Wednesday, October 30, 2013

pumpkin carving 2013

Ever since we started dating, Ty and I have always carved pumpkins together. It's the one thing we I make sure we do every year without fail. We waited until practically the last minute this year (tomorrow being Halloween,) but after work today we ventured out to the picked-over and rotted-out pumpkin patch.

I spy with my little eye...two rotting pumpkins right behind me.

The pumpkin patch lady also threw in these cute pumpkins for free.

I've always wanted a white pumpkin...I've just never bought one before. And this one was free! (Even though it'll probably rot too in about 7 hours.)

Anyway, onto the carving. I learned at school the other day that the fewer lines a pumpkin has, the fewer seeds it'll have. Mine only had about 5 lines on the whole thing. And it only took me about 2 and a half minutes to carve out all the seeds and guts. Not many in there at all! (Tip for the future.)

About halfway into carving his pumpkin, Ty said "Man I totally just messed this whole thing up." 

He didn't like that he made the eyebrows so big. So he pouted for a minute...threw a few cuss words around...and then declared, "I'm doing another face." And he carved another face on the same pumpkin.

If you look closely enough, you'll see the big old eyeball on the side that now looks like an ear.

And here was mine.

And...because Halloween just makes me want to shake my hips (apparently):

This is literally just three pictures in rapid succession. We didn't know what it would look like until we saw it on the computer. And then we laughed a little. Ok...a lot.

Then it was time for the annual photo shoot.

This guy watched us intently the entire time. Abby just paced around the kitchen waiting for us to drop some pumpkin on the floor.

These guys are now sitting happily on the back deck, soaking up an evening drizzle.

Ahhhh. I love pumpkin carving nights.

Happy Halloween!
xoxo, wife.

Monday, October 28, 2013

oreo bomb cake.

I'm always on the lookout for a really quick, easy, go-to potluck dish. Something that I can throw together really fast but that everyone still likes.

Well folks, I've found it. And it's called Oreo Bomb Cake.
Because it's the bomb.

Let's commence.

3 bags of double-stuff Oreos
3 regular sized tubs of Cool Whip

Find a 9x13 dish. Dunk each oreo in milk for about 10-15 seconds. (Don't let them get too mushy!) Layer them at the bottom of your dish.

Layer one of the tubs of Cool Whip on top of the oreos.

Then Repeat all these steps two more times, so that when all is said and done, you have three layers of oreo and cool whip. 

And that's it! Stick it in the fridge and TRY to wait at least 4 hours. That way the milk thoroughly soaks the cookies. 

I made this and took it to work for our Parent/Teacher Conference potluck the other day. Let me tell ya: hungry teachers who are stressed over report cards and conferences will eat this stuff up! When I went to pick up my dish when I left that night, it was practically licked clean. And I got lots of compliments the next day. 

3 ingredients. 20 minutes from start to finish.'s definitely my new go-to!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

bentlee turns 1.

Saturday we went to our Godson, Bentlee's first birthday party. I can't believe he's already a year old...seems like just yesterday I was snuggling him in a baby blanket, feeding him a bottle.

To say he enjoyed his cake would be an understatement. This kid didn't just eat the the time all was said and done he'd eaten at least HALF of that cake!

We love you Bentlee, and we were so happy to be part of your big day. We're looking forward to watching you continue to grow, learn, and become a big boy.

xoxo, god-mama.

Monday, October 21, 2013

parts of my day that stood out.

-One of my lovelies was sent home for choking another student. Yep, choking. This was AFTER he threw another kid on the ground and jumped on top of him, pinning him to the ground.

-We're in the middle of completing a project for Red Ribbon Week. Part of our project has to do with what we want to be when we grow up. I asked one of my students what he wanted to be when he grew up. He replied with a completely straight face, "A robber."

-Other future occupations in my class: mermaid and Tooth Fairy.

-One of my kids threw a MASSIVE fit today. Screaming, throwing my stuff around the room, kicking my cabinets...all that. He had to be carried out of my room, still kicking and screaming. This was the aftermath.
For the record, YES, he did have to come back from the office and clean it all up.
And YES, that was his only punishment.
And YES, I expressed frustration about that being his only punishment.
And NO...nothing else happened.

And to think, there's still 4 more days til the weekend. I can't imagine what kinds of things will happen before then! However, Parent Teacher Conferences are this week, and I have a LOT of things to discuss with some of these parents.

xoxo, wife.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

i cooked.

So yesterday I had the day off. I like days off. Like, I REALLY like them. I like them so much that I even cooked dinner to celebrate.

I like to call this: Chicken Tater Tot Casserole in the Crock.

I put half a bag of tater tots in the bottom of my crock pot. Then I sprinkled some cheese on top of them. (I used a Mexican 4-Cheese blend because that's what we had.)

Then I diced up about a pound of chicken breasts and threw that in. I put some salt, pepper, and garlic powder on.

 I put another layer of cheese on top of the chicken and then topped it off with the rest of the tater tots.

I poured 3/4 cup milk over the entire thing and let it cook 4 hours on low.

The result was a gooey, cheesy, chickeny mess. But it was VERY yummy.

The chicken was a smidgen on the dry side, and I'm really picky about dry chicken. So in the future, I'd either put more milk in or not cook it quite as long. But it must've been good because Ty had 2 bowls. And on the plus side, there's enough leftover for lunch the next two days. So that's one less thing to have to think about.

Dear Christopher Columbus, 
Thank you for giving me the day off so I felt motivated enough to make dinner. That's what I call a productive Monday.

xoxo, wife.

Monday, October 14, 2013

down south for the weekend.

My brother and sister-in-law live in southern Indiana. We don't get down there very much, but I had a three day weekend so we thought this would be a great time to go down and visit them and our niece and nephew. We left after I got home from work Friday and came back Sunday night.

We got to watch our nephew, Caleb's flag football game on Saturday. They did a great job and Caleb scored 2 touchdowns! It was so cute and fun to watch.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating brunch at Tara's mom's, playing with the kids, Corn Hole, cooking brats/hot dogs over the bonfire, playing games, playing football, church, and lots of laughs. (Plus taking entirely TOO many pictures and videos of our niece, Lydia.)

Lydia uses a lot of sign language since she's still learning to talk. The sign for "cat" is moving your fingers out from your face like whiskers. However, Lydia signs the word "cat" by picking her nose and flicking it!

Lydia and I had some quality Aunty/Niece time in her room playing. Is she not the cutest?!

My sister-in-law is due with child number 3 in early May, and we can't wait to find out what it is. So happy that we'll have another kiddo to play with and spoil!

Then we made the 5 hour trip back north to head home. I have Columbus Day off today, so I'm spending the day doing grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, and all the other stuff that I normally have to get done on the weekends.

Major event on the agenda for this week: finishing report cards. They're due Wednesday and Parent Teacher Conferences are next week. Lots of work and prep to get ready for conferences! Wish me luck.

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

bad dog.

And just like that, I've been left with no choice but to enter into the world of "dog shaming."

Anyone want to buy a dog?

xoxo, wife.

Monday, October 7, 2013

must-have monday.

Here are some things I'm just not able to live without lately.

1. Dry Shampoo

I use this stuff all the time! I used to have to wash my hair every single day, and I know that's not necessarily good for it. However, with this stuff, I can actually skip a day! I highly, highly recommend it to everyone in the world.

2. Frixion Erasable Markers

Oh yes...I said ERASABLE MARKERS! I write with markers at work all the time. I also make mistakes all the time! Alas, a solution to my problem. I got so incredibly excited when these arrived all the way from Japan. And I use them every weekday!

3. Water

This one's been a must-have for about 10 years. I've been drinking {almost} strictly water every day for the past 10 years. Occasionally I'll have a lemonade if we go out to dinner, and on RARE occasions, I'll have a margarita or something like that. But the other 98% of the time, it's water. Room temperature, preferably. I know...I'm weird.

4. Pretty Notebooks

I'm a pretty-paper-hoarder. Every time I go to a store, even Wal-Mart, I have to go down the notebook aisle. Do I journal? No. This blog is my journal. Do I write novels? No. But I still must have all the pretty paper products in the world. It might be an obsession. But I love it. When in doubt, you can always get me a pretty notebook for a gift. I like to make lists. In pretty notebooks :)

5. Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick

Never in my life did I ever think I'd wear lipstick. However, Maybelline's Color Whisper collection is amazing! Just a "whisper" of color, and tons of moisture! It's a lot like lip gloss, but not sticky. The color I use the most is Coral Ambition. Not too light, and not too dark. Love it.

There ya go. Not that you wanted to know what my latest must-haves are, but now you know anyway.

xoxo, wife.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

yes, i am an introvert. and yes, it's okay.

Preface: I am in no way depressed, shy, or antisocial. I like to be around people and talk with them. There is nothing wrong with being introverted.

After reading 23 Signs You're Secretly an Introvert, awhile back, I was able to confirm what I've always known: I'm an introvert. In this day and age, I think you're looked down upon if you're not outgoing all the time. There's a stigma attached to the word "introvert." Society views introverts as sad, depressed, antisocial, stuck up, shy, nerdy, lazy, and abnormal. That is NOT the case. Being introverted merely means that you can find yourself being overstimulated when constantly surrounded by a ton of people, and you might need some alone time to rest and recharge. Well I'm going to discuss a few of the things that make me an introvert, and WHY there is nothing wrong with being that way.

I hate small talk.
If I run into someone I haven't seen in awhile, I wince at the though of small talking with them. It feels incredibly fake, and to be completely honest, I'm not even paying attention to what the other person is saying to me, because I'm too busy thinking of the next polite question to ask them.

Case in point: Over the summer, I ran into an old high school aquaintance at the grocery store. She called my name and came rushing over, carrying her baby with her. Now, this girl and I weren't even close in high school, so my mind went into panic mode. What on Earth do I talk to her about?! "Wow...what a cute baby!" I said. Then I started wondering if it was a boy or a girl, because it was wearing gender neutral clothing. So I started thinking of polite ways to word, "What's ITS name?" And all the while, this girl had already told me the name, and had likely dropped a thousand pronouns to give me a clue to the baby's gender. I still to this day don't know whether it was a boy or girl.

I don't avoid small talk because I dislike people. Quite the opposite, I enjoy people...I chose a field of work in which I deal with people (students, parents, colleagues) all day every day. But to me, small talk just doesn't feel genuine. It's too much work. I'd rather get to the heart of the reason that we're meeting up to talk.

I need an adequate amount of "downtime."
No, I'm not lazy. But I also don't feel unproductive if I spend a lazy Sunday reading and doing laundry. I need time to recharge my batteries. I'm not the kind of person who can be on the go 24/7. Now my husband, who is a definite extrovert, feels antsy or guilty when he has a lazy afternoon, but I feel it's needed every once in awhile. Does that mean I sit on the couch in my pajamas from sun up until sundown? No...but I don't feel guilty that I went to church, called my sister-in-law to set up a visit next weekend, popped in a load of laundry, and spent a couple hours on the couch today.

I avoid sitting in the middle of an aisle or booth.
I think a lot of this goes back to my anxiety issues, but I get incredibly antsy if I sit in the middle of a crowd. I don't like being surrounded on all sides by people, unless I know them all. I need to feel like I have a quick and easy escape if the need arises. The need has never actually presented itself before (except in the form of panic attacks a few years back) but it's always comforting to know I can get up without attracting a ton of attention to myself if need be. So in the future, please let me have the aisle seat. Thank you.

I reflect on every aspect of my life.
My husband can fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. I on the other hand, will lay awake long into the night running an inner monologue of reflections from the day. How the boots didn't really match the dress I wore, and next time I should wear those cute little flats instead. About the chapters of the book I read that night, and how much I enjoyed them. How the lesson I taught on Main Ideas totally flopped, and what I should do to change it for next time. How I should have handled a situation differently with a parent of a student. That I'm proud of myself for not having a snack before bedtime. Rerunning a conversation I had with another teacher at work during lunch. That I need to remember to tell Ty how much I appreciate him tomorrow. All of these things (and more!) run through my head when I get in bed. For that reason, I must have the tv on for at least 30 minutes while I lay there with my eyes closed, trying to let it distract me from being awake all night. It doesn't mean that I'm an insomniac or that I'm not satisfied with my means that I care enough to think back on all that happened that day and reflect on it. I think it helps me grow as an individual.

I married an extrovert.
Clearly, opposites attract. Ty could be on the go all day every day, and he often is. He is energized by social interactions, and the more he has, the longer he can go. I however, need that down time to re-energize me. But I think the fact that I married an extrovert keeps me from spending too much time alone. And likewise, him marrying an introvert keeps him from being on the go all the time. We balance each other out, and I like that.

So there you go. Being an introvert is not the bad thing that society makes it out to be. Ask the experts: being shy or antisocial, is completely different from being an introvert. There's nothing wrong with me turning my phone on silent during my drive home from work because I need some quiet time on my 20 minute drive home. It just means that I need to reboot my system, and I'll be ready to greet my hubby with a smile and a story about my day when I walk in the door.

xoxo, wife.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Oh man...what do I say about today?

Well, I guess I could say that I almost quit my job. Seriously. I was ready to leave the building at 11:30. Luckily, I took the kids to Music, shut myself in the classroom, wrote a long email asking/demanding help for the severe behavior problems I have, and sat with my head in my hands doing some deep breathing until I calmed down.

I was at the end of my rope. I'd had one too many chairs thrown at me, seen one too many kids kick the walls and knock over the trash cans, heard one too many screaming/yelling kids, and had one too many kids disrespect me and refuse to do what I asked. And nothing gets better because there have not been severe enough consequences from the office. 

Luckily I collected myself, had a vent session with my Teaching Assistant that was much needed, my blood pressure dropped back down to "boiling" instead of "severe risk of heart attack," and I was able to get it together for the rest of the day.

One thing I've always prided myself on is my ability to get over issues very quickly in the classroom. Something can make me so super mad, but I'm able to push it aside to do what is best for my kids, which in many cases, is turn around, take a deep breath, put the smile back on my face, and teach an enthusiastic lesson. The rest of the day was pretty good (although that's likely in part due to the fact that one of the rough kids spent the afternoon in In School Suspension.)

We've been learning about patterns this week, so today we actually got to do a craft (gasp!) and we made these cute patterns.

The kids were super quiet and worked so hard on these. They were extremely proud of how they turned out. This math craft was the one saving grace of the day. My 4 severe behavior problems really tend to overshadow my 16 good eggs. Those good eggs were really able to shine through during this project.

However, Time Out was still a very popular hangout today.
Is it totally terrible that I snapped this picture? That tells you how upset I was!

I was told by my principal this afternoon that I am a Saint. She told me that she's completely aware of all the things I deal with on a daily basis, and that I'm doing a great job with my kids. It's hard to remember that fact while I'm dodging flying chairs and pencil boxes while being yelled at to "shut up", but it's nice to know that the administration knows what I have to put up with and they acknowledge that I'm doing my best, given what I've been dealt.

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

hand sanitizer (or "hanitizer" as the little ones call it.)

At dismissal today, the Spanish teacher came up to me and said, "Um...I don't know if you need to document this or not...but I just caught 'Little Girl' drinking hand sanitizer. Like, she had her tongue all the way in the bottle and was sucking it out of there." She handed me the purse-size bottle, which had less than a centimeter of hand sanitizer left in it.

So I called Little Girl over to talk about it.

Me: Where did you get this?
Little Girl: In my backpack.
Me: What happened to all the hand sanitizer that was in it?
Little Girl (looks down at the floor with guilt) I don't know.
Me: Did you drink it?
Little Girl: NO! I didn't drink no hanitizer!
Me: Tell me the won't be in trouble, but I need to know because it might make your tummy hurt and I should let someone know.
Little Girl looks down and pouts...which tells me the answer, and besides, the Spanish teacher SAW her doing it.

Right about then, the daycare showed up to take her. I told the daycare lady, and she said they'd inform Mom. I was still pretty concerned though, so I decided to call her Mom myself.

Me: Yes, this is Mrs. Miller, Little Girl's teacher. I wanted to let you know that one of the other teachers caught Little Girl drinking a small bottle of hand sanitizer right at the end of the day. If it had been earlier, I would've sent her to the nurse, but it happened right before she left. I just wanted to let you know, because hand sanitizer obviously isn't good for you, and if she was my daughter, I'd want to take her to get checked out tonight.

Mom: She drank hand sanitizer? That's disgusting. Did she drink a lot?

Me: I'm not sure how much was in the bottle before she started, but there's hardly any left now.

Mom: Where did she get the bottle?

Me: It was the bottle she had in her backpack.

Mom: She didn't have a bottle of hand sanitizer in her backpack.

Me: Oh...well then I suppose I also need to tell you that your daughter stole a bottle of hand sanitizer from someone today...

Mom (stifling a laugh) Great....just one more thing to have to worry about! Thanks for calling me. I'll probably go pick her up from day care a little early.

Who drinks hand sanitizer?! I can't even imagine what that tasted like. But then, this is the same girl who snuck one of my glue sticks to lunch to put glue on all her crackers before she ate them.

Oh, Kindergarten. Never a dull moment.

xoxo, wife.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

stink bug insanity.

Is anyone else having this crazy problem? There have been so many dang stink bugs all over the place lately, especially inside!

So this guy has been permanently parked in the dining room, so we have an easy weapon of attack. I'm constantly running to this trusty sweeper to suck up more of those stinky little moochers. I can't ever remember it being this bad. It's like an epidemic. In fact, I see a few now that I must send to stink bug heaven.

xoxo, wife.