Archive for August, 2009
Well, it finally happened.Â It’s taken nearly 10 months, but it’s finally happened.Â And I do believe there was an audible “THUNK” as my jaw hit the floor.
I’ve finally matched my lowest recorded weight from last October.
Yeah, baby.Â I’m back.Â And leaner than ever.Â Well, not really.Â But leaner than in a long time, that’s for sure.
It’s the end of my very first week working full-time, and I gotta tell you, I’m tired!
I’m not used to waking up earlier than my children on a regular basis.Â I’m not used to having to cook breakfast and make four lunches and feed both pets and get showered and dressed and out the door by 7:30 either.Â And that’s just before school!
So this weekend, I intend to rest.Â A lot.Â Put my feet up.Â Take a breather.Â Relax a little.Â Who knows, maybe I’ll even listen to some music.Â Perhaps something quiet and peaceful like this:
Okay, so I admit, this will not be my most creative post.Â It will not be my finest hour in the blogosphere.Â This post will not represent the quality of content or style that many have come to expect from me.Â I’ve survived two days of full-time work…but I’m tired, my brain is tired, and honestly, I’ve got nuthin’.
So, to fill the space for today, I give you “fluff.”Â Read if you want, but bear in mind, you’ll never get this 5 minutes back.
A) Four places that I go to over and over: McKinney Fellowship, McGowen, Kroger, 7-11/Race Trac (depending on who has the best prices on Diet Coke)
Well here it is.Â The day my children have alternately dreaded and anticipated all summer long.Â The day I’ve been so anxious about for the past few weeks.Â The day circled in red on our calendar.
The first day of school.
And while I can hardly believe Trey is beginning his next-to-last year of elementary school (wasn’t I just changing his diaper and taking him for walks in his stroller?), I am so proud of the people my children are becoming.Â I wouldn’t change a minute of this crazy ride for anything.
The day began earlier than usual this year, because for the first time ever, Mom will be joining the kids in walking all the way in to the classrooms at the start of school.Â It’s been ten years since I last stood in front of a classroom and called myself “teacher” – so I was pretty nervous about how I would handle it all.Â But we made time for the traditional pictures in front of our house:
All was well and good until Matt informed me I had to be included in the picture, since it was MY first day of school, too…
To answer the question I know you’re all asking, yes, I did have a first-day-of-school dress all ready to go.Â However, I found out that the staff were all asked to wear their new McGowen staff shirts – which are black – and of course I don’t have one.Â I figured the best way not to stick out like a sore thumb was to wear a black shirt, so it was back to the old standbys for me.Â But I did wear cute shoes.
And as has become custom, I must get a picture of the backpacks.
Crisana chose a Strawberry Shortcake matching duo and Trey chose Bakugan.Â It’s amazing how his tastes have changed since that Buzz Lightyear backpack he was so proud of in first grade!
Since we arrived at school so early, we were unable to get pictures of us with Mr. McGowen this year.Â We did the next best thing, though and got pictures at the sign bearing his name:
Then it was off to the classrooms.Â Since we’d already done the pictures at their desks and with their teachers, there was no need to rehash those.Â But we hadn’t done the locker pictures, so we started with Crisana…and learned that Mrs. MacInnis loves frogs.
We then discovered that fourth grade does not use lockers.Â So that was it for our picture-taking adventures.
But the journey has only begun…and it was a lot of fun to begin it together!
Well the moment of truth has arrived…last night was Meet the Teacher Night at McGowen!Â We finally learned who the victims …er…lucky leaders are!
We actually knew who Crisana’s teacher would be because we received a phone call from her earlier in the week, reminding us of the upcoming Meet the Teacher and supply drop-off night.Â But for some reason, we never received a call from Trey’s teacher.Â After hearing from friends and other parents, we could begin the process of elimination but could not narrow it down completely.Â So we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at school and saw the lists.
First, we have Trey’s teacher.Â Her name is Mrs. Kaspar, and though I don’t know much about her, I do know that she moved down from fifth grade this year.Â Since my mother was a fifth grade teacher for many, many years, I do know that former fifth grade teachers can be pretty cool people after all.Â She seems like a perfect fit for Trey – very nurturing yet with high expectations.Â I am confident this will be a great year for him – and that once again he will have the best teacher possible for his personality and abilities.
Of course, we had to have the obligatory “sitting at the desk” picture:
I’m sure this desk will look a lot different come the beginning of school.Â But for now, Trey enjoys the “uncluttered” look.
Then it was time to trek down to first grade, where we were able to introduce ourselves to Crisana’s teacher.
Her name is Mrs. MacInnis and we will learn to like her despite that horribly awful burnt-orange lanyard around her neck.Â We realize that not everyone can be perfect, so we choose to love and support her despite her shortcomings.Â (Matt’s only partially kidding here, folks.Â This Aggie-t.u. stuff can be fierce!)Â She, too, seems like a perfect fit for Crisana, and even though her dearest friends ended up in other classes, Crisana is excited about the friends in her new class.
And of course she couldn’t wait to be photographed at her desk, too:
So now the school supplies are all neatly tucked away in their proper places, the forms have been filled out and returned to school, the new t-shirts have been purchased and we’ve said hello to all our McGowen friends.Â The countdown begins to Monday…and a brand new educational adventure for all of us!
I can hardly wait!
It’s back-to-school time!Â And you know what that means!Â New crayons!!
Seriously, is there anything better than a freshly-opened box of crayons, where all the tops are neatly filed and lined up straight in a row?Â Or the look of a brand-new sharpened pencil, with the eraser square and pink, and the wood straight and yellow, with no teeth marks?
Only one thing could be better…and that is getting a great deal on school shopping!
At the end of last year, a facebook friend asked the rhetorical question, “Why wouldn’t anyone want to purchase school supplies through the PTA??”Â Of course, I had to comment, despite the fact that the question didn’t really beg an answer.Â I shared with her my reasoning, which included my previous bad experiences with EPI as a teacher not getting the supplies I needed and having to spend hundreds of dollars of my own money as a result; our generosity to the PTA in other ways which relieves me from the guilt of having to support every single fund-raiser offered; and the cost-effectiveness of doing it myself.
While each reason was valid, I had never really put that third one to the test.Â So I decided this was the year.Â I was going to see exactly how much I spent on school supplies and compare it to what was offered through the prepackaged deals.Â Here goes:
First, we have Trey.Â A stack of supplies ready to go to fourth grade.Â Here is what he needed and what I paid for each item:
4 100-count spiral composition books, wide ruleÂ $1.29 x 4 = $5.16
24 no. 2 wood pencils $0.50
2 packages 200-count wide rule notebook filler paper (I had to purchase 3 because they came in packages of 150, so this way we contributed MORE than was needed) $0.25 x 3 = $0.75
1 box 12-count crayola presharpened colored pencils $1.89
2 boxes 200 count Kleenex tissue FREE (we purchase these in bulk at Costco so I did not have to purchase these)
36 pencil cap erasers (I purchased an entire box of pencil grips and pencil cap erasers because they were so cheap) $0.25
1 2″ vinyl hardback 3-ring binder $4.99
1 package 8-tab index dividers for 3-ring notebook $2.39
1 purple plastic pocket and brad folder $0.25
1 green plastic pocket and brad folder $0.25
1 pair 7″ sharp fiskar scissors $2.79
5 grab-on foam pencil grips (purchased in bulk with the pencil cap erasers)
12 bic medium black clear barrel pens $2.00
1 nylon pencil bag, clear top with grommets 7 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ $1.99
TOTAL before tax: $23.21
Now, we move to Crisana.Â A first-grade supply list, which looks a little different.
6 large (22-gram) Elmer’s glue sticks (we purchased 12 of the smaller size because they were buy 2 get one free) $1.89 x 2 = $3.78
1 pair sharp 5″ fiskar’s scissors $1.34
1 box 20-count ziploc brand gallon-size bags FREE (we purchase these in bulk at Costco, plus I had a coupon for it)
12 Sanford Papermate no. 2 American pencils $0.99
2 boxes 24-count Crayola crayons (buy 1 get 2 free!)Â $2.39
1 box 100-count Kleenex tissue $1.89
1 green pocket and brad folder $0.33
1 purple pocket and brad folder $0.33
1 blue pocket and brad folder $0.34
1 yellow pocket and brad folder $0.33
1 red pocket and brad folder $0.34
1 red plastic pocket and brad folder $0.98
4 100-sheet count black marble composition books $0.50 x 4= $2.00
2 pink bevel erasers $0.79
1 package 12″ x 18″ assorted colors construction paper 50 count $2.99
1 package 12″ x 18″ bright white construction paper 50 countÂ $2.99
2 Expo black chisel tip dry erase markers $1.50
1 package 100 count notebook filler paper (we purchased 150 at a much cheaper price) $0.50
1 box Crayola classic thick markers 8 count $0.50
1 fluorescent yellow highlighter $0.09 (yes, that’s 9 cents!)
TOTAL before tax: $24.40
This is compared to roughly $30-$40 or more as charged through the school.Â And I did it by watching sale flyers and timing errands with other things in the area.Â It was no extra gas or time for me and I certainly enjoyed watching the savings pile up along with the school supplies!
We have had a great summer enjoying all the fun that the Dallas metroplex has to offer.Â And when Charity and Noah decided to make the trek north for a quick visit before the start of school, we knew we would have to take them for a day of â€œMore Flags, More Funâ€ at Six Flags in Arlington.
We arrived at the park around 11 A.M. and had to get the picture of our children in front of the welcome plaza:
We made our way inside the park and were greeted instantly with several characters ready for picturesâ€¦so of course we obliged.
Then it was off to the rides!Â We wound our way through Mexico and Spain, riding the Sombrero â€“ twice â€“ La Vibora, El Conquistador, and El Asseradero.Â We made a quick pass through Texas, stopping to ride the train around the park â€“ one and a half times â€“ before stopping for lunch at our favorite stop: The All-American Cafe.Â Though it was a hot day, we managed to keep cool by eating inside and staying well hydrated.
Then it was off to Aquaman, where we were thoroughly soaked from head to toe.Â To dry off, we decided to ride Tony Hawkâ€™s Big Spin.Â Even Noah and Crisana were willing to brave the dizzying turns and spins.Â By this time it was mid-afternoon and we were all hot and tired, so after a stop in the gift shop, we headed out to the car to head home.
All in all, it had been a great day.Â Right up until the part where I threw up in the trash can in the parking lot.Â And on the George Bush Turnpike in Plano.Â And thatâ€™s all I have to say about that.
Okay, so Trey got his braces er, excuse me, his BRACKETS for his braces today.Â The orthodontist will wait to put in the wires until weâ€™re done turning his upper expander, in a couple of months.
Trey sure is proud, as if having braces is a lifelong dream of his.
But despite the wires, he sure looks more grown upâ€¦more like a tweenager and less like a little boy.Â And Iâ€™m just wondering, when did that happen?
Okay, this is hands-down one of the greatest meals I’ve had since we started South Beach.Â Totally yum-o.Â For Phase 1, leave off the buns…though that is truly one of the things that made this such a great meal.Â For Phase 2, we used sugar-free Nature’s Own Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns, and though it certainly wasn’t as good as, say, Mrs. Baird’s totally white and fluffy jumbo seeded sandwich buns, it was definitely respectable.Â And with a hearty thumbs-up from both kids, it’s a double winner in my book.
TURKEY SLOPPY JOES
1 lb. ground turkey breast
1/4 C chopped onion
1/2 C no-salt-added ketchup
3 T barbecue sauce
1 T prepared mustard
1 T vinegar
1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t celery seed
1/4 t pepper
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
In a nonstick skillet, cook the turkey and onion for 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.Â Ad the next seven ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Â Serve on buns.
Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional analysis: 236 calories, 365 mg sodium, 37 mg cholesterol, 29 gm carbohydrate, 23 gm protein, 3 gm fat
Serve with a side salad and you’ve got a great and easy summer supper!
As you probably know, I’ve been out of touch lately.Â Since Thursday, I’ve been holed up with 6 other women in a little house in Denton scrapping my life away.Â Four consecutive days of scrapping can make one a little stir crazy, so we decided to liven things up every once in awhile.
And this weekend, I was introduced to BonQuiQui.Â You may know her as Anjelah Johnson, referenced in an earlier post about the nail salon.Â Well, this is another one of her sketches, and we had a great time this weekend invoking a call to security and threatening to “cut” anyone who didn’t agree with us.