Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Week of School

Ok, I realize that I haven't blogged for a little while. I didn't feel too bad, since most of my siblings (ahem) were also slacking off recently (except Marie, the over-achiever ;) Anyways, I thought I'd let you know about my week. I had a really quick 10 days off from school, which was actually really nice. I didn't do a whole lot- my plan was to read a bunch of books, work on the house, and feel like I accomplished a whole bunch. Well, not so much. I read a few books: I finished "The Dragonbone Chair" by Tad Williams today (I cannot BELIEVE I haven't read that yet. But now I'm hooked and have to get the rest of the series to find out what happens). I also read "The Children of Hurin" by Christopher Tolkein (and J.R.R). That was most excellent. I've always felt guilty because I haven't been able to finish "The Silmarillion" (sp?). That book is really dry, and I've heard that it gets better, but I can't make it past the dry parts, I guess. "The Children of Hurin" is much easier to read, and is a really great story. Anyways, I didn't read near as much as I wanted to, but I probably ended up reading too much, as well. *shrug* I guess that's what happens.
So, about my classes. Let's see. They pretty much started on Monday (I have an online class that started last week, but that doesn't count). For my last semester as an undergrad, I am taking a bunch of 400 level courses. My Monday night class (from 7:10-9:50) is an African American Literature class. It should prove interesting. The only problem I have with it so far is that I have to watch a list of about 10 or 15 movies this semester, (they are required viewing) so I guess I'm going to sign up for Netflix. I don't see any other way. None of the Blockbuster's in the area carry these movies. We'll see how it works out. If nothing else, my movie repertoire will have increased by the end of the semester. I think with this class I almost have enough for a minor in African American studies. The thing is, I don't need a minor, so oh well.
Tuesday is going to be hectic. I get home on Monday nights after 10:30, and I have to get up for an 8am class on Tuesday. That's my Biology lab class, and it is down in Chesapeake. I don't know why I did that, I guess to torture myself. But on Tuesdays I also have an afternoon class at the ODU campus, Legal Aspects of Special Education. There's a lot to memorize for that class. I think it might be my most difficult class this semester.
Wednesdays I have a Classroom Management class from 4:20-7:00. Today was the first day, and we got out early. Like at 5:10. I wasn't sure what to do about dinner, because I have a class after that at 7:10, so Matt told me to get dinner here. Usually I won't have time in between to eat. At least I don't think so. But here I am with an hour to kill, and you guys are reaping the benefits. I'm in the library computer lab. After 4 semesters here, I finally discovered this lab. There's about a hundred computers. They're slow, but beggars can't be choosers.
Anyways, Thursdays I have two classes, one at 10 and one at 1. No classes on Friday. Woohoo! I have 3 day weekends every week! :) However, that classroom management class requires 70 hours in an elementary classroom, so my time off will be spend getting those hours in.

Well, enough about me, I suppose. I think this is probably long enough. I'll surf the web for a little bit, waiting for class to start. Did I mention I hate evening classes?

Talk to you guys later.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What a difference $100 makes

Matt and I decided to spruce up our front yard. We wanted to get the most bang for our buck, and we didn't want something that was going to take a lot of work. Matt recommended getting some green bushes to fill in the area across the front of our house. We settled on some holly bushes, and they turned out great! We used pine straw for mulch (we have tons of the stuff, so it is free!). In all, we spent just $100 and I think it makes a huge difference. We had a great time working together on a project. It was a great end to a nice weekend.

Sorry I don't have any before pictures, but here are some after pics.

I didn't have too much trouble, as long as I didn't try to kneel. My left knee still hurts pretty bad, but I worked through it and it was worth it.

Matt and I also got some work done on our little bedroom. Matt had mudded and sanded, and today we got the primer coat and the first paint coat on. It looks nice. Before there were all sorts of holes in the wall and the room just looked dingy. Now it looks bright and cheerful. Much better than before!

Well, our plan is to relax tonight and take it easy. Let's see how that goes ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


So, today Matt and I decided to drive out to Chesapeake and ride the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. It was a fun ride; we were planning on making the ride twice (it is 16 miles round trip, so that would have been 32 miles). This is the first time we've really ridden a long distance with our clip in sandals. I was doing pretty good, feeling great, and then I saw a snake in the road....

Matt said, "Ooo, let's take a picture of it." I was already past it, so I slowed down, and went to get off my bike. Well.......I forgot that I was clipped in, and yep, you guessed it, I fell. Hard. On the ground. Man it hurt! I scraped up my knee pretty bad, as you can see.

I kept going, and we finally stopped at a nice picnic area. We ate a power bar.

We had a great time. It was a fun ride, all things considered. We rode FAST!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just a little trick I learned from the Indians

"What's that you got there?" Dad asks as he walks in the room. I'm struggling with something, as usual. I can't seem to get it right.
"Here, let me show you a trick I learned from the Indians," he says, with a smile on his face.

"A trick I learned from the Indians". This is a line I heard many times as a child. Growing up in rural Idaho, I just took for granted that my father knew some "Indians" who had at one point imparted vast amounts of wisdom to him. This he passed along to me, for which I was immensely grateful. Whenever he would do something particularly amazing, I would ask, "Where'd you learn that?" "Oh, its just a trick I learned from the Indians," he would say. I never even thought to question who these mysterious Indians were, or how they came upon this knowledge. For instance, they taught my dad that the best way to avoid spilling a paint can on the top of a roof was to put a piece of wood under one side of the bottom of the can. Amazing! Now the can is level and doesn't spill. These Indians also taught my dad that if you tie a piece of string to a spoon, wrap the ends of the string around your fingers, put your fingers in your ears, and then tap the spoon on the table, you'll hear a sound like a bell chiming. Or if you turn binoculars backwards they turn into a microscope. And so much more. These Indians that taught my dad so many things were obviously smart.

As I've grown older, I've come to realize that these Indians didn't exist. This was just one more quirk of my dad's, and I loved him for it. I find myself, even today, showing my husband "a trick I learned from the Indians." He looks at me as if I am crazy. And maybe I am. Maybe a better way to say it would be "Let me show you a trick I learned from my dad." That would be more accurate. Thanks, Dad, for all you taught us. I'm sure glad those Indians taught you all that cool stuff. And that you took the time to share it with us.

For all my siblings, what is your favorite trick that Dad learned from the Indians? Just post a comment, or email all of us. I'm sure we'd all like to hear :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Birthday Party

Ok, Kate was right, I DID speak too soon. She threw me a party last night. It was a surprise, nothing big, thank goodness. Actually, it was kind of perfect. Dinner, cake, ice cream, balloons, who could ask for more? Well, of course Matt brought his camera (the little one, not the big one) so I thought I'd share with you all. Enjoy!

Aren't the decorations cute? I asked Kate about the pink and purple when I came in the door, because I thought maybe she was feeling particularly girly, but it was really because Parker helped decorate the cake and she wanted colors to match! :)

Here's me helping Parker get into his chair. I asked him if he wanted to be buckled in, and he said, "NO!!"

Matt tried to take a picture of Parker, and he didn't smile, so I leaned in close to get a picture with him. He takes his arm and puts it around my neck and pulled me close. He managed to smile for that picture, and so did I!

Here's Preston, after dinner, and after Daddy had wiped most of the ketchup off his face. That boy will eat anything, as long as it has ketchup! (Yuck! Broccoli and ketchup? I think he just licked the ketchup off the broccoli. )

Parker kept saying, "It's my birthday. And Mimi's" (his nickname for me) so I let him help me blow out the candles. Thankfully they didn't put all 27 candles on the cake. And Kate kept up Mom's tradition, or tried to, and sang like 15 songs before I could blow out the candles (ok, only 3, but still) and the candles were melting down...

Thank you Kate, (and Matt and Ben) for a wonderful birthday party. It was perfect. And we had a lot of fun watching the boys play with the balloons after. Seriously, hours and hours of fun.

So, my plan is to go to a movie tonight with Kate and Matt and hopefully our friend Chancy. Kate's going to get Preston in bed and Benji is going to sit and watch Parker since Ben has to work. We're going to see "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2". I hope I'm not disappointed. Penny already watched it and said she cried. So I'm looking forward to that. :) Nothing like a good cry on your birthday. Especially when you realize that you're only 3 years away from 30. And seriously old. Just kidding! (That was for all my OLDER siblings, each of whom is older than 30 now. Only 3 of us left...)

Well, wish me luck on having a relaxing birthday. Matt wouldn't let me make a lunch for him this morning. I hope that means he is going to be home early. Maybe I'll go on a bike ride this morning. It seems like a good day for it.

Love you all.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Ok, so I realized it has been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. This past week has been kind of busy. I had a test on Wednesday, a final on Thursday, a ridiculously big portfolio due on Saturday, and just trying to keep my head above water until the end of the semester is hard sometimes. I feel like I haven't had a lot of time to myself...that is, until Saturday night, when I picked up the 4th Twilight book from Kate's. I read until about midnight, then again Sunday and finished up Sunday evening. Like Matt said, I needed a break, and I took it! It was an enjoyable book. Matt has been reading the series, as well, and it has been fun discussing the books with him. He totally understands why girls like the books...they accurately describe what is going on in our heads!

Anyways, I can't believe that tomorrow is my birthday. It has come too fast. We are not planning on doing much, I think just watch a movie, if Matt can get us some $4 movie tickets. I want to see "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2". Penny saw it already and she liked it, so I'm jealous. No party this year, I really don't want to make a big deal out of it. My birthday present was my Sojourn, so I probably won't get much else. And that is ok with me. It seems like the older I get, the less of a big deal I want to make about birthdays.

Well, that's about it. Except that I seem to have the worst luck riding. Matt and I went for a short ride yesterday and I got a flat tire on the way back. Go figure.

Ok, well, that's all. I'll talk to you guys later.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, for those of you who don't know (I was included in this until recently) there are people who ride their bikes (tour) all over the world. Matt was just reading about one family who started out from Boise and rode to British Columbia, then down to Baja California, then through Mexico and up to Connecticut. The most amazing thing is they did this with the Mom, Dad, and two 8 year old kids. It took them just over a year to do it. Crazy, huh? I'm impressed by the ability of people. And that Matt and I are really getting serious about touring across the country. In fact, we just took a big step...We ordered out bikes at the bike shop two days ago. This is what our bikes look like. They will be the same bike, only Matt's will be much bigger, the Sojourn doesn't have a female bike. And it is probably just slightly too tall, but I think I'll manage. Hey, maybe I'll grow a couple inches in the next two years (not likely).

Anyways, as I promised, here are some pictures of our trip to False Cape State Park. For those of you not from around here (and also for those of you who are), False Cape is close to the North Carolina border. It is named because it looks just like Cape Henry, the cape that leads into the Chesapeake Bay. Well, ships would get confused and run aground because it is pretty shallow. There's even a small town that sprang up, called Wash Woods. Can you guess how it got its name? (Just click on the little x and you can see the park better. Also, you can zoom in or out, and grab the map to move north. You'll see Virginia Beach to the north.)

View Larger Map

Well, here is a picture of the gorgeous beach at False Cape. There was no one for miles....

And here's me on the beach...

And another one of me on the beach...

We saw a ton of these white birds along the way, I think they might be egrets or something. They were big and pretty.

And last but not least, there's me and my bike. I think this is right after my flat tire.

Well, that was our little adventure. Now, I don't want a whole bunch of people running down to False Cape and spoiling our little sanctuary. This is our little secret, right? :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My poor bike...

Ok, I don't know why, but I'm really sad about my bike. It's in the shop until Thursday, and I can't ride it until then. My back hallway looks strangely empty.

Matt and I had an enjoyable weekend. He had Friday off, and so did I. We went on a ride to the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, and then on to False Cape State Park. It was a beautiful ride, around 15 miles, and we ended up at a secluded beach with no one but ourselves. It was amazing. I got a flat tire on the way back out, but we had a spare, so there was no worry. That was a tough 15 miles. The road was gravel or dirt or sand the whole way. But we saw deer, and birds of all kinds. It was so quiet! Cars aren't allowed out there, you have to hike in or bike in. There's a shuttle bus that can run older and younger people out to False Cape, but that's it. So it was really nice and quiet. Matt took some pictures, but I can't find his memory card, so I'll post them later.

Then, Saturday (yesterday) we decided to do a 50-mile bike ride. We rode from our hours out to Dam Neck base, then all the way through the base. We were going to go back home the same way, but I had the brilliant idea to ride down to the oceanfront, take the trail through the woods, and ride home that way. We'd see how far it was, and it would be a nice ride, so I thought. Well, we were doing really well, I was getting tired, but not too bad. Then, the craziest thing happened. I ran over a stick, and it somehow hit my derailer, and broke the whole thing off. My wheel locked up, and I came to a screeching halt. Well, what were we to do? We were 3 miles from the trailhead, and the mosquitos were starting to come out. So, Matt did that gallant thing, and towed me 3 miles to the end of the trail. Yep, he towed me, he wrapped his bike chain around our bikes, and pulled me all the way back. He definitely got a good workout. And maybe he could do that all the way across country! :)

Last Thursday I had a great time at a Twilight party at Kate's. It was so much fun. We had a blast. I got to know some really nice women, and got to hang out with Kate and Chancy. The Twilight Party took the place of Scrapbooking, which me, Kate, and Chancy usually do on Thursday nights. But it was a lot of fun, that's for sure.

Today, I spent most of the day doing homework. Matt had asked me to mow the lawn, so I waited until it got cooler, and went out to mow it. We haven't really mowed the whole backyard since we took the pool down. So I did my best, and boy was it a workout. The mower kept getting clogged, and dying. After pulling that start cord about a million times, my arm is tired! But it was worth it. The yard looks so much better. And there weren't too many spiders everywhere (actually, they were all over the place, but I'm pretending I didn't see them everywhere).

Well, I should go to bed. It has been a long day. And I still have homework to do for tomorrow. I'll post pictures soon!