Saturday, January 29, 2011

Subbing Stories

Whew!  That week sure flew by, even though it was the first full one we've had in awhile (those of us in the education world, at least...or maybe just me?  haha).

Anyway, it was a good one here - hope yours was fantastic, as well!

I got to sub for three different teachers/classrooms this week, and they were all music classes - hooray!  Thought I'd share a few things from these experiences:

  • "Are we discouraging you from being a teacher?" -high school choir kids  (Of course, I said "No!")
  • Jr. High lunch room duty: nothing about jr. high has changed...drama, drama, DRAMA!!!  Yikes...
  • A jr. high girl who I student taught last year came into the room where I was supervising a study hall to ask me a question.  There were other students around, so she decided to write down the question.  It was, "Do you have a boyfriend?"  I answered out loud with a "Not right now," to which she replied, "What?!  But you're so pretty!" I laughed and said, "Well, thanks.  If you know someone you think I should meet, you can let him know."  She said, "Yeah - I'll tell him I know this really awesome girl who's awesome at the trumpet.  If you're interested in that, you should be interested in her!"  I made sure to tell her, "It would be ok if he were interested in other things, too."  
: )  Getting back in the classroom on occasion is such a blessing.  It's especially nice when I get to be surrounded by such great kiddos (and staff)!

Also - I don't think I've shared about this, yet (forgive me if I have):
As of the beginning of this semester, I have an adult beginning trumpet student at the studio (Harris Music Studio)!  We meet once a week, and it's been soooo fun to teach someone who is excited, self-motivated, eager to learn, and who understands concepts younger beginners can't.  Don't get me wrong - I love teaching the younger ones, but it has just been a great (and new!) experience to teach someone older.

Sorry if you're not a music or education person and were bored by this post.  Your day will come!    (If anyone ever has any requests for posts or topics of discussion, be sure to let me know!)

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Favorites of the day:
the 9-yr.-old trumpet prodigy whose solo I'm accompanying (She's amazing!)
Date Delights (a.k.a. Date Balls) - here's my mom's recipe:

1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. margarine/butter
3/4 c. chopped dates
3/4 c. chopped pecans

Combine and bring to a boil.  Cook 5 min.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 c. Rice Krispies.  Cool slightly.  With buttered hands, roll in 1-in. balls and roll in powdered sugar.
Yields 4 dozen

Sunday, January 23, 2011

God verbs

Well, the Christmas/winter decorations are put away, and now I'm looking into getting some Valentine's day ones.  Can't believe it's almost February!  Pretty soon we won't have an excuse for accidentally writing 2010.  : )

Just wanted to share what we're studying in Bible study for the next few weeks, because I think it's cool!  We're reading through Ephesians, which many of us have done already.  This time, however, we're breaking it down in a variety of ways.  Last week, we read through chapters 1 and 2 and highlighted the verbs used to describe what God did/does for us.  Examples include: chose, predestined, included, marked, lavished, purposed, promised, raised, expressed, saved, and prepared.  It was so great to see all these actions pop out and it led to some great discussion!  Next week, I think we're going to underline/circle/highlight in a different color the commands Paul gives the people of Ephesus, and will do something completely different another week.  This study strategy allows for us to read the Word from a variety of perspectives and is really engaging, in my opinion!  I'm one of those people who loved to circle the verbs/underline the nouns/cross out the prepositional phrases in English class, though.  : )

By the way - while writing this, I'm watching a show about origami and how it has practical applications (airbags, folding proteins to fight diseases, etc.).  Pretty amazing!  Sometimes people's minds, intelligence, and the creative process itself blow me away.

Have a lovely week and stay warm!

In Him,

Favorites of the day:
having friends and family over for an "open coop" party, despite the weather!
(Those of you who didn't make it are welcome anytime!)
the kitten napping on my lap : )
sunshine on the snow

Sunday, January 16, 2011

White Elephant: HMS style

Aloha, everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

I just had a wonderful ending to my weekend - a staff party for the teachers at the music studio where I teach (Harris Music Studio).  We had a great time chatting, eating, and playing Catch Phrase!  We also had a White Elephant gift exchange.  There were some very creative and fun gifts to choose from!

I brought the huge one in the middle.  This is what was inside:

Yep - it's a pony...and it talks!
Luckily, one of the teachers in attendance found this gift very practical - she has two little girls!

The gift I chose to open was in a cute bag with pink tissue paper.  I opened it to find a container of fish food.  Turns out, it was the gift my boss brought and there was more to it:

Fish food on the right, container with fish in it on the left.  Sadly, though...

...the fish was no longer among the living.

Yep - she found it dead about an hour before the party, so had no time to replace it and decided to give the gift as it was.  : )  Needless to say, it made for a memorable gift exchange!

Hope this brings a little laughter to the beginning of your week!

vvvvvvvvvttvd4rh (from Charlie)

Mournfully (haha),

Favorites of the day:
spending time with family this weekend
peanut butter balls
finding one of Charlie's missing jingle balls inside the couch (I thought I'd looked everywhere...)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dr. Pepper kitty

After spending the day "all 'coop'ed up" as my boss put it, Charlie and I got creative with our means of entertainment.  I know all kitties like boxes, but I just have to share these pictures of Charlie's experience with a Dr. Pepper box.  Initially, he wasn't too thrilled about it, but then I opened the other end, so he could see through it.  This is what followed: 

He took a running leap into it and slid probably 3 feet before the wall brought him and the box to a halt.
He proceeded to try to back out of the box. 
Notice the paw coming through the handle hole in the top of the box.
Once he got out, he turned around and dove in the other way.

Maybe some of you have seen the "yogurt box cat" video...?  If not, here's a link:

Charlie is obviously not as big as that kitty, and his box wasn't as small, but I'd say he had a similar experience.  : )

Hope this finds you warm and cozy!


Favorites of the day:
snow days!
my uncle for scooping the driveway

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting to know you...(I just sang it in my head - feel free to do the same!)

Happy Saturday, everyone!  Hope this finds you well and ready for some winter weather!

Just thought I'd update you on the newest resident in the coop.  He's doing very well, learning quickly, and being everything I'd hoped for in a kitty.  : )  He's currently situating himself on my lap (takes him awhile to get comfortable sometimes), and purring non-stop.

As we've spent more time together, I've discovered some strange obsessions/habits of Charlie's:
  • He likes to sit in the shower (I don't have a tub/shower combo - just a there isn't a tall ledge to jump over).  I think he likes to be hidden by the shower curtain...and he likes to play hide-and-seek in and around the curtain.  But I also think he likes to watch/listen to/monitor any dripping water.
  • Sometimes he just digs in his litter box just for fun.
  • He likes to hide under rugs.  (This is not unusual for kitties, I know).
  • I don't know if most cats like to watch water coming out of a faucet (I've heard of a few that do), but Charlie definitely does.  Last night, he was "helping" me brush my teeth, and discovered the miracle of running water.  I was able to capture the moment, however, I can't get the video to upload.  Bummer!  You'll just have to picture him batting at the stream of water, getting confussed, trying to drink it, and getting his face and paws soaking wet in the process.  This is how I found him a little bit later:

Needless to say, I think the squirt-with-water discipline system we're currently on may soon prove to be ineffective...

There's really not much else to share...oh wait!  Yes, there is:

Due to Christmas/New Year's vacation, I didn't see the kiddos I teach at the studio for close to 3 weeks.  Yesterday evening, we had our first CMA class (Children's Music Academy - the group piano class for 4/5-yr.-olds and their parent I teach) since the break.  The first little girl to arrive ran in and into my arms for a hug exclaiming, "Miss Kensy!!!  I missed you!!!  I LOVE you, Miss Kensy!!!!"  Then, one of my piano students gave me a thank you note for her Christmas gift.  In it, she deemed me "the best piano teacher in the whole universe."  Just one of the many reasons I love what I do.  : )

Ok, that's all for real this time. 

Stay warm,

Favorites of the day:
game nights
having a clean car (on the outside; I usually keep the interior pretty tidy) - I know it won't last long, but it feels so great!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There's a new man in my life...

Yep - that's right!  There's a new man in my life.  We just spent the last 20 mins. cuddling, and he's planning on spending the night.  I just met him today, and I can definitely say it was love at first sight!

If you know me at all, you know that this man is probably not my future husband, or even human...and you're right.  (So, you can still be on the lookout for that man!)  Rather, he's a cat!  A kitten, actually.  So really, he probably shouldn't be called a "man."  Maybe a "boy?"  Either way, his name is Charlie, and I love him.  Here's the "how they met" story:

A friend and I went out today intent on finding my kitty companion.  I'd called the humane society yesterday to see if they had any kittens available for adoption.  They had a couple at the shelter, and were also "showcasing" one at a local veterinarian's clinic.  So, we visited the clinic first - this is where Charlie was.  (He went by a different name there, but I liked Charlie better, so that will be his name, now.)  He was everything I was hoping for - friendly, vocal, good motor, didn't use his claws unnecessarily, not scared, curious, etc.  I was pretty sure he was "the one," but we thought we should probably still go to the humane society to check out the other kittens.  They had a few there, but they weren't available to be visited or adopted today.  We took that as a sign, and went back to officially adopt Charlie.

He's 6 months old, 5.4 lbs., short haired, white/brown/black tabby, and sooo sweet.  He's been on my lap every time I've sat down, and is perfectly content to stay there (when he's not nuzzling my neck/face).  He's got the sweetest meow that he uses on occasion and his motor is going almost nonstop.  I have a laser pointer whose red dot Charlie loves to chase, and he likes to watch the computer mouse and things on the TV.

Since I'm going to be gone to work nearly every day, we did a trial run tonight - I left him for a couple hours while I went out to dinner.  I let him have the run of the place (except for the bedrooms - I'm going to try to keep him out of those), and he did just fine!  Everything was in it's place when I got back, and there were no "surprises!"

I feel like such a "mom" and a stereotypical pet owner, but I just wanted to share all this.  I know there are at least a couple people who wanted to know EVERYTHING!  : )

And now, what you've all been waiting for:

Of course, the pictures don't do him justice, but hopefully they give you an idea of what he's like!  You're more than welcome to come visit - just let me know when!!

Thanks for reading and helping me welcome Charlie into my life.  : )

Purrs and nuzzles,

Favorites of the day:
I feel like this is pretty obvious...
(Also - the rolls and cinnamon butter at Texas Roadhouse.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My brother

Happy 2011, everyone! 

If you're preparing yourself to read yet another set of New Year's resolutions, there is no need.  I'm not really a resolution-making girl.  No particular reason...I just think it's better to resolve to meet goals for yourself on a daily basis, rather than a yearly one.

Anyway, onto the meat and potatoes, so to speak, of this post:

I recently returned from a wonderful week spent at home with my family and other loved ones.  Words cannot express how thankful I am for my family (immediate and extended).  Since I don't get to see everyone as often as I'd like, the time we do get to spend together is cherished, and we're always able to pick up where we left off.

One of my favorite family members is my brother.  I won't embarrass him with stories, etc., but I'd just like to express my love for him.  : )  AND I'd like to draw your attention to his amazing mind and skills.  He's always been a builder/creator/problem solver, and these traits have only intensified as he's gotten older.  I attest this not only to my parents' parenting skills and style, but also to Lego's, K'Nex, model cars/boats/planes, and very little time spent playing video/computer games. 

I can't begin to list all of his "creations," but wanted to share the most recent.  In case you don't already know, I'm getting a kitten in the near future (my Christmas present from my family was everything I need to adopt one)!  I was thinking about things I needed to get to entertain my new pet, and figured a scratching post would be a good idea.  Q and I were out looking at them, and he said "I could just make that" to nearly everything we saw.  So, I asked him to "just make one."  A couple hours of work later, this is what he produced:

I'm going to find a fun something-or-other to hang from the dowel.

The best part (other than it being made from scraps in Dad's garage and FREE)...?

He made it collapsible, so I can easily fit it in my car!

He also loves shopping at thrift stores (I made a "gift card" to one of them for his Christmas present).  I don't know how he does it, but he always finds the greatest "treasures" at the greatest prices!  Examples include: Ugg slippers, Sperry shoes (a few pairs, actually, and very cheap), numerous ties/shirts/pants, and a yellow snowsuit from the 80's (he even found matching fur-lined boots on a separate shopping spree!)  If you're ever in the area, have him take you shopping.  It can become quite the adventure.

If you know Q, you know what I'm talking about when I say he's great.  If you don't know should.  : )  I'm very thankful for my brother, for the relationship we have, and for the things he does/builds/makes for me! 

Sisterlyly (haha),

P.S.  He's also becoming quite the, cinnamon rolls, souffl├ęs - all from scratch!

Favorites of the day:
the Runza casserole a few friends and I will be having for supper (recipe will be posted upon request)