Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Delayed Picture Post - Bonfire Buddies!

At some point over the Spring Break, the Chittums decided to whip out the fire pit and let us have a hot dog roast! It was perfect. We showed up in flip-flops and t-shirts and ended the night all bundled up, sitting as close the fire as possible!

Without much explanation, here are my favorite pics from the evening!

Fire in front of a great sun reflection on the window.

Mitzi, frustrated with her not-knife that wasn't very helpful for making marshmallow roasting sticks!

Miss Minnie, of course, being a good girl & enjoying all the excitement!

Adam, making some sort of a NASA satellite with the LARGEST roll of foil I've ever seen! It weighed about 40 pounds!

Our handy grilling invention once we realized the dogs wouldn't stay on the sticks we had from the yard.

Cool pic!

Sunset over the neighbor's house.

My yummy meal. No pics of the S'mores from later ... it was too dark out.

Great fun & great conversation over the fire.

We did LOTS of stick gathering to keep the fire going for about 4 hours.

Minnie sitting on one of her favorite laps. Mitzi loves to cuddle up with her!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

KU March Madness!

Pretty cool commercial!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Small babies, Medium babies and Large babies

Yesterday was a day of babies for me. I was lucky enough to go visit Becca & her 1 1/2 week old, Charlotte. Both Mom & baby were doing great and I had forgotten just how small new babies were. She was precious and slept the entire 1.5 hours I was there.
CONGRATS to Becca & Mark!

Small babies: Charlotte Spears
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After I left Bec & Charlotte, I headed over to Molly & Erik's to spend the afternoon with the girls. I walked upstairs to wake up Ellen and I was SHOCKED at how big she seemed compared to Charlotte. Those babies grow so fast, you hardly realize it!
Ellen looked very cute in her new "Kiss Me" shirt for St. Patrick's Day and I decided to put a bow in her hair. It was SUPER cute! We were off to go take lunch to Marie & Preston for a little play date.

Medium babies: Ellen Lund
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I'm not by any means saying that Preston is a LARGE child, but of the three babies I saw on Tuesday, he was definitely the biggest! I've been reading the blog all about Preston, so I feel like I am updated on him, but I haven't seen him in person since he was a newborn last summer!
Preston is so big & happy and he is very close to walking all on his own. He's a mover and he definitely keeps Marie & Clint active! It was fun to be around both babies yesterday and I hope we get to have more playdates this summer!

Large babies: Preston Hooker
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

One of Minnie's favorite field trips

I don't know how she does it, how she knows where we're going ... but as soon as we pull off the 75th Street exit from 69-Highway, Minnie starts panting & standing up to look out the windows. She KNOWS that we are heading towards Aunt Jilly & Uncle Adam's house.

I don't think it's all about visiting her friend, Gracie, but I bet she thinks that one of these days Gracie will actually come out to play. {Keep dreaming, Minners!}


When we turn on one of the back streets to get to their house, she really knows where we're headed and starts with her high-pitched squealing! She is quite obnoxious! Adam & Jill are nice enough to put a water bowl out for Minnie & they don't mind (or at least don't say anything if they do) when she climbs on the back of their couches like a cat.

Today we got there and Jill heard Minnie crying when we were still in the car out in the driveway. She actually tried to jump out of the window I had cracked open about 6 inches. She was so excited that she could barely wait for me to open the car door.



Minnie DID, however, get into a little bit of trouble with Aunt Jilly today. You can tell that she knows she's in trouble because her ears lay back against her head. Minnie likes to jump around from couch to couch at their house and today she continually jumped OVER Jilly's fancy Apple laptop. She hasn't quite figured out that computers are expensive & we stay away from them!

Part of the reason that she was jumping around was because Minnie's boyfriend, Adam wasn't at home yet. She ran in the house to look for him, and he was nowhere to be found! :( Then, he called to say that he was on his way home. We said to her, "Adam is coming home. Where is he?" and she promptly sat on the back of the couch again to watch out the picture window for him to pull in the driveway.

Below is the greeting she gives him EVERY.TIME.SHE.SEES.HIM. I don't even get a greeting like this! Yes, I know the video is sideways. I can't figure out how to turn it, so if anyone knows, let me know. I tried Windows Movie Maker, but Blogger won't upload those videos. You'll just have to turn your head this time to watch!
video

I hope you all enjoyed your Saturdays, too! This is the beginning of my Spring Break (woo hoo!) and so far, it's off to a great start!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why I do it

Teaching is about a million times harder than I thought it ever would be. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st grade with Mrs. Rodman. I KNOW that teaching children is what I'm good at and what I'm supposed to be doing, but it is still hard, no matter how long you've been teaching or how many teaching awards you've won.

This year has been especially hard. We have giant classes in 4th grade this year - 25 students barely fit in our rooms. I have one student with autism that has made me both cry & laugh and she has taught me so much about myself as a teacher. We started teaching all the subjects this year when we used to departmentalize (we each had our own specialties: science, social studies & writing). We have more on our plates this year than ever before. I've wanted to spend as much time in my new home with Minnie or in Prairie Village with Ellen.

Today was a L-O-N-G day with it being the last day of 3rd quarter and the last day before an 11-day Spring Break for the kids. We were also preparing for the State Assessments which begin for us the Tuesday we get back after break.

I came back to my desk after dismissal to find two handwritten notes sitting on my computer keyboard & leaning up against my monitor. The kids know NOT to put papers on my desk because, "my desk eats papers." These were notes from two great kids (a boy and a girl) who sit together at the back of the room. This must have been what they were working on during D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read)! I'm going to type the notes as-is so you can see the lovely writing I get to read everyday!

Note #1:
Dear Ms. McKnight,
I hope you and Minnie have a great spring break. I'm determened to finish the spring break packet. I will work on my short cut multiplication and remember to put the zero down. I hope it will get nice and maybe even rain a couple of times. I like to listen to the rain and watch the lightning. I plan on going to Omaha over spring break and freinds from Wichita are coming down. They are all girls but they are fun. If you plan on going anywhere than make sure to keep yourself company.
From, Boy
P.S. I'll really miss you!
P.P.S. I really hope you have an awesome spring Break!
P.P.P.S. What is the reward for finishing the spring break packet?

Note #2:
Ms. McKnight,
Have a wonderful Spring Break! Hope there is going to be some nice weather. You deserve a break because you are a FANTASTIC teacher you always make learning fun! You are my favorite teacher I've ever had. I think Minnie is a super cute puppy. I want a dog really bad. I'm determined to finish the spring break packet so I can have a reword. I love they way you decorate for holidays, I've never had a teacher that does that. You are TOTAlly my favorite teacher. P.S. I like the way you spuce up my day by showing us pictures of Baby Ellen it made me laugh when you drew on the picture of her also when you show us cute pictures on the smart board it makes you unique in many ways.
From, Girl.

THAT is why I do what I do! Thanks, kiddos!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

It's a MIRACLE!

I have spent the majority of my 5 years of teaching looking for comfortable, CUTE shoes to wear to work. We all know how I turn into Tipsy Tumbles when I'm wearing my tall heels, so most of the winter, I try and get away with one pair of short heels and athletic shoes.

I'm the Queen of buying "the most comfortable" low-heeled black shoes for work and then deciding that they are no where close to comfortable, (before the bell even rings) the first time I wear them to work. At any given time in my closet, you can see about 3-7 pairs of black shoes just for work. Most of them never get worn because they just aren't comfortable for standing on my feet all day.

Well, Sunday I decided to give it one more go on for comfortable black shoes. I found these at Target and loved that I immediately thought they were cute and then when I tried them on, I was pleasantly surprised! Isn't it fun to shuffle around in Target shoes when they are tied together? I always feel like such a fool!
Anyhoo, these Merona flats are like athletic shoes, but look a bit fancier. The rubber soles aren't too bulky & the elastic straps don't pinch on your feet. Normally shoes rub on the backs of my heels and that's when I immediately take them off. These only hurt a bit at the very end of the day, but I also spend my entire day on my feet! I HIGHLY recommend these shoes if you are looking for something for work or just to run around town in! I did buy them a 1/2 size smaller than I normally do, just FYI. If I had more money, I would think about going back to get the white & green pair of Mary Janes and the tan & gold pair of ballet flats!

I can't wait to see how they look with some of my skirts & dresses when it gets nice enough for skirts & dresses for work! :)

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

What I'm capable of ...

... when I leave work when my contract hours end at 4:00! Apparently, a lot! I was feeling bad about working until at least 6:30 the majority of the work days last month. I wasn't getting anything done at home, I was super stressed, and Minnie was taking it the worst! She started this new obsession with licking her paws CONSTANTLY. Seriously, it would wake her (and me) up in the middle of the night. Well, I did some online research and most people said it was a coping mechanism when dogs are depressed or have separation anxiety. Great. I broke my dog!

So ... I've been trying really hard to be productive with my day and leave as soon as possible, or at least by 5:00. Every night this week I've left early, and last night when I went to grade another stack of papers, I saw the clock had just reached 5:00, so I put them away and came home. It feels really nice. I can get more done at home at night and I don't feel stressed from working 11-hour days.

We'll see if it lasts, but I hope it does. I know a lot of it was due to Mom helping me grade a GIANT stack of papers last weekend. That helped me to be caught up with my grading for the week. Thanks!

Anyhoo ... this is the list of things I accomplished this afternoon/evening, and the night isn't even over yet!

  • Came straight home from school to let Minnie out and change into cooler clothes since it was 79 (!) degrees out this afternoon.
  • Go to the grocery store for the first time in weeks. I was down to canned veggies & hot cocoa in my pantry.
  • Carry my groceries up the stairs (in one trip) and unload them.
  • Unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher and reload all the dirty ones from the sink.
  • Peel all the chicken off a rotisserie chicken & put away for meals this week.
  • Collect all the trash from the whole condo & take it out to the dumpsters.
  • Organize & add to my stash in my recycling bins.
  • Make & put away lunch for tomorrow. This is HUGE since I'm always rushing to get it made before I run out the door.
  • Take Minnie for a 45-minute walk.
  • Make & eat dinner.
  • Fed Minnie dinner, maybe even twice. At 7:45, I looked at her and honestly couldn't remember if I fed her earlier. I put food in the bowl & she scarfed it down. That doesn't mean much since she would eat the entire 20-pound bag if I let her.
  • Relax to watch some great shows on TV.
Not too bad, huh? Now I just need to be this productive on all the days that I allow myself to leave work early!

P.S. I can't tell if I lost some of my regular readers. I know I wasn't posting every day, but I'm trying to get back in the habit of doing it. Are you all still out there?

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Etsy shoppers pick a favorite team!

I got an idea last fall to make some earrings that were college-themed after I was tired of only finding cheesy (sorry KU fans, you know it's true!) Jayhawk earrings. Well, I think it's interesting to see how many views these pair of earrings have each had.

Check out the KU Jayhawks vs. the MU Tigers vs. the KSU Wildcats earrings! Clearly there are more Jayhawk fans! :) Let me know if you see something you like. You should be able to click on the descriptions to get to each item on my Etsy page!

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk ... good luck in tonight's game!

KU Earrings - 59 views
Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, Go KU - Beaded Earrings

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, Go KU - Beaded Earrings
by betsyonetsy
KU Earrings - 40 views
Beak 'Em, Hawks - KU Jayhawks Beaded Earrings
Beak 'Em, Hawks - KU Jayhawks Beaded Earrings
by betsyonetsy

MU Earrings - 1 view
MU Mizzou Tigers - Black and Gold Beaded Earrings
MU Mizzou Tigers - Black and Gold Beaded Earrings
by betsyonetsy

KSU Earrings - 7 views
Kansas State Wildcats - Purple Beaded Earrings
Kansas State Wildcats - Purple Beaded Earrings
by betsyonetsy

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Old Man Stewart - Shakes his fist at ???

Molly told me she was angry that I hadn't been posting to this blog every day! Since I've quit posting daily on this blog & started posting daily on The View Across Town, I don't know how I ever wrote a whole post each day!?! Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with one good picture to share, let alone something to write that someone might actually want to read.

Well, I've figured out what has made me feel the need to post less on this blog.

Twitter.

That's right, I'm Tweeting. It was just 7 short months ago that I didn't know about Twitter and what it was for, and now I'm hooked! It's basically a shorter (much shorter) way of blogging to let people know what you are doing. You only have 140 characters to share, so that is always a challenge.

I'm now following some friends from high school and college, friends from here, blogging friends, celebs and other random people that I found I have things in common with them!

Here is Jon Stewart "raising his fist" at Twitter last night! Pretty darn funny!

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If any of you are interested in Tweeting, just let me know. I can now show you how and get you hooked. I'm off to read all the updates that people posted today while I was at work. Some of us can't Tweet all the time! :)

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

2 Hour Family Brunch in Photos

Sadly, I was only sitting at one end of the table and didn't get shots of everyone and everything that was going on. Thanks, Aunt Susan, for inviting us all to another FABULOUS brunch at Cafe Sebastienne at the Kemper Art Museum. We always love going there & having a chance to catch up with family!


Giant icicle on the outside of the museum. It was probably 5-6 feet long!

Just one of the many pieces of artwork in the restaurant.

This skylight was completely covered with snow and ice when we got there. Most of it had melted by the time we left two hours later.

Grumpy Ellen, all bundled up to brave the cold. She was NOT happy about her too-small hat! She still looks cute, though!

Happy girl, now that she's out of the car seat.

Kate, at the other end of the table, making funny faces. I started making faces right back at her and she caught me! Then, I got her to smile!

Molls & Ellen. Ellen is wearing a cute, pink curly bow that actually managed part of her Conan O'Brien-like faux-hawk!

Aunt Susan with Lindy. She brought Band-Aids for the kids. It was entertainment for HOURS! Most of us ended up with band-aids all over our hands, arms, and clothes. Lindy was SUPER excited when Susan told her she could take home the band-aids with her!

Laura & Eva. Cute as ever!

Kate, Phillip, Erik & Uncle Phil. I missed my chance to talk to them, as I was at the other end of our table for 15! Talking about KU sports, I'm sure!

Lindy, trying to give Dad a Sponge-Bob band-aid for his head. Too funny!

Someone was pooped & couldn't keep her eyes open for her bottle ... then they stayed open when they should have been closed!

My Cafe Benny: poached eggs on crab cakes, roasted potatoes and lemon Hollandaise. I was dreaming about ordering this last night. It is to die for! I might have eaten too much, because I promptly came home and took a nappy :)

My little shadow when we are at family events: Lindy! We had LOTS of fun playing beauty shop & giving each other "tattoo" band-aids!

Thanks again, Aunt Susan! It was tons of fun! We missed Caroline, Eric & soon-to-be-here baby, Jill & Aurora!

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