Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back Home

Quick post tonight-I got home yesterday afternoon and spent the evening getting the house ready for my house cleaners to come today. Does anyone else do this? Mr. P can't understand why I have to clean the house before they come each month. But I'm telling you, we were so busy this month, I simply could not keep up with the clutter control and I'm usually pretty picky about that. I would have been so embarrassed if they had seen my house before I got it ready for them!

Back at school today with lots of things to catch up on. I worked late and rode home with Mr. P because he worked late too. So that means I'll be at school early in the morning, and I'll hopefully get home earlier tomorrow afternoon.

Working late=takeout tonight. We picked up pasta on the way home, and there is enough left over for tomorrow night. No cooking and very little clean up 2 nights in a row-yeah!

The secretary from the school I used to teach at emailed me today. Her son and her best friend's daughter were in my class when I taught 3rd grade, and they were in my class again the year that I moved up to 5th grade. Both were great kids and I loved having them in class both years. They are now sophomores in high school (yikes, I'm gettin' old!) and they are going on a retreat for teens/young adults this weekend with their church. Part of the experience is receiving letters from friends and family, and she asked me if I would be interested in writing a letter for each of them. I was so touched that she thought of me, and I'm so glad to be able to tell them what great kids they are and how proud I am of them. I participated in a similar retreat program in high school and I remember receiving letters from my parents and other family and friends-it was a special experience.

Unfortunately, riding with Mr. P means that I have to be up by 4:45 in the morning, so I'm signing off and going to bed! Sorry for the random, boring thoughts tonight-I promise to write a more exciting entry tomorrow!

Have a great night!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I could get used to this

Hello everyone! I'm posting from my hotel room, where I am all tucked in for the night.

The presentation sessions went well today. I used to be an assessment specialist and presenting to large groups was a regular part of my job, but it had been over a year since I had done a presentation of this caliber. Luckily, it all came back to me and the presentation went great. I was partnered with my former boss, who is a great, classy lady that I had the privilege of working closely with for two years. She was integral in helping me develop leadership skills, and encouraged me in my quest to become a school-level administrator. I have really enjoyed spending time with her today because we used to make such a good team.

Well, I'm going to read a few blogs and then head to bed. I didn't sleep well last night because I was so nervous about everything today. Hopefully, I'll sleep better tonight!

Off to Louisville

I'm headed out of town to present at a state conference. I'm nervous about my presentation and I still haven't packed, so I'm a little stressed right now! Will try to post from the hotel tonight...

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Drive-by Posting

Hello all! Hope that you are having a great weekend. We are having our Fall Festival at school today, so it is a work day for me. We were at school late last night getting things ready, and I have to be back at school in a couple of hours. No relaxing Saturday for me today, but it should be a good time. It's our school's main fundraiser for the year and a big community event, so I'm looking forward to it.

My sweet, sweet husband got up this morning and made me chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Oh. my. goodness. They were wonderful! He is such a sweetheart-sometimes I think that I don't deserve such a great guy. He certainly puts up with a lot with me!!

Update on my autumn decorations. I wasn't happy with the gourds in the bride's bowl. I thought that it still looked a little plain. So I played around with some things and ended up adding more gourds and putting an autumn vine around the vase. Here are the before and after pictures.



Much better, don't you think?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weekend Update/Shopping Finds

Whew! I'm finally getting a chance to slow down a little bit this week. School has been so busy, but I got a bit of a break today. I had to attend a meeting in another district, which was closer to my house than school. So I got to sleep a little later, had a much shorter commute to work, and I was home by 4:00. What a treat!

We had a great time with my family over the weekend. We weren't able to leave until Saturday morning, so it was a short trip, but we still managed to squeeze a lot of activities in.
I had a lunch & shopping date with Mom, Katie, and my sister in law on Saturday. We went in several of the stores, but there were still some that we didn't have time to go into. I was happy to see that they had a TJ Maxx, but I didn't find as much as I would have liked to there. Just when I was beginning to think that my TJ trip was going to be a bust, I found these shoes for $25:

These are Rockports, which surprised me, because I never thought about that company making dressy shoes. I always think of the heavy work-type shoes when I think of Rockport. But you know how you can find the most random things at TJ Maxx! The shoes have a rubber sole, which makes them perfect for school, but they still look dressy. I've worn them twice this week and my feet have not hurt yet. I also picked up some trouser socks, and a few little items for stocking stuffers at Christmas.

We went to Old Navy, where I finally found the pink and green argyle sweater that I've been looking for...but they only had it in a small. I was so disappointed! This was the third Old Navy that I had looked for that sweater in, and the first one that actually had it. Old Navy sweaters tend to run small on me, so I really hesitate to order it online. But I may go ahead and do the online thing, since no stores in my area seem to carry it! I was also on the hunt for some trouser jeans, but I couldn't find any at Old Navy to suit me.

I had a gift card for Kohl's, so we decided to head over there after leaving Providence. I had been disappointed at my lack of finds at Providence, so I was hoping that Kohl's would work out better for me...and indeed it did! They were having a great sale. Here are my finds:

I fell in love with this jacket.

And I finally found some trouser jeans that worked for me. These will be perfect for school on Fridays.

I also found a sweater and a bubble-sleeve t-shirt. I've never been a fan of the mock-layer sweaters, mainly because they never seem to be comfortable on me. But I thought this one was so pretty with the black and white print, and when I tried it on, I was pleasantly surprised that it was very comfortable.

I also picked up some jeans and a golf shirt for Mr. P. In the process of my shopping finds, I earned $20 in Kohl's cash, which is basically a gift certificate. So I went to my local store today and used the Kohl's cash towards the purchase of these shoes:

I think that I can safely say that I have not lost my shopping gene, don't you think? I couldn't have picked a better weekend to shop because I will be presenting at a state conference in next week, and I was wanting some new clothes to wear. Packing for the conference won't be nearly as stressful now.

We had dinner at Mom and Dad's house Saturday night, followed by cake and presents. Mr. P made Mom a coconut cake because that is her favorite kind, and then we picked up a white w/buttercream icing cake at a local bakery.

We had brunch on Sunday at the Opryland Hotel with the whole family and had a great time. The Opryland Hotel is beautiful. If you are traveling to Nashville, I highly recommend staying there. Mr. P and I stayed there during the Christmas season a few years ago, and it was wonderful.

All in all, it was a great weekend!
I have missed reading everyone else's blogs, so I am off to catch up on my reading!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In Defiance of Mother Nature

Is fall ever going to arrive? We've had a couple of cool days here and there, but overall our fall has been h-o-t and I couldn't be more unhappy about it! The highs have been in the 80's here this can I wear my cute fall clothes in this heat? So, hot weather or not, I was determined to wear a "fall" outfit to church. Part of the problem is that I received some very cute fall clothes for my birthday and I am dying to wear them. So I inventoried the closet and tried to come up with a reasonable outfit, while still wearing at least one piece of my new clothes. Here is what I came up with:

This is not the best photo, but it's the best I could do. The RL shawl-necked sweater vest was a birthday gift. I found a gray, brown, and green plaid skirt that looked great with the vest and paired it with a cream-colored shirt.

I also put up a few autumn decorations around the house yesterday. Now I love decorating the house at Christmas, but I usually don't do much for fall. However, all of you crafty bloggers have inspired me to put forth a little more effort.
My dining room table:

The bowl is the bride's bowl that has been in my dad's family for years. I inherited it from my grandmother after she passed away a few years ago, and it was kept in storage until Mr. P and I moved into our new house. It sits on the dining room table and I usually try to work it into my holiday decorations because I can't bear to put it up. I put grass and painted eggs in it at Easter, and last year I put red and green ball ornaments in it at Christmas. I found some bags of gourds and I thought they would look pretty in it. I may move the candlesticks to the mantle and put some other candlesticks out.

Here are a few more pictures:

I love the little Harvest Girl, as I call her. A friend gave her to me for my birthday a few years ago and I think she's adorable.

We're off to a birthday party for our friends' twin two-year olds. It should be a good time!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hangin' in There for my Vols

Not a good day for football in my household, Kentucky lost to South Carolina and Tennessee lost to Georgia. I figured that the Vols wouldn't pull it out today, given the way the season has gone so far. No hard feelings against all you Georgia girls, though : ) We thought the Wildcats had a chance against the Gamecocks, unfortunately that wasn't the case. I still proudly wore my orange today because I'm hanging in there for my Volunteers!

The in-laws hosted the church's annual hayride and bonfire tonight, which meant that we sort-of hosted it too. Mr. P was up early this morning getting the hay bales on the wagons, setting up the wood for the fire, hauling picnic tables down to the area by the big pond, and doing various other chores. He was closely supervised by Sunny, as you can see from this picture:

And apparently watching others work makes her so tired that she can't even hold her head up...

My camera battery died right when we got back from the hayride, so I don't have any pictures of the bonfire, but here are a few pictures that I managed to get.
Loading up the wagons

Mr. P driving one of the tractors.

Sunny followed along for a while...

but she got tired so she jumped up on the wagon with us. She kept wanting to jump on and off the wagon and it was making me so nervous. Finally my sweet father-in-law put her in the cab of his truck, which was pulling the other wagon. She looked so cute sitting up there beside him. She certainly knew how to trick us into getting her a sweet ride! I tried to get a picture of her sitting up beside him, but I was at a weird angle, so this is the best I could do.

You can only see her back because she's leaning towards the window to stick her head out. Most of the time, she was sitting up, looking out the windshield. It was so cute!

It didn't really feel like hayride/bonfire weather today-it was in the 80's, but once the sun went down, the fire felt good and everyone had a good time. I really regret that I don't have any pictures from the bonfire. The area where we had it is one of my favorite places on the farm. There's a huge pond, with a dock and a large cleared area around it.
Busy day tomorrow-church, followed by a birthday party in the afternoon. Hope that everyone else is having a great weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Lovely Relaxing Day

Today was one of those days that I have very few of...a day with absolutely nothing to do. Of course I found plenty of things to do around here, but I never left the house. It was wonderful. I slept in, well if you can call it that. I slept until 7:30, but when you normally get up no later than 5:00, it's a luxury to sleep until 7:30. I relaxed over coffee while I caught up with some shows that I had on the DVR. I caught up on all of my blogs, discovered several new blogs, and watched the Sex and the City movie at the same time. I did do some housework (but not much!), read the October issue of Southern Living, and made a pot of chili for dinner. I also made the queso dip recipe from the Pepper Palace. It was so simple, yet it was delicious. 6 ounces of cream cheese, 8 ounces of Velveeta, and 1 tablespoon of this:

So yummy! I also used this seasoning in the chili and it really added some great flavor.

Since I didn't do anything very blog-worthy today, I'll show pics of what I bought when K and I were shopping yesterday. We went to the mall and hit Old Navy, Macy's, Forever 21, Victoria's Secret, Steve and Barry's, It's Sew You, and The Gap, before heading over to TJ Maxx. Mr. P and I have been trying to be more frugal lately, so I've had myself on a shopping freeze except for necessities. But with birthday money in my pocket, I was ready to buy! However, can you believe I only bought a few hair accessories? What is wrong with me? Have I involuntarily put myself on a permanent shopping freeze? Oh, say it isn't so! Actually, I think that K and I were so busy chatting and catching up on things that I didn't really focus on my shopping. We mainly just wandered around and talked. Let's hope that's the case anyway-a life without shopping sounds awfully sad to me.

Now I don't usually go into Forever 21. I guess I figure that I'm too far from 21 to ever think of myself as "forever 21"-hee hee. K wanted to go in, so I went with her and I was pleasantly surprised to find some really cute hair accessories at great prices. Here are my finds:

A two-pack of headbands-one plain black and one black and white plaid for $2.80. K picked out a similar pack, but one of her headbands was an animal print.

Another two-pack of headbands-two black headbands with a small bow for $1.50. Since they were both exactly alike, K and I split the pack.

A four-pack of hair clips for $1.80. Aren't the polka-dotted ones cute? So that's six headbands and four hair clips for less than $10.00. What a bargain! They had some other headbands with larger bows and feathers that would be great if you are going for a Blair Waldorf look. They were cute too.

Believe it or not, I have nothing scheduled for tomorrow either, but I do think I'll venture out of the house. My friend Lori B is working at a little boutique tomorrow, so I think I'll go visit her at the store. If there's a store that will convince me to get back in the shopping habit, it's the one she works at. They have such cute stuff in there.
I'll let ya know tomorrow if my shopping gene kicks back in!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm going to need a break from my Fall Break

Wow, it is already Wednesday and I only have two more days left of my break. I've been so busy and it has gone by very quickly. I had to work yesterday, but it wasn't too bad. I got to go in about an hour and a half later than I usually do, and I was able to leave by 3:15, so it was a pretty short day. Mr. P cooked a belated birthday dinner for me last night-salad, steak, and baked potatoes, followed by birthday cake. It was delicious! He's such a sweetie.

Today, I met my niece K, who is a freshman at a nearby college. I took her out to lunch, then we did some shopping. Although I had some birthday money to spend (yeah!), I didn't really find anything I liked. I did pick up some headbands and barrettes at the mall, but that was about it.

Here are some pictures and details from our weekend in Gatlinburg. We rented a condo with two other families. Mr. P and I, along with our friends D and R with their twin two-year old boys, and our other friends C and L, along with their 6 year old girl and 3 year old boy.

We left with D and R at 5 am on Saturday morning. C and L had driven down on Friday, so we had plans to meet up with them in Gatlinburg. We arrived in the mountains by 11:30, and were able to check into the condo by noon, which was great. We ate lunch and watched football at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. I had the cheese quesadilla, which was wonderful.

The guys watched the UK-Alabama football game in the afternoon, while we girls elected to walk around and sightsee. There is always lots to see and do. I found some great stores with preppy, monogrammed items. One was called Razzle-Dazzle and it had lots of cute stuff. I bought a monogrammed fob:

For dinner Saturday night, we met my parents at my favorite restaurant in Gatlinburg, The Best Italian, for an early birthday dinner. Mr. P and I discovered this restaurant several years ago. From the outside, it looks like a family owned pizzeria, but that changes the minute you step inside. They have wonderful pizza, along with fantastic pasta dishes, huge calzones, and the best garlic rolls you will ever eat in your life! Mom and Dad brought presents and cake, and we all ate outside on the terrace. The weather was beautiful and we had great time.

What do you do for breakfast on a Sunday morning in Gatlinburg? Go to one of the many pancake houses, of course! After breakfast, we decided to take the kids up to the amusement park at the top of Ober Gatlinburg. So we boarded the tram and rode up to the top of the mountain. I don't know who had more fun at the amusement park-the guys or the kids.

A few of us rode the ski lift to the top of Mount Harrison. The view was beautiful from up there.

On Sunday night, we went to dinner at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. It is a great restaurant and village. On Monday, the other two families took the kids to the aquarium. Mr. P and I have been to the aquarium several times, so we decided to walk around by ourselves while the others toured the aquarium. We walked through one of my favorite places in Gatlinburg, The Village. It has great shops, and Mr. P patiently walked through all of them with me. The Cheese Cupboard, Coffee & Company, Candle Cottage, and Taylor Girls are just a few of the stores in the village. We also went to the Pepper Palace in the Mountain Mall. I usually stock up on my Wind & Willow dip mixes there, but they only had a few selections. However, they had samples of a wonderful queso dip, so I bought the seasoning to make it.
We finally headed for home around 3:00 on Monday. It was kind of a different trip for Mr. P and I, although we had a fun weekend. We are used to quieter trips, but we had a great time with the kids. Mr. P had a blast at the amusement park, since he is a kid at heart! I wish that I had posted more pictures, but almost all of the pictures have the kids in them, and I don't want to post pictures of my friends' kids without their permission. I only posted the one of Mr. P because you can't really see the little one in the picture with him. I do have one picture of Mr. P and I on the ski lift, so I'll try to scan it and post it in the next couple of days.
We arrived at home late Monday night, and I had a birthday package from my in-laws and from Monogrammed Teacher waiting for me. What a treat! I have so much to be thankful for on my birthday, and I am blessed to have such sweet and generous friends and family.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A very tired birthday girl...

Well, we are finally home from our trip to the Smokies. We decided to get in a little more shopping and sightseeing before heading home this morning, so we just arrived at home about an hour ago. All in all, it was a great weekend...details and pictures will be up tomorrow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

7 Random/Weird Things About Me

I've been tagged by Monogrammed Teacher and Pharmacist Erin. So here are my seven random/weird things about myself.
  1. I am somewhat OCD. I cannot go to sleep if the closet door isn't closed and the two bedroom doors aren't open just right, I can't leave the house unless the bed is made, my desk must be straightened up before I leave school for the day, etc. This drives my laid back husband crazy sometimes.
  2. I live two miles from the Eastern/Central Time Zone line. I live in the Eastern Time Zone, but I work in the Central Time Zone. It takes me an hour to drive to school, so if I leave home at 6:45 am and drive for an hour, then I arrive at school at 6:45. Subsequently, if I leave school at 5:00 and drive home for an hour, I arrive home at 7:00. It can be very confusing at times!
  3. I cannot start following someone's blog without going back and reading all of the archives. Otherwise, I feel like I have started reading a book in the middle of the story.
  4. I am terrified of snakes. I cannot see a picture of one in a book without getting twitchy. If I see one on TV, I will involuntarily pull my feet up off the floor.
  5. I am a perpetual worrier. I worry when I don't have anything to worry about. I have been told that this is horrible for my health, which makes me worry even more. It's a vicious cycle.
  6. I have a master's degree, plus 30 hours in educational administration. I'm considering getting a doctorate in educational administration because I am only 45 hours away from one. But the thought of writing a dissertation scares me to death.
  7. I was born and raised in Nashville. I now live on a 100 acre farm with 3 ponds, wooded areas, and lots of wildlife. Quite a change for a city girl!

I think that most of the bloggers that I read have already done this, so I'm tagging anyone who hasn't!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I feel so special!

Pharmacist Erin has bestowed two wonderful awards on me! Thank you so much!

A big thank you for these, Erin! I feel so special and I really needed a smile tonight!

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (I put forth the best effort I can with this-and I'm told that I'm usually pretty cheerful.)
2. Must love one another. (I'm pretty good at loving others.)
3. Must make mistakes. (No problem for me in this department!)
4. Must learn from others. (I do this daily.)
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world. (Well, I've been a bit neglectful lately, but I'm trying to be better.)
6. Must love life. (I do.)
7. Must love kids. (In my profession, you have to!)

These are the rules for The Smile Award:
1. The recipient must link back the the award’s creator
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

I'm bestowing the following bloggers:
Rickrack and PomPoms-Love your blog! And you gave me my first award, which made me feel so special.
Monogrammed Teacher-We seem to have so much in common that we think we were separated at birth!
Pink Lemonade and Peonies-Congrats on your news! You're going to be a great mom!
The Pink Owl-Such a cute blog!
Positively Preppy in Pink-I love reading about her adventures in London.
Tickled Pink and Green-You've got a great blog....and great taste in blog backgrounds : )

Yeah, I know I nominated six instead of five, but I couldn't narrrow it down any more.

I still need to do my 7 weird/random facts about myself...that will be tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Favorite Month

Can you believe that is is already the first of October? After such a hot, dry September, we welcomed fall with a gorgeous, crisp autumn day today. The sun was shining, a slight breeze was blowing, and the air was definitely cool. I love it!
October has always been my favorite month. The leaves are changing, football is in full swing, and hayrides and bonfires are weekend activities. It's also my birthday month, which makes it even better.
Can you tell that I've got "fall fever"? Does anyone else have it?