Friday, August 31, 2007

Wise Guys

Adam wanted to go eat, before we took our weekly date to WalMart (i.e., grocery shopping)

Here's "Wise Guys," one of our favorite, cheap, fun little dives.

We're still lovey-dovey enough to hold hands at dinner.

Adam wanted to start with a shared bowl of French onion soup. It was very good, a little salty, and I wish it had had more bread. It made me want for Adam to make his F.O. soup again. His is really good.

Here is a medium (14") white pizza. Those are tomatoes on top. Yummy.

Julia is at her best friend's house tonight for a sleep-over. I'm glad she has a great friend. That's a wonderful thing for a little girl.

Peter was supposed to go on a great camping trip with weekend with his friend Robert and his family. But Robert's great-grandmother died, so the trip was cancelled.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

No pictures today...

But I'll tell you what we did.

We got up early and went to school. Same old same old. My classes, now that it's the second week of school, are going well, and I'm into my old stride, almost. I checked with my schedule from last year, and I'm right on target, even though we're doing a semester block. That's good.

My seniors tell me that I'm hard enough. That's a comfort :)

Julia has had a bad week in school - she got 5 punches on her "responsibility card." Adam and I had to have a big talk with her this evening about fixing her behavior. Her teacher told him that Julia had been talking in class, distracting others, and ROLLING ON THE FLOOR!! Oh my. That MUST stop. Adam will escort her to school in the morning and she will apologize to her teacher (first), and ask Jesus to help her (second) and fix her behavior (third). Poor thing.

After Adam and Peter had cross-country practice, we watched our high school girls play volleyball. We have a fabulously good team. Those girls can smack a ball, I tell you. They beat the other team. Then we watched our high school boys play soccer. No score at all, until about 2 minutes from the end, when one boy scored 2 goals. It was an ugly game, with lots of shoving and bad reffing. But the breeze was blowing, and the horrible weather was cooling, and I was glad to be there, even if I wasn't getting my grading done.

Tomorrow is a half-day for the students. After lunch, the faculty will stay for meetings in the afternoon. Shorter classes. Long weekend. I'm happy :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chip off the old...


Wednesday evening now, and this is how the polish is holding up. Chipping on the middle and ring fingers. Ah well.

Not that anyone really WANTS to look at my feet!

Don't I have anything deeper to think about? Well, aside from Anglo-Saxon poetry, and the war at Troy, and the horrors of the 18th century slave trade (all topics we're studying in literature classes right now).... We're concerned about our pastor's wife who is battling cancer steadily now, her 4th round. I'm happy with our improved student culture in the high school, but Adam is frustrated by the lack of direction/leadership in the middle school. Philip is adapting to working after school every day. Anna is struggling with Spanish. She has trouble spelling English, for goodness sake! Peter is irritated because he has to be in middle school with 6th graders. One boy knocked over Peter's lunch today (soup). Julia misses her 2nd grade class. We're all adapting.

It's way past bedtime, folks. 'Night!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Whoops. This picture was supposed to be at the bottom. This is a picture of Birkdale's center fountain.

Adam and I got to Birkdale Village briefly tonight. I had to return books for the school. Here we are in Kirklands Home Store. I had a small gift card I'd needed to spend for 8 months!

So I bought this cool concrete paver, and the little wellies planter, both for the yard. Aren't they cute?

Birkdale is the neatest place. Here are some photos, taken out my window as I drove along, so forgive the quality!

The housing is above, and the stores are underneath.

The apartments are painted different colors. There are parking garages behind, out of sight.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I just have to write a note about church. I love our church. It's a little old-fashioned, a little hokey even, to some. We still use a hymn book, but we're certainly not high-brow. We're small. But this summer our pastor has been preaching on the miracles of Jesus. And not just that: each week he's explained to us a separate tenet of Reformed theology, in each miracle. It's been great. I've been in the PCA all my life, and I know the teachings of Reformed theology, but I've never been in a church where they are expounded forcefully, plainly, unapologetically from the pulpit, week after week. There's almost an assumption in many churches that people know these little points, and we don't need to talk about them. And if we did, we might offend the less-Reformed among us. None of that shyness here. It has been refreshing.

This week he did the calling of Nathaniel, and he preached on effectual calling, or irresistible grace.

Julia has been a little sick, with some fever, so Adam stayed home with her. That meant our pizza was ready for us when we got home, so we were well-fed again!

One of my last swims in the pool this afternoon.

And the back-to-school party at church tonight.

The fingernail polish is holding up well. I'm going to keep you all posted on how long it lasts before it begins to chip. I'll post pictures of its demise. I usually don't keep polish pretty for long on the old fingers. Now, the toes... usually that polish just grows itself off.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Well, I did it. A friend described the lovely treatment given at the WalMart pedicure/manicure place, so I went. Adam and I had planned to go out for a little time together. But the trip to our favorite bookstore fell through, so we did this instead. As he said, he had to force me to go!
Regal Nails offers their special, a Spa Pedicure and Manicure, for $35. It includes the following:
* great foot soak with all kinds of rubbing, scrubbing and scraping
* incredibly aggressive lounge chair while soaking the feet. This chair nestles your neck, squeezes your spine, and almost readjusts your vertebrae.
*the removal of dead skin. And lo, there was much.
*lotion and waxing of the legs. This treatment goes up to the knees and elbows.
*finger soaking, Palmolive-style
*color of your choice on all appendages
*little heat lamp for drying, plus a cool spray at the end
*all the local news you can stand
*griping lady next to you, while the Asian lady smiles and nods at her

This event will happen again, but next time my nails will be longer and actually need the cutting.
The last time I got a pedicure/manicure was in Mexico, after mixing concrete and hauling block for a week on a mission trip. All of us girls were a wreck. They did eyebrows too. I think that was about 20 years ago.

So, if you have a chance, ladies, my advice is: GO!

Good Morning!

Here's Peter with his best friend, Robert. Peter requires a friends who will allow him to beat him in chess (checkers here).

These boys got up WAY too early for a Saturday. I made pancakes for everybody else, and hash browns for them. Last night we dropped them off at our school's first soccer game - we won 4-3, and the other team was placed in the top 3 last year! So much for the nay-sayers this year, and the grumpy boys who dropped off the team. The boys last night really hustled.

When I'm using this cup, it's Saturday morning: I have time to make a pot of tea, and then time to drink it!
I have a stack of essays to grade. Next week I will be receiving from ALL my students (both this semester's classes and next) the essays on their summer reading. I think I'll be grading them for weeks. And weeks.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hi Aleya!

Julia's favorite bird, "Mama Caca" (as in Caww! Caww!) says hello!

Julia's cousin, Aleya, just acquired Mama Caca's twin sister.

Julia's had her bird since she was about 18 months old, I think. She was a Christmas gift from her Grandma Christiansen. VERY special bird!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Random Life

Now that school has started, life has become random again. A little of this and a little of that - such miscellany is the stuff of life again. A thunderstorm. A last-minute essay. A new teacher. A visit to the pastor's house. A load of laundry. A new student. A quick supper. Another load of laundry. A milkshake with my husband. A choir rehearsal.

They all come shooting at me like obstacles in a computerized car race. I could add a few dozen more. I prefer life to be full of a few, longer, slower experiences. This must be what they mean by the rat-race.

However, we DID get a new teacher, and she will be taking about half of my seniors from me, which is a very good thing. Now I'll have a class of 13, lovely. She is jumping into a British Lit class for the first time, with almost no preparation for it. I feel for her.

Tomorrow, we'll be done with the first week of school. It's been a good one, but long and exhausting emotionally. The weekend will not be long enough!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It only lasted 15 minutes, but it was a downpour, and greatly appreciated. I love the sound of rain. Weeks without rain leaves my soul feeling dry and parched, uncreative and tired.

Adam came home from cross-country practice after our rain, and made burgers for supper. Peter ran - Adam is a rather demanding coach. Philip worked after school. The girls and I drove home, and I stopped at a local pharmacy to get them each an ice cream cone.

Lacey was happy we were home. So were we. I feel like I've been in school a week, and it's only been 2 days.
Still, my schedule is much better than last year, and I have more free/prep time. Adam's schedule is more difficult. He has NO free/prep time during the day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First day of school

Anna is already studying history and organizing her binder.

But the cherry tomatoes still think it's summer.

Julia and I was 5 bluejays in the birdbath today, all at the same time. It's so dry, the birds are happy for the fresh water.

Philip stayed home from school on the first day because he was sick. He's trying to take up the piano a little bit again. He's working on a little Bach.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Lost is Found

To all grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and interested parties:

Anna's cell phone is found. It was in her clothes, in her suitcase.
We may all return to normal life once more.

Last Saturday of Freedom

Adam finally gets a new fuel pump in Audrey! He's been waiting until some fresh funds began to flow in the family accounts. Hopefully, the old girl will begin to run soon, and we can go for an afternoon drive!

He's looking at wiring too. It all seems like open-heart surgery to me.

Poor old Volvo. She sits in the back of the yard, unmoved, without her fuel pump, unloved. Sniff. The kids are desperate to keep her. Adam seems indifferent to her plight.

Pizza for supper. Adam has begun making super-thin pizzas, so we can all eat MORE PIECES.

Peter's enjoying a book his cousin Lorien recommended. He says it's very sad.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Pre-school crunch

Adam and I were at school at 8:10 this morning. Meetings. Computer training. Making hundreds of copies. Finding out that I have 23 seniors in my British Lit class. Argh! However, I do have the ultimate leverage over them (in addition to the power-of-the-gradebook) - they can't graduate this year without passing this class. 17 boys (bad boys) and 6 girls. Let's see, how BIG can I make my personality at 8:00 each morning?

Grocery run to WalMart in the stifling heat. Thankfully, I'm old enough now to do it WITHOUT any children tagging along! Frozen pizza for supper. Back to school at 7:00 for Upper School Orientation. Julia will get to sit in my classroom and look sweet.

Then we both come home and pass out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My bad

Went to the Elementary Orientation with Julia.
Took the camera.
Forgot to take pictures.
Bad mama.

The underbelly of the beast

Audrey's uglier side. You do remember Audrey, don't you? The Jag? Adam is documenting the progress.

He took Audrey "off her feet" as he calls it, and is giving her a little rest. The tires were new, and he wanted to be sure they didn't get flat spots.

Don't even know where this underbelly spot is.

Here's Adam, at our teacher in-service, agonizing over the Evil-Empire machines (i.e., PCs) that the school just got us. We liked our own little Mac Ibooks. Now we have to transfer all our school files.

A few friendly colleagues.
Next post: Julia goes to Elementary Orientation and meets her teachers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Right Now

Okay, so I'm sitting in an in-service meeting for the new school year. We're all listening to a representative from our school's insurance company, explaining all the fine nuances of the coverage, additional optional benefits, the insurance company's website highlights, copays, approved drugs. Yawn. I've already been to the doctor this morning, had minor surgery, went back home to check on the kids, and here I sit, listening to the company that's paying for that little surgery fun. I hope they pay. The doctor wants me to come back to see him next week, to get the stitches out. That'll cost me another $40, and would be my 3rd visit. I think I'll get Adam to snip those stitches out.

What a fun morning :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An evening of salads

Our annual church Salad Supper ( a great Southern tradition) occurred this evening. The theme was the seasons, so each table was decorated with "seasonal" items. Adam chose to seat us at a beach-theme table, with sand in the middle, lots of beautiful shells, a glass vase full of shells and a candle, and 4 miniature lighthouses. He knows I love the beach! The decorating committee went all out. There were tables with: Christmas (of course), Thanksgiving, Easter, St. Patrick's, snowmen. And enough salad that we could all excuse our seconds and thirds by saying we were eating healthy. I sang the old favorite, "Ten Thousand Angels." They gave me a lovely mother-of-pearl dove pin.

Sorry I forgot to take the camera there. I wanted a picture of the tables.

Tomorrow I go in to get a mole removed from my scalp. No pictures of that!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Grind

Adam and I are getting back to that grind today. We have 2 days in our classrooms to get everything in order, get copies made, etc., until in-service starts Wednesday. I have lots of reading to do. Next Monday, school starts for real!

Instead of being my usual workaholic, OC self, I decided not to read the final 4 novels on the summer reading list. I've read them all before at least twice. All I needed was to make one good essay question per novel - did I really need to reread each one, to do that? My dear husband helped me see the error of my ways. It freed up my August, and allowed me to do the much-more-necessary reading in my extra-large textbooks, so I'm better prepared for the actual school year. It's nice to be teachable at 44!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yet more Deatsches...

Here's the gang. It was HOT, and we were all sweaty. But we had fun!

Here's Daddy Tom. Loves to read.

Here's Lorien. Peter just initiated her into Runescape World.

A little light breakfast. Alynn and I went off to spend the day with Carolyn D. We had fun shopping and eating Mexican.

I promise, Adam didn't spend the WHOLE day this way!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Visit with the Deatsches

Little girl chess game

Early adolescent chess game.

A little light book-reading occasionally occurred.

Grandmother gets off her feet for 30 seconds before beginning to cook the next meal for 15.

This pyramid lasted about 2 seconds before the Great Collapse.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Double Date

Hi all -

We had such a fun evening! Tom & Alynn wanted to take Adam and me out for supper. We left all the kiddos at home, with a huge pot of beef stew, and Kyrie making cornbread. She was declared an excellent cook by Peter, when we returned home. All these kids have so much fun together, for hours. Aleya & Julia spent about 5 hours in the pool today. They both have pink cheeks.

So, they took us to Lone Star, because Tom was in the mood for a steak. Yummy! I had one of those exploding onion things. 3 of us got steaks. We relaxed. I tried to call home, but Adam had left the walk-around phone outside in the carport. Oh well. When you have kids as old and responsible as we do, you don't worry much. We had about 8 babysitters, and 2 little kids.

Then we went to Starbucks. I was so full, I just got chai. We sat and talked and unwound. So nice to spend time with great friends.

Staying in the AC

Two little girls, staying cool,
Splashing away in the big, blue pool.

Two close cousins, on the couch,
When it comes to Runescape, he's no slouch!

Kesse, Kesse, reading a book,
Didn't want to have her picture took.
(well, at least it rhymed!)

Sweet tunes waft from below the stairs,
But I can't wait to cut his hair[s].

Eyes closed in expectation,
She's happy to be on her vacation.