December 13, 2008

Wrap it up already...

So today I begin the usually dreaded task of wrapping up some joy....in other words, using paper to disguise those presents under the tree. Although I do not live for this part of Christmas, I can't say that I mind. I buy ribbon and bows, and attempt to dress up these cardboard boxes into something appealing to the eye. I can't seem to simple cover the gift and use the three pieces of adhesive to attach the paper on the sides and bottom. There's some obsessive complex within me that feels the need to create a piece of art for the eye. This may seem absurd, but look at it this way...no matter what's inside the decked out package, it appears I have taken time in both thought and labor to wrap it in style! (Don't knock it....although this is no justification, let me live in decorative denial!)

Along the same subject, with an urge to get some of this gift dressing underway I went to begin the task and realized we had no wrapping paper. I asked JP to pick some up from the store. He came home glowing with bag in tow. He had four rolls of beautiful paper in his sack. He said, "here you go babe. And I got a great deal! At Target they were 2 for $7!" I couldn't help but stare speechless into the bag. My husband just spent $14 on four rolls of wrapping paper, when I could have bought at least 14 rolls with the way I shop. Even with my wrapping and beauty packaging obsession, I would never spend more than 99 cents on wrap. I couldn't break his happy heart though and sucked up the price tag, opened the wrap and began my task. I'll either do the shopping from now on, or send him to a specific store, with the details, price cap, and PC number to avoid another shopping event.

December 10, 2008

Christmastime

It doesn't quite feel like Christmas yet. A surprising comment, I realize, considering the feet of snow piled up outside our abode. It could be due to the fact that I've been listening to Christmas music since Halloween. While listening to "Holly Jolly Christmas" today and wiping away the tears from the previous 93.9 "Christmas wish" I'd heard, I realized it still didn't quite feel like the holiday was approaching.

To attempt to remedy this disease, I'm going to watch Home Alone, drink some soy egg nog, and possibly wrap some presents. Hopefully this helps!

What do you do that puts you in yule tide mode?

December 9, 2008

DARE

As I was about to prepare a head of cauliflower my sister dared me to be more creative. I attempted a mashed cauliflower recipe, a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes! My husband, surprisingly loved it. Next time though, I think Ill put less butter and less garlic powder.

Wash, chop, and steam cauliflower in inch of water in microwave until tender.
The recipe said to mix 1/4 cup skim milk/butter and the garlic powder and parmesan cheese with a blender but I used a hand mixer! A bit of a different texture but yummy!

*No Bethany....no gas!

December 7, 2008

What have you learned today?

Growing up I used to consider my Papa "the man who knew everything." He once told me that he didn't know everything, but simply learned something new everyday. I thought about this today and am going to try and recall three things I learn each day and those who shared these pieces of knowledge.

Today I learned:

1) apple seeds have a trace of cyanide in them. (fact courtesy of my husband)

2) blood pressure has to do with the amount of blood being pumped through veins throughout body (again my husband's knowledge)

3) there is more than one meaning to the words in the famous Italian song: "Zooma Zooma" (fact courtesy of my Mima)


December 6, 2008

To shop or not

According to the View and several newscasts, these are people I should buy Christmas gifts for:

1. mail carrier (who even actually sees their mailperson?)
2. boss/principal (thats a given)
3. parent helpers (ok I have 17...so thats not happening)
4. hairdresser & any other regular beautician (have trouble affording the monthy haircut alone!)
5. regular doctor (they make enough already)
6. pastor (my church has 13...infiniti and beyond)
7. distant relatives (an entire side of JPs family lives on the east coast...that could get expensive)
8. petcare helper (that would be JP and I- nightly takers of our family dog)
9. assitant (i have one, but not the kind that does my work)
10. close family friends (just got married, still have the guest list...it was a long one...so thats not happening)

who are 10 people you SHOULD buy for?

Down but not Out


JP got some bad news regarding his education test he needed to pass. Of course, he was down and frustrated. I found it the best opportunity to pray over the situation. I prayed a prayer I wasn't expecting. I truly felt Christ pouring through my speech. I prayed a prayer of thanks!
I realized I was truly thankful for all the hard times we have been through in the last few months, and for the circumstances we are currently in. I spoke these words, "I look back and don't regret a moment of what has happened these past few months. I'm glad we didn't receive jobs we applied for, JP didn't pass tests, we couldn't afford an apartment, and that I'm at the job I currently am."
Its funny I should pray such a prayer. When every above situation arose, I found myself angry and asking, "why me?" and "what now?" But I find that I wouldn't trade for the world what it has brought us to, what faith has grown in me, and what a strong bond has been created between JP and I in the first few months of our marriage. I am not"in love" with my job, but am thankful I have one, that I have such supportive parents, and that I will be so well prepared for what comes next! Of course we would love better paying jobs, greater opportunities, our own place, and for everything to fall into place. But my usual pessimistic, overreacting self, has become a patient, step-at-a-time, take a breath, pray for peace and understanding, individual. Never before in my life have I felt such patience and ability to rely on God. JP and I know that five and even ten years from now we will laugh and thank God for these such circumstances: failed tests, anything but the greatest jobs, and living with my parents....I am just thankful that I, in the midst of these circumstances, in the present, can laugh and thank God! Through these situations and through examples such as my Dad, I have learned to be rational rather than run on emotions....most of the time!



November 30, 2008

Happiest Season of All?


My eldest sister talked me into joining her in the infamous Black Friday shopping spree. Intent on finding the best sales at all times, I couldn't resist. We were up by 3 am and with a few sips a coffee and half a pop-tart, we were out the door into the Winter Wonderland by 330, in an attempt to be near the front of the pack lined up outside Kohls. Having some experience in this shopping phenomenon, Bethany knew to bring a stroller, as no carts would be left to use. When the doors opened, it was like mass chaos, a similar to scene of that when Sex and the City was released in theaters and a sea of stilettos raced for the best seats. Bethany and I had drawn up a plan of areas to hit: me, Men's Wear, Bethany would be at women's. The plan was null and void with the combination of racing women and amazing deals every which way the eye could see. With the checkout line wrapped around the store our new plan was to take turns standing in line while the other shopped. We were out of the store by 530 with more than $325 worth of items and a total of $260 spent. Our next stop was Target. That was an adventure! We waited in line while some believed that had beat the system and waited by their cars until the store opened, hoping to jump in front of the line. Security was prepared for this and stopped their efforts while those who had waited shivering in line pointed and laughed like elementary school children. We definitely had a plan for this store! I was to go to electronics while Bethany waded through the sea of carts towards the accessories. It was like the rapture. People were realizing there was no getting through the waves of carts and began to abandon their buggies in the middle of the store for the sake of reaching the good items. Others used their carts as obstacles with which to block others from the center of the aisle where the coveted items were held. I waited in line for an all important present in the electronics section, not knowing that the item needed to be paid for immediately. With sweat dripping I called Bethany and said, "Abort the stroller! I repeat, abort the stroller! I need the credit card asap!" She left the stroller in the middle of Target and came to my aid. Needless the say I was able to get one of the 50 items in stock of this product.

Its so surprising how while "Its the most wonderful time of the year..." blared over the store speakers, men, women and children alike were pushing families over with carts, knocking over displays and verbally attacking other shoppers for the items listed on their Christmas Wish-Lists. I was mistaken to think that this time of year always brings out the joyful best in people. Until this Black Friday experience, I had been naive.

Next year, Sharon, Bethany, and I have decided we will shop together on the Black Friday, wearing bright green shirts made to say something to the effect of "Black Friday Mamas" and will bring two things: shopping bags (to replace the bulky carts) and whistles (to keep track of one another's locations throughout the store).

Needless to say my jolly holiday shopping is officially finished! Thank the Lord!


November 24, 2008

Nice Country, 'eh?

With my Pipa in the hospital and the prognosis not the best, we all made a trip to see him yesterday. He was on a lot of medication and therefore was not himself, barely conscious. It was so difficult to see him so helpless. I felt helpless. For the random seconds that he opened his eyes or spoke an understandable syllable, his comments were nothing short of those we have heard his utter time and time again. They all resounded to the sound of joy for his family. He muttered things like, "We did it, right! We so lucky! ( in reference to graduating college, having families, and being hard workers and loved family members). As helpless and struck with ailments as he was, he stayed in true character; caring only for his family and wanting them to know how truly proud he is of their accomplishments, who they are as individuals, and their support and strength as a family entity. We were able to pray with my grandpa, despite his lack of consciousness, i saw a smile crawl across his face as we read scripture. My dad said one thing to me as I sobbed in fear of grandpa's condition, "We will make sure he knows Jesus and that Jesus has him in his hands."

That said it all. I love my family and want my Grandfather to know Christ's love and his comforting hands are what has provided him with these treasures and this family that he constantly and thankfully embraces.

November 18, 2008

Gone with the old?

It's official. My turbo Taurus of a car, is no longer considered to be Cubs175 on record. The license plate that once graced the presence of a van, then a LeBaron, and finally the red rhino, is now retired. When it was time to change my title to put under my husband's name, we decided it was less expensive to be assigned a random license plate. With that said, I felt a lump in my throat when my husband walked through the door this evening, holding the remnants of yet another piece of Janna Elton's past. Yes....I do realize how dramatic this may sound, but isn't that the purpose of a unique writer? I often get the same feeling when it comes time to throw out that pair of pants that I've had since high school, only sending them to their grave on a "fabric malfunction."

I realized today that giving up my former last name (which will hopefully, legally occur soon) goes hand in hand with giving up other parts and memories. My license plate, being one of the puzzle pieces. Who's to say that this is a negative number, however it is still difficult to watch portions of who you were proud to be, and what you were "proud to drive" (in so few words), become someone, or something else. The red Taurus that sits in the driveway is now another number among the millions of registered drivers in the state of Illinois. At least Janna Elton (Howard), the person isn't just a number to those special people around me (however the license plate fact does remain true no matter who is standing next to me). JP and I tried to memorize it tonight but it doesn't bode well that he cannot even memorize his number that he has had for several years. O well...it seemed appropriate that I retire the psuedo-name "Cubs21" in the year that I believe the Cubs retired their entire team prior to the first pitch of the playoffs. So long Cubby bear....hello 2304982304982034982039840239840293840293480239480238402

November 16, 2008

2 decades old

Happy Birthday to my baby brother. Funny thing is he is 20 years old today and nearly 2 feeet taller. Not so much a baby. I love you so much, Richard Drew. I am so proud of how you are pressing through these tough years in college, impressed with your soccer skills, love your quirks and humor, and can't wait to see what God does with your life in the next few years. I love you!

Happy Birthday Uncle Dick!

November 13, 2008

Just Breathe

I got some really frustrating news today, having to do with my Illinois Teaching Certification that sent me into a downward spiral.

Have you ever had something shake you and make you take everything else down with you?

I began to regret my decision to go to school out of state, my entire college experience, my current position that I daily find is a trial, and created many other "what ifs?" in my churning bowl of thoughts.

On the way home I heard a song and these words gave me another rattle:
"Even in the darkness, everything is yours."
To many that may seem abstract and confusing. To me, it said it all. I can't say that I've experienced a gallon of turmoil and hardships in my life, rather trivial trials compared to some. However, just when it seems I've picked up my, at times, fading relationship with Christ, something rocks my world. That seems to be a pattern for many, doesn't it. No cliche necessary, I understand why such moments in our lives, arrive at this particular point, but it doesn't make it easier to handle, grip, or put into perspective. Lord be in the midst of my chaos.

November 10, 2008

Look What you Made me do...

My sisters and I have taken opportunities to share our commentaries on the ensembles we see ourselves dressed in when looking at past kodak moments. Usually, Mom's response is..."you wanted to wear that."

This kid, will never hear Mom or Dad repeating that excuse to him in 10 years:







On a lighter note I am so thankful for my husband. We are finding less and less time to do our devotions and usually turn the tv off around 10 pm just before jumping into bed. We decided to make a rule that the tv goes off by 930 from now on so we have time to wind down with just our own thoughts and a short devotion together. It really melts my heart to see him be the one to remember. Its now 943 and im still on the computer. "Against our new rules" he says. Time for me, GOd, and my hubby...o and a down comforter (its freezing!). I can't wait to see what God does in our relationship with our new committment to spend time with him.

November 7, 2008

hahaha Aftermath

Not posting this to smear his name, just thought it was funny!


http://www.theonion.com/content/video/obama_win_causes_obsessive?utm_source







Money Money Money

TOP 10 THINGS I SPEND MONEY ON & WHY:

1)food (to feed my husband and his endless stomach)

2) clothes (i can't resist a good deal)

3) birth control (don't want no accidents!)

4) my class (wish it wasn't so)

5) other people (i love giving to friends for no reason)

6) baking needs (experimenting on new recipes is a new hobby)

7) bills, bills, bills (enough said)

8) shoes (can never have enough...just when I buy one, another pair from my closet goes extinct)

9) small trips to Target (which eventually turn in to $30-$40 escapades)

10) makeup (i can't believe of expensive it is!)


REPOST THIS ON YOUR BLOG. "What do you spend money on?"

November 3, 2008

Vote for Oprah

I realized something while wading through piles of newspaper headlines screaming "Vote for ________." It doesn't matter who is elected president. God is bigger than Obama...and God is mightier than McCain. I did not vote out of fear for where our country will be, nor out of despise for a certain party of person. I truly believe that no matter who takes up residence in the White House as of Wednesday, God is in control. With that said, we might as well elect anyone to office. If we as a nation can't decide who to vote for, just put Oprah in the White House. People perk their ears up more for her than our own president (Sad but true).

So I pray that God will be at each voting post, in each booth, and I know that he knows what each ballot will say. God goes before us and is always surrounding us. God bless America...please.

October 31, 2008

TOP 4

A) Four places that I go to over and over: Wal-Mart, Ultra Food, Target,....the bank
B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly) Facebook, Dell (I can't seem to get rid of them), and the rest would consist of the parents of my students...regularly
C) Four of my favorite places to eat: Grandma's, Subway, Chili's, Chipotle
D) Four places I would rather be right now: Riviera Maya Mexico, on a date with my husband, chilling in the hot tub, with all my friends scattered across the country (Ambs-MO, Danielle-Nebraska, Maddie-WI)

E) Four people I talk to everyday: Sharon, Bethany, Rosie, Kim

F) Four TV shows I watch: Grey's Anatomy, the Hills, Desperate Housewives, Biggest Loser

October 30, 2008

I am an American

I did the American deed...I voted today! The first election I was eligible to vote in was the re-election of Bush....unfortunately I never received an absentee ballot and was not registered to vote yet in Missouri, where I was attending school, and therefore did not get to exercise my vital American right! (I got a lot of scrutiny for that). I can finally re-claim my American identity because I proudly cast my ballot. It took all of 10 minutes and was conveniently located 5 minutes from my work. Early voting is a must!!!!! It's no surprise who I voted for....let's just say I didn't support a man who's name rhymes with..."full of drama!" The rest of the ballot looked foreign to me...full of names I've never heard of. I tried to stay on top of those running, aside from presidential candidates, but I just went with who I identify myself with. I have to say however, I was quite tempted to roll with the Green party for president...at least they don't have media drama!


My mornings, although monotonous, always begin with a chipper tone. On those days that my husband has to get up and leave before I wake up, he climbs back in bed for a hug and kiss and whispers, "I love you beautiful," before leaving. (I don't always recall this happening as i'm still in a sleep trance). His other tradition is the leave me a short note to make me smile. Today's note was the most romantic that I have ever received. It was short, simple, and sincere:

"Beautiful,
I have found out one very important thing in the last few months...

I can't live without you."

Love,
Husband

This melts my heart. I love this man...and baby, the feeling mutual!

October 28, 2008

Why I love Kids

A few pictures that remind me of why kids can be "adorable?"



A few years into the future: My 3 nephews watering Mimi and Pop-pops flowers



Present day: Kent searching for a snack.(current events at Auntie J's house)


What I believe my sisters probably did to me as a baby.



Already flirting....early start!



He waited all day to do that....getting back at daddy....a favor for Mommy

Biggest Loser

JP and I have really gotten into the show "Biggest Loser" this season. I believe it's for two different reasons.

1. There's isn't much on on Tuesday nights.

2. It gives one's own body image a boost.

*Guest which one was my excuse?

We ashamedly found ourselves screaming at the tv as "hefty" Heba (As we like to call her) had created a terrible tragedy out of the game. Her actions annoyed me. Needless to say something good did come out of tonight's episode. A man sent home, returned to his wife with a ring and flowers at the place he first proposed 20 years ago, and surprised her with a renewal of their vows upon his homecoming. It was the sweetest thing to see his hands shake as he asked her for her hand in marriage...again! I only want to be that happy in 20 years, and that in love...and that blessed with a still thoughtful husband. (I'm not too afraid...I know I've got a great catch!)

On another note, I have been trying recipes for under $7 and 300 calories, from the biggest loser. Last night was

Grilled Chicken with Warm Mango Salsa
SO YUMMY!

-mango
-small jalepeno
-fresh cilantro
-medium red onion
-medium tomato
-2 limes (zest & juice)
-chicken

-Cook strips of chicken or cut chicken breast or thighs into strips after cooked. (spray both sides of chicken with PAM before cookin)

-Spray onions with PAM and cook until tender
-Mix jalepeno, mango, tomato into onions and cook until warm through

-Top salsa with cilantro (2/3 cup) and juice and zest from 2 limes
-Serve chicken with warm mango salsa!!!!! YUM!

October 24, 2008

Envy

Lately I've been in a state of envy. I haven't necessarily envied what people have, rather that what they have seems to be so perfect, seamless, picturesque. The current state of my friends' relationships with their significant others, their exciting lifestyles, numerous friendhsips, their future plans, their current financial status, or job they hold, often make me jealous of all they have.

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing I love more than my current state with my husband, time with my family, and being in my classroom, but no matter where we are, the devil always seems to make us think someone else has it better...that we aren't blessed enough.

Oddly enough, in the last week, I've talked to all of these close friends that I seem to envy in some way or another, only to hear that pieces of their life are crumbling. Some are at odds with future in-laws, others are broke, one is broken from the lack of substance in frienships, and another from the loneliness and helplessness felt in their current occupation. It's as if Christ is trying to open my eyes to not only my blessings, but to the fact that if we allow it, the devil can always create a state of discontent of where we are at. If we allow him to creep in, we will never be satisfied with where we are....always wishing we had a piece of the past back. This is not only the nature of humankind, but also the reason I am thankful for a God that grants peace beyond all understanding.

I've been reading Ecclesiastes this week and in the first chapter I ran across a message that talked about all things being beneath Christ's foot. That he has conquered it all; lonliness, sadness, discontent. I feel I ran across this at the perfect time- to be a ministry to my friends who I seemed to envy. Sadly, in their hard times, I find myself blessed for not only what I have, but for friendships full of trust and compassion in all circumstances.

God is good, God is big....God has conquered it all!

I thank God for my wonderful, unconditionally loving, wonderfully weird family; my adorable, patient, genuine, loveable husband; and the amazing, God-timing opportunities I have been blessed with over the course of the last year! May I wish to be in no other part of my past or future...rather right here in the present!

October 22, 2008

A Fool

Don't let that previous post persuade or fool you to think that I am by any means a good cook. I should have bought the entire "Cooking for Dummies" collection.

For example: Today I tried to make Grandma's meatballs *using turkey meat*. The ended up being flat square fried pieces of meat. That's my second attempt. I had a little melt down and accidentally burned my husband with hot oil when I put water in the pan.


I officially can't cook!

October 20, 2008

Yummy in My Tummy

This is for Bethany Pat-rice. Seeing as my husband and I are new to the world of family grocery shopping and cooking for two....rather I'm new to cooking, in general; I am getting the hang of experimentation. I admit, there have been many attempts gone bad (ex: Spinach/Blueberry Oatmeal bars- sources say "nope!"). However, I have come to understand the art of cooking with minimal ingredients on a tight budget.

Last week I made chicken chili. So yummy! We buy grilled chicken strips for tacos, and with those that I had left over, I cut them in cubes and cooked them with "white chicken chili seasoning (like 99 cents), and a can of white beans. You can add a can of diced tomatoes, onion, and anything else you'd like in your chili. The two simple ingredients were amazing, to the point that my husband asked for a repeat.

Also a hit are the chicken breasts in a bag. Buy the seasoning that comes with a bag, fill with fresh veggies and cook. Nothing better, nothing easier!
Another great hit are the simple baked egg puffs. It's from the "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook and is made with an added ingredient of yellow squash, which I opt to leave out. With 2 large eggs, 4 eggs whites (I just toss in the whites from some eggs), 2 Tbs shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, 2 Tbs flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt...you mix them together and pour them into either 4 souffles cups (which I don't have) or coffee cups that are 1/2 greased. Bake them on 400 for 15 minutes and you have a great meal! You can even add sausage or bacon already cooked! This past week I doubled the recipe to make 6 coffee cups because JP loves them so much! Can't say I blame him!

Finally, JPs favorite is turkey sloppy joes. (really its just grilled turkey and barbeque sauce and onions). He always asks for leftovers to bring to work! It's also a leaner choice than ground beef.

I have to say, I appreciate my husband's patience as I experiment, his kind words for my chunky pudding, and quick help when my recipe is drowning. He may eat for 4 (all the more reason to find cheap and easy recipes for a family of 4)....but he's never picky!

October 15, 2008

You Know You Grew Up in the 80's If...

*Sharon found this for Bethany's party, so we copied it and put it at each seat. It's so true...you know it!


You Know You Grow Up in the 80’s & 90’s if:

1. You have ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.

2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do “The Carlton.”

3. You know that “WOAH” comes from Joey on Blossom.

4. If you ever watched “Fraggle Rock.”

5. It was actually getting up early on Saturday to watch cartoons.

6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.

7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.

8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that held your shirt in a knot on the side.

9. You played the game “MASH” (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House).

10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.

11. You know the profound meaning of “WAX ON, WAX OFF.”

12. You wanted to be a Goonie.

13. You ever wore florescent clothing. (some of us…head-to-toe)

14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off.

15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.

16. You took lunch boxes to school…and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.

17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.

18. You still get the urge to say “NOT” after every sentence.

19. You remember singing “2 LEGIT 2 QUIT” along with MC Hammer.

20. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged friendship bracelets.

21. You owned Pokemon cards but didn’t play.

22. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.

23. After you saw “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” you kept saying, “I know you are but what am I?”

24. You remember, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

25. You ever played with a Skip-It.

26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.

27. You remember watching both Gremlin movies.

28. You remember going to skating rinks before there were inline skates.

29. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.

30. You remember Alf, the furry brown alien from Melmac.

31. You remember the New Kids on the Block when they were cool…and don’t even flinch when people refer to them as “NKOTB”.

32. You knew all characters names and life stores on “Saved by the Bell,” original class.

33. You know all the words to Bon Jovi- SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.

34. You just sang those words to yourself.

35. You can still sing, “We are the World.”

36. You tight rolled your jeans.

37. You owned a banana clip.

38. You remember, “Where’s the Beef?”

39. You used to (probably still do) say, “What you talkin’ ‘bout Willis?”

40. You’re still singing Shot Through the Heart in your head…aren’t you?!

October 14, 2008

You know You are Obsesesed with the 80s if...

I'm home sick today from school...and so bored. it's the kind of sick where you can't just lay down and relax...which means I'd rather be at work. It's hard to relax knowing someone else has my kindergarteners for the day....will they fit everything in that needs to be done, will they take care of the room....will they go INSANE?!

I thought I'd take this opportunity to comment on the AMAZING 30th birthday party sharon and I threw Bethany. It was an 80s murder mystery, in lieu of her infatuation with the infamous decade. She was so surprised...which was the point...and so difficult to do considering she can be pushy and organized to the "T." She pulled up the "paparazzi" yelling her character's name "Debbie Gribson" and was shocked.




"Wee Pee" Vermon and I

Here are some special moments and costumes (which you will hopefully never see in style again), caught on camera:

Alligator Dundee


Everyone (all the characters) before Bethany arrived

Jessica Bunny, Debbie Gribson, and Fadonna

The premier of "Debbie Gribson's" new album and fragrance: ECLECTIC YOUTH


Bethany (Debbie Gribson) being interviewed before we made her change

October 10, 2008

Home for...the weekend


I am so glad to have my baby brother home (by baby I mean he's going to be 20 in a month!). I haven't seen him since he left for school in August. I miss him so much. I realize that I miss him because I worry about him...like any big sister would do. I used to be so protective of him when we attended school together. I always vowed I'd beat any one up who hurt his feelings. Now, he is the one doing the protecting! We ran to Target and made a pizza before playing Wii. It was just a realization to me that just as I have gained a "friendship" with my older sisters (rather than playing the whining little sister role), so my little bro and I have grown from sharing a room as toddlers, to spitting and biting wars, to cool vs uncool rivals, to "friends." It is the best feeling in the world and I think my brother is "da bomb!" I can't wait to see what God has in store for him. I see so much potential in his down to earth demeanor and his above average "business sense."






October 8, 2008

Near Death by Salami

Today, while preparing dinner for my husband, I quickly began to eat some salami...the good, cut it yourself stuff. I began to choke and thought I could cough it up. I was wrong. I could feel it dangling both in the front and in the back. I ran and tried my best to open the door from the apartment to the upstairs. I had to crawl up the stairs. I began to hit the wall and grunt, hoping my parents would hear me coming. By the time I got up the stairs my parents were asking what was wrong. I was too shaken up to even get my hands up to reveal the "choking sign" but just kept gagging. They both jumped out of their seats. My dad kept whacking me in the back, while my mom attempted the Heimlich. This team effort was not in vain. I finally swallowed what was left and trudged to the sink to spit it out. It was more dramatic than it sounds. While crawling upstairs I remember wondering what would happen if my parents weren't home, or if the maneuver malfunctioned and didn't work. After telling JP the story his response was this: "I could have come home with you dead on the floor!" (This was sincere and caring, I understand, but not what I expected, granted I understand the reaction).

If you know Rosie, I'm sure she ran through her phone tree and already came across your number, either leaving a message or speaking with you, to share the dramatic occurence and her bravery and knowledge on the Heimlich Maneauver. I'm literally reminiscing at the moment, of a similar situation when I was 5 years old, when I choked on a carrot while chasing my brother through the kitchen. When the ambulance arrived, I was so terrified, being so young, that my soothing mother allowed the emergency team to strap my body to hers, together on the stretcher. What a Mom! What parents!

But in all honesty, it's so funny that I knew what to do if I were along (thrust against a surface), but was too shaken up and scared to remember. God's timing is impeccable and his plans are greater. Even small situations like this are reminders of why our present situation may exist (i.e. living with my parentals).

All in all....I've sworn off salami....OBVIOUSLY!

October 7, 2008

Ouch!

Last night I ran into a chair while doing an interpretive dance/human video to, "Everything I DO," for JP (nothing of the sexual sort, by far!). I woke up this morning with a swollen knee...way to go. In JP's words..."O, you are so wonderfully weird."

October 3, 2008

God Rest Their Souls

With a statistic like 24 out of 27 teams not succeeding towards the World Series who lose their first games in the playoffs...it doesn't look good for the Cubs. Their performance was pathetic! As soon as Zimbrano came out throwing strikes all too smoothly in the first inning...I knew it couldn't be right. I can just hear Ron Santo saying, "O, this is embarassing!"

When will that stupid goat just die! Enough with the teasing!

October 2, 2008

Life or Death

My computer is about to fall to pieces....as well as my car. Please please please live one more year....one more year!

September 28, 2008

Shop Til You Drop


Because I have taken a dive into the world of marriage, so have I into the world of "grocery shopping." That means that once every week or so, my hubby and I hop into our 4-door compact, and take a drive to the store of choice...meaning that which we feel has better deals for the week or meets our coupon requirements. I am amazed at how expensive a cart of food and supplies can end up costing. Our meager needs for the next 2 weeks totaled $112 this week at Ultra Foods. We have tried Wal-Mart and the like and find that Ultra Foods has the best deals. On the con side, I believe this makes my husband believe that we can spend more.."because it's on sale." Funny that this used to be my alibi and is now used more than frequently, by my adorable husband. He hates to spend money, but when it comes to feed time, his wallet is miraculously unlocked for the moment!
Our feeble attempts at healthy habits and lifestyles combined with my recent history with digestive problems don't help minimize the bill either. Every week the price tag on one or two of our necessary items, amazes me. This week's show-stopper happened to be Soy Milk. Unfortunately the buying of this product isn't something I can avoid. Although regular milk hurts my stomach I'm beginning to wonder if the $2.39 price tag for half-gallon of soy milk, hurts me worse!



What necessity on your shopping list leaves your pocket aching?




September 26, 2008

"Change We Need"

While I don't usually involve myself in any topic related to politics, the recent status of our economy has me interested. I took the advice however, of Pastor Ross who said, "Turn it off." This was related to constantly worry and watching the news for updates reminders...."turn it off." It's not a matter of denial, rather than living by the verse, "worry will not add a single hour to your life."

This is also takes me to a discussion over presidential candidates. It was said that McCain asked that the debate be postponed so that a solution for the economy could be worked towards....Obama, the man who drives for "change" refuses to postpone and would rather "debate" the issue. How will debate get us the "Change We Need?"

September 21, 2008

Little Men





This weekend, JP and I got to spend time with all our nephews. On Saturday, Blake came to watch his first football while Uncle J played hard for his intramural team.


On Saturday afternoon we joined the Scottberg gang to a surprise party for a family friend. Parker and Kent are so big! Its funny that they are at ages where they finally do their own thing. Parker tries to fit in with the older kids while Kent is content to keep himself busy with baseballs and anything off limits.

Then JP and I brought Kent home with us to surprise Mimi. Mimi wasn't going to be home until later so we fed Kent until....well he kept feeding himself. He opened up our fridge and pointed to the foods he desired. Then he sat and watched football with Uncle J after his bath. The way he laid on JP melted my heart and made me so glad we are home from college and are able to enjoy this growing up process with the boys!

September 19, 2008

Yum....

I love fall. As I was driving I rolled down my windows. Its the season where no air conditioning is necessary, nor a blast of heat. Strolling down the sidewalk in jeans and a long sleeved shirt is enough and the smell....no not simply of bonfires, but of fall itself....is divine! Before you know it, pumpkin pie sneaks its way onto the grocery store shelves and leftover apple pie into your refrigerator. The crunching of leaves creating a beat as you walk and watching football with fellow Bears' fans (no matter the score) are ideal pastimes for the time of year. I love fall!

We underestimate this time of year. In the beautiful summer we complain of heat, in the picture-perfect winter we have ice-melting chores to tend to...but in the fall (and spring alike), the best of both worlds collides for a perfect time of year!!!

Why do you like fall?

September 17, 2008

Big & Bad

There is someone in my life, so close and so special...irreplaceable I guess you could say...that truly needs to know what gives us "joy" in life and what we "live" for. It seems that the concept of family, togetherness and what blessings exist, cannot break the stronghold rooted deep in the soil around them.

May Christ abide in and comfort the situation and the soul.

September 16, 2008

Sour or Sweet Tastes?

Thinking back on how the actual events and overall look of the wedding turned out, I began to reflect on what my original dreams were throughout the years...for the Special Day. Since I was little my taste obviously changed. I went from wanting an asian theme to pearls (the most nostalgic wedding icon), and from bright green dresses to a neutral shade of tan. It is funny to look back at past tastes. We say things like, "I can't believe I wore that." To this day I run across outfits or pictures and say to JP, "How did you fall in love with me wearing this?" I have gone from a prep who wore sweaters and bows to the middle school athlete to the some-what trendy educator (considering I refuse to wear the Apple Sweaters with the 3-D trees). I look back at pictures and can't believe I thought certain choices were deemed "cool," even if only to myself.
I look back at those captured Kodak moments of my childhood and adolescent years to the present day pictures of my wedding and laugh at what I was and grin at what I have become. Thanks be to God for friends and family who remain honest about

"the good,


the bad,


and the ugly

ensembles that may creep out of my wardrobe; and a sigh of gratitude to fashion, that we aren't doomed to remain the "faux paux" of "what not to wear" in society.



What were your fashion no-nos that you so vividly recall?

September 14, 2008

Happily Ever After






I am thoroughly enjoying married life with my husband. Simple tasks like grocery shopping are so much more exciting. I began to feel sick today and while he was out getting gas, he stopped due to being sidetracked. He returned with my favorite "Italian Wedding Soup", brand new comfy sweatpants to keep me warm and fuzzy socks to keep me from getting sick. I fret over the status of my slowly dying car and our future living arrangements and our financial status due to the jobs we both hold, but he quickly remedies my worries by taking my hands, joining in prayer, and quickly acting on "what to do." We know that God has blessed us to this point. Providing opportunities and answers, a home and help, and know he will constantly be our "home" and help for the rest of our Happily Ever After...





September 11, 2008

Another Year Together

Today marks the 32nd year that my devoted parents have been married. I can't describe the love my parents share for others, Christ, their family, and one another. Although we have recently moved into a new house, they have quickly filled it with all the ingredients necessary to make one feel welcome and doused it with prayers and fun. The importance they place on relationships in one's life have created in me the same value for friends and family. No wonder our home was always known as the 'party house' (not in the sense that one immediately thinks of).

My mother didn't necessarily fill the home with baked apple pies and home-sewn clothes, but the perfected and strategic seasoning she put into a meatloaf, the details she put into any of our school projects or daily activities, and the support she put behind every "i love you" and embrace, made me value what motherhood will be, what a wife is to her husband, and what a family is compiled of.



My father, a hard working Superman, never had a million dollars to purchase Coach purses for his girls, free air miles to send his family overseas with, or culinary skills, but his constant perseverance, Sunday omelettes, grilled bratwursts, memorable family vacation "packages" and constantly heard reminder to "make Jesus the center," have put together the ideal and concrete recipe for "Dad."








Together their faithfulness to one another, support for one another, and unconditional love for one another, combined with making Christ the center of their home and hearts, has served as the example of key components to a successful marriage that I have begun to remind myself to exemplify as JP and I begin our future together.


I hope that you enjoy your anniversary and celebrate the wonderful family that you have given so much to. We love you so much!


August 26, 2008

Hopping on the bandwagon

It seems that my sisters have made interesting blog topics of the day, "FEARS and PET PEEVES." I naturally decided to hop on the hot topic. HMMM....my fears. Seeing as I'm a worry wart, this list could get lengthy. So i'll list some abnormal fears and constant fears I have.

-I fear people missing limbs ( not necessarily the people, but the thought of where the limbs go when they are removed)

- I fear sleeping through my alarm and being late for school

- I fear the stove malfunctioning and the house blowing up

- I fear a power outage while I'm in the shower

-I fear the dark

-I fear choking while trying to swallow a pill

-I fear having to dry swallow a pill

-I fear needles...

-I fear failure

-I fear losing the love of my life or one of my family members

-I fear forgetting to put on a bra (been there, done that....unfortunately)


PET PEEVES:
- Slow drivers
-Drivers on my tail when I'm already going 7 over the speed limit
-People who walk slow in malls, sidewalks, or airports...step aside!
-People who seem to take days to complete a simple task
-People who don't stop talking
-People who don't stop talking and have nothing good to say
-The toilet seat left up (a recent discovery in my list)
- Asking questions that no one responds to
-Those who can't multi-task
-When grocers rush you through their line
-When customers behind you rush you to gather your purchases
-Feeling good about a workout and then seeing a model jump on the treadmill next to me
-When someone brings in my favorite dessert on a DIET DAY gone good so far


August 23, 2008

Stick or Stuck?

After reading this entry, you'll probably conclude that the title has no bearings or relevance to the topic of choice. I just thought it sounded cute. And isn't that what a title should often be?.......like a topic sentence?............something to grab the reader's attention.......?
Well I've got your attention now I hope. I do however, hope that you don't end this reading with disappointment as to its depth.

Basically I'm writing in reflection of a conversation........heated debate rather, that my husband and I had today. We were finishing up last minute touches on my classroom decor. Many objects refused to keep their place on the walls, due to the lack of adhesive material found on the only legal piece of adhesion on the classroom walls: sticky tack. While I fumbled with finding a permanent solution to the problem, JP decided that "DUCK TAPE" would solve my problem........for a while at least. He said it would only have to be replaced at the most twice throughout the year. With all that's on a teacher's plate and within her schedule, this supposed "quick fix" did not sound like the answer to my predicament. My magna cum laude problem solving skills immediately brought me to the answer: Super Glue.

In aisle 4 of Jewel, while buying super glue, our discussion sparked a debate. I realized that it was more than the type of adhesion that made these two opinions so different.....it was our sex (i mean male/female). I polled some friends on which they would choose to fix such a problem: super glue or duct tape? It was all females who chose super glue and all males who chose duct tape. Although this wasn't a perfect experiment with all the alignments, the outcome made me think (which I like to overdo on most occasions).

Men, who are often afraid of permanency (not just relationships necessarily) and always need something to fix, use duct tape to patch up the hole. They want something to do, to keep busy with, to grab their attention, to create adventure. Women, who oftenwant to bandage and heal the boo-boo, fix it and move on to the next line of jobs needing multi-tasking, as well as avoid future problems, disorganization, or road blocks, use the tightest bond to avoid leaks and future changes needing to be made. I could write a book, and can't believe I wrote and entire blog on super glue and duct tape..........................


So, although I am no psychologist, and understand this experiment concludes with generalizations and sly assumptions, am curious.........

Super Glue or Duct Tape?

August 19, 2008

Not Much

I don't have much to say...
Not much to say at all...
So I'll end this with a simple "hello..."
And "I'll see ya later ya'll."


My sisters and I love to create nonsense rhymes and raps. Just a tribute to my silly siblings.


And a shout out to my Bridgie. A devout reader of my random bloggings. I know you are reading this. I love you!

August 17, 2008

Que Sera, Sera

JP and I are adjusting to married life. We are learning how to share one sink (which was a change from the two we were spoiled with on our honeymooon), one toilet, one bed, and budget. All more adjustments for me than him. I can't help that I like to sprawl across the bed, unfortunately grind my teeth, and am not an accountant. We are having so much fun together. It's like a slumber party every night! We have a routine going. I'm usually done making dinner when he gets home. We eat together, and then he helps do the dishes so I can go shower or relax. It's nice to know he'll share the load. No matter how long it may actually last.......it's nice.

Today we went with my parents to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. INTERESTING. There were elephant rides, court jesters, jousts, swordsmen, jugglers, massive chicken drumsticks, and more. What I found the most interesting were the people who were not part of the faire, but blended right in with its paid employees. I'm talking about those who came dressed in their pirate gear, girls who believed a gypsy can wear half a shirt no matter their size, men in TIGHT TIGHTS, and families who dragged their unconsenting children to the faire in medieval garb. I found these people more of attractions than some of those at the faire. The sad thing is that many of these people live for this fair. Although there were a minority at the festivities, they seemed to live within the fairytales as if it were their Christmas. All in all.............worth the trip.

In lieu of the Olympics and the activities surrounding the swimming finals, I stumbled across this video with some friends. Although much of it, including the commentators is a spoof, it is hysterical!!



August 5, 2008

Today is his birthday.....


We ate amazing food out, every night!


On the beach



All dressed up for a night out...isn't he so handsome



We swam with dolphins!



Our view from the balcony


The luxurious pool



At the pool


Happy Birthday, baby!


After a honeymoon it what seemed like paradise, my husband and I are easing back into reality. God blessed us through the wedding process, provided a fairytale tale wedding day and was with us and showed us the beauty of Mexico on our honeymoon. We were moved to the adults only hotel at the resort, and enjoyed every peaceful and beautiful moment of it.


Today is JP's birthday. I found myself pa rousing through the birthday cards at Hallmark only to realize I was not in the right section...I had to search through the "husband" cards for the first time. I got so excited and searched until I found the absolute perfect one! We got engaged a year ago today and now are loving married life and are blessed with a special love. I am so glad to have this wonderful and genuine man in my life. He is one special guy. I love him with all my heart, and will love him still on his 50th birthday, hair or no hair. I got up and made him waffles and a bowl of Lucky Charms (it's sad that it is so special to him- due to our lack of oven at the moment) for his birthday and last night I went and got him Chipotle, his favorite meal to take for lunch. He has been leaving me notes every morning near my keys. I love it...no matter how long it lasts. Happy 23rd Birthday to an "old" man.

August 1, 2008

I'm a married woman!!!!


Ha ha....this is all Parker did. he wouldn't leave the dance floor!


Our beautiful, and yummy cake! (I didn't get more than a bite though)


Sealing the deal!


YAY! FINALLY!


Our gorgeous invitations!


My breathtaking bridesmaids (I know my sisters will comment on that one)


The amazing decor at the hall


I DO....


First dance with my husband


Some of my girlfriends...they are amazing


Doing what I love to...dance party!



Tell me you love me.........

My husband (that still so wierd!) and I just got back from our honeymoon. Without spending too much time at the present moment to reflect on the week's events all I can say is wow! The wedding day was a flawless blur. What I mean by this is it was absolutely perfect, beautiful...a dream...and yet seems like no more than a snapshot in the timeline. It flew by! I'll post more about it soon. The honeymoon was paradise! Although I aquired a bit of a stomach problem that locked JP and I up in our room for a day, it was still bliss. It quickly gave me a glimpse of what this man will be like in our future together. Because of the fever I couldn't do a thing. He had to undress me (which, I'm sure he enjoyed), and drew up a bubble bath for me, ordered toast from room service, found my favorite shows on tv (Friends), and gave me a relaxing foot rub. He brought me to the Dr. and shelled out $120 for a simple check up at 6 am and then ran to the pharmacy and walked back, just to bring his wife some relief. He is my superman and he never complained once. I can't wait to spend my life and time with him...which I should be doing now. Here are a few pictures. Be sure there are more to come!