Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook: What will the wind blow in?

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 18, 2012

Outside my window...the wind is a blowin! Living on top of a mountain sure is exciting!
I am thinking...how lucky I am that I get to have the freedom to teach some fun kids. I get to 
challenge them and feed them knowledge. I get to have the flexibility that I will need this 
year. I get to give my best to help a school grow. My heart is so happy right now. I will not
be getting paid, but this is exactly what I need. I feel so blessed!

I am thankful...I'm thankful for the people in my life who have given me a chance to do big 
things. I feel like Pickles the Fire Cat. I am not happy inside a house, I need to be outside 
doing big things. 

In the kitchen...is a clean counter! I will be messing it up later when I bake a pumpkin 
(dreaming about pumpkin cake and company), roast a chicken, and steam some broccoli
for supper. More cookies will be baked again today too. WHERE are all of the cookies I 
made last Sunday? Today is only Tuesday!!!

I am wearing...white denim capris and a bright orange polo. Wearing bright colors makes 
me feel so cheerful!

I am creating...a large pile of laundry to fold! As the winds blow like mad, I'm washing 
clothes like mad! I am excited to try a Pinterest trick to get deodorant stains out of my 
favorite green shirts. 

I am going..to school tomorrow!!!!!! I can't wait to teach tomorrow morning. I will not get 
paid for it, but I can't wait to go back and do it again. I'm really feeling conflicted about the 
teacher strike in Chicago. Sometimes I think unions might be a good thing, others I just 
don't think so. I'm just really concerned that the children are being overlooked and their 
learning should be the most important focus of all of the adults involved.

I am wondering... what Carl will tell me when he comes home from school today. Today is 
the first day of chess club. This amazing boy of mine lives for chess. No one will play with 
him around here anymore. I hope he finds a friend who loves chess as much as he does. 

I am reading...textbooks... always with the textbooks! Today's book is Education of the 
Gifted and Talented by Gary A. Davis, Sylvia B. Rimm, and Del Siegle. I am actually 
enjoying this book, but reading it has opened my eyes to some major mistakes that I 
made as a young mom of two little, gifted boys. If only I could have read this book before 
Carl went to Kindergarten... 

I am hoping... that my patio chairs don't blow away! They are definitely attempting to 
levitate off of the patio...

I am looking forward to... tomorrow! I will have a big college assignment turned in, and I 
will get to go hang out with some fun kids. I'm so lucky! 

I am learning...how to keep my head in the game. I get excited about things, or horribly sad
about things and then I don't get what I need to done around here. I need to stay on my 
diet. I can do this! I'm learning how valuable good friends can be to keeping me on the 
good track.

Around the house... there is waiting in the air. Waiting for the boys to burst in through the 
door. I love when my boys come home from school!

I am pondering...how to keep myself thinking positive thoughts. I am pondering what I 
have stashed in the garage that I can pull out for the kiddos to learn with. 

One of my favorite things...Chock Full of Nuts coffee: what a crazy name for coffee that 
has no nuts in it at all!

A few plans for the rest of the week...spending time teaching some fun kids, chaperoning 
Caleb's history field trip, a homecoming parade, a homecoming pep band performance at
 a football game, and the first day of fall.

A peek into my day...

A cup of tasty joe in a special cup, given to me by a special friend.

A favorite quote for today... "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative 
expression and knowledge." Albert Einstein

Thank you for stopping by to visit my Daybook. I hope the wind blows something 
marvelous your way today! 


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cookies: An Exhibit of My Once A Week Collection

What do you do every week? Well... there's always those chores that we all love so much (especially that darn laundry!)... but what else do you do? 

I make cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. I need cookies to keep the starvation monsters from eating up my teenage boys. Then there's the munchy-loving husband... a few cookies in some lunch boxes, some fed to friends who stop by and the cookie jar is empty once again.

I am determined to feed my guys foods that are healthier options, generally filled with lots of fiber. I would love for you to believe that make high fiber cookies because they are so healthy, but the real reason is that fiber is one of my secret weapons in my arsenal that I activate in order pay less at the grocery store! Fiber fills up those ravenous stomachs much faster. Instead of my guys eating a dozen cookies each, they tend to stop after 4. If you are attempting to feed teenagers of any gender, you will sympathize with my grocery deficiency problem. The pits are bottomless, and so are their friends'! 

I have no problem sharing what Betty Crocker has shared with me. I wish she were a real woman. I'd love to meet her. I think she must look like Julia Childs. 

My weekly cookie recipe is always the same: The Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book. The book falls open to this page all by itself! Instead of using white flour, I use 100% Whole Wheat Flour. I use 1 package of semi sweet chocolate chips for two batches. I eliminate the cinnamon completely. Once I used Craisins when I ran out of chocolate chips and was pleasantly surprised by their sweetness in these cookies. 

 I mix up two batches at once in my trusty KitchenAid mixer, then I quickly scoop up balls of dough and plop them onto their designated locations on the baking sheets. I like to imagine that I am scooping with the speed of lightning, but I know that I'm certainly not faster than the speed of sound because as soon as my boys hear the mixer, cookie sheets, and oven door, they mysteriously (and silently) manifest themselves into my kitchen, hoping that there are some warm cookies they can stealthily grab in a speedy kitchen pass through. I got to see a helicopter fly by this morning and I had to giggle... it made me think of my boys "flying by" to grab those fresh cookies and evacuate my presence without their mom telling them to wait until supper...

I like order and predictability... can you tell? 

Every week, I plop the cookies on the same spots of the cookie sheets.

I have no idea how long I bake the cookies. Sometimes I remember to take the out in time and they are soft and wonderful. Sometimes I forget and they get crunchy and dark. No one complains or comments. They just eat them up! 

I bake these cookies every week. You would think that my guys would beg for a different recipe or brownies. Nope! I seem to be living with some serious Cookie Monsters! The crazy thing is that I do not particularly like to eat these cookies. I absolutely do not like how baking these cookies makes my hair smell like cookies. The smell slams me the next morning in the shower the next morning and I wash it out as fast as I can. While I don't really love these cookies, I have a feeling that I could very well become famous for these cookies! 

Every time one of my boys' friends comes over to visit, he heads straight for the cookie jar. I am rewarded with, "Mrs. Corlett, you make the best cookies EVER!! They are just like candy!" As if I needed any other reasons to make cookies... I can't possibly deny this fun teen 
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! 

What do you do every week? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? The NFL is back in action along with all the college teams.  Are you a fan?  Who do you root for?  If you're not a fan what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night games? 

Oh football... must you return to the mayhem of my house? You are so noisy! You LAST SOOOOO LONG! 

Here it is... it is out in the open... I do not like football. I tried hard to learn about it and to have fun with it when I was in high school. I was even on the Pep Squad! My husband loves football. He looks forward to it's beginning every year. I'm always amazed at the facts that he remembers about football and its history. I love that my husband loves football so much that he researches the history of the teams. I dust his football books on the bookshelf. I love that my husband is in my life and feels free to be himself. My boys used to like football. Carl wore a Steelers hat for years. We didn't know what his hair looked like for about 3 years. Now he informs us that he does not really like watching sports. He'd much rather play them. My Longhorn fan is a mystery. We're just not sure why he likes them and we're just as amazed when he wants to watch them or decides not to. We just can't figure it out! 

Then there is Fantasy Football... this is when I (the only girl in the house) plays a long and is a good sport. I will humor the guys and fix up a team (which I then leave to the will of the computer). I like to win and I enjoy learning that my team beat my guys' teams. It's all about winning for me. I don't even know the players are on my team! 

Football is about to happen to my world... We live so close to a stadium that our road will be shut down to accommodate traffic. Thoughts about where I can run away are filling my mind! 

2.  What's something I'll always find in your closet?

Cowboy boots and scarfs

3.  Share one of your earliest memories.

I remember Dr. Seuss. Lots of Dr. Seuss. I loved those books! I remember crying and feeling miserable (lots of allergy issues) and someone in my family would read Dr. Seuss to me to help me wait for the Benedryl to kick in. I remember my good friend, Butch, a black and brown dachshund. I loved getting into boxes and he'd come in them with me. I remember missing my sisters when they would go to school. I remember that exciting tingle I'd get when they came in the door, or when I saw my dad walk around the corner on his way home for lunch. I'd run to meet him and then walk the rest of the way home with him. I remember my dollies and toys. I remember taking afternoon naps, snuggled with my mom on her bed. 
4.  What circus act best describes your week so far?

My life is taking a wild turn. It makes me feel like I am on one of those enormous hamster wheel where the performer does tricks on top, inside, and around an enormous wheel that is rotating at a seemingly slow speed. The amazing thing is that the performer is so tiny and the wheel is so huge that the performer works hard to keep up with the wheel while they do crazy stunts. 

I'm trying to manage my family events: dentist, orthodontist, allergist appointments for my boys. Juggling music lessons and school challenges with the kids along with keeping up with the laundry and house cleaning. Then there's the textbook reading and college class requirements challenging my time.

I pursued something yesterday that I think might lead to something good...I will share it with you later! I can't wait to see where God takes it!

My greatest challenge is to stay caught up with the rotating wheel and not fall off! 

5.  What's a food you disliked as a child that you love now?

Beans!!! I love beans!!! Pinto, Red Kidney, Refried, Black, Navy... I love them!!!!

6.  Describe your summer in three words.

moving, sewing, and boys

7.  Where were you on September 11, 2001?  Will you do anything special to mark the day?

I will not forget how life changed for us! It was a beautiful morning, my husband and little boys were just finishing up breakfast and my husband was preparing for another soldiering day at work. As I was cleaning the cereal out from my littlest boys' ears and hair, I looked up at the tv with my wash cloth in hand and saw the 2nd plane hit the tower. I stopped, staring in disbelief...

That was the moment that my family's life changed forever. My soldier would no longer get much time at home and I would be asked to stand strong through multiple deployments, times when the military would require my husband to be away. I would learn what it meant to make sacrifices that are often unseen, understood, or appreciated. I would learn that I could endure a tremendous amount of fear, heart ache, and loneliness. My boys would experience life in ways that I never wanted them to have to experience. They still think that having a dad who is gone all the time is normal. It seems that they have spent more time talking to their dad via Skype or phone calls then they have speaking face to face. We see families experiencing our greatest fears. Our hearts hurt and cry for the devastation that this horrible event brought on people and still continues to bring. We pray often for those who are still be affected by this event. We hate war and violence.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I am amazed how brave my youngest boy is. He has faced down some surprising doctor and dentist events without visible fear. He found something to joke about each event. I am so pleased to see him growing into a strong, brave young man. He just amazes me! 

(Another fun writing tool! http://joyce-fromthissideofthepond.blogspot.com)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Simple Woman's Day Book

Good Morning, Monday!

Outside my window... it is a fresh new day. Cool and sparkling after wild rain storm last night.

I am thinking... about new beginnings. I need to just accept my new beginning and step up to the challenge. Right now as the sun blazes into my house, I think I can do it! Feeling quite positive about this.

I am thankful... for my boys. They are starting the week with a fresh start as well. I am thankful my caring husband. He sure had a lot of patience for me this weekend. I am thankful chances to try again. I'm thankful for fresh air, sunshine, and yellow marigolds!

In the kitchen... is a bag of brilliant orange habenero peppers. There is also a zip lock bag with a beautiful red ghost pepper. All of these peppers were gifts from a good friend. Today would be a good day to work on drying them. 

I am wearing... my oldest, most comfortable sweatshirt and jammy pants. My husband got this sweatshirt when he re-enlisted in the army the first time when we lived in Oklahoma. It has a rocket launcher on it and it says, "Deep Attack!" I love its lived in feeling and comfortable tatteredness.

I am creating... pots filled with herbs. The seeds arrived and I planted them. They are really starting to come up. I hope I can keep them growing because it will be fun to have fresh herbs to cook with all winter long!

I am going... to tackle big projects today. I will get a college project done, the laundry done, the house cleaned, and something yummy cooked for the great guys in my life. I am going to smile today. I going to have a good week!

I am wondering... if I have any plastic gloves around here. I am going to need them for those wild peppers. 

I am reading... chapter 5 of "Teaching children with problems learning." I hope I find something interesting!

I am hoping... that my amazing brother has a very happy birthday today. Today is his day. It is the PERFECT day to deal with those pepper! John loves hot peppers and hot sauce and these peppers make me think of him. I wish he were here. He'd get a kick out of these peppers. Caleb is like John. Caleb loves hot peppers. I love that Caleb makes me think of my brother.

I am looking forward to... sunshine and success!

I am learning... how to be ok in a silent house by myself. I just saw a commercial for Splenda. It showed a lady enjoying her tea (sweetened with Splenda) who was very pleased to have the house to herself. I never think this!!! I need to start thinking this.

Around the house... the tv is talking, the dog is sleeping, and the sun is shining. The fresh air slips in and the house waits for me to get it humming again. 

I am pondering... what my next step will be this brilliant morning. Coffee? Laundry? Breakfast? What will it be? Where will I find the magic in the morning?

A favorite quote for today... "
I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning." by J. B. Priestly

One of my favorite things... is the way that the leaves on plants become very deep green as they absorb the sunlight streaming in. I love the way that God made these leaves, filled with chlorophyl to soak up the sun's energy. I love the cellular factories inside these leaves!

A few plans for the rest of the week: I am excited to plan a meal and get-together for the cadets that we are sponsoring. I can't wait to get to know all of them. I can't wait to cook for them and I can't wait to have them come to our home.

A peek into my day.

This Day Book gives me happy things to think about. Try it out yourself! http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Collection of Tiny Bits of Thread

Sewing. It's what I do. A cut of fabric, specifically cut to the length I wish is my blank canvas. A canvas of unlimited, colorful, purposeful possibilities. Sometimes I carefully pin tissue-paper patterns to the fabric and cut and snip the fabric into organized pieces. Systematically and as quickly as possible, I sew my seams, add my notions and voila! I find that I have finished another creation. Sometimes my projects are insanely big, sometimes they are tiny holes that are mended. No matter the project size, sewing is part of my life.

Sewing. It's what my mom does. Every December, my mom would shut the door to the sewing room, preventing curious and excited eyes from seeing her handiwork. Unwrapping a newspaper covered bundle revealed wonderful things. Once it was a fancy stroller. Once it was a Strawberry Shortcake Doll, a Pound Puppy, and a Cabbage Patch Premie. Once it was an entire box of cross country ski clothes, including waterproof mittens and gators. Once it was a pair of black stirrup pants. I'm pretty sure that my mom can sew ANYTHING with her white Bernina. My mom is my go-to expert. She knows everything.

Spatial skills. They're my best tools. Most of the time I can see how things need to go together, how they need to lay and how I need to piece them together. I love the challenges of figuring out these puzzles.

Mistakes. I make them. Humanity takes over and the stitching shows up in the wrong place. That's when the collection of tiny bits of thread appear. I love collecting the tiny bits into a pile that sticks together despite the brevity that they held within my project. I make so many mistakes in my life. I have quite a pile of tiny bits of thread. I get upset at silly things, accidentally forget that I'm cooking and burn my cookies, and yell at the kids. I get impatient with my husband, and completely forget to fold the laundry. The best part is that no matter how many tiny threads I collect, they all get pinched together and tossed into the garbage can. As I clean up my projects at the end of the day, I toss my collection of tiny threads. I don't frame the threads and hang them on the wall, so why do I frame my mistakes and keep them on the walls of my mind? There is no reason to save them, so I've decided not too. Tossing them all out today... yes, all of them!

Results. They're wonderful! I love them. Success. A glorious end to a bunch of hard work. Better than that amazing feeling of completing a job well done is seeing the results on the faces of my loved ones. One of my big summer projects for the summer was hand-sewing an authentic 18th Century suit for my boy. In this suit, he can participate in Revolutionary War reenactment events, parades, demonstrations and get the opportunity to live history. Sunday, I got to see the results of my sewing on Carl's face. I will never forget his happy glow! In that suit, I got to witness him stare unexpected challenges in the face and then in front of an audience show his true stitching. He impressed us all!

Tiny bits of thread. You've got to collect and toss them to the wind. While I'm tossing my bits to the wind, I hope you get to feel the freedom to toss your bits to the wind and show everyone what a glorious project you are!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I've thought about starting a blog for quite a few years and quite frankly haven't had time to sit and think and write. Here's my chance! I'm excited to start my coffee can collection of things that fill my mind...

A good friend of mine has used these templates for writing and I wanted to try it out. This is from The Simple Woman's Day Book

A peek into my day...

Outside my window... the breezes are blowing three different colors of clouds across the sky, following the path of the river.

I am thinking... about keeping my brain busy. I have lots rattling around in my cranium and I'd better hold them down a bit.

I am thankful... for the fresh air and sunshine floating into my house, for my sweet dog checking on me, for tasty coffee in my cup, and for all of the windows that slip open easily.

In the kitchen... is a fresh batch of whole wheat sourdough starter. I'm starting again because my last starter went sour! (hee hee!) 

I am wearing... my husband calls it my orange creamsicle shirt. Creamsicle orange is such a cheerful color!

I am creating... a scarlet authentic Revolutionary War suit for my drumming boy. I can't wait until it is done! It has required a lot of hand sewing.

I am going... make sure to set time aside to read my textbooks! I've got to get that Master's done this year!!!!!

I am wondering... how things will go at the Middle School Open House tonight. Will I get to meet the Gifted Teacher? Will I find someone who will be willing to help me finish this degree? Will I find a mentor, a friend, a guide? 

I am reading... a textbook... Strategies for Gifted Education. I love learning, but these books are very boring! I am in the middle of Silas Marner by George Elliot.... wishing for a chance to grab a moment to find out if Silas will get his treasure back.

I am hoping... that my middle schooler has a good day today. I hate seeing him leave on the bus in the morning. It is hard being a new kid in a new school. I hope he finds a fun friend!

I am looking forward to... getting my sewing machine back from the repair shop across the river. I have lots of things that I want to sew! I am also looking forward to finding some goldfish for our fish tank. 

I am learning... to find happy things in my new surroundings. 

Around the house... the washer is washing, the dog is snoring, the boy is showering, sourdough starter is bubbling, the plants are growing, fruit is ripening, and the cuckoo clock is ticking.

I am pondering... what I will collect in my coffee can of treasures. 

A favorite quote for today... "Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine." Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre 

One of my favorite things... feeling freedom surround me as the breeze floats by.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I will help my high schooler get ready for school to start. We will also develop some family plans for this weekend.

If you want to try this out, check out Simple Woman's Day Book at http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/