer game against Granger with Jennifer (and Samson). It was chilly and I'm not real sure about the rules of soccer, but it was fun to support the team. They won 4-1!!
This morning I'm vegging, watching my Saturday morning favorite - "Say Yes to the Dress." I DVR it on Friday nights, so I usually watch it Saturday morning. Love that show.
I'm working on that braided rag rug - I have been braiding braiding braiding! I can't wait to see the end result!
I've been reading "The Shack." Has anyone read this? It's a tough read for me...but I'm halfway through and it's getting better. I have to finish it now! I'm hoping to finish it this weekend, so I can move on to something else for the rest of the break.
My other goal for the break is to finish some quilting projects - well, at least quilt tops. I am close to finishing one more quilt top. I have a table runner in the works and I have a quilt & a table runner that I'm itching to start. Crossing my fingers I'll get that far this week!!!
Today - braiding, taking my sewing machine out of time out (figuring out why it's not doing what I want), finishing some projects.

March 25, 2009

[ keepin' it real ]

I stole this title from Camille Roskelley's blog - she's my current idol. Love her. I love her outlook on life and the way she talks about her kids. Of course, I wish I could sew and quilt like her and have the resources (mass amounts of fabric) available like her. I did finish another quilt top this morning - yes, that's right - this morning! We have conferences today and tomorrow, so we work from noon to 7:40pm. I really like that schedule because I can sleep in and still get things done!! I have another quilt top that I think I can finish tomorrow morning. How cool would that be?! Before you are too impressed, these two quilts plus the one I finished last week are all made from the same pattern which is very forgiving (meaning - it doesn't have to perfect!!).
Even though these conference days are long, I really enjoy them. I like how we do it (arena style in the cafeteria), so all the teachers are around the perimeter of the cafeteria, so everyone is easily accessible to the families. I like talking to the students and parents. It's just something different from the normal day to day routine. Plus it's almost Spring BREAK!
One other fun thing - we had a belated Beta St. Patrick's Day Party last night. It was a lot of fun - my friend Jessica Fife is a huge St. Patrick's Day fan and her excitement is contaigous. We also are inviting four ladies into our group, so it was their first time coming. It was a fun evening with delicious Irish food (who knew it was so good?!) and some fun games.
Tomorrow is another day of conferences. Oh - the other thing is that the seating for the conferences for the teachers is always kinda funny to watch. Usually everyone has their laptop computers and the outlets are at a premium (not many). Plus, people try to sit by their friends, of course! It's kinda funny to see the cliques around the room. Jessica Perkins & I had a great time last year in between conferences - I was making cards, she was laughing at me, and Justin Palmer was assisting my card making - we had some great conversations! Then she had to go and have Emersyn (not that I'm bitter - I LOVE Emersyn!!!). So this fall, I sat with Jessica Fife and then she had to go and have Liam (again, not that I'm bitter - I LOVE Liam, too!). So - I'm with Heidi and Justin and I'm pretty sure neither of them are having kids anytime soon, so I think I'm safe!

March 22, 2009

[ friends game show ]

After church today, the Connell UMC Youth Group sponsored a baked potato bar and Friends Game Show as a fundraiser for our mission trip. It was a great success and I think everyone really enjoyed it!

Here are some fun pictures:

Our Youth Group - missing a few of them...

These cute pirates sang and danced to the free credit report dot com commercial - changing the words to fit our goals for the mission trip & fundraising. Too fun! I'll have to get the words from them and post it - it was genius. :)

These were our good natured contestants - they were good sports! It was a very fun afternoon - lots of laughs!

The big winners - Dylan and Kyle!

March 19, 2009

[ random thoughts on a Thursday ]

Just some random thoughts today...

1. Everyone was a little on edge at school today. Pair a gang shooting in Othello last night with a text going around about a gang initiation planned at a Wal Mart (the Tri-City Herald issued a press release saying the text is a hoax and has been circulating throughout the country today). Anyway, we were on high alert this afternoon, which never hurts. The staff was instructed to all be outside after school today just in case - it was funny to hear the comments from the students. Nothing gets by them!

2. I've been reading about the series finale of ER and I'm sorry I missed it last week. It sounds like all my old friends were back. I loved ER in high school & college, but once all the originals weren't on anymore, it didn't feel like the same show. Let's be honest, once Doug & Carol moved to Seattle, I was out. :)

3. I'm feeling the urge to craft. It's seriously an urge. Like, when I'm at work - I can hardly wait to get home sometimes. But then I get home, and I can hardly wait to sit down and relax. I'm still pretty run down from last weekend, I'm afraid.

4. I have a few people on my mind lately - a kid from school that's also in the Youth Group had surgery last week and isn't recovery very well; and, also my friend's mom had a suspicious spot come up on a recent scan. Lots and lots of prayers for them.

5. Counting down the days until Spring Break! Three & a half more days with kids (we have two conference days next week). Oh - and we had WASL this week, which means three straight periods of the same class for the kids not taking the WASL. Many of the classes, especially the Spanish classes, have made food - so they've shared the leftovers in the teacher's room. I love authentic Mexican food - it's delicious!!

6. I bought the supplies to make this:
It brings back memories of my Grandma Jean's house and of my friend Kristiane. I think I remember either Kristiane or her mom Laurie making these when we were real young. Kristiane, help me out here! :) I thought this would be fun in my office when I get it finished.
7. I wore capris and flip flops to school yesterday and today. It's 60 stinking degrees here today!
8. If you're around Connell and you want an afternoon of entertainment on Sunday, come to the Connell UMC church. Our youth group is hosting a fundraiser after church to raise money for the Mission Trip. We're having a baked potato bar followed by the Friendship Game Show! It will be played like the Newlywed Game with 10 couples/pairs of friends. The kids have been working real hard on it and I think it will be a lot of fun!

March 17, 2009

[ happy st. patrick's day ]

After school today, Kate & I ran to the Tri-Cities to get supplies for the Youth Group fundraiser on Sunday. It was a quick trip, but we made it to Starbucks on the way home, so it was all worth it. :)
Chris & Candace invited Nick, Kate, & I to dinner tonight for Corned Beef & Hash (what exactly is hash?!). It was surprisingly good. I'd never had it before, but I enjoyed it! The conversation and company was wonderful. Lots of laughs with good friends.
So - Happy St. Patrick's Day. Especially to my good Irish pal, Jessica Fife. Today is basically like her Christmas! (I'm just excited to get to change my blog background!)

March 15, 2009

[ baby Audrey's Quilt ]

YAHOO! I finished my first quilt from start to finish. Whew! It is such a great feeling! I learned so much in this process and am pretty proud of myself for actually accomplishing this skill. :)
I'm even more excited to get it in the mail for baby Audrey.

Thanks Jessica for helping me tie it!

[ reunited and it feels so good... ]

I've lost touch with the craft room over the past month. I haven't been down there a whole lot during Junior Miss season and I was starting to feel a little antsy. I have worked on things outside of the craft room (making a cute March calendar with Jessica, hand sewing a quilt, etc.), but I was embarrassingly behind in my Scripture Challenge - a month behind to be exact! :)
This morning, I got up, vegged for a little bit and caught up on a few tv shows, then headed downstairs.

Here's what I accomplished:

(Annette - these are the other flower petals I was telling you about *above*)

Back in business!

[ 2009 Junior Miss ]

Well, another Junior Miss year is over. "Everybody Dance Now" was a great success. I am so proud of all of these girls. They worked incredibly hard over the past three months and showed poise, grace, integrity, and beauty. They are a wonderful group and will be well represented by Miss Sarah McGary as the 2009 Connell/North Franklin Junior Miss. The finalists are Brianna Casper, Chelsea Baker, and Maira Viveros. I'm excited for Katelyn Knight - the Talent award winner, Shannon Jorgenson - Be Your Best Self award, Samantha Fox - Inspiration and Spirit Award, and Lisa Pranikay - Scholastic Award.
I'm excited for what the next year has in store for these girls. What an opportunity!
{And as far as the status for the 2010 Junior Miss...we hear there is at least 15 girls ready to sign up. AH! We'd have our hands full!!}

March 12, 2009

fun fun fun

Ashley Harris was doing a giveaway on her blog of one of her beautiful cards - and I won! Thanks, Ashley! It's a bright spot in my blur of a week!

March 11, 2009

[ crazy week ]

We're here...Junior Miss week. We have practice Monday-Thursday from 5:30-8:30pm (which means 5-9pm for us), then Dress Rehersal on Friday from 5pm-who knows and then Saturday from about 11am to 3pm and 5pm to who know, again. Sunday will be the day of rest!
I took Friday off, so I'm looking forward to sleeping in, getting errands run, etc. I'm sure I'll stop by my new favorite spot - Viera's Bakery on Burden Blvd. I am constantly craving those delicious churros.
So - I'll be back after Sunday...

March 8, 2009

[ oldies but goodies ]

I have been lucky this weekend to be able to catch up with some old high school classmates...
I saw Jeff Colby at the basketball game on Friday - that was a surprise! I never expected to see him there. He's a pilot for the Air Force (I think that's the right branch of the military) and is usually stationed in Italy and flying to the Middle East everyday. He said he just flew in for the weekend...nice. Anyway - it was great to see him. It's been a few years, I think...
Then, yesterday, was Alan Scheenstra's memorial service. There were lots of friends there to catch up with: Isidro and KayLynn, Juanita and Fred, Lindsay and BJ, Alex, Somchay, Josh, Ismael, Jason and Irma, and Jessica. Alan's wife organized a nice service and all the people that were gathered there reflected parts of Alan's life. The only thing missing was Alan - he would've loved being there with everyone.

March 4, 2009

[ honor ]

Last Thursday, I took the Junior Miss girls to the Connell Chamber of Commerce Banquet like we do every year...
and came home with this:

It was quite a surprise, but definitely an honor. I think of all the well-deserving teachers and administrators that have been working so hard for much longer than I, and I am humbled.
I struggled to find the right words to express my emotions that night and I still do.
It makes the tough days a little easier...and the fun days a lot more fun! :) There are so many times when it's stressful or frustrating - but that is the job. This reminds me that it's about the students and the relationships I build...not the JOB.
I received these beautiful roses from my Grandma that night...

and these were on my desk the next morning from Tim & Chris (my Principal and Vice Principal)...

March 3, 2009

[ sacrifice ]

We had a great assembly at school today...we recognized the wrestlers and basketball players, the band played, we sang the fight song, a teacher got his hair shaved...

and we honored one of our own.

My friend, high school classmate, and now, fellow CHS co-worker,

Oscar Garza
is being deployed to Iraq for his 2nd tour of duty.

Stephanie & Oscar Garza

The ASB had a wonderful tribute to him and Mr. Clark even sang "I'm Proud to Be an American" (with the school joining in on the chorus) - the most meaningful was a video they put together with lots of students and staff members wishing Oscar good luck. He is so well-respected by the was great to see how much he means to them.

DJ and Oscar Garza
(DJ is Oscar's sister and organized his send-off - so special.)

Once the assembly was over, practically the entire student body rushed to the floor to all give him hugs. It was a tearful moment. Seriously - I was in tears. I tried to keep it together, but it didn't work so well.

Oscar's wife, Stephanie (also a classmate), is so strong. She is incredible - I don't know how you do it.

Here's the link to the Tri-City Herald article:

These pictures are from the Tri-City Herald online photo gallery...

March 1, 2009

[ update ]

It's been a busy couple of days...
I have something real fun to write about, but I need to take a couple pictures first before I post a blog about it.

So, to begin with, I've been reading... :) wow. I would like to keep track of the books I read in 2009. So, here's what I've read so far in 2009:

Here's what I'm currently reading:

Here's what's on my shelf for my Spring Break:

So, anyway, here's a good story. :) I have been working for about two weeks on a simple baby quilt for my friend Stephanie who is having baby girl #2 on Tuesday, March 3. We went to elementary through high school together and even sorta went to college and grad school together! While I was at Whitworth, Steph was at Gonzaga. We spent sooo much time together - having fun, studing, experimenting at Starbucks, dining at Casa de Oro, and shopping! :) She lives in Missouri now, so I haven't seen her in probably 4 years (AH! Has it been that long?!). She married a great guy and they have a beautiful daughter, Katelyn. Their beautiful blessing #2 is set to arrive on Tuesday.

SO - I've been working on this quilt. It's definitely challenging my skills as a novice quilter. To save some time (and skip the skills I definitely DO NOT KNOW yet - machine quilting, heck - hand quilting, binding, etc.), I decided to sew this quilt inside out, flip it right side out, and tie it. I'm not a big tied quilt fan, but this baby is coming and I'm neck deep in other committments and don't have time to teach myself these skills that I lack.

I've become decent at piecing a quilt together, but everything that happens once the top is pieced together is frightening. Last night, I put the pieces of the quilt together (top, bottom, and batting) - figured out how to put the walking foot onto my machine - said a little prayer, and put the quilt to the needle. Straightness issues aside, I sewed around the entire quilt except for the 8" at the end that I kept open as the space to turn the quilt inside out. I was pretty excited to get that far so I was going to turn it right side out to see what it looked like (especially with the non-straight stitching). I realized that I put the batting between the top and bottom fabrics like I was going to bind it. If I were to turn it right side out now, the batting would be on the outside, not the inside. AH! It took me two hours last night to rip the seams maddening. Not that I'm under pressure - did I mention the baby is due on Tuesday and she lives in Missouri?! Plus, Jessica offered to help me tie the quilt and I am going to take her up on that offer - on MONDAY! (tomorrow!) So, guess what I'm doing before church today?!

In addition, I've been working on the Junior Miss booklet (anyone mildly proficient in Microsoft Publisher and would like to help with JM next year? I'm ready to pass this job on...) which I need to take to the printer tomorrow, organizing all the information that has to do with the Beta Craft Retreat, and I'm supposed to be working on WASL stuff this weekend, but I realized I only got home with 1/4 of what I need to work on it, so it will have to wait until I get back to school tomorrow.

Exciting life, huh? So, I'm off to try to sew my quilt the right way. Wish me luck!