Monday, October 31, 2011


This past weekend I visited my dear friend, Jenn, in Chicago. It was so much fun! We did several things but also still had time to just relax in her apartment. What I liked about the city is the distinct feeling on the streets. Even though people weren't smily or especially cheery, there was an energy that never went away. I couldn't believe all of the shops and unique places to eat. I love going to "home-town" eateries. Here are some photos from my trip. And a special thank you to Jenn for showing me such a great time! Miss you already.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lately and October book reviews

Hi all!

It feels like it has been awhile since I have written on here. Matt and I have been busy. Two weekends ago my parents came to stay with us for Homecoming. It was Mizzou's 100th celebration. We went to a tailgate and then to the game. The weather was amazing! It was so nice to have my parents here and so hard to see them go. I am already looking forward to seeing all of our family for Thanksgiving. (Photos on another camera...will be posted some other time) Mom brought us some awesome canisters for the kitchen. I had been looking for quite some time and they found the perfect ones!

The leaves have started to change. I will post some photos that I have taken. I have just been playing with my camera a bit, trying to learn how to do new things. I borrowed a book from another teacher at school about how to use a camera manually. I still feel like I have so much to learn! I am not ready for the cold weather. It is just about time for me to get out some sweaters and scarves. School has been going okay. I think everyone is ready for a little break. This weekend I am going to visit my good friend Jenn in Chicago. I have never been there before, so I am really excited! It will be Halloween-any good suggestions for costumes? I can't think of anything this year and I am really running short on time!

So now to the book reviews! I am finally all caught up for my books for the year. I just finished number 20! I read The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, The Battle of Jericho and November Blues by Sharon Draper. It took me a really long time to read The Book Thief and it was a pretty good book. It is narrated by Death about a young German girl during World War II. I found at times that the author was just trying really hard to make it "good." On to the other books...I found them much more interesting.

Sharon Draper writes Young Adult Lit books and they are really great! Several of my students recommended the books to me and once I started reading I couldn't put them down! Jericho is a boy who wants to part of the coolest group in school, the Warriors of Distinction. He and his cousin "pledge" and several hazing activities occur. I don't want to give away the ending! Josh, Jericho's cousin, ends up getting hurt. The next novel is about Josh's girlfriend, November, and her dealing with pregnancy. That one is narrated by both November and Jericho. These books are really easy to read and just plain enjoyable. Even though the subject matter is difficult, they are realistic. I know they have spoken to a lot of my students and I am sure to many others. Check them out, fellow teachers!

Lastly, Matt, the dogs and I went up to Iowa to visit my Grandparents. We were able to relax and have a really nice time visiting with them and my Aunt and Uncles. She makes the best food-we had mashed potatoes both days!!! We also inherited a grill and some meat! On Monday night we cooked up a bunch of burgers and chicken since it had been so long! We sure have missed grilling. Here are some photos from our visit.

"Bloom where you are planted"  :o) Have a great night!

Wedding Bells: photos

Here are some some photos that I took from our anniversary. We didn't have anyone to take our photo, so I set up the camera on top of the fridge! We went to a nice dinner and then enjoyed our cake. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wedding Bells: one year later!

This past weekend Matt and I celebrated our one year anniversary. We ate our cake topper and it was delicious. While we were sitting at dinner, we reminisced over the past year. We are both so thankful for what we have and that we have each other. There were so many changes this year, but we went through them together and it has brought us closer. I am so proud and happy to be married to such a genuine and loving man.

 My good friend, Jenn Stinnett, put this video together. :o) I will post photos soon from this weekend.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Project: Necklace Hanger


We had a very nice weekend that was full of little projects. On Saturday I decided to change what was on the walls in our bedroom. I felt that the chi was just a bit off. Thanks to our good friends, Niles and Alyssa, who gave us this nice photo collection set for our wedding! We finally were able to put it into use. It looks so great on our bedroom wall. The pictures do not do it justice. The top one in the middle is of Alyssa and me baking cookies last year-miss you!!

Next, we went to the grocery to get bagels. We stopped at Act hardware to pick up needed supplies for the necklace hanger I wanted to make. I am so pleased with how it turned out. Now all my necklaces are hanging and so they will not get tangled and are out of the dust accumulating on my dresser! (It is hard to dust with lots of small necklaces on it...)
 First we bought three pieces of wood, and cut one in half, to create an equal rectangle. We also bought a long piece of trim that when cut in half, fit almost perfectly along the top and bottom on the rectangle. Also, need wood glue, screw-in hooks, and brackets to make it into a square.

 Also needed: a trusty helper.
 We lined the brackets along the wood, drew circles, and then drilled small holes. The one time we did not draw the holes, we messed it up. It is an easy step that should not be forgotten. Then, we screwed on the brackets.
 We have a rectangle! This is before we put on the trim. Next, we just took wood glue and put it onto the trim, placing that one to frame. Word of advice: make sure to use grips when using wood glue. We did not, which is ok, but the wood trim did not dry completely flat along the top corner. It does not bother me, but it might bother you!
 I then went to Hobby Lobby and bought some acryillic paint. That was probably the hardest part! There are so many choices. Make sure to take the lid off to check out the color because the bottle can be deceiving. I am happy with the color I settled on.  Let dry and voila! We drilled holes for the hooks, screwed them in, and placed hangers on the back after painting it.  I am smitten with it! :)
In this photo you can see the trim better. I think it adds a lot.
 On a different note-my nephew replied to a letter I sent him last week. It is so cute. He is getting so great at writing! I am so proud :o) He only responded to the questions I asked him. Next time I will have to make sure to keep note of what I send him so I can decipher his answers. Also, isn't he adorable?
Lastly, this was our last big thing we bought (with some help) to give us more room in the kitchen. You might remember how limited our space is when it comes to counter and cabinets. This bakers rack is really great! We have more room now. I am still looking for a bin for the bottom tier to keep our recycle. And another basket to hold kitchen towels and aprons. In due time. This week is going to be crazy busy! I am glad the apartment looks better and better each weekend though. It is really starting to feel like home. Hope you enjoyed all the photos and give me a call sometime!