Monthly Archives: February 2012


I am knitting a new pair of socks (read: purple socks DONE and given away!!!). The yarn is a delightful alpaca blend called “imagination” (from in Wild West color way. I suppose I understand that name, as it has sandy browns and dusty red and blue…much like a cowboy might sport, but I might not have named it that if given the option. I am trying something new in that I am knitting two socks simultaneously…all on one needle. I think I might go bonkers with the tangling (I could take a hint of my own to separate the yarn balls with some ziplock bag action, but I actually missed that boat already, because I should have done that before casting on). I’ll still put them in bags, but it’ll just keep them from coming apart and tangling more.

I made more of an effort to be timely with my classes today. That restored a little joy to my day. Not because I’m anxious to kick classes out on time, because I’d prefer to just keep them until I’m done, but it gave me a couple minutes between classes, which allowed some water breaks, some setting up and prep time throughout the day. I’d like to try the same thing on Thursday when I have my full lineup again. We shall see.

I also did some walking today. The glory of the sun being up longer into the evening is that I can go to the library at 5, make it home by 6 (on foot…not sure how far it is, maybe a mile there and a mile back?) and still have some sunlight. I returned some books that were already renewed once and due tomorrow. I finished one and barely started the other…but didn’t see much of a difference occurring in three weeks. I found a short one about a woman who equipped women around the world in small business practices. Or something like that…I’ve read the one-line reviews on the dust jacket and the inside summary. Besides that, I’ll let you know if I finish it. This would be a place to insert some criticism for the local library not having much in the way of books I’ve been hoping to read…but instead I will accept that there are plenty of books that they do have that I just haven’t been apt to try. I should do that.

Besides that, tonight was mac and cheese night at my house–I cooked the noodles in milk. It worked beautifully, though the 1/2 teaspoon of salt was not quite enough (or my milk was too sweet?) and it ended up being kind of plain. Next time I might just add some butter to the mix (a la lipton noodle packets) as I didn’t use the called-for whole milk. We shall see. It was kind of a milk hog (3 cups for 2+servings), so it’s better for rapidly expiring milk. Like my current gallon.

I was mightily encouraged this morning to read Jesus’ reply to the question “What is the greatest commandment?” in Mark. It’s nearly a direct quote from Deuteronomy 4:6, but the scribe’s response was pretty nifty. In any case, I spent a lot of today reflecting on what it looks like and means to love God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul AND all of your strength. The last one was particularly amusing, as my muscles ache from my running shennanigans yesterday. Ha. The timing was appropriate because I was just praying about endurance, and this chunk really stuck out. A few other things stuck out too…but that was worth mentioning here and now.

I think my break-for-blogging has reached an end. I’d like to try to finish this cuff (er, these cuffs) before bedtime so I can start the lace pattern tomorrow. Woohoo!



I finished the purple-patty-eating-socks. #2 is blocked and drying. I’ll present to G tomorrow morning before work (then if she’s already wearing her purple sweater, she’s good to go for the day’s socks). I hope that my motivation returns in knitting today. I returned from a weekend with family to rediscover the scads of Christmas yarn that has been waiting so nicely in my cabinet for knitting. I think some Stroll Socks (that berry hand-painted) is up next. I’m tempted to do the Imagination yarn…but I think I want to find a scrumptious lace pattern for that. Perhaps K has an idea!!

I took a couch to 5K run today…starting back at the beginning again (week 2, actually) is a little discouraging. I might be able to go further, but I don’t really want to stress out my knees and feet too much. I might do 2 rather than 3 repeats of each “week’s” podcast, but we’ll see. Maybe taking it slow won’t be so bad once I get past the 90 second spurts. I’ve decided not to buy another activity pass at Fusion. Perhaps I will next year (or maybe the community center will be open? i don’t remember) when it’s cold and wintery again. We shall see. I should probably do some research to figure out how to improve overall fitness at some point. I’m pretty sure not going to Zumba once a week won’t change much there :). I do have 2 punches left of my card…so that’s fun. I really like the Sunday class, though it’s more fun to go with my friend on Tuesdays or Fridays.

New Heights had its first Sunday morning service at Paramount today. God has been so incredible in his timing of bringing me to Indianola (and before that to Cornerstone) and so on and so on. I can’t really begin to describe the abundance of what I am feeling here. Wow, in a word. I am really anxious for this to take off, to see God’s mighty hand bring unity to Indianola, to serve people in new ways, to bring glory to His name. I want to be part of a great deal of it (knowing that this is not fruitful, I will attempt to be wise in deciding)…but man! So excited!

And tonight at Zumba I totally smiled at intensely and almost struck up conversation with a girl that I thought I recognized but then realized I didn’t. OOPS. I hope she wasn’t utterly creeped out. I prolly would have been like, “wha?” if someone had done that to me in college.

Mmk. Dinner, some sit-down time, and some prep for the week. Glad to be done with those socks!

Pound It

Whoa, snow storm. So evidently the rock that I live under forgot to mention bad weather coming in tonight. I mean, seeing the snow today at school was kind of fun (it had been pouring all morning), but tonight everyone’s talking about “up north” and all the snow and such expected an hour away in Ames. That puts a slight wrinkle in my plans to celebrate good times with mi madre (her b-day) and chilling with my dad. Hmm. Maybe it’ll blow over :).

I made a pound cake for said birthday. The directions said to cream the butter (unsalted) and sugar for 8 minutes on High. I was trusting my kitchenaid, but I was fearful for it…that’s a long time to mix at high speed (ok, I chickened out at speed 6 when it started flinging a little bit of butter out the top), but the results seem to be ok. I haven’t cut into it…so the true test is yet to come. I was disappointed that the recipe was for 2 cakes (the pound of butter gives it the name “pound cake”…and the pound of sugar and pound of flour, though I just used cup measurements that were given) and halving the recipe meant the odd-egg-division-conundrum. I decided in the name of eggy flavored cake and moist pound cake that I could afford to go long on the egg. If it doesn’t turn out, next time I’ll go with four. Or I’ll make Paula Deen’s pre-diabetes recipe which calls for 1 Cup Butter and 1/2 cup shortening! Only five eggs though (for a big bundt sized cake). And a cup of milk. But not this time…I went for health this time ;).

We had our first worship team rehearsal for Sunday morning services. I am really excited to be on the team. I have had the blessing of learning a lot about worship team stuff through my brief stints at churches (and in 24/7 and at camp), but I’ve never really been called on to be very active. Searching for a church all last year meant another year of no activity. The long and short of it is that I think I will safely be involved in sound or music to some capacity at New Heights Church. We’ll see what the niche becomes, but I am very glad to be involved…actually I’m just glad to be involved in this church period. Going to Simpson on Tuesday night was really sweet…I don’t think a single person at my table expressed much interest in coming to our church on Sundays or participating in Salt Company when it starts (not that they won’t do either, but they seemed pretty engaged already)…but just talking to them and sharing some time with them got me going.

I spent a lot of my work day coloring today. We have a Dr. Seuss fundraiser next week (mini golf, woo woo) and I chose Green Eggs and Ham as my theme (’twas once my PE nickname). Today I made a 3′ Sam I Am and 4′ Unnamed Character (kind of looks like a dog). I totally drained every black non-permanent marker in my room. Here’s hoping i win the PTO decoration prize so I can replace them…heh. Perhaps this was an unnecessary project for the school day, but I don’t know when I’ll do it between now and next week. In fact, setting up a mini-golf hole in my room is going to be one monstrous task for me because it means I have to put away that which might walk away. There’s supposed to be someone in my room the whole time, but they might not have enough volunteers (they’ve talked about stationing people in the hall between rooms)…ach. It also requires some creativity in making barriers. I hope it’s fun.

That’s about it. I should make the coffee and hit the pillow. Oh, yeah…and pack in case the weather is better than they say! 🙂

Filled Up

My day wasn’t as tough as yesterday. I am thankful for the kindness and support from a few folks in particular, but most noticeably affecting my mood was a full day of classes. I didn’t have time to think and wallow in much of anything but my job beginning at about 8:30. That is especially healing and I am feeling encouraged.

Our CG had a Fiesta tonight. Can I just gush a little here? We have a couple young families who contribute more to our weekly gatherings than I can begin to describe…and they’re chasing down kids.  I think I have some room for growth in serving others well because that’s just plain awesome.

Tomorrow’s a full one again. Looking forward to the weekend for a bit of rest (admittedly not a whole lot planned…but church is in Indianola, so I won’t be driving on Sunday…except from Ames!).

Peace 🙂

I am not…

a grown up.

Something about today irked me and more irksome than what happened was that I couldn’t get over it. My “best” solutions were really childish. Then I agonized about not getting over it some more.

I know I am the recipient of grace from my Father, and that gives me reassurance, but whew today was tough. Tomorrow will probably be tough.

I was about to quote most of Romans 7 here, but instead I’ll just provide a link…the tongue twister parts about not doing what I want to do and doing what I do not want to do? Yeah….that’s it in a nutshell. Read it here.

Time for bed. Goodnight.

count thy blessings.

A conversation with my discipler (or mentor if that’s your lingo) included a tidbit about a book she had read called 1000 gifts. The author poetically named 1000 gifts she had observed. I sat down not long after and planned to make my own list of blessings to count…and the first 75 were down just like that. Since then they’ve been slower to come to mind, not for want of gifts, but instead a decision not to repeat them (although it’s really hard to not re-write coffee every morning…I’ve come up with about every possible gift within the gift of coffee in my morning as a result!!). I’m probably closer to 200 now, but it’s slow going. Initially I put the brakes on because I didn’t want to run out of steam by exhausting the subject in one sitting…but that is not material.

What is material is that within a week that has just started I have the choice of dreading the long days ahead (a huge project due on March 1st, some major decorating for a fundraiser the following day…all for the vanity of winning a little extra PTO money for my classroom, as hard as that is to admit) or by cherishing gifts that I have noticed. Tonight was going to be a packed night…a meeting followed by a lesson followed by a walk (a much anticipated one), dinner, baking cookie bars, cleaning up, and possibly some Downton Abbey if time allowed.

All those things happened (not the walk, as it started to rain, but my friend K came over and spent time with me, which was way better than a walk anyway!), but I sit back now and reflect on today’s gifts. First, I had a class really embrace a new note on their recorders. I mean really. It’s not my easiest crowd to appease. I hope and pray it’s for solid, pure reasons (the joy of new musical notes) and not the particular combination of fingers. I’m a little behind on the hand gestures to avoid in these recent days, but I feel like the pop culture that decides what certain combinations of fingers means needs to give music teachers a break. There is only so much you can to do describe how to cover holes on a note without sounding doubtful of its sanctity.

But on to the gifts–I have the chance to be observed by a student teacher tomorrow. I’m not even nervous…and here’s why: I am not afraid to crash and burn in front of her. I mean, I don’t really want to crash and burn, but as I am human, as I have failed plenny-o’-times, what better audience to take it in?  I watched really comfortable and confident teachers when I was starting out and got really discouraged when I couldn’t make it happen. HA. There is hope in sharing the lessons of my “youth” in teaching.

Other gifts exist too…some that I’d love to dispel but discretion prevents it. One more I will mention–I put out a call for accompanists on facebook (the social media tool I can’t seem to shake but hate at the same time) because I stupidly overlooked Maundy Thursday when scheduling my upcoming program (thereby ruling out most of my limited possibilities) and I got a hollaback. What touches me is that it’s not someone from I-town, but someone from my previous job. Is that not a gift?

So, to conclude, Facebook too is a gift. HA. Who would ever admit that? In this case I feel it is indisputable.

I should probably wash my dishes and get some sleep…that Zumba last night was hard core and I was tired most of the day in part to its strenuous pace. ‘night

It might as well be spring, 3 days down, sale

I am doing laundry. Loads of it. In fact, 3 loads. I skipped washing my sheets last week and so HAD to today…but rather than wait for the three loads to finish (the whites are my last load today) I decided to put on regular sheets. That’s right, the flannel sheets are retired in February. They might come back, but it’s been above 75 most days in the past week or two (in the apartment, outside has been cooler 🙂 ), and I’m overly warm at night. I also flipped my lovely quilt from the auction last summer…it has a blue backer. I’ve noticed that I am more often drawn to blue these days. I kind of stopped going for blue a while back when I noticed that the majority of my wardrobe was blue, but it’s coming back…and on my bed is a great place for that.

I found a cleaning “regimen” for the novice on an apartment blog (called apartment therapy) and I am wrapping up day 3 of the 20 minutes-ish a day plan to live in a cleaner home in 30 days. I appreciate the spontaneity the plan seems to contain (though being a plan it isn’t truly that)…there’s not a real noticeable pattern. That works for me. Then I can’t say…ugh, it’s Tuesday, the bathroom is not that bad, I’ll let it go till next Tuesday. The calendar, though inspected by me when I was making it (the apartment has a list, so I transferred those items to a calendar), contains a bit of a surprise for the day. Funny that K just wrote about clutter in her blog today…but I’ve been looking around and feeling a bit like suffocating.

Lastly, because I think I’m going to go to Zumba, I bought a sale pair of shoes for even more discount today–the first time I have ever gotten a discount for a stained item. I am so thankful to my clerk for mentioning it to me and for following through…they’re a little trendy, but I think they’re kind of fun. Need to keep breaking them in, I think :).

How can tomorrow be Monday? This week promises to be FULL.




Reading, reading.

Yesterday at conferences I had a great opportunity to work in my classroom with minimal interruption (three people per night has been my consistent average in the 8 conference days I have put in). I was copying some Honor Choir part CDs we had recorded in the morning (32 in total…) and reading some articles online in between…being chained to a computer for burning CDs has its advantages. I read about cleaning an apartment in 30 days, about Target’s super analytical marketing strategies (they can predict pregnancy based on your purchasing habits…crazy!), how to clean a laptop, and many other short articles. Fascinating stuff…and yet, not a great use of brain power.

This morning, though, I have been doing taxes, which requires brain power. My 2010 taxes didn’t show a full year of teaching, and I worked at Bible Camp for part of the year, so my owed taxes (and income) were significantly lower…I’m not angry at the government for asking a lot of taxes from me, but yikes. It’s not a refund year. I think I need to adjust my W-4s or something.

Oh yeah, it’s my day off. That’s why I am posting at 11:00ish in the morning. Glorious, really. I don’t want to waste it, though I only have about 4 hours left until I go to the jazz band and show choir contest our high school hosts. I’ll be missing the sunshine in the office I’ll work in.

And so to sunshine. Or lunch. Or something!

the day after Valentine’s Day

It’s not a school night! But it’s a work night. The past couple nights have been late ones (regrettably one was late because I was watching Downton Abbey online and the website was freezing up every five minutes…argh)…and Monday was the lasagna night. I was tired tired today. But tomorrow…eh, it’s not a teaching day, so I’m good, right? Hmm.

The other day a student of mine shared with other students (while in my classroom) that he had been reading his Bible the night before (first thing in the morning). Then later in the day he started telling some of the Genesis creation account, as it had been part of the 7 pages he’d read (under the covers because he was supposed to be asleep, as he told the group of kids). Is there any better thing to overhear? I just want to talk about that at school with kids, all the livelong day. Maybe not every moment of every day do I feel that way, but what a neat, neat thing to be within earshot of that conversation.

Valentine’s Day at an elementary school remains pretty top-notch. Lots of treats, notes from kids and a few friends of mine. I enjoyed supper with a family from church, received a bouquet of lovely tulips (in my top 2 flowers, probably, though I never can pick the #1) from them, and enthusiastically enjoyed contemplating the love of Christ as it pertains to the people around me. A sweet day–I’d like to have some more of those days; yes, on Valentine’s Day, but other days too. That holiday doesn’t have to be stereotypical, you know? I guess my expectations are just that it’s not.

One more day of conferences before the big break…er, comp day. I have a classroom to clean tomorrow…goody goody gumdrops as we used to say as kiddos. 🙂



I love tulips. Mmhmm.

Time for an early bed-time, methinks. Happy “friday” Thursday tomorrow!


Have you considered the greatness that is contained in the word “drizzle?” It most assuredly preceded any of the hip and hoppin’ slang like “fo shizzle” and all the other words with “izzle” suffixes…and it even has a legitimate definition. That is why I am happy to report that we are experiencing some drizzle this evening. And it’s kind of freezing. But not a lot…so it’ll be slick tomorrow, but we’ll be at school on time.

It’s conferences week. I am anxious to be done with them because that means home-stretch. I started Couch to 5K during conferences week last year, and though it’s not even close to as warm or dry as it was then, I remember the school year FLYING after that. I am anxious for warmer days, a little time with my seester in March, and blissful May/June days off. Which is to say preparing madly for a teaching gig in July, but you know what, it’s ok.

Conferences are not (have I said this before?) a really popular time to visit the music room. If you’re like me, you’re totally scratching your head…all those instruments, a chance to ask questions, move around the entire room, all without being scolded or redirected. But no. I have had 3 parents/families come in about every conference night I’ve had thus far. I’m wondering if Thursday will bring in the big numbers. Probably not. One parent asked me if I even go to conferences because I don’t give any tests.

I don’t?

I know, I know. Not those tests that conferences are all up in arms about. But where do they think those report card grades and comments are coming from? Am I wasting my time entirely at the end of the quarter to enter those results with care and precision? Actually…don’t answer that. It won’t change my mind. My assessments are required by the district and are useful for instruction, if nothing else. If Johnny can’t tell the difference between a quarter note, a dynamic marking, and a bass clef, I’ve probably got some work to do…but my assessments along the way would have caught the problem before moving on. Or something.

There’s a lasagna in the oven…I’m getting a head start on tomorrow’s dinnah…but it needs to cook, cool, and fit in the fridge before bed. I should probably get ready for bed ahead of that, or it’s going to be a really late night.

Have a blessed Valentine’s Day. I’m hopeful that you will find reason or cause to bless someone with words of encouragement and affirmation today, as growing together in Christ is described in the Bible! 🙂