Saturday, January 31, 2009


It seemed fitting on coach sal's 40th birthday that we once again go to watch "Batteries Not Included", the 80s cover band, play on Saturday night.
Here's to 40 more, babe!

Friday, January 30, 2009


My hubby, coach sal, has really "felt the love" from family and friends this week as he reaches his fortieth birthday tomorrow. He's received many cards!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


As my daughter and I were sitting at a red light, we saw this "dinosaur" eating up the building.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today my middle child was sick with a stomach flu and I stayed home from school with him. As much as I dislike missing school, I did get the laundry caught up and started book two!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Last summer I got into couponing in a serious way- I cut our grocery bill from $100+/week for a family of five down to about $70-80/week. The key is use the coupon when the item is on sale, preferably buy-one-get-one-free. Tonight I was organizing for my next trip, which is also important. It is time-consuming, so I have found that I am not nearly as thrifty during the school year when I'm working full-time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


*day of rest message...Hebrews the race, be a witness.
*Larry will be 40 on Saturday. My mom has been waiting for this event- she has something fun planned for EVERY day this week. We started with his birthday lunch after church- mom's roast and potatoes and gravy, yum!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My brother, his wife, my sister, and Larry and I all went out Saturday night to hear an 80's cover band play downtown. They were AWESOME, and we danced like it was 1999!

Friday, January 23, 2009


E.B. Lewis, a well-known children's illustrator, came to our school today and did a wonderful presentation. I was able to get my copy of The Other Side autographed.

Greg, David's youth minister, came with his son Luke to watch David's JV basketball game. Jonah and Luke were too cute watching the game. Jonah kept cheering for the team, and Luke just kept looking at him like he was crazy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Today Mary E was an acolyte in chapel. She carried the banner and read a verse in Psalms.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I found this plaque while Christmas shopping in December, and I had to have it.
It sits by our back door, a gentle reminder that God is in control and I can be thankful and have peace each day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I watched the inauguration with my third grade students. We were amazed at all the people who were there.
When Rick Warren said the Lord's Prayer, our students started, one at a time, to say it too, until all their voices were praying together in unison. I almost cried.

Monday, January 19, 2009

material girl...

Ok, I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I saw this sign...
actually, it took me a minute...then I laughed.
(HA, HA...oh wait...what did you say?)

ooo, my new favorites!



AND half-price!

What could be better?....SOCK MONKEYS, too!


This was the view out my window today as I sat here at the computer...

And it's supposed to maybe *SNOW* tonight!!!
Oh please, oh please, oh please...let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


*day of rest message: Psalm 139: 1-4 and 23-24. Search me, O God.
Jonah loves playing the games at CiCi's, and he especially likes to follow the boys around.
He really wanted David to *WIN!* this game.
Gotta love the look on his face in the second picture...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We love our bed. We also LOVE to sleep.

The bed is my favorite place to be on cold Saturday mornings when there's nowhere to go.

Friday, January 16, 2009

how I get more than one photo on a layout...

For those that have asked about my multiple photos on a layout-

I have Creative Memories' Storybook Plus software. It's a digital software program that allows you to create digital albums and digital scrapbook pages. I'm sure there are other photo software programs that do the same type thing.

I create 8.5 x 11 pages with my photos, and then I download them to Costco and print them as 4x6 photos.

I have to adjust my photos carefully to the middle of the page so that things aren't cut off the edges. And you can download Storybook software for free from CM's Photo Center, but the "Plus" software, which costs $60, allows you to move around ALL the elements on the page and add elements, too!

I LOVE being able to add more than one photo- AND I can journal on the photo pages, too!

Just FYI-

* PS- I also made wallet sized photos (my first two days' layouts) and adhered them to the paper that came with the kit (cut it down it 4x6 sized cards).


I know, I know...the theme...again.
And I know, I know...McDonalds is just awful.
But sometimes you just have to have fresh, hot, salty french fries from McDonalds. C'mon now, you know it's true...every once-in-awhile.
I actually had a hot fudge sundae. The kids had french fries. And it's 25 degrees outside!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Ok, I'm starting to see a reoccurring theme...FOOD!

We seem to eat out a lot, but I must write a hubby and I are teachers who have students that love us. So we are blessed each Christmas with an abundance of gift cards. Which is why we went Outback tonight. (And I ate salmon and veggies. And a few bites of that Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.)

I love this photo of me and Mary E, it's actually pretty good. We really do look a lot alike- people often tell us that. And Jakey, attacking the dessert...he likes his sweets. When he was little, he would want dessert after breakfast, and very diplomatically explain to me why it was ok.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Project 365 pages...

Here are my first pages for this year's scrapbook project- I'm really excited, it's been fun taking a photo each day...

I have not been posting as much here, but you can check me out EVERY day at THIS location...

first pages...


* I haven't yet used the date stamp- need to get an ink pad!

* I may try using the week name stickers on my photos and the clear week letters on the cards-

* I like my handwriting better than I thought- I was able to keep it uniform.
* I may still try to do some journaling on my computer.

* Thank GOODNESS for the larger trifold journal cards- I am a bit wordy!

PS- I can NOT get that second photo to turn around!! Not sure why it's posting that way....argh!


*midweek message: "Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from there?" "Just come and see for yourself, " Phillip said. (John 1:46)
* Coach sal and I teach at a private parochial school, and we have the gift of attending Eucharist midweek before classes start. It's a nice chance to reflect and b-r-e-a-t-h-e and be thankful. The sun was rising this morning, and it made a beautiful scene.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


* Our family LOVES watching The Biggest Loser! We remind each other when Tuesday is coming and we all try to have all our "stuff" done so we can watch it as a family. This is the third season we've watched together, and so far this season is MUCH better than last. It's really inspirational to see those people changing their lives- and I mean, wow, a half-way decent reality TV show! BTW...did you see Bob FLIP OUT last night?!?! THAT was CRAZY!
* Jacob's team lost their game last night, but I did manage to snap ONE shot- and he had the ball!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Special delivery!!!
I've been tracking it for days and knew it was arriving on my doorstep TONIGHT. I was laying in the bed cuddling with Mary E and watching TV when coach sal came and dumped it onto the bed with a smile and said, "I guess I know what YOU'LL be doing the rest of the evening!" I have taken everything out and started sliding my photos in, but I think I'm going to tackle the journaling tomorrow...I'm beat!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


* day of rest message: He is the Light and the Life.
God so loved the world that he gave us his
Only begotten
Son that whosoever believes in him will not
Perish but have
Life. John 3:16
* This is my family- most of my family, my brother was sick and my "other" parents are not there- eating Sunday lunch at my parents' home after Sunday worship. We sit around the table (with a built-in lazy Susan) that coach sal and his grandfather built when he was just a boy. We eat together every Sunday; sometimes here, sometimes out. It's such a tradition that if we don't eat together, it feels wrong. Yesterday we had my mom's homemade spaghetti, a favorite.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

old friends...

"Good friends are like may not always see them, but you know they're always there."
It's so nice to spend time with old friends out-of-the-blue. Not expected. The hey-what-are-you-up-to-tonight moments are so relaxing, so nice. Just being friends, catching up, being silly, saying hey, I've missed talking to you.


Calm. Quiet. Still. These are the feelings I get from this photo.
But what's interesting is that the day was anything but...two basketball games for the boys (one team won, one team lost); shopping for clothes and groceries; washing laundry; Girl Scout outing; dad and boys go to watch a college basketball game tonight while daughter and I go to dinner and visit with girlfriends...whew...
Then I photo!
But the drew me in. As did the owl calling from a tree in our suburban yard. We've heard him calling over the past few weeks. So I stepped outside into the cool night air and caught this.
Good night, moon.

Friday, January 9, 2009


First let me start by saying that I didn't think I'd have a great photo opportunity today...but I guess with a family of five, that's just not a realistic expectation!
* Our kids love the trampoline. Someone is always on it after school- sometimes all three of them are on it after school. Warm, cold. Sun, rain. (I'm serious about the rain- they begged me once, and I said yes...I know, I know...) This is actually our second trampoline; the first lasted two years, but this trampoline is falling apart after only one. I think they'd go stir-crazy if they couldn't jump. My two year old nephew comes over just to jump.
* Five Guys Burgers & Fries was callin' our names tonight! The kids said, "Are you REALLY gonna take a picture??"
* After burgers we went to our addiction- B&N! I'm serious, we all get LOST in that place! It's like going down the rabbit hole or through the wardrobe to another world, we can stay in here wandering and reading FoReVeR...we walked out tonight, one hour and $25 poorer, and all kinda *sighed* as our heads checked back into reality! Oh well, should you expect anything less from two teachers and their offspring?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


We are blessed to have some very sweet elderly neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks have been married for 60 years. They love when we come over with muffins or sweets and visit with them. Mr. Weeks grows camelias and gave these to Mary E yesterday to give to me. I put them into one of my favorite vintage jelly jar glasses and set them in my kitchen window.

copy and paste to play...

I copied this from another blog...some numbers are if you want! BOLD the ones you've done...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars (does in a tent count? I've laid out and LOOKED at them!)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland (I think Disney World counts, too!)
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea ( the beach...I wasn't IN the sea)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept in an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run/walk a marathon (I have run a 5K!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (that's a half truth...if more comes my way, I'll take it!)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (by my dad when I was little)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (I tried, it was HARD)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (does Creative Memories count?)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (I am right now! Actually, my daughter is.)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten cavier.
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby 94a. Had a baby 94b. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit (class action, not personal)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This is where I'm going to try to spend more time this year. I joined the gym a year and a half ago, and when I first started I couldn't do more than about 20 minutes on the elliptical- now I'm running 5Ks! I usually try to run 2-3 days a week, but this year I'm tracking my runs and I'm going to try to get at least 10 miles a week, increasing each week by a 1/2 mile. We'll see!

When I went to pick-up the boys from bball practice tonight, this was the scene out my van window...gotta love a pink sky.'s reoccurring theme- "Ann in the Van"!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


My two and a half year old nephew loves everything about basketball! I guess it's my boys' fault. :o) He is so intent when he watches them play...mesmerized! He watches very seriously every move the players make. My mom and sister have even caught him imitating some of the shots and moves! He doesn't like the buzzer, though, and will cover his ears and jump. He told us last night, "I doin' better about d'at buzzer!"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Project 365...

Here's my new blog for my Project 365 Kit...go check it out!

Project 365...hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week, for three-six-five...


* hhhmmm...this desk looks vaguely familiar...welcome back! (sigh)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


* day of rest message: feed your spirit with the Word and prayer, focus on God, and love others in 2009...
* visited Grandmama...
* Ye Old Fashioned with the Albachs...
* I gave in to the peer pressure...I'm reading Twilight!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


* my sis and I ran the United Way Resolution Run 5K...32:42!
* dinner at The Mustard Seed with Hugh and Meredith...

Friday, January 2, 2009

aunt in convertible...

Driving with the top down on January 1st...our version of the Polar Bear Plunge. Bbbrrr.


* goodbye, Christmas, my most favoritest of holidays...


I forgot to share with everyone the most unusual thing we have ever gotten for Christmas. Are you ready?

A cow. A REAL cow.

But- hold on- only PART of a REAL cow.

When we opened the paperwork, I thought, "Wow, we get free milk for life!" Then I was told it was not a good idea to name the cow. OOOhhh. Oops.

We will receive FIFTY POUNDS of beef, courtesy of our cow, in February. And although our cow will be no more, there will be our deep freezer. How cool is that?!

So although I won't have milk for life, we will have steak on the grill!

Anyone have any good recipes?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


* Gamecocks lost to Iowa in the Outback Bowl, 31-10.
* Jacob, Mary Elizabeth, Lori and I go shopping together and have lunch.
* I clean out and organize my closet (to make room for the thrift store finds!)
* Larry and Tommy get XBox Live up and running- only took all afternoon!
* I ordered my Project 365 Kit, yah!

look at me...

Find me on Polyvore

Click on the photo to check it out!

new year yummy...

Last night I made a new family favorite- Lowcountry Salsa!

Homemade salsa is so fresh, and I love knowing that it's fat free. You can eat as much as you want! So here's the recipe...happy new year.

3 cans of Rotel, Mexican variety (with lime and cilantro)- drain slighty
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of Mexicorn, drained
1 cucumber, minus the seeds, chopped

Mix and chill. Yum!