Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tiger Pride!

 This weekend was filled with scrapbooking (yay) and basketball!!  And, mostly basketball!!  I have to get this "memory" down.  Kevin and I have absolutely LOVED getting to go watch my kids play basketball on Saturday's.  We tried our best to make our Upward basketball schedule around my school kids basketball schedule and were disappointed anytime we couldn't make a game.  They did NOT disappoint on excitement.  It was just FUN to watch.  There are two brothers on the team that just make it look easy.  This weekend, they made it to the championship tournament.  We were undefeated as well as one other school for the whole season.  So, on Friday, my kids made posters for the afternoon pep rally.  We decorated the cafeteria.  Introduced the players.  Cheered.  And, even had some high school cheerleaders make a special appearance to help the cheer the boys on!! I am pretty sure they felt pretty special! 
 Saturday was game day.  First game was at 1 o'clock.  Kevin and I had fun making sure the boys had lunch and snacks for the day.  And, they didn't disappoint with the game playing.  The first game about gave me a heart attack, but we pulled off a win. Next game was at 5 o'clock.  Another close one, but they pulled it off.  We made it to the championship game going against the only other undefeated team.  Our boys had 30 minutes to rest.  The other team had an hour and a half. :(  The other team was notorious for running up high scores and not playing nice.  In the end, Kevin had no voice from all the yelling and cheering. :)  And, we lost our first game of the season for the championship. The boys were tired.  You could see it, but they still played hard against some rough boys and blind refs. :)  It was GREAT entertainment and we are sad to see the season end.  My heart broke for the boys at the end.  I know someone has to lose, but think how hard it is for your only loss of the season to be for the championship.  Bless their hearts.  They are winners in my book!
As I was cheering for and helping take care of these boys yesterday, I was reminded numerous times of God's plan for our lives.  It was not an easy decision this summer to change schools.  I went back and forth a million times, but kept returning to my initial "feeling" that I felt God was moving me.  I can't explain it except to say that I know it was what I supposed to do, but it wasn't the easy thing to do.  And, don't we all love the easy road instead of the hard one? :)  I'm so glad I listened though and followed his path for me.  I am blessed daily and love these kids.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Upward Basketball

Another Upward Season is coming to a close.  This upcoming Saturday is the final Saturday.  Every year, we can't help but dread it just a bit...I mean, it does mean giving up our Saturday's for two months straight.  But, every year, once it starts, we love it.  Every Saturday is a blessing in one way or another.  It might be someone you meet, something someone says, a story, or a kid that crosses your path.  But, in one way or another, we are blessed each week, and we have fun doing it.  Kevin referees now and I help run the concession stand.  We feel better suited to those areas than coaching.  I am always amazed at the number of volunteers each year it takes to pull off this program.  Love being able to serve in just a small way!!!
Now, what to do with our Saturday's? ha!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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After reading Gone Girl and practically being consumed by it, I found the authors other two books on the "buy 2, get 1 free" table at Barnes & Noble, so I snatched them up to see if they were just as good.  Sharp Objects is this author's debut novel and it was an Edgar Nominee for Best First Novel.  It was a good read, but nowhere near the level of Gone Girl.  I was probably a third of the way into the book before it really grabbed my attention.  Gone Girl pretty much grabs you from page 1.

Summary:
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille Preaker's first assignment at her second-rate daily paper takes her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.  As she works to uncover the truth, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly.  Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Actual Birthday...

 My birthday table! :)  (aka my loot!)  Fun!!!  I scored $75 in Barnes & Noble gift cards! Oh yeah!  
My actual 40th birthday was spent doing things I love to do. I love going to flea markets with Big Bear and love that he actually likes doing that too.  It's one of our favorite ways to "waste" a day.  Going junkin'.  Below is one of the fattest cats I have ever seen that is in one of the flea markets here locally.  He follows us through the flea market meowing to be loved on!!  Of course, I happily oblige.
 Besides flea markets, we HAD to stop at Barnes & Noble.  I had free money in books burning a hole in my wallet!!!  AND, I still have money left over!  I got 3 books off the "buy 2, get 1 free" table.  Whoop!
Then, we headed to lunch and more flea markets, and lastly, one of my new favorite finds - a great second hand bookstore called Books and Baubles.  Great thing about that is that I already had a store credit (you can trade in your used books) and I brought more books to trade in.  (I pick up books at yard sales and then use them for credit at the used book store IF they are priced right at the yard sale.)  Anyway...on my birthday, I scored all these books and spent $0!!  And, I still have credit at both Barnes & Noble AND Books & Baubles = happy girl!!! :)
 Bonus - did you know if it is your birthday at Delicious Temptations, you don't have to endure them singing to you.  Instead, they bring you a box full of this photographers photos and let you pick one!  They have his photography all over the restaurant, and he has some great outdoor photography of Arkansas.  So, just another bonus to a GREAT birthday week!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saying goodbye to the 30's!

My last day of my 30's was AWESOME!  I have some pretty awesome friends and family!!  And, I am blessed with an amazing husband!!  I started off the day by walking into my classroom and jumping back from the attack of balloons that awaited me at the door.  The girls I teach with really went above and beyond to send my 30's out in style.  (If you are asking yourself, why the day before my birthday?  Well, because I took a personal day for my birthday, of course!)
Then, I walk in to find 40 cupcakes and treats and presents!!  Needless to say, my kids loved my birthday too because they all got a cupcake! ha!  (and before lunch!  shhhh!!!)
I have to tell you one student said, "Are you really 40?  Wow. No offense, but you are the oldest teacher I've ever had!" ha!  When she heard me retell the story later, she said, "But I said no offense!"  LOL!

  
Then, at lunch they rescued me from the lounge with a lunch from P.F. Chang's!!!!  Oh yeah!!!  YUMMO!
And, then, not to be outdone...my Big Bear threw together a surprise birthday party!!  I thought he had a catering at the church and we were going to clean up and pick up dishes and then go out to eat.  We walked into SURPRISE!  (I think, I was in a bit of a daze...They sang happy birthday, but I remember none of it.  I was just in a daze trying to figure out what was happening! ha!) 

These are all the pictures I have for now.  After all, I didn't know I needed to be picture ready.  I know my scrappin' friends will have more.  Kevin said he got the idea about a week before my birthday and put it all together.  I am amazed in such a short time how many people he had there.  He had my scrappin' group, my work buddies, my family (who drove hours! thank you!!), our Sunday School friends, and high school friends.  Whew!  It was a lot to take in!!  I felt like I was in a dream.  Seriously!
 Apparently, there was cake drama...the original cake was supposed to be in the shape of an open book.  Then, the girl couldn't do it.  Kevin's sister ordered another one.  They lost the order.  So, this is our free cake due to his sister having a fit and then Kevin's mom accidently stuck her finger in it! haha!  Pawprints, open book...both good ideas! :)
It was a great day!  I said good bye to the 30's and am ready for my 40's!!!  The best part of my 30's was marrying my Big Bear.  He lets me know he loves everyday.  THANK YOU BIG BEAR FOR A GREAT DAY!!! (Actually birthday week!!  He pampered me all week!! Tomorrow is back to reality! ha!)

**Hopefully, I will have more pics to share soon.  Hint! Hint!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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READ IT!!  You won't regret it!!  I came home from work everyday and devoured this book.  It was a welcome feeling after forcing myself to finish that last book I read.  There are so many twists and turns in this book, you won't be able to put it down.  I guarantee it.  If you haven't read it, add it to your stack!

Summary from Gillian Flynn's website - go check it out!

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. As The Washington Post proclaimed, her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit with deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick Dunne isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but hearing from Amy through flashbacks in her diary reveal the perky perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister Margo at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was left in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
Employing her trademark razor-sharp writing and assured psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Better Perspective

Yesterday, I was frustrated.  Today, I have a better perspective.  First, our accountant told me to "breathe".  He's not finished yet.  He actually referred me to one of my favorite Bible verses:  "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34  I needed that.  Calm.  Breathe.  It will all work itself out.  Second, I reminded myself that there people worse off than us.  As a teacher, unfortunately, I get to see that firsthand.  Kids who have no food at home or clean clothes.  I reminded myself that we never have to pick and choose which of our bills get paid.  All of our bills are paid.  Amen!  Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Yep, new perspective.  
Plus, it's my birthday week!  Monday, Kevin brought me lunch to school.  Yesterday, he brought me gourmet cupcakes.  Today, my friend, Jill, took me out for lunch.  I mean, I'll just enjoy the last few hours of my 30's and embrace my 40's (and any debt it brings! ha!)  Because, we are taking a trip this summer for both of us turning 40 if I have to work 3 jobs to make it happen! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Venting!!!

Ok, first let me say it has been a craptastic day.  Literally.  I am venting from the office as I air out the smell of diarrhea paw prints from the carpet behind me.  Did I mention craptastic?
It started with a text from our accountant who is currently working on our taxes.  I was thrown into a full blown panic because at the moment it looks like we may OWE.  Seriously?  Every year, we get a refund somewhere around $3000.  And, this year, we may owe?  How?  Good question.  Here's the joke.  BECAUSE THE BUSINESS MADE TOO MUCH MONEY!!!!  So......even though we are BROKE all the time.  Even though several months this year, we have had to scrape the bottom of the barrel (change barrel) to buy groceries.  Even though, I have taken on a tutoring job three days a week.  Even though, when emergencies pop up, we have no money to pay them.  Even with all that, WE MADE TOO MUCH MONEY!  What a freakin' joke!  I had actually decided this summer to not work summer school and now I may have to just to make up for this loss.  You may ask yourself why I am working to make up for the business making too much money.  I asked myself that same question.  I am beyond frustrated!!!  We do the best we can.  We really don't splurge.  We don't take vacations.  The last vacation we took was with his sister to Florida and we could only afford that because the room and travel was paid for.  Ridiculous!!!  We simply are trying to do what we love doing and to get out of debt and tithe like we are supposed to.  We try to do what is right and yet, we never catch a break.  I tell you what, I am about to give up, embrace debt and say forget it!  Everyone else lives in debt.  Why not!  URGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, I am money frustrated because we can't get ahead no matter how hard we try.  Kevin had his best year business wise.  We both work two jobs and we still can't get ahead.  Sucks! 
Then, enter girl drama.  Enough said if you have a daughter or are a teacher of a girl 3rd through 8th grade.  Girl drama. Yuck. More ridiculousness!!
AND THEN, Kevin calls to say the day just got worse because when he got home, Bubba Bear had diarrhea in his kennel.  And, Kevin threw up trying to clean it up.  Seriously?  Well, you know he couldn't get from the kennel to the backdoor without getting it on the floor.  So, we have a diarrhea soaked dog, kennel, and carpet.  What an end to a craptastic day.  After working a 9 hour day and with more work in my bag, I get to clean the carpet, bathe the dog, AND look for more expenses to try and salvage the tax situation.  Good times!  I am sending my 30's out with a bang.  Craptastic!