Last Feb Hodgepodge

1.  When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean. 
Christmas break:  The Keys!  Have I mentioned lately how great that vacation was?  I felt:  peaceful.

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?
Brakes locking up, metal hitting metal during an accident, and a civil defense/tornado siren.

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?
I try on in the store.  If I take it home, it may or may not be taken back in a timely manner.

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?
LOVE pistachios!  Right out of the shell!

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone?  Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary? 
Last weekend, CH & I looked at cabinets for our kitchen.  I wanted a bigger oven, he doesn't think we need it (since I honestly don't bake that often).  I compromised for an "in-between" oven.  But, it turns out that it doesn't really matter:  we've decided to hang with our current cabinets for a couple more years, then do an overhaul.

6.  Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?
I'm a letter writer.  And yes, I've gotten a response.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?
CAMPING!  We're planning a camping trip with CH's brother & his wife, and one of my brothers & his wife are coming, too!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm not doing any better with keeping up with my blog.  I've just got too many irons in the fire right now!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When were you last 'on a mountaintop'?  You may answer in the literal or figurative sense. of my schools could be considered to be 'on a mountaintop', so I'll say yesterday!

2.  Do you establish and maintain a strict budget in your household?  What is one piece of financial advice you would offer someone just starting out on their own? 
Not really.  I pay some of the bills, CH pays the rest.  If we want to go to a movie or out to eat, we go.  I would tell somebody just starting out to not use their credit card:  If you don't have the money, you don't need it.  Unless, of course, you need to buy plane tickets to Europe!  :)

3.  Cherries-yay or nay?  Cherry pie, cherry cola, black forest cake, or a scoop ofBen and Jerry's Cherries Garcia...pick one. 
I like cherries.  I make this chocolate cake that uses cherry pie filling in it:  Chocolate Fudge Cherry Cake
You pour the frosting over the cake while it's still warm, and the texture is unbelievable.

4.  Should you ever discuss religion or politics with people you don't know? 
Better with people I don't know than family!  (JK!)    I get very uncomfortable when someone I've just met starts talking about religion.  Talking about politics doesn't bother me as much, but religion is pretty personal.

5.  When you take a road trip do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?  Where were you headed on your last road trip? 
The passenger.  We took a little road trip between Christmas & New Year's:

6. If we peeked inside your closet, what color would we say is most prevalent?
Blue.  Or black.

7. Who's your favorite senior citizen and why are they special?
I can't pick just one:  my parents.  I think it's pretty obvious why they're so special to me!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Every time I go by our little duck pond, I look for 2 ducks.  One of them obviously has something wrong with his/her wings:  it looks like they've died, they're just hanging there and aren't pretty.  The other duck is always close by, almost like it's protecting its mate.  It really is a sweet scene.  One of these days I'm actually going to stop and take a picture to share.

Weekend Wrapup Catchup

 Since I was too busy lazy to do a post on Friday, I'm going to include Thursday in this post!
On Valentine's Day, YS made his Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Lemon Risotto for CH, me, and his girlfriend.  Since it was Thursday, I had flute choir practice that evening, and it wasn't ready before I left, so I had a late dinner.  He didn't disappoint!  It was delicious! I made a little something for dessert:

Chocolate Passion Bowl.  Really simple and very easy:  layer brownies, pudding (with a cup of cool whip mixed in), strawberries (or raspberries), and cool whip.  You could make a lighter version by using sugar free/fat free pudding and light cool whip.  A pound or marble cake might save a few calories, too.

At school on Friday, there were a couple of visitors:

The calf was the sweetest thing.  One of my students pet her, which was a very big deal for her to do that.  When the Kindergarten Classes went out, I had a preschool student with me, so we went out to see them.  At first he didn't want to go, but he let me pick him up and we went out.  When I asked if he wanted to pet the calf, he said "I don't want to pet him.  NOOOOOO!  He might bite me!"  So stinkin' cute!

Friday night I got caught up on shows that I can't seem to stay awake for or have a conflict:  Deception, The Taste, and Suits.  CH watched "Skyfall" on the big tv in the Man Cave.

Saturday was grocery shopping, some laundry, and I managed to go by the library to get a couple of books I wanted to read.  One of the books is "Farewell to Arms" (Hemingway).  I chose that one because that was one of the books that the tour guide talked about when we went on the tour of the Hemingway House over Christmas Break.  I also got a couple of movies from Redbox:  "Hope Springs" and "Five Year Engagement".  I thought "Hope Springs" was really sad; I felt so bad for Meryl Streep's character.  There were a couple of scenes that I thought weren't necessary (and they made me a bit uncomfortable), but other than that, I thought it was a good movie.

I also popped a couple of batches of cookies in the oven.  It was so cold on Saturday, that Taco Soup was the perfect thing to make for supper:
I made tortilla strips for the first time.  They came out pretty well, but I thought they were just a tad too spicy for me.

Sunday morning, the flute choir played during a church service at the director's church.  I thought we did pretty well; much better than we had done at the Christmas Concert.  The director said she was pleased, too.  Her church is about 45 minutes from my house.  I was about 15 minutes away when I reached for my pocketbook to get my chapstick, only to realize I had forgotten it!  I had no license, no money.  I just made sure that I didn't go over the speed limit, and prayed that I wouldn't be in an accident!  My sister, Tina, drove down for the service, and we went out to brunch.  She had to pay since I didn't have any money. I managed to get home safely and ticket-free.

The rest of the day flew by.  We went to dinner at our favorite Mexican place, and MS came from the big city to eat with us.    CH settled in to watch "The Walking Dead", and I watched "Downton Abbey".  Gosh, we lead such exciting lives!

It's a Zoo

There is a teacher at one of my schools that has the cutest classroom I think I've ever seen.  She is absolutely animal print crazy!  She gave me permission to to take some pictures.  (Don't forget that you can click on a picture and view all of them in a larger size.)
This doesn't have anything to do with animal prints, but she showed me the project that they did:
The students wrote down (or told her; not sure which) things that they love, and she typed them into a program she found online that put it in the shape of a heart.
Her door:
She had a really cute Santa wreath that had zebra print around it for Christmas.
The students' chairs:  (notice the zebra print material in the middle of the tables)
One of her bookshelves has monkeys & bananas hanging from it.  (Notice the box on the bottom shelf)
Boxes in her cubbies next to her desk
Boxes for books
Life skills
Word Wall Words
Bulletin board
Seats in front of the Smart Board
Check out her rain boots:
Here's a closer look:
Cute, huh?  Every time I go into her room to get some students, her decor makes me smile.  Hopefully she doesn't think I'm real crazy for taking pictures, then thanking her for some good blogging material!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  This week marks the beginning of Lent...will you be giving something up or adding anything to your life during this season of the year? 
I usually do one or the other, but I haven't given it much thought this year.

2. The day before Lent is Shrove Tuesday... tradition states you eat pancakes on this day. In some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is actually known as 'pancake day'. How do you like your pancakes? Or don't you? 
Our favorite "pancake" is a "Danish pancake", which is really a crepe.  We like them with peanut butter, mashed bananas, nutella, and syrup.

3.  I'm sure there are many, but what's one love song you really love? 
I'm totally blank right now.  I'm sure half way through Wed. I'll think of at least 3!
After listening to The Carpenters on the way to work, let me say that I can't just pick ONE!  "Goodbye to Love" is a great one, though.  "Only Yesterday" is another good one.  Unfortunately I'm at work & the state of Tennessee doesn't think it's a good idea for us to be on youtube, otherwise I'd post a clip of "Only Yesterday" for you!
If you missed my post on Monday, go back and check out the youtube clip.  If you're a Karen Carpenter fan, you'll LOVE this song!
 4.  What are some things you do to let others know you love them? 
Cook.  And bake.

5., pink, or do you prefer another color? Can you recall the last time someone gave you flowers? Given your choice would you like to open the door and see a dozen red roses, a dozen purple tulips, or a dozen pink peonies?
Yellow roses.  The last time I got flowers was for Mother's Day a few years ago:  peonies from MS.  I'm not much of a flower person:  I tell CH not to spend his money, since they'll just die after a few days!

6.  President's Day will be celebrated in America next Monday. Does US Presidential history and trivia interest you?  Many Presidential homes are open to the public and offer guided tours...Monticello (Jefferson's home), Mount Vernon (Washington's home), Montpelier (James Madison's home), Hyde Park(FD Roosevelt's home) and The White House (home to the sitting President) to name just a few. Of those listed which would you be most interested in touring?  Why?
I love to learn about Presidential History.  CH & I saw "Lincoln" a few weeks ago, so now I need to read the book that the movie was based on.  
I've been to Mount Vernon a couple of times.  I'd love to tour Monticello or The White House.

7.  Are you good at keeping secrets? 
Terrible.  Although, the older I get, the better I am at keeping them!  Probably because I don't remember them!  :)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Have you seen this youtube clip?  The big sister laughing is pretty funny, too!

Productive Weekend Wrapup

This was actually a pretty productive weekend!

~  Friday, we learned that YS made a 90 on his last Physics test!  He has really struggled with that class this past trimester, so we were extremely proud of him for that grade.  We went out for pizza at a new local pizza place that is just down the road from our house.  It's our new "go-to" place for pizza!

~  I got caught up on Suits and Deception, along with Nashville.  Last week's "Deception" was pretty neat:  my former high school band director's daughter was in the Debutante Ball Scene.You can see a great shot of her at the 17 second mark.

She's the red-head just behind the actress playing the lead in the scene.

~  Saturday, I did some laundry & got busy on a Valentine's Project for the boys:

I did one batch on Sat. for OS & MS, then another batch on Sunday for CH & YS.  These are the "Mosaic Glazed Sugar Cookies" that I made over Christmas.  So easy, and I was very happy at how well they turned out.  They aren't too sweet; in fact, they kind of taste like shortbread.  If anybody has a tip for rolling out the dough evenly, let me know.  I'm making these cookies for the goodie bags for my in-laws' anniversary party, so I want them to turn out perfectly.  Maybe I just need to practice between now and then, which would make OS & YS pretty happy!

~  I printed out some new games for school from the TPT website.  I LOVE that site; I just wish it didn't take so much colored ink to print out. There are lots of creative speech pathologists out there that have made some awesome materials!

~  Sunday was more laundry & the 2nd batch of cookies.  I got some of the materials laminated; the rest will have to wait until today when I can use the school's laminator.

~  YS had his "D&D" group over Saturday night, so I made French Toast for them on Sunday morning.  One of his friends said that I was now his hero!  He said that he thought about moving in with us last week, after the pancakes/crepes that they had.  Good to know I can at least cook a good breakfast!

~  As I was working on my school stuff, I came across this song on Songza.  As you listen, close your eyes and see who you think this sounds like.  I had CH do that, and he got the same answer I did.

If you guessed Karen Carpenter, you'd have the same answer we did.  To me, it's almost eerie how much she sounds like her, and I absolutely LOVED Karen's voice.

Have a great week!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  I've been a bad, bad blogger lately...I haven't posted in over a week.  Honestly, my heart just hasn't been in it, but I'm trying to get back on track.

~  Community Band Practice started back up last week.  The director had a great idea to do a "John Philip Sousa" theme.  We're playing some great music!

~  Flute Choir is chugging along, too.  For anyone who is wondering about the "scent saga", you'll be happy to know that it's been solved!  2 weeks in a row, and I've found the solution.  Before practice, I take a shower and use unscented soap, shampoo, and deodorant, and put on clothes that have all been washed in unscented laundry detergent.  Then, I dry my hair without using any gel or hairspray.

~  My FIL & MIL's 50th Anniversary is coming up in 2 months.  My SIL & I are going to get treat bags together for the guests, complete with some homemade touches.  

~  So, there you have:  short & sweet.  Seriously, this is all that's been going on for the past week and a half. Hopefully things will pick up!

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