Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Since I haven't done a Thankful Thursday for a while, I thought it was about time. It's not that I haven't been thankful.... just haven't had time to actually write it out.

Today I am especially thankful for my sisters Becky and Erin. As it seems to be an unwritten rule in the "Sister Handbook" (if there were such a thing), we did have our share of disagreements and fights during our childhood, although most of them were very petty. What I remember most about our growing-up years are... hours of playing house and school, family vacations, piano recitals, tree forts in the maple tree, bunnies... and so many more I can't begin to list them all.

When God gave me two sisters, He blessed me with two of the best friends in the world. At this point in our lives, our relationship has deepened and we've become very close. I really look forward to our times together. Of course we're no longer "playing" house (unless you count their "real" babies) or school (yes, they both homeschool their kids and I'm also a teacher), but we have a lot of fun playing games, shopping, or just talking. It seems that whenever we're together, there's not a day that goes by that we don't end up crying because we're laughing so hard over something we remember from the past or something stupid that has happened recently.

I believe I speak for Erin and Becky when I say that one of our favorite things to do is buy tacky gifts for each other. You must understand that there are certain rules when determining what to give each other. The item must be very inexpensive (if it's free, that's even better!) and it must have little to no function for our everyday lives. (You can read Becky's post about tacky gifts here.) Let me show you a few of the precious treasures that demonstrate the sisterly love we share...

I think this is a lamb... I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any particular purpose, except to make me smile when I see it. (And don't tell anyone, but it actually is kinda cute!)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Becky found these beauties... there really are no words to describe them. Except that they're very turquoise !
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Becky rescued these sunglasses from her mother-in-law's garage sale table. This photo doesn't really do them justice. The 25-year-old scratches and clouded lenses are what make them really special.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've never understood "gifts" like this. Would a teacher actually wear this? Maybe I haven't reached the point where I'm completely confident as a teacher, but wearing something like this would make me feel like I'm trying to draw attention to myself... Hey everyone, look at me. I'm the world's best teacher. Thanks anyway, Becky, for this "gem." The fake jewels make it all the more attractive!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On one of my shopping extravaganzas (yes, at the dollar store), I was extremely thrilled to find this trivet. Hoping it would bring a smile to my sisters' faces, I bought two trivets and couldn't wait for our next "tacky gift exchange." I was not disappointed... their reactions were everything I'd hoped they'd be... and more! Recently Erin and I went back to the same store and they happened to have a couple trivets left. I decided to get one for myself before they were gone, and as we were checking out, Erin bought it for me. Well, since Erin paid for it, I guess that makes it a gift... and a tacky one at that!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I do believe this receives "the most tacky gift" award. This "not-a-candle-in-a-jar-but-a-stinky-rubbery-leathery-blob-of-goop" came from Erin. Since I first received it from her, it has exchanged hands several times. We usually try to hide it someplace where the other person will find it after we're apart. It has been found under pillows, in Christmas presents, glove compartments, and suitcases... to name a few. There are not enough words to explain how terrible this "non-candle" smells. "Leather" is not a good word to describe it. It's more like skunk/sulphur/rotten eggs. One thing (and the only thing) good about this nasal offensive weapon is that it always provides a smile and giggle to the person who finds it.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All kidding aside, I'm so grateful to God for the years we had together growing up as sisters, and I can only anticipate that we will continue to grow closer... as friends. And the tackier the gifts, the better! I love you, girls!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tag...You're It!

I read this list on my new friend Ace's blog. Try it... it's really fun and won't take a whole lof of time.

8 Things I am Looking Forward to:
1. no more physical therapy
2. the next time I see "Phantom of the Opera" on stage (no, I don't have any plans at this time!)
3. seeing the new Matthew McConaughey movie on Friday
4. camping this summer
5. telling my preschool class that Stellan went home today
6. doing absolutely nothing on Saturday
7. feeling warm summer sun on my face
8. sleep

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. said goodbye to my sister, niece, nephew, and parents who were headed to Kansas City
2. worked
3. painted with yarn (hey, I'm a preschool teacher)
4. put my pajamas on at 6:00 PM
5. uploaded hundreds of photos to my laptop
6. watched Dancing with the Stars
7. wrote Not Me! Monday post
8. went to bed way too late

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. visit Italy
2. become a travelling photographer (did I mention I want to go to Italy?)
3. sing
4. spend a month in the mountains, beside a quiet river
5. reconnect with people I've lost contact with
6. have more time for sewing/scrapbooking
7. draw/paint
8. find time to print my pictures from my trip to Alaska last year

8 Shows I Enjoy:
1. Dancing with the Stars
2. The Bachelor
3. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
4. I Love Lucy
5. Ace of Cakes
6. Friends
7. anything on HGTV
8. What Not to Wear

8 People I Tag:
1. Erin at ben + erin = samantha + ryan
2. Becky at The Swanson Six
3. Jessica at Is it naptime yet?
4. Katie at A day in the Life....
5. Tiffani at John Tiffani Taylor & Hannah
6. Sharalee at A Tale of Three Kiddies
7. Nicole at The Chronicles of My Three Peanuts
8. Vijini at Life on Earth with God's Grace

Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read an update on Stellan, who was discharged from the hospital today.

This week I did not get 4 and a half hours of sleep before I headed to convention with my students. In order to ensure my students were at the school on time, I did not tell them to be there 15 minutes earlier than they needed to be. AND, all three of them were not late!

Before heading to convention, it for sure was not me who printed out 15+ pages of maps, and upon arriving in St. Cloud, I did not realize that mapquest can make mistakes and it would not have been better for me to rely on my memory of driving around St. Cloud during my college days. Oh well, we didn't get TOO lost.

After getting home from convention where we had a couple days of 80 degrees, I did not get back to the school to find SNOW on my car! So much for spring being here.

Being the "professional" bowler that I am (not really), I was not the one who lost bowling on the Wii against my niece Samantha. It was really fun, and she was not completely elated when the final score was posted, proclaiming her the winner.

On Saturday, I did not go to Wal-Mart with my sister Erin, only to leave for an hour and return for another hour of shopping. Nope, there's no way I would ever think to go to Wal-Mart more than once in a week, let alone twice in one day. I did not get a cheesy gift from Erin (which I did not pick out, but she decided to pay for it), and I will not be doing a blog post about all my tacky gifts sometime soon (read my sister Becky's post about cheesy gifts).

When my preschool kids came in today, they did not ask me, "Miss Heather, can we have nap time today?" I was not in complete shock after hearing these words!

In my preschool class today, when I told the kids that Stellan might come home soon, it was not one of my students who said, "And then do we get to see him?"

Knowing that my sister was travelling today, I did not call her cell phone after I heard that Stellan was out of the hospital.

When I got home from work today, I did not go downstairs to find 2 of my sister's William Joseph CDs right where I had left them. After ripping them onto my computer last night, I did not forget to give them back to her before she left for home today. OOPS! I will not be making a stop at the post office tomorrow after work to get them back to her ASAP!

So there you have it...there's a few things that I did not do this week. Go ahead, fess up on some of your not-so-proud moments. It's really fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's time again for Not Me! Monday. Check out MckMama's blog and keep baby Stellan in your prayers as he has surgery tomorrow.

Here are some things I did not do this week (not that I'd like to admit, anyway).

I was not completely thrilled after my chiropractor appointment when I was told I could come back in a MONTH! Yeah, baby! It seems like I've been going every 2 weeks since I was in a car, yeah! I was excited. I mean, not excited!

Thinking that my Tuesday could not have gotten any better after my chiropractor appointment, I was not ready to shout from the rooftops after the physical therapist said I could go down to once a week....and then maybe every 2 weeks....and then I'll probably be done! Yeah, ecstatic does not begin to describe my sentiment.

I did not bring my junior and senior high class outside to do school work. I also did not award myself the coolest teacher award.

While playing bowling on the Wii with my niece Samantha, it was not me who intentionally got 2 gutterballs on frame 10 so she could win. It also was not me who did not remember that I had a strike in the 9th frame, so my score was higher than I thought it would be. I did not beat her by six points. OOPS! She did not lament to my sister Erin, "Mom, how did Auntie Heather beat me? She got zero points at the end and I got 9 pins down. I don't know how she won."

It is definitely not me who has the cutest, most adorable nieces and nephews in the world. And of course, I'm not biased in ANY way!

I did not chase my nephew Ryan around the house when he was supposed to be settling down for bedtime. When he's squealing, laughing, and giggling, who can resist?

As my sister Erin mentioned in her Not Me! post, we did not take pictures with us three sisters, and no, we did not bring ourselves and our mom to the point of tears because of all the laughter. I also will not decide to post a couple here, even the silly one.

When I looked at my blog minutes ago, I was not excited to see MckMama as one of my recent visitors at my blog, although I guess it could have been someone else who linked to if from MckMama's website! Still praying for Stellan (and that is something I'm for sure NOT ashamed to admit)!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday...

"The Coolest Teacher Award" goes to...


Rediscover Hotmail®: Now available on your iPhone or BlackBerry Check it out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Well, it's time for Not Me! Monday again. I must warn you, this is a long one, so grab a cup of coffee--maybe two--and get ready for some crazy KC fun! Remember to check out MckMama's blog and keep praying for baby Stellan!

On Tuesday, my day with Junior and Senior Highers, I did not bribe one of my students so he would get some work done. I would never do anything like that!

After teaching preschool on Wednesday, I did not start my trip to Kansas City at 12:30. Knowing the 10-hour journey that lay ahead of me (with no working stereo in the van), I did not become creative with ways to keep myself awake.

Here are some things you would not have found me doing at any given time during my trek...
  • You could not have found me singing to myself, since no one was around. (I wonder…If no one is around to hear me sing, is my voice audible?)

  • I definitely, absolutely did not take pictures as I was driving. I was not kept awake by the steady raising and lowering of the windows (driver and passenger sides) to facilitate picture-taking.

  • As I passed a semi, I did not see Phantom printed on the back. I was not tempted to slow down, and thus tick off the drivers behind me, just so I could take a picture of said semi. (As you continue to read this post, you'll understand the obsession with Phantom.

On Thursday, my sister Erin, Di (Erin's sister-in-law), and I went to The Phantom of the Opera. It was not one of the awesomest (yes, I’m a teacher and I’m saying that is a word) experiences of my life, even leading me to tears on several occasions. Yeah, ridiculous, I know. After my first opera experience, I was not wondering what type of apparel we'd see there. While there were some people who were very nicely dressed, I would not like to tell you that there was a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and another in jeans and cowboy boots. However, I believe the prize should go to a lady seated in our row... she was not wearing a green t-shirt with a DINOSAUR on it! Really? A dinosaur to the opera? What were you thinking?

I was not ready to watch The Phantom of the Opera DVD when we got home at 11:30 p.m. As my sister did not search for tickets for the Friday night show, I did not secretly wish we could go again!

This week, there is not even a slight chance that I bought a dorky gift for my sister Becky. Knowing how much she treasures these gifts, there’s no way on earth I’d ever do that, so don’t get your hopes up, Beck!

During one of our shopping trips, I did not buy helium balloons for Samantha and Ryan after Erin told them they didn't need one that day. My sister does not owe me for the hours of entertainment that balloon has provided for Ryan. Who needs toys? Auntie is always right! :) Ryan's balloon did not make the trip to MN with us.

At the Wal-Mart parking lot in KC, we did not encounter a lady with a very dirty mouth. For the entire story, click here to read my sister Erin's post. As we drove away, after waving to the lady and ticking her off, I did not say to Erin, "She's not following us, is she?" Scary people out there!

For the four days I was in Kansas City, I certainly did not spend a lot of time playing the Wii with Ben. And being the great competitive bowler that he is, there is no way I could have beaten him three games, one of them by over thirty points. Even if I could have the ability to win a game, I definitely would not have let it happen, knowing how he hates to lose. (I was not inwardly giddy after winning, especially when I got over 200 points.)

I did not end up with a sore arm after playing the Wii….who would have thought you’d have to stretch before playing?

I went to Wal-Mart with Samantha yesterday, and was not a little surprised with the lack of knowledge in lady who cut my batting. Granted, she did not usually work in that department, since I found her arranging pillows in housewares, but I would have thought it wouldn’t be too hard to make one cut in the batting. I asked for ½ yard and I did not stand there for at least three minutes as she mumbled to herself while she read a chart, trying to figure out what ½ yard is, even though it was printed on the ruler at the cutting table. Having worked in a fabric store during college, I did not have the urge to go around the counter and cut the batting for myself. Little did I know that the biggest puzzlement wasn’t how much ½ yard is. After a few more minutes of mumbling and looking downright uncomfortable, this lady appeared relieved when another associate walked through the department. Now let me tell you that this lady also did not work in the craft department. Well, two heads are better than one, right? I’m not completely convinced of this saying. The problem? How do you put ½ in decimal form to scan the quantity? Their conversation went something like this (names have been changed to protect the innocent)…
Lady 1: How do you put in ½ yard?
Lady 2: I’m not sure.
Lady 1: The chart says, “1 yard = 1,000” (or rather, 1.000)
Lady 2: So ½ yard would be….. Hmmmm…Would it be 500? (no, that would be .500)
Lady 1: I’m not sure.
Lady 2: Oh, here. I think I have it. A half would be .005?
** At this point, I’m thinking Wow, I’m gonna get this fleece for pennies if they do it that way!**
After another minute, they figured out how to scan the barcode with the quantity, after which they did not take another two minutes to verify that half of $2.67 should be $1.35. What should have been a quick, three-minute stop did not take more than 15 minutes!

At one of our stops on the way to MN today, a lady did not come out of the bathroom stall and tell me, “Um, this toilet doesn’t flush,“ as she pointed into the stall. As I was not debating what I should do--Do I go in there anyway and just wait until she leaves so I can go into the other stall? Should I just used that toilet anyway? Ewwww, no thanks--I did not hear the toilet flush. I did not have to choke back a laugh as I though to myself, “Welcome to the world of automatic flush toilets, lady.” As I held in my smile and closed the door of the bathroom stall, I did not hear her say to herself, “Okay, water… water? How do you turn this on?” After her verbal expression of surprise when the water turned on automatically, I thought Okay seriously. In a world where toilets can flush automatically, why would you be overly surprised to find that water can come out of a faucet in the same way? I give up.

Well, that's about a month's worth of Not Me! posts. Check out my sister's blog to read her version of Not Me! Monday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go...

...except PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! Last night, Erin, Ben's sister Diana, and I went to see the Phantom and it was AMAZING! We've loved the music forever, and were excited to see the movie, but nothing compared to seeing it live. Erin and I were on the countdown all day long. Okay, if I'm really honest, we've been on the countdown since we got the tickets four months ago!

It started to get real once we got changed, although neither of us had any furs to wear. Maybe next time. By 7:00, we were ready to go (after Erin triple-checked that she had the tickets in her purse).

After purchasing a program at the door, we made out way to our seats. The anticipation was hard to suppress, but before we knew it, the lights were going down and the show began. The stage was beautiful, the actors...incredibly talented, the music...absolutely indescribable, so much so that I won't even attempt such a task.

I have many favorite songs in this musical, but my favorite one by far is All I Ask of You. Ooooooh, let me just think of it for a minute........ okay, it sounded pretty in my head but much prettier in person. This is one of those moments when you almost have to be there. It's really hard to explain the feeling you get just from being in the room, the way your heart melts with the beautiful music, and the wholeness of particular scenes. (I once described "wholeness" as flying in an airplane in the clouds, and all of a sudden you break out of the clouds and can see the sun, mountaintops, etc. for miles. Imagine the type of music that would be played to illustrate this, and that's what "whole" is. You know, the kind of music that sends shivers down your spine.")

Yes, it was a wonderful evening, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Erin did check into tickets for tonight after we got home. No, I think I'll have to spread out the performances for a few years. I don't know if my brain could handle such stimulus overload!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Tip

I am a teacher. An educator. A role model of sorts. I should be training my students to follow in my steps. I should want my students to follow in my steps....

Which is why, today, I am telling really does work to bribe students. The end result is not for my benefit, but rather for the student. And whoever said a little incentive doesn't pay off? After a little bribery by yours truly, I witnessed results I didn't think were possible from this student....maybe I knew they were possible, but I haven't seen it for a long time. Work was getting done faster that I could comprehend! It was great!

Should I tell my students that it's okay to use bribery (for the right reasons)?


And today, that is why I love being a teacher!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's hard to believe it's Monday again. But you know what that means... time for Not Me! Monday. Continue to keep MckMama and Stellan in your prayers.

Although my physical therapy has been progressing pretty well, I had a minor setback this week. After my appointment on Tuesday, I was not in a lot of pain and it was not me who could hardly walk on Wednesday. Yep, pretty sure I overdid it on Tuesday!

Because I had another appointment on Thursday, which I was not dreading, I did not call the therapist and tell him I wouldn't be able to do much in my session that day. I was not excited (as much as you can be excited at therapy) to have ice therapy. Thirty-nine degrees of ice compression on my leg for 15 minutes....yes, it was wonderful (although very cold!).

Friday night was craft night at church...well, it was supposed to be craft night. My mom and I were not the only ones there and Mom did not haul a bunch of stuff in to the church, when we could have worked on stuff at home. And the thought definitely did not cross my mind Maybe it's a good thing we were the only two here....I really got a lot done!

It is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, NOT me who is counting the hours until I get to leave for Kansas City to see my brother-in-law, sister, niece, and nephew (Ben, I better get brownie points for mentioning you first!). As of this point in time, it's closing in on 36 hours and not a minute too soon!

Besides the thrill of seeing my sister's family, I am not almost sick with excitement to see Phantom of the Opera in Kansas City. My sister and I have had our tickets for over four months, and I can't believe the time is almost here, although the anticipation of it has been half the fun. Not sure what we'll look forward to after this is done! Because the opera occupies a lot of my thoughts lately, the other day I was thinking about what to wear and I couldn't help thinking about my first opera experience. Upon this reflection, I was not tempted to go to Goodwill to see if I could find some type of fur to bring. And if there were sequins??? Even better!!!

And probably the most crazy, completely insane thing that didn't do this week was..... dye Easter eggs with a bunch of preschoolers. (Ironically, it went fairly well, and the kids LOVED it!)

So that's a bit of what I have not done this past week. If you have anything you'd rather not admit to doing, this is the place. Try it!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Is It Too Good to Be True?

Today as I was walking around Target, I realized leg didn't hurt! I mean, I was ALMOST walking normally, and I wasn't limping. After my less than desirable therapy session last Tuesday, after which I could hardly walk on Wednesday, I'm a little reluctant to think this is the end of pain, but it does give me reason to hope. It was five weeks ago today that I tore my plantaris tendon and gastrocnemius muscle in my left calf. In a way it seems like it's been longer than that. I guess in one way my life has slowed down...LITERALLY. But life as I used to know it should be getting back to normal soon. And the next time I need an anatomy lesson, I think I'll take the easy way out and read a biology book!