Friday, July 31, 2015

50 words describing my life right now

Liberty. online. homework. behind. registered. fall. textbooks. highlighters. reading. grades.
Ohio. planning. nieces. nephews. friends. grandma. parents. retirement. August. excited.

Hot. dry. watering. air-conditioning. tomatoes. sun. shade. flowers. ferns. hostas. roses. 

today. early. walk. wilson. coffee. friend. starbucks. study.

Date. night. mexican. chips. salsa. chimichanga. burrito. lowe's. new. garbage. disposal.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

sauvie island + cathedral park

Yesterday, in the name of self-care and friendship, I took the day off from my studying and went on a get-out-of-Vancouver trip with my friend Barbara. She knows just when to rescue me from the bottomless pit of depression and homework, and it was refreshing to my soul to spend the day with her. I was told not to wear flip flops (so I wasn't sure where we were going) and when I got to her house she had my favorite iced tea waiting in the fridge. We visited her mom in the nursing home and she treated me to lunch. Then we drove out to Sauvie Island, the fruit and vegetable mecca of Portland. They always have the best berries there. We picked some fresh, ripe peaches (with which I'm about to make a peach crisp) and drove around the island enjoying the awesome cool and slightly cloudy summer day.

On our way back into Portland, we drove across my favorite bridge so she could take me to Cathedral Park. We lived not very far from there when Phil505 and I were first married. In fact, on the way home, we drove by our old house - so strange to see it again after like 10 years. Anyway, I have always wanted to go to this park, so we did. The architecture of the bridge is simply awesome. You can totally see why it's called Cathedral Park. It's a pretty popular place for wedding pics, senior pics, and family pics. I want to get our pictures taken here soon.
St. John's Bridge. . . the supports are massive.

So thankful for my friend who always just seems to know when I need some time away.

thoughts on keeping the memories alive when there's no time to scrapbook

I'm clearly taking a break from my behavior management homework (again) to share some of my latest additions to my scrapbook collection. What's different is that these did not involve pretty paper or adhesive, yet I love them just the same.

For my birthday, my friend Barbara knocked my socks off and surprised me with my blog from 2014 printed into a hardback book. She secretly had it done through, just slurping my posts and pictures into easy-to-use (or so she says) templates. She picked a cute cover design and stole a picture off my facebook page. {Side note: I think it's kinda weird that she could do that without having my blog password, but she did, and the result is fabulous.} I have seriously been wanting to print my whole blog in yearly volumes for forever, but just haven't taken the time or spent the money to do it. One of these days. But this, my friends, is current, and none of my other scrapbooks are. The last I did any real scrapping was in my project life album, and I think that was in 2012. And, surprise, surprise, it isn't totally finished. It's very close to finished, but not quite. What I love about this is that it's really like a book I wrote. I've always wanted to be an author. Now I guess I am.

Getting that gift got me going. Shortly after my birthday I heard about where you can print your instagram pictures into a book. When I set up my instagram account, I decided not to share every single picture on facebook. Some people do, but I kind of wanted to keep the two separate. I do share some pictures from instagram here on my blog, but for the most part, they just stay on instagram. Anyway, at chatbooks they print in chronological order, 60 pictures per book + the date and caption for $6. Shipping is free. You can't even print 60 pictures at Costco for under $10, so this is a steal.

What I liked about chatbooks is that you can choose your cover picture and if there are pictures you don't want to include in your book, you can easily select to not put them in. Once you sign up, it's kind of like a magazine subscription. Every time you have 60 new pictures ready, they'll email you and you have a few days to make changes if you want before it gets shipped to you. I got 3 of them and I love them. The books are 6x6 and the photos are 4x4ish.

So once I got those in the mail, then I got to thinking about a Shutterfly book I made back in 2012 when I did Week in the Life. It has been finished for 2 years, just sitting in my shopping cart waiting to be ordered. Well, a 50% off hardback photo book sale showed up on my facebook feed, so I went ahead and ordered it.

It's cool to look back and see what's changed and what has stayed the same. The master bathroom is no longer poop brown. The main bathroom is still yellow. The kitchen is blue now and I have yet to paint the cabinets white. We still don't have the curtains up in our bedroom. One of these days. . .
Wilson is a lot bigger now and he just licks shoes, he doesn't eat them. I no longer teach kindergarten. In fact, my job has changed a couple of times since then.
So, the lesson in all of this is, get your pictures off the computer and out of your phone, people, so you can have a tangible record of your life. I still have a lot to learn about that myself, but looking at these books makes me happy!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

my house is a mess and other woes from the graduate student

Currently you can see about 1/10 of my table. Maybe not even that much. I need an intervention. No, I'm not showing you a picture because it's completely embarrassing.

I bought a flat of impatiens at least 3 weeks ago. Do you think I've got them planted yet? Not a chance. I keep saying, "I need to get that flower bed weeded first." Ya. In my dreams. Phil and I just keep watering them in their black plastic packs.

Speaking of flowers, my roses are looking terrible. I tried this concoction I read about on pinterest where you put your old banana peels in the blender with water (I cut mine up in small pieces first and threw the hard ends away) and pour the nasty looking mixture over the roots. Supposedly roses like banana peels. We'll see if that helps. I'm about ready to go out there and just cut them down and let them start all over again. Which I should've done in the fall. Or something like that.

On the flip side, the hydrangeas are coming out. Love. They're actually really nice and dark purple and blue now.

The dog is getting walked, mostly faithfully, in the mornings when it's cool. Then he doesn't bug me all day long. It's good for the both of us. I made up his lack of one today though with a peanut butter bone. Peanut butter covers a multitude of sins.

Tomorrow Phil505 gets to have three teeth extracted. Two wisdom teeth and a molar in which the root canal and crown has gone bad. Ouch. I know that's going to be painful, but at least that pain will put an end to the pain he's been living with the last 3 or 4 weeks. Poor guy.

I just spent about the last five days studying the educational systems of England and France. I spent three days working on the comparative education project. I had to youtube how to zip files together in order to submit it all. (Graduate school has taught me that I'm basically computer illiterate.) I finally sent it off into cyberspace around 8:20. An hour later he had it graded and sent back. I'm happy to report that I got a 98.5% on that thing. One thing I learned: I always thought I had it so bad as a kid with chores I had to do and helping with the garden and whatnot. Well, let's just say I'm thanking my lucky stars I didn't live in England in the 1830's before the Bill to Regulate the Labour of Children in the Mills and Factories of the United Kingdom went into effect.

This class is coming to an end. I'm way behind on my reading and I have a pretty important paper to write by next Friday night, a final exam, some videos to watch, and a discussion board to do before I can say "so long, farewell" to Foundations of American Education. My favorite part about this class is the Faith, Freedom, and Public Schools module. Basically that's eight videos about how the Bible can be incorporated into instruction in public schools.

Up next in the world of online graduate education: two classes at the same time. Lord, help me. I'm taking Behavior Management and Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School. I'm really looking forward to the practicality of both of these. What I'm not looking forward to is the complete lack of life I'll be having. But, by the end of August I'll be 5/12ths of the way done with my Master's. Go me. If I take one class each subterm between now and then two again at the last subterm next summer, I should be done.

I'm trying to put together some stuff for a gallery wall in our dining room. You know, gallery walls are all the rage right now. I just won't be doing arrows or mustaches on mine. Anyway, here's a sneak peek. . . I have some prints from Pike Street Market to go in the white frames. I think I want to paint the black B and maybe get a small mirror for the other side. I'm also ordering a family name sign from etsy to go at the top. I'll take other ideas, suggestions, things you'd add or change in the comments section below. Thanks ;)
Tune in next time when maybe the table will be cleared off and I'll have actually hung some stuff up on the walls.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

i have no good title for this post

So, I don't get to watch much TV these days, what with being a graduate student and all, but Phil505 and I have discovered a new guilty pleasure recently. Well, maybe guilty pleasure isn't quite what it really is, but have you seen that show on A&E called Married at First Sight? Essentially these people are put together by "experts" and actually get married without having ever met each other. It's a six week experiment during which they'll try to fall in love and decide to stay married. Otherwise, it's divorce court at the end of the six weeks. It's pretty interesting to watch. Maybe we like it so much because we were only actually together {and I like to add - in each other's physical presence} for a total of 45 days before we got married. And even though it wasn't love and marriage at first sight, it wasn't a lot of sight. I don't know. Anyway, I think the show is on Tuesday night, but we DVR it because I'm usually doing homework at night and Phil505 is in bed. And for as much as I was opposed all these years to getting cable, I sure like that DVR feature.

Speaking of love and marriage, tomorrow is anniversary #11 for us. And we didn't even need experts to put us together. We can just thank - which I don't even know if it's in existence anymore or not. I took pictures of these pictures outside in a hurry, just so I could have something from our wedding for you to look at.

Another show that we, well, mostly Phil505 enjoys, is Mystery Diners on the Food Network. It's on a lot of times when I'm cooking dinner, so I tend to listen in (and crack up). I figured out long ago that this show is basically scripted because the acting is soooo bad there's no way it can be real. So the other day I did a google search, and pretty much I was right. In fact, there's a whole site devoted to its fakeness.

I picked some lavender from the three pitiful looking lavender plants my back yard yesterday. Smells so good.
The Mr. and I are heading on a road trip this weekend to Spokane, WA. I probably shouldn't broadcast that on my blog because someone might break into our house, but then, I have like two people who actually still read this and one lives in Maine and the other I see at church. Who would think it would take nearly 6 hours to drive from the Portland/Vancouver area to the other side of the stinkin' state, but it does. His niece got married in Montana three weekends ago and none of us could make it, so I guess it's a good thing they're having a second reception. First we were going, then we weren't, and now we are again. We haven't been to Spokane since his dad passed away. Spokane's not my favorite place, probably because I have a lot of sad memories of seeing his ill parents before we got married, then his mom passed away six months after we got married, and then his dad a few years ago. That, and it's always hot and dry. Or freezing cold and dry. And my lips always get chapped. Years ago there used to be an awesome scrapbook store there that made things more bearable, but in the economy crash of 2000 and whatever, it closed. But fear not my friends, for now Spokane has not one, but two Hobby Lobbies!!! Guess where Phil505 is taking me birthday shopping???

Speaking of birthdays, he's already mentioned that he's going to be late coming home tomorrow because he has to stop at my favorite cupcake shop of all time, St. Cupcake, and bring home some anniversary/birthday love. I can hardly wait.

Today I was subbing in kindergarten and a couple kids were playing restaurant, and I, being the only adult there paying them any bit of attention, was the customer. One kid comes over and says, "What would you like to drink?" And then another kid comes over and says, "Would you like any apple-tizers?" I thought that was hysterically funny.

My mom spent this week in retirement mode. For as long as I can remember (and even before I was a figment in her and dad's imagination) she has been keeping kids. She's been Grandma Sharon to more children than should possibly be legal. And now, she's at home all day in a quiet house with my dad, who's also retired and watches TV to pass the time. They should have NO PROBLEM now getting their butts on a plane and coming out to see me. Oh, and happy retirement, Mom. I love you!!!

I'm in week 5 of my class and let's just say that I hate Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates just as much now as I did back in 1994 in Dr. Stiles' Foundations of American Ed. class. Just give me something to learn that's APPLICABLE to my current situation. Thank you, very much.

Speaking of my current situation, I'm still, a whole year and a half later, telling teachers over lunch who want to know if I'm going to get a full-time job in the fall about "my story." You know, the one where the college I went to wasn't regionally accredited. And they are still just as mind blown today as they were in January of 2014. Mamas, don't let you babies grow up to get bachelor's degrees from colleges that aren't regionally accredited. I know there's a light at the end of this tunnel, I just haven't seen it yet.

One last thing. Always remember a tired dog is a happy dog.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

in the merry, merry month of may

a few things happened. . .
  • I finished Advanced Educational Research and Assessment. {Thank you, Jesus.} That was probably the hardest class I've ever taken. I have never had to youtube how to write a paper before this class. I learned more about technical writing crap than I did research. Although I learned quite a bit about research too and became best friends with the Liberty University Online Library. How amazing is technology that I can find all my sources online???
  • I started my 3rd class, Foundations of American Education. Totally different feel to this one than the last one. Entering week 4 tomorrow.
  • I did some yard work, planted some flowers, and cleaned up and planted a very minimalistic garden. Four tomatoes, four cucumbers, two zucchini, and a couple short rows of green beans. This is the 2015 window box. Can't wait to see it fill out and get all big and beautiful like it did last year.

  • I subbed 17.5 out of a possible 20 days including an 8 day stretch in a 2nd-3rd blend. The sub jobs are starting to slow down, but we're still in school until June 18th. We'll see how long I actually work.
  • I took Wilson to the vet. He weighs 91 pounds and needs a tooth extraction because apparently he's been chewing on bones and hard toys a little bit too much and has worn the enamel off his tooth. Before that happens, we will need to get a 2nd mortgage on our house because canine dental work isn't cheap.
  • I led worship at our church for the first time in my life. Picked out the songs, put the set together, played and sang, and talked the congregation through the worship time. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. A few butterflies right before I started, but as soon as I sat down at the piano, I was totally fine.
  • I received my first birthday card in the mail. And it isn't even my birth month yet. It was from my 4th grade teacher, Miss Merrill. She still sends me one every year. Because apparently I'm still her favorite student of all times.
  • We went to Phil's nephew's wedding yesterday. Aren't they the cutest? He was 10 years old the first time I met him and he still calls me Aunt Wendy. So fun. Best wishes to James and Laresa, the newest Mr. and Mrs. Bergland!
  • I went with kraft and twine for the gift wrap and then was pleasantly surprised to see that they used burlap and lace as part of their decorations. I'm matchy-matchy like that sometimes. And looking at the picture, I realize I should've put the card in a different spot. I don't like how it lines up with the folded ends. Oh well. And in case you're wondering, no, I did not make the tissue paper flower. Who's got time for that? They sell those at Target.

Monday, April 27, 2015

what's new in wendy's world

1. I got the cravings for something lemony last week. Did a quick pinterest search and came up with this recipe for a copycat Starbucks lemon loaf. So so good. That recipe is definitely a keeper. The cake is heavy and dense, not light and springy. Just the right amount of lemon flavor. I see this coming to a church potluck sometime soon.
2. I have finished 6 out of 8 weeks of Educational Research and Assessment. This week was kind of brutal. Three chapters to read with a quiz over them, a group discussion board (that actually wasn't as hard as I had myself believing) and a qualitative article review. I pretty much worked most of Saturday and all of yesterday after I got home from church. My last assignment was submitted at approximately 8:40 pm, just a mere 19 minutes from the deadline. Now I wait for grades. I got a kick out of the professor yesterday. He sent us an email and he started it like this. . . "Dear Class, Sundays can be so hard." No kidding. I find that I really do end up doing the majority of my work on the weekends because I'm so tired in the evenings. Makes for some really long weekends.
3. There's stuff blooming in our front yard. The irises are starting to open up. We have some that are purple and some that look more burgundy. I think they finally settled into where I had transplanted them because we have tons of blooms this year.
My columbines popped out too. They're so pretty and dainty.
4. I didn't have a job scheduled for today, and the only one posted was for PE. I don't do PE. So I took the day off (much deserved after all the homework I did this weekend) and so far I've read a bunch of blogs, cleaned both bathrooms, and started some laundry. Phil's on standby today, waiting to see if he'll be called in or not. It's always kind of nice to have a Monday together.

5. I downloaded Spotify to my phone yesterday. I need more music in my life. Now I have to figure out how it works. Any tips, anyone?

6. Speaking of apps, I want to know what your favorite apps are? I have hardly any. Phil put the Bible on for me, and I have one called Notes which is kind of a list-making app, but haven't used it.I also have instagram - check it out here. Although, if you do, you'll just see a repeat of pictures you've already seen.