Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?
Working.  It'll just be a regular ol' Wednesday to me.
2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?
To trust my boys and not get all worked up.
3. We're one week into the season of Lent...are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How's it going so far?
I decided to get up and recite a rosary every morning instead of getting on the laptop and reading e-mails, fb, etc.  I started on far, so good!
4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?
Halloween weekend.  YS & I went to a party at one of his friend's house that his parents were having.  It was a chilly night, and they had a fire going.
5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?
I don't think I've ever ordered surf & just seems like too much food for me.
6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?
Gosh, there have been some good programs in the past.  I would say MASH.  I asked CH, and the ones he said had all run its course.  They had gotten a little weird and it was time for them to go.
7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?
I'm not doing too badly at the moment.  Using the strategy of writing things down seems to help!
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Our TLC was wonderful today!  Beef stew (with the meat marinated in red wine), homemade bread, and Chocolate Chip Oreo Brownie.  A friend suggested the Brownie for dessert, and it was sooo easy!  Of course, I did cheat and used already made cookie dough and brownie mix, but it was delicious!  Here's how I made it:
Get a roll of cookie dough and press it on the bottom of a sprayed 9x13 pan.
Layer oreos over the dough.  Don't crush, just put them on the dough.  (I didn't even use oreos; I used the Food Lion brand which we like just as well as real oreos.)
Mix the brownie mix as directed on the box.  Then, spread that over the oreos.
Put in preheated 350 degree oven.  Check after 30 minutes.  If toothpick doesn't come out clean, continue baking  in 5 minute increments until it comes out clean.
This was amazing by itself, but if you served it warm with some vanilla ice cream, you'd have to slap your grandma!  :)

Weekend Wrapup

Another weekend that involved over 100 teenagers.  And it was good, it really was!  Saturday involved some theatrics, spinning, and percussion.  YS was involved in this:
And then this:
Another weekend of teenagers doing what they love to do.  A weekend of teenagers giving up a day of their weekend to perform.   I was exhausted by the time we got home!  I did manage to get quite a bit of a book read.

OS came in for the weekend Friday night, but I didn't really see him until Sunday since I was gone on Saturday. We actually had a dinner at home, all together on Sunday evening.  All 5 of us, plus one of CH's motorcycle friends.

Funny thing at the end of Mass:  At the end of Mass, Father will say, "Please bow your head and pray for God's Blessing".  Father said that, but then said, "No, please have a seat", followed by "There are no announcements, you can stand back up...And now we will do Rock, Paper, Scissors!"  If anybody comes to a Mass that he is presiding over and is expecting a perfectly said Mass, they're in for a surprise!  He definitely "makes it real!" 

I'm still trying to figure out Lent.  I'm trying to get in the right frame of mind, but I'm having a really hard time with it.  YS is giving up shoes for Lent.  Yes, I said "shoes".    I suggested something like going to Mass every Sunday, but he insists on going through with this.  I have no idea where he came up with idea, but apparently he's something he's thought through.

Let's get this week going so we can get it done!  Only 2 more weeks until we have Spring Break...YS' break starts at the end of this week. 

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~ I usually do "Meatless Fridays" on Fridays during Lent, but I'm honestly not feeling it this year.  Don't know why...I'm just not.

We I had a near disaster with the gerbils the other day:  I put Tige in his ball but left the door open.  Next thing I knew, Eli was out of the cage and Tige was rolling around on the floor (in the ball).  But, Eli was pretty much confined to the area around the cages, but I couldn't catch him.  So, I yelled for CH, who came in and caught him, but in the meantime the YS' door was open and Pepper was very interested in Tige.  She was nosing the ball around; I'm surprise Tige didn't have a heart attack.  It did look like Eli was trying to get back in the cage but couldn't figure out how to do it.  With Eli safely at home, I put Tige back in with him.  WHEW!

~  70 Degrees yesterday!  Man, oh MAN!  The sky was beautiful!  We're bracing for a high of 45 on Saturday.

~ 2 more weeks 'til Spring Break!  YAY!!!  Summer will be here before you know it!

Holy E-mail: Chuckle for the day

 I got this e-mail from one of my sisters.  It's a good one, and I wanted to share it with everybody:

One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the misbehaving that was going on. So he  called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.

When the angel returned, he told God, 'Yes, it is bad on Earth;
95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.

God was not pleased. So He decided to e-mail the  5% that were good, because he wanted to encourage them,
and give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what the e-mail said?

Okay, I was  just wondering, because I didn't get one either .... 

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?
Watching my kids doing something they love makes me very proud.  I get humbled every single day.  I don't think God lets me get too humble, because it seems like something is always putting me back in my place!
2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
The kitchen table.  Or the desk in the kitchen area where the pc used to be, because the stuff gets moved from the table to the desk.
3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
I don't get to the National Park as often as I should, especially since there's one in the same county where I live.  Of course the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is my favorite!  
4. How would you define honor?
Being selfless, noble, humble, honest.  Those things would make a person honorable.  I'm sure I've left something else, but I'm writing this in kind of a hurry since CH had my laptop last night, playing some tank game! 
5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
Devils Food = Chocolate.  'Nuff said.
6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?
The most recent road trip was last weekend to the university where YS attended the band clinic.  It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get there, but we crossed into central time, so we gained an hour.  No stops for us!  We zoomed down the interstate to get to the town the uni is in!  No one had snacks going down.  Most times I don't have a snack with me in the car; usually just water.
7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
My thought:  Thank you, Michelle Obama.  From what I understand, the child didn't even eat the lunch that was put in front of him/her.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  The government is now telling us what we can eat???  Scary stuff.  And I'd better just stop right here.  :)
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Sunday afternoon, CH & I went to a local restaurant to meet Joyce, her hubs, daughter2, and her in-laws for lunch.  As an added bonus, one of her hubs' classmates was also there!  Just in case you didn't read Joyce's post yesterday, her hubs & I went to the same high school and were in the band together, although he graduated with my sister, Tina.  I was also in the band with his 2 brothers, and his sister graduated with one of my younger brothers.  Her MIL was our "band mom".  AND, Joyce, her hubs, and I all went to the same university; her hubs was in the fraternity that was next door to the fraternity where I was a little sister, and Joyce & I took classes in the same department.  
At any given time, there were at least 3 different conversations going at the same time (her in-laws also had some friends join us).   We had a great time catching up, and 3 hours passed like a drop of a hat!  Yes, we stayed in the restaurant for that long, but we kept an eye on the door to make sure we weren't keeping the waitress from making money!

 It was a wonderful way to spend a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon!

Teenagers & Music

I had the great fortune to spend last Thursday afternoon through Saturday night with a bunch of teenagers.  That is NOT sarcasm; it's a fact.  YS & 3 other kids in the band went to a University for a band clinic.  Thursday evening they had to audition:  they had to play a couple of scales and sightread a piece for judges.  If you've never had this experience, it is unbelievably nerve-racking.  Friday morning we were back at the University to see where the kids were placed and to get them in the right place so they could start practicing.   Or, rather, their band director did.  I waited to see where they placed, then I left and went to Curves. 
It's really weird to go to a place that is so much like you're used to, but so different.  The machines at Curves were pretty much the same, but they felt differently.  Interesting.  I think I had a pretty good workout: when I left my face was RED and the sweat was just pouring off of me.  One reason for that may be that they don't keep the temperature as low as mine does.
I got back to the University about an hour before the lunch break, so we went to lunch and then the kids went back to practice.  It was amazing to hear them sight read the piece, then go back after a little bit of instruction and hear what a difference it made.  Honestly, it does a heart good to see hundreds of teenagers loving to play music.  No cell phones, no iPads/iPods, and no videos (not during rehearsal, anyway). 
At one point I was in the restroom, and a couple of girls came in. One of them said something about one of the conductors being from Provo, to which the other said, "What's a Provo?"  Aaaahh...Tennessee education.
The kids practiced, I read.  I played Words with Friends & Hanging with Friends.  What I didn't do was get caught up on blog reading.  I meant to; I really, really did mean to.  I may have even drifted off at one point.
Thursday night, when we got to the hotel, there may or may not have been a Miller Lite Tall boy left in our refrigerator from a previous guest.  And, someone may or may not have yelled at the boys for bringing it to see what kind of reaction he would get.  And, some boys may or may not have blamed each other for bringing it.    The can was taken down to the front desk and the staff member was very apologetic.  That will definitely be a story for them to remember and retell over and over!
Saturday morning, the band that 3 of the kids were in played their "slow song".  It was so pretty, and the different parts were so pretty that I had tears in my eyes.  (Y'all know that a pretty song will make me cry!)  And then, when I thought about YS & the other 2 kids I know being a part of that, I really teared up.  It just makes my heart swell to think about those kids playing such amazing music!  Their concert was Saturday night, then we all headed home.
They didn't make a recording of the concert, so I found most of the songs they played on Amazon and downloaded them.  Whoever chose the pieces did a really good job; I've been listening to the songs all day.
Guess there is hope for our country after all!

Presidents' Day

Today is Presidents' Day, meaning most people have the day off today.  But here I go, getting ready to go to school for a full day with the students.  We need a day off...badly.  The teachers are tired, the kids are tired.  The good news:  Only 3 more weeks until Spring Break. 
Back to Presidents' Day:  Last week my students played "February Bingo", and we talked about all of the pictures and what they had to do with February.  I usually have to explain to the kids that Washington's & Lincoln's Birthdays are in February, and then I explain how each of their birthdays used to be Federal Holidays, but then the government decided to combine the 2 and created "Presidents' Day".  I had a first grade group in my room, and when we came to Washington, one of my students proceeded to give my speech about how Presidents' Day came into being.  I was floored!  I couldn't believe that a 7 year old knew about that!  I'd bet money that a lot of adults don't know about it.  You've gotta love it when parents talk to their kids!
If you have the day off, how are you spending it?

Mary's World

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know, a day when you had a gazillion things to do and a short time to get everything accomplished, and nobody seems to notice that you're in a hurry?  Geez, some people need to get into my world!
After I left school, I had to run by the chiropractor.  It's usually a quick in and out...but not today.  Both rooms had patients, so I had to wait in the hall.  He quickly cracked one person's back, and he was out of there.  I went into the room, and he (the dr.) went into the other room.  Well, this woman wanted to talk.  She wanted to talk about something that I don't even remember, and then she wanted to talk about the dr.'s recent trip to Belize.  I may have let a huge sigh escape at one point, hoping he'd hear it.  He's just too seemed like he tried to get away a couple of times, but she'd change topics and start up again.  At one point he was standing in the doorway between the 2 patient rooms, and she finally walked out.  He adjusted me, and the lady was still at the counter when I got through.
Chore #1 out of the way.  Chore #2 was to run by my bank and deposit a check.   I figured I'd just run through the drive through so I could get to OS' bank to put some money in his account for him before 4:00.  Only there were a couple of cars in each of the 2 lanes open.  I got in line, but then decided it might be faster to actually go inside.  People who use the drive through for things they should go inside for really get on my nerves, especially when I'm in a hurry.  Anyway, I get out of  line and pull into a parking place.  I walk inside, and....YAY!  There's no one in line!  There are 2 tellers, but one of them is busy with the "Next Window" sign in front of her.  The other one looks a little busy, and she finally (okay, it was probably only a half-minute, but it seemed longer in my world!) looked up and said she'd be right with me.  Points to her for at least acknowledging my presence.  Then, this woman comes in and goes up to the teller with some information that apparently she didn't have and had to go out to the car to get.  She did her business then left.  When I drove back by the drive-through, the car I was originally behind was at the tube, so yay me for the right decision.
Chore #2 out of the way.  Next I had to go to OS' bank.  I knew I had to walk in to his bank since I don't have any of his deposit slips.  I walked in, filled out the deposit slip, walked right up to the window, made the deposit, and off I went.
Chore #3 is history.  I had to run into the mall to get my new charm put on my bracelet.  I have the hardest time figuring out where everything is (even though it's a small mall...I just don't go there very often), but I guessed correctly as to which door to go in.  No one else is in the store and there are 3 people working.  One of the girls pops up and asks if she can help.  She gets the charm I know how easy it is so I won't need to make a trip to the mall when I get another one.  Mary's World is looking pretty good right now.
Chore #4 out of the way.  Off to Curves I go.  I changed clothes and came out of the bathroom to put my shoes on.  Except there's a woman in the chair, taking her sweet time to take her shoes off, talking to another woman, oblivious that I'm trying to get my shoes on while standing up with nothing to hold on to.  I get my shoes on, and turn around to start my workout...except there are 2 women at my starting point!  If you know anything about Curves, you know that you go around to work on machines that are in a circle.  I always, always start in this one specific spot.  But not today.  No, today I had to start a few machines down.  I did a couple, and the ladies left, so I jumped into my usual starting position, did those couple of machines that I missed, then jumped up to where I left off.  Creature of habit?  You betcha.
Chore #5:  done.  Next I'm off to Walgreens to get a couple of travel sized items for this weekend.  I get what I need, then see this one person.  You know those people who act like they're your best friend one minute, but then the next time  you see them they act like they've never seen you before?  I have no need for those people.  If I had gotten in line at that point, I would've been right behind her in line.  So, I happened to see the Valentine stuff on sale, so I walked over and killed a little time.  I walked up to the check out...there was a short line, but then another employee invited me to the other register to get checked out.  Things are looking up.
Chore #6:  done.  Next to Aldi to get a pizza.  If you haven't tried their pizza, you're missing something.  And they're cheap.  I browse through a couple of aisles (their baked chips are good, too, by the way), get the pizza, and start up to the register.  There are a few people in front of me, but the line goes pretty quickly.  My turn:  the lady in back of me decides not to stop with her buggy, and bumps me, like she's urging me to move up.  Personal space... have you heard of it, lady?  I was nice...I didn't look glare at her and say, "Excuse me" in my little sarcastic way when someone needs to be reminded of good manners.  I acted like she didn't bump me and proceeded to pay.  I dropped my debit card, and the woman almost ran over it because she was still moving.
Chore #7 finally done.  Home I go.  Peace and quiet for a few minutes until YS gets home. 
Things would've gone so much smoother today if everybody would've had gotten into "Mary's World"!

Presidential Hodgepodge

1. George Washington-Abraham Lincoln-Thomas Jefferson...who would you most like to meet and why?
Starting off with a hard one, huh?  3 great men; it's tough to choose.  I'm going to go with George Washington.  No, wait!  Abraham Lincoln.  No, wait!  Thomas Jefferson.  I don't think I can choose just one!  All 3 of them have very intriguing histories.  It does seem that maybe Lincoln was more loyal to his wife.  You don't hear about "Lincoln slept here...and here...and here" like Washington, and he didn't have offspring with women who weren't his wives like Jefferson did.  

2. What's your favorite chain restaurant?
This is a "local" chain, but right now I'd go with Smoky Mountain Brewery.  They have $5 burger nights along with $3 beer on Wed., and every now and then I'll meet some friends to play trivia.  Good times, good food!

3. I spied this question on the Bears at Home blog last week and she gave me permission to
borrow it-

When you look back on your life, do you imagine you'll think about the goals you failed to meet with regret? Or will you look at what you accomplished and say: it was good?
I hope that I will look back and say it was good:  I married a wonderful man and had 3 boys with him.  We've done some traveling (and hope to do more), and I chose a profession that helps people and, as an added bonus, I love.  

4. Grapefruit-take 'em or leave 'em? Given the choice between an orange and a grapefruit which would you choose? Would you prefer it served as is or squeezed into juice?
Grapefruit = EWWWWW!  Give me an orange...a navel orange so I don't have to deal with the seeds, please.  (yes, I realize that's just laziness!)  Here's the weird thing:  I love oranges, but don't care for orange juice, unless there's some apple juice mixed in with it.  And definitely no pulp.
5. When was the last time you cleaned out a closet? Is there a closet in your home that currently needs cleaning? What are you waiting for?
Oh, gosh, Joyce!  Again with the hard questions!  I cleaned out YS' closet last July when he was at band camp.  Does a pantry count?  I cleaned that out last summer.  I'm sure there are closets that need to be cleaned out, but they have doors so I'm not too concerned about it!  
6. You get to have lunch with three famous people...who would you like to see round your table?
Are we talking alive or does it matter?  'Cause I have some serious questions for the Virgin Mary.  I'd also like to have Jesus at that same table, because then you KNOW I'd get some honest answers.  And while we're at it, can't have Mary & Jesus without Joseph!
7. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your ability to parallel park?
I'd say a 5.  Unless there's somebody waiting on me, then I'd go and find another parking place.  Once I get in, the car probably won't be straight, but then again, I have a hard time parking straight in regular parking place!
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
CH did great for Valentine's Day.  I didn't expect anything; I planned on fixing dinner and that was pretty much it.  He came in the house, and I didn't see anything in his hand.  We were in the kitchen talking, and he reached into his inside coat pocket, and I thought maybe he was getting something, but he pulled out his phone.  I had on a hoodie sweatshirt (sexy for Valentine's Day, dontcha think?) and he turned my hood inside out, but he always does that.  So, I turned it back around.  He fiddled around with it for a second, then told me to put the hood up so he could see what it looked like.  So I did, and he said, "Don't you feel anything?", to which I responded, "Did you put your glasses in there?"  Dummy me...we were watching tv Monday night and saw this commercial:
No, it wasn't his glasses, but it was a box from a jewelry store.  And, inside was a charm for my bracelet:
 Yep, he did good!

Happy Valentine's Day!

To be perfectly honest, Valentine's Day is really just another day for me.  CH does something special for me, but I honestly think it's over-rated.  (I wrote this last night, and he came into the kitchen as I was putting his present-see below- on a plate.  He said he wasn't planning on doing anything because he knew I didn't like it!)  The restaurants are packed, so we just stay home.  Last year, YS cooked dinner for CH & me, and served us alone in the dining room.  I don't have anything special planned for this evening; we'll probably just have spaghetti for dinner and settle in to watch NCIS.
Every now and then, I'll try to get creative. And, every now and then once in a blue moon, I'll actually get half-way lucky and it will turn out.  (See why I'm having difficulty committing to learning to crochet?)  I usually get the boys Valentine boxers, but last year did something a little different.  That resulted in OS asking where his boxers were.  I didn't think it was any big deal to them, but apparently they like the Valentine's Day tradition.  So, this year I got each of them a pair of boxers and a goodie bag:

If you look closely on the goodies, you'll see red paper on them with a "line".  For example:  the rolos say "I like the way you roll", and the peanuts say "I'm nuts about you".  I found the idea on Pinterest; it was pinned from Mud Pie Studios.  Each pair of boxers is different; hopefully OS was pleasantly surprised when he went to his mailbox yesterday.  Guess this will make up for the "no stockings" at Christmas!

For CH, I made Cookie Dough Truffles.  After I dipped them and they hardened, I  melted white chocolate chips and put X's and O's on them.  Hopefully he'll realize what they mean!  Here's the finished product (minus the presentation):
What are your special plans for today?

Gerbil Update

The little guys are getting completely settled in.  CH & I decided that they just didn't have enough room in their original cage, so we spent what seemed like 5 hours about an hour in Petsmart trying to decide how to "upgrade".  Here's what we ended up with when it was all said and done:
The cage on the right is the addition, along with the "Lookout Tower" on the one on the left.  We also got them some "Critter Bath Dust"...they must practice good hygiene if they're going to live in my house!  And, we got a ball so they can have a little "freedom" and roll around the room.  CH put Eli in it, and I ended up taking him into the living room so he would have more room.  Pepper tried to nose it a couple of times, so I had to keep her away from him.  Ally was a little curious and sniffed a bit, but couldn't really be bothered.  YS put Tige in the ball yesterday and let him roll around his room. 

This is what I found Sunday morning when I checked on them:
I have to admit, they are rather cute all cuddled up together, sleeping.  Eli is the gray one in the front; Tige is the brown one.  At one point, Eli was sleeping over on top of Tige.  I think they like their new digs.

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  I have GOT to get caught up on my blog-reading!  I just can't find the time...perhaps I should put down the Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends!

~  It's suppose to be super, super cold this weekend:  only 37 on Saturday.  After the 60 degree weather we've had, it's going to feel "super" cold, anyway!

~  When I put a little piece of dried papaya in my hand yesterday, Tige climbed up, sat in my hand, and ate his.  I tried to not freak out as he climbed up to my wrist.
~  Hooray for the Giants!  I missed the second half: had to watch Downton Abbey!
~  It's been a pretty boring week, but boring is good, right?  Hope everybody has a good weekend!

Lovey Dovey Hodgepodge

1. What is something you are loving right now?
Downton Abbey.  What's not to love, right?  I missed the 2nd half of the Super Bowl to watch the newest episode.  
2. Paris, Venice, New York, and Rome are considered four of the most romantic cities in the world. Which one would you most like to visit?
I've been to NY (but not with CH), I'd like to go to those other places, but with what I've heard about Paris and their unlove with Americans, I'd cross that off my list.  Although I'd like to go sometime.  (Getting off-track...gotta get back on topic!)  I would say Venice.  But, with all that water, does it smell?  I really, really want to see inside one of those buildings that are right on the canal.
3. Are you a romantic?
In the sense of believing in "Happily ever after"...yes.  In the sense of needing to be showered with flowers and
4. What's your favorite love story made for the Big Screen?
An Affair to Remember.  I would LOVE to see that on the big screen.  With a big box of kleenex.
5. Everyone loves Pooh bear and friends...which character are you most like and why? Click here for help in answering this question.
Winnie the Pooh.  Although it was only 57%.
6. What's the best chocolate something you've ever eaten?
Oh, my.  I have no idea.  I don't think I've met a chocolate I didn't love.  I love Dove Chocolates, but German chocolate is De-Licious!
7. Share a favorite quote about love.
"If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back to you, it's yours.  If it doesn't, it never was."
I had a poster with this quote on it when I was in high school.  Too bad I didn't live it when I was young!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last week, YS came in from practice, and we were in his room watching the gerbils.  We heard this loud "BANG" and just about jumped out of our skin!  I looked at him and said, "Garage door opener".  Sure enough, that's what it was.  The spring had broken.  I'm just really thankful that it happened when it did and not when someone was near the door:  that could cause some major damage!
CH called the next morning, and the garage door company had it fixed before I got home that afternoon.  CH to the rescue!  :) 


Have I mentioned how much I love my schools lately?   If you're an "oldie" to my blog, you know that I serve 2 elementary schools.  They have their own "personalities", but both of them are fairly laid back with principals who let me do my job.  I'm very fortunate that I have some excellent faculties to work with.

Having said that:  I don't think any of  my prior schools can compare to my "lunch crew" at one of my schools,  especially this year.  We have 2 new members who fit in perfectly.  Earlier in the year we started talking about places out west we want to visit.  Then it evolved into all of us renting a camper, then that turned into a tour bus.  We would just hop on, ride until there was something we wanted to see, and then we'd stop and do some sight-seeing. 

A few weeks ago we were talking, and somehow we decided to take turns bringing in lunch for everybody on Tuesdays.  Hence the term  "TLC":  Tuesday Lunch Crew.  A couple of weeks ago, one of the teachers made coconut cream pie.  Oh my, was it good!  Last week things really got started:  I brought in King Ranch Casserole and another teacher brought in "Old-Fashioned Gingerbread with English Cream".  It was out of this world!  I've looked online for the recipe but couldn't find it.  It was almost as good as the Sticky Toffee Pudding that I had when I was in London.  On top of that, another teacher's mother brought in some lasagna for us.  YUUUUUM!    (I think they didn't trust that I would remember to bring my casserole!)

Our idea now is to make a cookbook with all of our recipes, and sell the books to sponsor our trip.  Then, we will turn our trip into a book tour!  I still think a reality show would get us out there.
Poor teachers can dream, can't we?

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

Time for Friday Fragments!  YAY!
~ My kids were so funny yesterday.  I asked a couple of Kindergarteners if they knew what day it was.  One of them said, "Thursday", and I proceeded to give them hints.  One of them said, "It's the 'beaber' day!"  I asked him if he meant "groundhog", and he said yes.  (You know where this is going, right?)   There was some mention of Justin Bieber after that, and one of them said "You call the groundhog Justin Bieber!"  Move over, Punxsutawney Phil!

~  Another one of my students told me she had eaten all of her "Waviloli" (ravioli).  I looked at her teacher, who responded with "job security"!

~  My "Birthday Bandit" struck again!  To recap:  Next month I will be having a BIG birthday.  Last month, I received (in the mail) a birthday card with a $15 Starbucks gift card.  The card wasn't signed, and my address was in the return address.  A couple of days ago, I got another card announcing my upcoming birthday, but this time there was a $20 Pizza Hut gift card!  The writing was a little different, but I still think I "may" know who it is.  Can't wait to see what the "finale" is! 

~ I changed my e-mail back to what it was before last weekend.  It was too much trouble having to check another e-mail!  That was short-lived, huh?

~ This one is for CH:  Yesterday I wore my Burberry Weekend perfume.  CH said that it smelled good, and asked if it was my "Weekend at Bernie's" perfume.  Huh.

~  Last day of bus duty until April!  Can I get a "woot-woot"?

I Must be Out of My Mind

Remember when I mentioned that MS had brought home the fraternity's hamster over Christmas break? Weeeell, you're not going to believe what's in our house now:

Yes, I can hear you:   "Giiiiiirl!  Have you lost your mind?"  I think the warm winter has definitely gotten to me.  I got a phone call on Sunday from CH & YS, who were at Petsmart.  I'm pretty sure they were originally going to get a hamster, but changed their minds and wanted a couple of gerbils instead.  You know, those little mouse-looking animals with TAILS.  Not the cute little hamsters with no tails.  I said no...I really, really did.  CH gives a really good argument.  He should've been on a debate team.  At one point, the sales guy said to think of them as miniature kangaroos.  Riiiiight.

I told CH to make sure they were both male, and he said that Petsmart only sells males.  We were trying to think of 2 male names that go together, and we came up with Tige & Eli.  CH has a couple of friends (Tige & Eli) who rode with him to Alaska a few years ago.  Tige & Eli live a couple of states away, but they will come in every now and then for a long weekend to do some motorcycle riding in the area.  I have to say, those names seem to be perfect for the gerbils.  I don't know how the human Tige & Eli will feel about having rodents named after them, though!

I got a really good look at them Monday afternoon when no one else was home.  That's when I realized they have red eyes.  I could've handled beady black eyes, but beady red eyes?  I'm just not too sure about that.  I'm just thankful that they didn't come home with an albino gerbil.  That would've truly freaked me out!

CH & YS have plans to get more tubes for them, and to expand their living quarters.  Pepper (my Jack Russell mix) is likely to have a heart attack any day now.  Ally (my Schnauzer) has no clue they're here and couldn't care less.  Pepper reached up and nosed the latch while Eli was at the latch trying to push it open from the inside.  Pepper actually unlatched the cage, but I was right there to latch it back.  It was a conspiracy, I tell ya. 

Yep, never a dull moment at our house.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. It's that most wonderful time of the season! Do you complete your own returns or farm that job out to the professionals?
CH takes care of that by taking to somebody else to do it for us.  Less stressful that way.
2. This next question comes from Kansas Bob...he posed it in his response to something I asked in an earlier Wednesday post and I asked him if I could add it to the Hodgepodge some day. Today's the day....

Which do you think has changed you more-love or pain?
Pain.  No pain, no gain, right?  When I look back at the pains in my life, I definitely think that those events helped me grow into the person I am.  
3. Tangerine Tango has been named color of the year for 2012. Your thoughts? Would I find this color anywhere in your house? How about in your closet? If not, will you be adding this color to your life in some way in 2012? If you're not sure what tangerine tango looks like click here.
You definitely won't be seeing me wear that color...I'm a winter, and that's NOT a winter color!  We have some orange in our house (we do live in "Big Orange Country"!), but not tangerine tango.
4. Are you a collector? What do you collect and does it get admired, used, and/or dusted regularly?
I don't really collect anything, but I have started buying a Christmas Ornament when we go on vacations.  
5. February is National Heart Month...besides a green salad what is one tasty heart healthy dish you like to prepare?
Grilled chicken with pasta, mushrooms, and broccoli.
6. When was the last time you had car trouble?
Earlier in the year.  I guess this counts as "car trouble":  I heard an awful squealing while I was driving, but it would stop when I stopped.  It turned out my car was telling me that I needed new brakes.
7. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Is that a good trend?
Less.  And it's not a good thing.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last year we have snow every time we turned around.  This year:  nada, zilch, NONE. What is up with this:
 I really, really hope our "Spring Break" isn't spent shoveling snow.

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