Thursday, May 27, 2010

1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party?
It doesn't really matter to me. I guess it is easier to attend a party because you don't have to get the house ready, etc. etc., but I enjoy having friends and family at our house too.

2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to.
You would think this wouldn't be so hard, but I can't think of a very good example.  My grandpa's 100th birthday was a big day for him and a great day to enjoy visiting with family.
3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life?
That the road to heaven is a wide path.
4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine?
My plants and garden grow better with sunlight.
5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift?
Either way is fine. I usually buy something by myself, but am not opposed to going in with other people to get a larger item that someone wants.
6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family?
I would definitely choose the house cleaning. We just don't eat that much anymore without the kids all here.
7. What song describes your mood today?
School's Out by Alice Cooper.  It is on a 70's CD and my kids think it is a terrible song, which it is, but it is so appropriate for the first week of summer break.
8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.)
We still use the dinnerware we received from several people. It is kind of late 70's/early 80's but that is the joy of it.

9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is?
It might be chocolate chip mint, but I also like cookie dough.
10. When was the last time you felt "tested?"
I had a particular hour this year that was more challenging than usual.  I had three behavior sheets to fill out at the end of each hour in a class of 16 kids.  By the first of May, I had them where I wanted them to be, but it was a struggle up to that point.
11. "[Fill in the blank] is a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop."
12. "-----" is the best motivation.
Fear, adversity, success, happiness  - so many choices.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Skyline Graduation

We attended my nephew's graduation last weekend at Skyline Schools, my old alma mater.  Jill, my niece, drove from Omaha to our house and went with us the rest of the way.  They held baccalaureate at 2pm on Sat., then had a reception for the seniors, then graduation was at 4pm.  After graduation, there was a party for Brian and one of his friends in Pratt.  It was a fun weekend and I got to visit with some old classmates I had not seen for a while. 

The graduate and his family.
With both sets of grandparents.  I obviously was not the focus person for the picture.
Madison and the cousins display the cute fans commemorating Brian's graduation.  Only one of the gym air conditioners was working, which is one more than we have in CC, but it really was pretty comfortable.  Sorry to Madi about getting cut off in the picture.  I think I am turning into my Grandma Neelly.
Brent and Jill draw their guns.

Only one more first cousin to go.  They set the bar high, Madi, but you can do it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

World's of Fun

Yesterday I went with the 8th grade class to World's of Fun in Kansas City.  I think this is the 6th year our school has done this and came about when we dropped the 8th grade promotion ceremony.  Now we have a awards night and this trip.  It was raining when we left CC, rained all the way, then stopped when we got to the park.  Although it was cloudy and would occsionally mist, it only started raining again once we had all the kids back on the busses at 6pm.  The crowds were very light, so they got to ride as much as they wanted.  We left them go on their own with required check-in times and that seems to work great.  They like the freedom, and so do the teachers.  I saw a boy from another school walking around with a gigantic pink stuffed gorilla and at least we didn't have to find a place for something like that on the bus.  I think our kids prefer to spend their money on food and a $20 ride on a bungee cord.  We got home at 10pm and today is their last day of middle school.  Yippee!

PS - The funny of the day was when one of the teacher's bags was checked at the gate and he said, "Do you know that you have spurs in your bag?"  They were her son's and she forgot she had them.  They let her in with them, so they must not be on the dangerous weapon list.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Randon Questions

1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?

It would have to be spaghetti with canned sauce.  I always have it on hand, and open a can of green beans and you have a meal.

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)
Chapstick - Even if I don't use it, I have to have it available. 
3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?
I love to visit the mountains, but I wouldn't want to live there. 

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.
My parents live on the ground that was the tree claim for my dad's family when they first came to Pratt County.

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...."
Could run pretty fast, but now I look like a 40/50 year old woman when I run ( according to unnamed sources).

6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?
Gasoline - I can't think of anything else. 

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."
I have kind of become a neat freak.  But really, it isn't that hard without kids at home.  We both just tend to pick up after ourselves.

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?
Diet pop - any kind.

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...."
I have been watching a new show called "Modern Family" this year.  It has made me laugh every time.  You can watch it on too.

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?
Clean the ovens in my room today.  All six of them.  And the two refrigerators and four microwaves.  Any takers to help?  You might say, "Have the kids do it." Now really, how does that work out with your middle school kids?  Get the results you need?  I think not.  Especially when you have 16 kids at the end of school supposedly getting something done.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?
Help Paula's husband pack the coolers for our trip to World's of Fun tomorrow.

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?
Summer, then our first grandchild in August.

Tomorrow I am going with our 8th grade class to World's of Fun.  We leave at 6am and get back at about 10pm.  Then on Friday, it is the last day of school, dismissal at 1pm.   This weekend is my nephew's graduation at Skyline Schools in Pratt, and then a teacher workdday on Monday.   It's winding down!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wed. Randomness

1.  Please share one memory of your high school graduation. Pics would be great!

One of my goals for the summer is to get a new printer/scanner/copier so I can scan old pictures, and believe me, pictures of my high school graduation are old.   I don't think the actual graduation was too exciting, but early the next morning, our class left for Texas on a class trip.  There were 33 or so who graduated in my class and probably 28 went on the trip.  The junior class ran the concession stand at ballgames and earned money for the trip and prom.  We also sold magazines, and in a stroke of a bright idea, light bulbs.  We had chartered a bus instead of taking a school bus which was great.  The boys wanted to go to a resort like place and stay, and the girls wanted to see sites, so we compromised by spending a few days at a run down resort outside of Austin.  Then we spent time in the Dallas area.  It was a fun time and we had great sponsors. 

2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times?

My old sleeping bag from junior high.  It works great to cover up with or as a blanket for a picnic.
3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses? Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar?

Graduates in our area have open houses which can be a cake and punch reception or a full meal.  For our kids, we had a meal either Saturday or Sunday evening.  After my high school graduation, my grandparents went to our house for cake and I opened presents from family and neighbors.  We have been invited to two receptions here, and then my nephew's next weekend.  I have gone to a baby shower, invited to a bridal shower, and will attend another baby shower soon.  We have been invited to two weddings this summer.

4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood.
Just because they are grown up, there are still worries.  And your family keeps getting bigger with more people to be concerned about.  I will never forget a lady told me once, "Little kids, little problems.  Big kids, big problems." 

5. What was the last thing you broke?
Probably a sewing machine needle at school.  I went temporarily insane and let some girls order kits to make stuffed animals.  They are doing great reading the directions, but we have to go through some pretty thick layers, and we have broken needles. 

6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily?
I think 2-3 a day might be an average. 

7. Do you like to shop by catalog?
Not really.  I like to look, but I hate to order, then it doesn't fit, then I have to send it back. 

8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job?
We both mow, but Kyle does the fertilizing, reseeding, setting the sprinkler system, etc.  When we were on the farm, it was definitely a "girl" job, because the guys were working long hours in the summer.  Ask Blake about the time he told me it was a girl job.

9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home?
At some time, I would like new counters in my kitchen.   We should also probably take the paper off the walls in the living room, but that will be a big job that I might hire out.  I would also like to get rid of our popcorn ceiling, but I don't want to live through the mess.

10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line?
I take the Salina journal and read the Hutch news and the Pratt Tribune on line regularly.
11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
I believe you can make something good happen out of something, but I don't know that it happened so you would change.
12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Interesting question I guess.  I am a rule follower, so I will say doing things right.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 on the 10th

I know, I know. It should be 11 on the 11th because I am 6 1/2 hours behind the 10th deadline, but it is what it is.  Since this is the month of graduations, and we have several high school and college graduations in the past few years, here are some good gift ideas for the graduate.

1.  Money - Always needed and easy to transport to college.  Then the kids can buy books, etc with accumluated money as buying one book is more than most people are going to give. 

2.  Gift certificates - Kind of like money but if you are afraid they are going to blow the money, you can always get a discount store certificate.  Or maybe you have someone in your family tighter than the bark on a tree and wouldn't spend the actual money you gave but save it forever.  Not that I know someone like that.

3.  Towels - Regular ones for the boys and the wrap ones are nice for the girls. 

4.  Hanging shoe organizer - Abby got one of these and used it for a bunch of things in her closet.  There are ten or so slots to stick curling irons, camis, etc. when space is tight.

5.  Office supplies - staplers, hole punches, scissors, tape, etc. make good gifts.

6.  Tools - You never know when you might need a screwdriver.

7.  Jumper cables for a car  - and a lesson on how to use them.

8.  Luggage - My parents traditional gift to high school graduates.  They may not have room to keep the luggage in their dorm rooms, but they need their own.

9.  Computer- Our gift to our high school graduate.  It isn't a luxury item anymore, and this generation of kids doesn't remember life without computers.  And how many of us would like to give our's up?

10.  Bedding - They won't want to strip their beds at home and take them along.  The girls coordinated with their roommates, but Blake was in a sleeping dorm at FH and I doubt if much coordination would have gone on anyway.  They need extra long twin for dorms and sororities/fraternities.  A cozy blanket to cover up with is a good choice too.

This year my  nephew Brian will be graduating from high school.  My parents have had grandchildren graduate every two years since Blake's in 2000.  Then we have three years before Madi graduates.  No college graduations in the family this spring.

Add a comment if you have a great idea to add.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I went to Pratt County for the weekend since Kyle and Blake were on a trail ride west of Medicine Lodge.  It was a very relaxing Saturday with a trip to see Oric and Opal (great aunt and uncle) and for a surprise, Brenda was there.  We had not see each other for about 3 years.  We stopped by my brother's house and then were just at Mom and Dad's.  Then to Sunday School and church in Pratt, out to eat, and I headed back north.  I stopped at Kohl's in Salina - I think I like that store too much.  I had a 15% off of everything card too and then they always make a big point of telling you how much you saved.  You have to spend plenty to save the amount I did. 

I got a nice hanging basket from Blake and Tamara and a hybiscus from Abby.  We are headed over to Russ and Paige's to eat this evening and watch the final episode of Amazing Race. 

It was a great Mother's Day weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Random Dozen

1. What was the last thing about which you procrastinated?

I used to be a terrible procrastinator, but not so much any more.  I need to clean Abby's bathroom, but every time I go downstairs, the piano calls out to me and I end up playing a few tunes.

2. How long does it take you to fall asleep, and do you sleep through the night?
I go to sleep within 10 minutes but I always set the timer on the TV to 90 minutes.  I know, that doesn't make sense.  I also refuse to have anything on TV with gun shots, yelling, or car races when I am trying to go to sleep.  Lately, The Nanny has been doing the trick.

3. Which decade would you choose to exemplify your favorite fashion styles?

Favorite styles, hmmm, not really a fashion guru.  I think it would be the 70s.  I can remember my mom always wearing a dress and hose to go to town in the 60s but all that changed in the 70s.  She started to wear her hair long, parted down the middle and wore jeans and tie-dyed shirts while sporting a necklace that said "Make Love, Not War".  (That is a lie, but I had you going didn't I?) 

4. What is your personal best dish to feed a crowd?

Hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, potato salad, chips.

5. Are you an impulse shopper? What was the last thing you bought on impulse?

I am not an impulse shopper.  If it is a major decision, I take too much time deciding.  So I will go with strawberries.  I went to Rays last night to buy the ingredients for the bean salsa posted yesterday, and walked out with strawberries, but no tortilla chips, so I go back in through the video door and buy chips at that register so my former students won't see that I am losing my mind.

6. What is one wish you have for your own funeral?

Uplifting music.  I would like the song selection to not include Rock of Ages, In The Garden, or Amazing Grace.  Maybe a little How Great Thou Art - all verses - for the number of times we sang that at the little Byers church while we were waiting on the minister to get there from Iuka.  He had a three church charge. 

7. If it's true that joy is in found in the simple things in life, what does your joy look like today?
Today joy is over half the 7th and 8th graders leaving for a track meet in at 10:45.  It also looks like my girls and I going to That's Entertainment tonight, the annual vocal music production at the high school.

8. What is your favorite type of bread?

I love bread.  My favorite is soft, white bread - the kind that isn't as good for you.

9. What trait do you fear developing the most? (Laziness, greediness, grumpiness, etc.)
Being inflexible.

10. What trait would you like most to develop?


11. Which room in your house best reflects your personality? Why?

That is a strange questions and would have to be my whole house since as the girls point out I only have two paint colors which isn't true because I have four, and I think that makes for a delightful flow from one room to another.  That doesn't count Abby's orange room.  My colors are Paige and Tam burgandy, Trusty - kind of a tan color, ostrich egg, and a pale yellow.

12. How do you maintain balance in your life regarding, work, family, church, other organizations and activities, and blogging?

You just do what you have to do.  When something ends, there are other ways you can spend your time.  Now that my classes are over, there will be something else come up, there always is.  But I also say No to some things if I don't think I could do the job justice or if I have no interest in being on that committee, etc.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo, and I knew nothing about the holiday, so I looked it up which means reading  Wikipedia but they haven't steered me too wrong yet.  I found out the day celebrates the unlikely victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  I also found out the holiday is only regionally celebrated in Mexico in the state of Puebla and really more of a holiday in the US.  Reading a little further I found that the battle started because Mexico decided not to pay back their debt to France and the French people took exception to not being paid.  Can't say as I blame them. 

My actual experience in Mexico is pretty limited.  When I was about ten, my family drove to California for a vacation and we visitied Tijuana.  My parents wouldn't let us eat there, so my biggest memory is starving in Mexico.  

We do like Mexican food, so here is my favorite salsa recipe.

1 can black eyed peas
1 can black beans
1 can corn - drained
1 can diced petite tomatoes
1 4-oz. can chopped jalepenos -( I never can find this so I cut up some from a bigger jar.)
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. Zesty Italian dressing.

Combine all ingredients and let marinate for a few hours. 

Enjoy the day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm Going to Miss Them

Last Wednesday was our last trip to Riley for completion of a  master's degree through Baker University.  We started out in Nov. 2008 with eighteen classmates.  This is the group who made going every Wednesday enjoyable.  It is hard to believe it is over, but the first instructor we had said it would go by quickly and there would be changes in our lives to go through.  So we have had a wedding and babies born, and jobs lost and gained.  The five of us from CCCMS had the advantage of bouncing ideas off each other, but we were only an email away from the others.  So heres to Melissa, Jennifer T., and Jeanne who left early for various reasons.  And a special farewell to the ones who completed their degree:  Bridgette, Jane, Tami, Jennifer C., Kelly, Jennifer M., Jenny B., Megan, Donica, Mary, Craig, J.D., Colby, and Mindy.  Thanks for everything and good luck in the future.