Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm ba-ack!

I needed two syllables on that one. Because it feels good to be home. I was in Atlanta at an IB conference for 4 days. Our school offers this diploma, and to teach certain higher level math classes you need the 15 hours of training. And next year I am teaching advanced juniors. Should be fun. Went with the department head of my building, the dept. head of the other high school, and the head of math for our district. We had fun together. NO major hassles with travel or anything until the flight home yesterday was delayed due to some pretty big storms. I really needed to get home because yesterday was Jenna's birthday. I was just about crying (OK, I WAS crying) when I heard some flights were being canceled, but in the end we were only delayed a few hours and I got to see my little 6-year-old.

She's 6. Wow. How did that happen? If you have kids you're going to know what I'm talking about here. If not, read on. You'll be bored. But the day of their birthday you think about the birth story. And you talk about the birth story. And others talk about their birth experiences. And you can tell through the telling what an impact having children has on us, both men and women alike. Both of my girls were born within an hour of my arrival at the hospital, so mine involve a lot of panic and watching the medical professionals run around in a tizzy. Good times.

Jenna got a tricked-out Schwinn with matching helmet from her daddy. I just cannot get through to him that she does NOT need the latest, greatest, most expensive bicycle EVERY YEAR. That maybe, and I'm just throwing this out there, she could ride a bike for, say, TWO years. I know, it's revolutionary thinking and I'm making a leap here. But it's his girl, and the new bike is his "thing." And I wouldn't change it for the world. That man loves his girl, I tell you. He took her to a restaurant for them to sing her happy birthday, and he got all choked up.

In Atlanta I couldn't help but think about the last time I visited to attend CHA, I met the ladies from Scrap Muse, and we had an amazing time together. These were all friends that I met through the internet, and they are still my friends now. Leslie, the owner of at the time, made it all possible for us. And seeing all of the military personnel in the airport made me think of her struggles with her son right now. If you're the praying sort, please keep Leslie and her son in your prayers. Please. See her blog here. He was wounded and is fighting for his life.

In scrappy news, while I was gone, (of course) this happened. First, my project for the Fancy Pants Blog appeared. It was a super easy frame using their amazing rub-ons. Then the amazing Ms. Klemish mentioned me on her blog post at Two Peas. Thanks, girl! And last, but certainly not least, my name appeared somehow on this list. You need to scroll down a bit to find it, but somehow my name is on the finalist list for the Chatterbox DT. Now I did apply, yes, but do you see those other names? I am seriously OUT OF MY LEAGUE here, folks. But I can't even tell you what it means to make the finalists with the likes of that talent. I don't expect to make the team, but cannot wait to play with the new lines. You can't win if you don't try, right?

OK, off to take care of the million and one things I have left for myself to do when I get home. Can you spell P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-E? Me either.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Randomness

OK, was that not the best tennis match EVAH? Go Nadal. I was in tears when it was all said and done. I'm cool like that. It makes me wonder why the obsession with tennis. I'm equally obsessed with hockey . . . Red Wing hockey, of course. I always say it's because the two sports are so similar . . . well, maybe not. But I love them both. Tennis, because it's hard. And you are relying on yourself, and only yourself. (Unless you're that Russian woman who kept yelling at her mother from the court. AWKWARD.) I love the mental strategy of tennis. And hockey because it is just good physical fun.

I think I need a twelve-step program . . . for pistachios. I am obsessed. My two thumbnails have been worn to the quick from the near-constant consumption of said goodies. It's not just the taste, and the salt, it's the satisfaction of breaking out one that you had deemed hopeless. No amount of split nails will keep me from these gems. I need help, I tell you.

And thank you, Emily, for turning me onto the Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice. Wow. Not too milky, not too sweet, cold, AND a good buzz. Good stuff, I tell you! A close second is the Sweet Tea from McDonald's. Try one. You won't be sorry. You won't sleep, but you won't be sorry.

LOVING my new phone. It's a Palm Centro. I can type in complete sentences with proper capitalization as well as punctuation. I'm cool like that too. But the best part is you can text WITH smilies and it appears as a chat. OK, it's not the IPhone, but what is?

For the fireworks photos I used the running man, or sports setting on my camera, and my 75-300 lens. I did not use a tripod. Here's what I found out. You need to track the fireworks as they are being launched. If you wait too long to take the picture, you get a series of dots in the picture, very uninteresting. You need to snap the picture just as it lights up to get the full shape of the fireworks. If it is not a particularly bright firework, your shutter speed goes so slowly you shake your camera thinking it's broken. Those are the blurry, bright photos. But in between the dots and the blur you can get some good ones. Trust me. I'm going to experiment with some sparkler (or as Jenna says sprinkler) photos. I'll keep you posted.

OK, enough of my random ramblings.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Independence Day Weekend!

Hope you're having a good one! A lot of family time, as well as some fireworks, and then to top it all off, TENNIS. Go Venus! What could be better.

Sharing a few photos from last night. We need to finish off our sparklers, but Jen has had a bad day decision-wise. I thought a nap would help, but not so much. We went on a long bike ride this evening to the nature center, hoping she could use up some of her energies. She still managed to make some poor choices.

Looking forward to the Nadal/Federer match tomorrow. I'm rooting for Nadal. What about you?

Have a great weekend and week. I've got another busy one.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wimbledon Magic

I'm such a fan, so you know what I am spending my time on right now. It's a hectic next two weeks, and I'd love some creative time, but it's highly unlikely. Especially given the fact that I just finished the last of my June deadlines. Talk about down to the wire!!!!! I'm turning into a slacker, I tell ya.

Here are some pics of my girls from yesterday. Em made it home for a scant 24 hours, and she even suggested I take some pics. Will wonders never cease?

I'd love to sit around and regale you with the minutiae of my life, but there's a tennis match happening, people. Got to go!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The story of a water balloon fight

She's got swimming lesson hair, that's for certain. Last night while we were playing outside she and her dad decided to have a little battle. Check out my photo blog for more pictures!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer vacation, my foot!

It's been a busy one. Oddly so. So here is a random listing of the last week.

~It was a rather stressful week with the family. My parents are aging, and they both have very different, yet pressing needs. I'm not going to go into details, but it ate up a lot of my emotional energy as well as time the past week. That being said, we are heading down the right track and making progress. Family is everything to me. 'Nuff said.

~Jenna had swimming lessons last week. And it was COLD. No complaints from her though. The girl is a fish. Her class is small, 4 kids, 4 teachers. A lot of individualized attention, for certain.

~Went cropping at my LSS. I went with the fabulous Sarah Klemish as well as my sister-in-law. We've been meaning to get together for some time. Finally it worked out. Miss Sarah conveniently neglected to tell us, however, that our local newspaper was coming in to interview and take pictures for an article for our paper about scrapbooking. She is a very sweet and humble individual who did not want the article to be just about her. It's a good thing she's so sweet, it makes it impossible to get mad at her! LOL! Got quite a few pages done that day, and haven't had time to scan or upload them all. Here are two I did for Sassafras Lass.

~Went to Saginaw Zoo. We love hanging there. Buy a yearly pass. It's close, it's very doable in a short period of time, and it's fun. Jenna just adores animals.

~Also took a trip to Frankenmuth. It's such a cool place to visit as well, but the construction we ran into along the way was BEYOND frustrating. There was a big pile up three cars behind me on I-75. There was a detour, and we were routed onto 675. Seems like an easy enough endeavor, and yet there was CONSTRUCTION on 675, with only one lane open. It was difficult hitting those breaks in time, and even once I did I was nervously looking behind me to see if others would be so lucky. Some were not. Won't be traveling south again any time soon. We did catch a little art fair and some German entertainment.

~Hit the Greek Festival as well. One of my best friends in high school was Greek, and we would go with her every year. The food is AMAZING. Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) are my all-time favorite, closely followed by tiropitas.

~Taught Photoshop Elements, and had 7 students. That is a good number! I so enjoy the people I meet in these classes.

~Emily went to Chicago for the weekend. Wend to visit the American Doll store for a bday present for JJbeans. Can't wait to hear how much fun she had. I love Chicago!

~Speaking of American Girl Dolls, Jenna asked if she could take Jess to Dow Gardens this a.m. So off we went. No major mishaps, except Jess lost her sunglasses. One minor hissy-fit later (Jenna, not Jess) and we retraced our steps and found them.

~One of my former students came over this evening for help with his college math. We worked on solving systems of inequalities using the Simplex method. I studied all afternoon so I knew enough to teach him. Nothing says fun like math in the summer! LOL! Seriously, we both decided that there was something oddly rewarding about working hard at a math problem and finally getting it. There were a few times when we would compare answers and his was right, mine wrong. The student becoming the teacher. What could be better?

~Took a few senior pics of my niece. (See post below.) Learned some things along the way, of course. I need to start noting the little mistakes I make so I don't forget them. Maybe when some time magically appears for me.

Hoping for a less stressful week. Hope you have a great one as well!