Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me Monday

When I saw that MckMama was skipping her Not Me Monday post, I was not tempted to do the same. However, since you are reading this, you will know that I was not successful in convincing Myself that I would ignore my blog today. Myself had a thousand things on the "To Do" list, and even though I told Myself to scratch the Not Me post, Myself won the argument. (Are you as confused as I am yet?)

Okay, enough of that rabbit trail.

I did not realize that it has been almost two weeks since I've paid any attention to my blog. TWO WEEKS! So for the many two people out there who actually read my blog, I hope you're glad to know I'm still alive.

Today I was practicing songs for my students to sing in our annual Christmas program--which is not coming too quickly, I might add--and I did not call my sister Erin, who happens to be very gifted musically, to beg for her assistance with some chords. I did not decide it would be easier/quicker to call her rather than try to figure them out myself. Thanks, Erin!

After playing the piano for 2 hours, my neck and shoulders were not entirely numb and throbbing.

I have never ever ever worked at school/church past 7:30 p.m., so you can rest assured that it was not me who left the building at 9:30 p.m. recently. Nope! Not me!

Have you ever had a "Better you than me" situation? Here is something that I would refuse to own up to... therefore you know it did not happen to me. Let's just say it happened to my friend H. Oh, she would be so embarassed if she knew I told this story, but she's not here, so don't rat me out, okay? While H was in the drive-thru recently, she did not reach for her drink with a gloved hand. Hmmmm... plastic cup + gloved hand = a bad combination. While the unsuspecting drive-thru worker was transferring the up, it did not slip from H's hand, to the point that it was completely upside-down. Thankfully, the girl had no let go yet and she was able to right the cup to the correct position and hand it to H, while the cover was completely drenched in root beer. What do you think was the next thing handed through the window? Not a pile of napkins. H gingerly wiped up the messy lid, gathered up the soggy napkins and her pride, and pulled away from the window, grateful she was in the semi-privacy of her vehicle and not inside the restaurant! Once again, this is our secret, right?

As if it wouldn't be bad enough to stretch out these events throughout a week, I have not just described my Monday. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these things did not all happen TODAY!

Stop by MckMama's blog to read some more great stories, and maybe you'll be inspired to join the fun next week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's the Little Things...

... that I'm thankful for.

Let me explain. Tuesday in preschool we made ice cream. Oooooo, it was yummy! The process wasn't completely painless though, and I mean that literally! Each child had his/her own bag to make their own ice cream. Well, after about 4 shakes, they asked in a chorus, "Is mine ready now, Miss Heather?" Wait a minute, didn't something like this happen once to me before? Ahhhh, yes, I remember now. Does "butter" ring a bell? (If not, read here.)

Well, Miss Heather ended up shaking bags for four very adorable preschool students who suddenly developed weak muscles. By the time the liquid had thickened to ice cream consistency, my fingers were rather cold. At least I think they were. You see, they were so numb that I could hardly feel them.

As I considered what to do for class today, I knew ice cream was on the "menu," but to be honest, I wasn't looking forward too much to making their ice cream, too, especially since I have a total of 12 preschool students on Wednesday. I figured I wouldn't have any fingers left at all!

Stopping at Walmart on the way home, I picked up the few things I needed and while taking a detour through the housewares department on the way to my destination, my eye was immediately drawn to an end cap filled with... you guessed it! ICE CREAM MAKERS! I was not expecting to see them in the store, let alone buy one. But the "Clearance" sign piqued my interest. I didn't see a price, so in my mind I determined the maximum I would be willing to pay for it. When I found a sales associate to scan the price, imagine my utter surprise when the price same up $6.00. $6.00??? Are you kidding me? I should take two at that price!

So today in preschool, I was once again excited because there were no frozen fingers in my future. Just some absolutely yummy, extremely delicious ice cream that I didn't have to make by hand!

Thank you, Jesus!

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At times, I'm amazed at God's timing, although I shouldn't be. On Monday, I received a call from a Cubbie leader saying she wouldn't be there Wednesday night. Not a major problem, since there are two leaders at most tables. Tuesday I had a similar message from another leader... I can't be there Wednesday night. Okay, no need for panic. We'll be fine. A while later, I heard from yet another leader that she had to be gone for a few minutes tonight to speak to another group. Okay, that's three leaders. I think I'll stop answering my phone now.

After school today when I was in my "Cubbie prep mode," I had a call from a friend of mine. Her first words?? "Do you need any help in Cubbies tonight?"

(Enter complete and utter shock here!)

Why, yes, I definitely do need help tonight!

She then proceeded to tell me that she'd felt a nagging today to call me. Coincidence? I don't think so! God knew exactly what help I would need tonight. Not that God "nags" us to do anything, but in His own sovereign way, He impressed upon Katie the need to call me to volunteer herself... AND her husband!

Exactly ten minutes later (yes, I checked the time on my phone), Cubbie leader #3 called to say her son has pink eye, so she wouldn't be coming tonight. Once again, God took care of my needs even before I knew what they were! As Cubbies started tonight, one parent asked, "Do you have anyone to replace the leader at the purple table? Do you want me to help?"

I had three leaders gone tonight, and three people randomly volunteered to help. Let me rephrase that... I don't think it was "random" at all. It was totally God taking care of my needs even before I knew I would have a need! Isn't God great?!?!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So today I'm thankful for the little things... things like ice cream makers and volunteers! What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me Monday

MckMama is back for Not Me Monday, so be sure to check out her blog for more Not Me fun!

Hmmmm..... what to write about. Let's see if I can find any blogworthy news that happened did not happen to me this week.

I did not thoroughly enjoy my 3-day week last week at preschool. Let's see... Monday was a day off. End of the quarter or something like that. Let's be honest here. It was not a hunting day here in Minnesota. Tuesday, three-year-olds. Wednesday, four-year-olds, Thursday, three-year-olds. Friday... I did not take the day off to spend the weekend at my sister Becky's house. On Friday night, Becky and Chris renewed their vows. We were planning to take pictures outside, but it was not raining most of the day, so we ended up doing all the pictures in the church. It was a beautiful evening with family and friends as Becky and Chris committed their marriage and children to God. Here are a few pictures from the event.

The rest of the weekend at my sister's house was not spent in watching movies, enjoying slumber parties with the girls, playing Farmville with Callie, plenty of tickles with Natalie, trying to keep up with Micah, and losing a game of Clue to my 7-year-old niece, Ashleigh. It was not a great weekend!

Back to reality and preschool. Since we're on letter "I" this week in preschool, I did not contemplate how easy it would be to simply make ice cubes for the students to play with. You see, I usually try to plan activities that reinforce the letter we're learning for the week. So, how easy would it have been to simply make ice cubes? Maybe add a little food coloring for something more exciting? Well, I did not opt to go all out and make something more exotic. Can you guess what it is? (Mom, you can't answer!)

After several incidents with Internet Explorer crashing, stalling, not responding, and generally annoying me to no end, I did not finally give in and download Mozilla Firefox on my laptop. I've used it before, and I must admit that I hated it. But, the hopes of writing a blog post without receiving an error message that IE has unexpectedly closed... well, it is not wonderful! And I am not a converted Forefox supporter!

I did not write this entire post with zero error messages! And the pictures did not upload very quickly! I love it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Blaze of Glory Orangey

Once again, it's that time of year when Minnesota hunters hit the woods in search of a trophy buck. That is, all except for my dad. His reason for hunting? Purely for the meat. You won't see him pass up a doe, just because "the big one" might be out there still.

I have fond memories of hunting season. No, I've never ventured out in blaze orange clothing, sporting multiple layers of clothing to keep warm, trudging through snow to the perfect deer stand, and lugging a heavy gun on my shoulder. Quite the contrary. My parents used to hunt with my Grandpa, which meant that my two younger sisters and I spent lots of quality time with Grandma.

The trek to their house was filled with excitement. We always were thrilled to visit my grandparents in their small, one-room, lamp-lit cabin. You see, for most of our growing-up years, my grandparents made their home in a secluded cabin in the north woods of Minnesota. While they decided to build their home without electricity or running water, that was part of the adventure for us girls.

Some of my favorite memories... standing in front of the wood stove on a chilly evening, hiking the boardwalk to the creek out back, the smell of Grandpa's shed in the "boneyard," the sound of the red hand pump, feeding the deer and seeing them on the edge of the woods just waiting for us to leave so they could make their way to the feeder, the moose antlers hanging over the wood stove, Little Red (resident red squirrel), playing thousands of card games on the porch, sitting in the "dark" watching the lamplight flicker, making "craft projects" and using so much tape Grandpa would say, "I should have taken out stock in 3M," playing "house" with our dolls under the table, and Grandma's pancakes!

Okay, back to hunting season.

Once Dad got off work, we would make the 30-mile trip to my grandparents house. After a yummy supper, we do the dishes (with water heated in the tea kettle, of course) and spend the evening in the light of the flickering lamp on the table, listening to the wood crackle in the stove which radiated its heat through the house. Before we knew it, it was time to hit the hay because the hunters would be up in a few hours to prepare for the day of hunting.

In a matter of a few hours, it was opening day! As I mentioned before, it was basically a one room house, and no matter how quiet their voices were, it was inevitable that my sisters and I would wake up as Mom, Dad, and Grandpa prepared to leave. Of course Grandma was up making breakfast, lunches, and multiple snacks for their day out in the elements. Knowing the fire had long since burned out, Becky, Erin, and I would stay snuggled in our sleeping bags and only sit up for a quick hug and kiss before the hunters were off.

After a few more hours of sleep, we'd no doubt hear the familiar squeak of the stove door and a thump as Grandma started a fire. I can almost hear her saying right now, "Girls, just stay in your sleeping bags until it warms up in here." We'd giggle and wiggle as we waited for the temperature to rise and would often jump into bed with Grandma to snuggle before we got the okay to get up. In didn't take long for Grandma to ask, "What do you girls want for breakfast?" I really don't know why she always asked this question, because she knew we would chime in unison Pancakes!

Thus would begin our fun-filled day of cartoons (yes, they had a battery-operated TV), games, craft projects, and so much more. Later in the afternoon, we would keep watch to see the hunters returning, hoping we'd see a deer in the truck as reward for their long day in the cold. The evening was filled with stories of the day, every detail told with exact preciseness so we could feel like we were experiencing the day with them.

After quite a few years of not hunting, my Dad got back into it a couple years ago. As I said earlier, he's not obsessed with getting a huge, mount-it-on-your-wall, trophy buck. This year was no exception. A run-down of his day:

5:15 AM Wake up call
6:00 AM In deer stand
6:30 AM Daylight
7:30 AM Shoot deer
9:30 AM Arrive at home
10:30 AM Deer hung and skinned
11:00 AM Out hunting once again

For not being a trophy-buck hunter, he sure got a nice deer. An 8-point buck! Biggest one he's ever shot. Way to go, Dad!

Doesn't he look proud?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Me Monday

On Friday night, I did not have 7 girls come over for a movie night. Knowing my past track record, I did not resist the urge to make manicotti. I did not make something else that was almost as delicious! Here it is: Garden Ranch Pizza

Want a closer look???

Friends, fun, fellowship, food... it was a great evening (well, evening into the morning), and once everyone had left, I did not fall asleep in the chair for several hours. When I finally became conscious, I did not look at the clock and see the numbers 4, 3, 0... I'll let you decide if this was the order I read them off the clock. And Saturday? I did not get up at 12:00 p.m.

Daylight Savings Time... how exciting to be given, free of charge, an extra hour of sleep. Okay, I know we have an hour stolen from us in the spring... but for now, it seems free! What did I do with my extra hour of sleep? I completely enjoyed it and took advantage of it. I definitely did not stay up an hour LATER than I should have. So my "free" hour of sleep ended up being NOTHING!

I'm always trying to come up with something interesting for my preschoolers to play with. Today was no exception. I did not find an ooey, gooey, sticky mess for their enjoyment today. I did not dump an entire box of corn starch into the water table, add water, and let the kids mix up the delightful concoction. How messy was it? you might ask. I did not have to stick a girl's pigtails under the faucet to wash out the starchy substance!

MckMama didn't post a Not Me Monday today, but you can check her blog for an update on her son Stellan. Keep praying!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Few Random Questions... and Answers

Due to the fact that my brain hasn't been too creative lately, I found some random questions and decided I'd let them fill up a blog post. Hey, you just might learn something about me!

1. Do you speak with an accent? according to some people, yes
2. What was your last thought? I should go to bed
3. What book are you currently reading? She’s All That by Kristin Billerbeck
4. What food do you dislike? Broccoli and Chinese food
5. Have you ever played a prank on someone? oh, yes. My sisters and I once played an amazing prank on our parents and their friends. Ah, the memories!

* * * * *
6. What kind of pasta do you like? MANICOTTI, spaghetti, lasagna… pretty much all of them
7. Do you have a nickname? Auntie Rah, Heath, RahRah, Heathery, Teacher, Miss Hedder
8. Do you own a cell phone? Yes, a purple Motorola W755
9. Are you a night owl or a morning person? definitely a night owl
10. Who is your favorite actor/actress? As far as acting goes: Tom Hanks or Mel Gibson. An actor to look at? MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY Favortie actress: Sandra Bullock
* * * * *
11. Would you rather watch TV or a movie? a movie… no commercials
12. What kind of eggs do you like? scrambled with cheese and ham
13. What's your dream honeymoon? forget the honeymoon… dream vacation is definitely ITALY!
14. What is the last movie you saw in the theater? Love Happens
15. What do you do for fun? photography, play piano, read
* * * * *
16. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Peppermint Bon Bon or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough… it’s a tie!
17. Do you use a Mac or a PC? Toshiba
18. Do you like strawberries? Yes, especially from my parents’ garden
19. Have you gone to college? Yes, I graduated in 2001
20. What is your favorite number? 9
* * * * *
21. What was your favorite high school subject? Algebra
22. Are you an only child? No, I have 2 younger sisters
23. What is your favorite cartoon? Bugs Bunny
24. What is your least favorite song in the world? definitely Fur Elise
25. Do you prefer McDonald’s or Burger King? McDonald’s for fries, Burger King for cheeseburger
* * * * *
26. If you could make any junk food super-nutritious, which one would you pick? Pizza
27. Do you prefer apple or orange juice? Apple
28. What foreign countries have you visited? Canada, Costa Rica, and Guatemala
29. Do you have a college degree? yes, Early Childhood Education Degree
30. What musical instrument do you play? Piano
* * * * *
31. What is your favorite football team? I HATE FOOTBALL
32. When you look at the color blue, what does it make you think of? the sky
33. Do you like thunderstorms? absolutely
34. Do you drink coffee? NO!
35. If you were one of the seven dwarfs, who would you be? Sleepy
* * * * *
36. What color are your eyes? 10 years ago? Blue… Right now? Green
37. What is your favorite hot drink? Hot cocoa
38. Have you ever broken a bone? nope, knock on wood!
39. Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right-handed, although I always wanted to be left-handed
40. How many hobbies do you have? too many to count
* * * * *
41. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? that's a tough one. I've always wanted to live in the mountains in a log cabin, and I definitely want to visit Italy someday, but I don't know if I'd like to live there
42. If you had friends coming for supper, what would you cook? definitely NOT manicotti… long story (read here)
43. What makes you cry? goodbyes, movies, pain
44. What makes you laugh? my nieces and nephews, my sisters, my preschool students
45. What do you do for fun? photography, play piano, read
* * * * *
46. Do you have any pets? I have 3 fish in my classroom at school… does that count?
47. What is your favorite place to eat? Olive Garden
48. Would you kill a spider or let it outside? KILL IT
49. Do you shower every day? Yes… usually. Except for when I don’t.
50. Do you prefer flip flops or tennis shoes? flip flops
* * * * *
51. Do you like bananas? Yes, but not banana flavoring
52. Have you ever caught a snowflake on your tongue? oh yeah
53. Do you prefer the beach or mountains? Mountains, definitely
54. Have you ever been on TV? Yep, in KC sitting outside Best Buy on Thanksgiving, waiting for the sales to start
55. What is something weird about yourself? I have to have my pillow a certain way when I sleep?

Well, there you have it. A few lot of question and answers about me. Maybe one day soon I'll get some inspiration and do something a little more original.