Saturday, February 27, 2010

Seasons come and seasons go

It is absolutely gorgeous outside. Sunny and 62. As much as I complain about Texas, I certainly have nothing to whine about here. Thank you God for this day. It is stunning.

Today Matt and I have utterly relaxed. We slept in, enjoyed a full pot of coffee, just talked for about an hour, and did our Bible/God time. Matt did have to work on a paper some, and I got to go for a run while he did (soooo energizing, just what I needed!). Now it's shower and find-something-to-do-in-this-town time. See ya later!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More than double

Wichita Falls has encountered more snow this winter than in the previous three winters combined. In the first three years we lived here, it snowed twice. And when I say snowed I mean 1/2 an inch or so. Each time resulted in a snow day or two because it would get packed down and ice over. This year, however, it has snowed FIVE times! I'm amazed! The number of snowfalls this year is more than double the last three years. And if you know me, you know it's a big deal when something's double. (I remember friends in high school making fun of me during a basketball game. When our team's score was double our opponent's -or vice versa- I was convinced would win. In fact, I wasn't really confident we would win unless the score was double.

1. It snowed at least 6 inches Christmas Eve.
2. It snowed again when Mike and Cindy came in January.
3. It snowed for the third time last week or the week before, which is I think when these pictures are from. About 6-8 inches came that time.
4. It snowed a tiny bit on Valentine's Day, which was the craziest looking snow I've seen...tiny fluffy flakes zipping around through brutal this-way-and-that winds.
5. And it snowed again yesterday!

The view from our window. That's the cavalier down there.

I came outside to the parking lot a day or two after snow number three and saw this cascade from the drain pipe. I decided immediately that this waterfall must have been the true original Wichita Falls.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Always scheming

I'm always scheming up new ways to make my classroom work better. I thought the last time I rearranged was as good as it could get, but I was wrong. The whole reason I rearranged this time, however, was because of an ceiling-mounted LCD projector we are hoping to get in the room. You can see a pull-down screen in the above picture with electrical work near it going up to the ceiling. These items were (formerly) right above my desk and blocked by a filing cabinet. I didn't see how we were going to view anything on a screen blocked by a filing cabinet and maintenance wouldn't move the equipment, so off I went to rearrange. The new, improved layout has received many compliments and I'm quite pleased with the results.

Thanks to Mike and Cindy, I also have some new toys and supplies for my classroom, which the children are loving. Thanks for the gifts Mike and Cindy!

I'm amazed at how much is needed and can fit into an early childhood classroom. This small-ish classroom boasts four student tables, one teacher table, one aide desk, 16 learning centers, a large meeting area, 20 student mailboxes, nine tall student cubbies, two bathrooms, one sink, oodles of "creative" storage, and about a bazillion random but essential other things. Oh, and don't forget 19 five- and six-year-olds!

They thought they were escaping winter weather

Mike and Cindy came to visit us last weekend "on their way" to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Visiting us is actually way out of their way, but they love us so much they came anyways:). The bad news is they had to trek across a frozen iceland previously known as Oklahoma. The good news is we ended up getting a "snow" day (a bit of ice and 1/4 of snow, but you won't see us complaining) out of it, which meant there was more time to hang out. Their timing was better than they knew!

We didn't get to visit the Wichita Mountains as planned because they were covered in ice (hopefully next time, Mike and Cindy), so we stayed inside eating good food and playing Rummikub instead.

Thanks for coming! We had a great time!

Too much fun!

If it so happens that you need some therapeutic relief, may I be so bold as to suggest squeezing whole peeled tomatoes with your bare hands?

A recipe I tried last summer called for whole peeled tomatoes, which you were to squeeze with your bare hands to crush them into pizza sauce. At that moment, tomato squeezing became my favorite past time! In fact, maybe I'll list it as a hobby next time I have to fill out some sort of personal questionnaire.

Tomato squeezing is not for the faint of heart. It is messy. My sweater may never be the same. Tomato juices burned to the glass stove top. Nonetheless, it is pure joy to anticipate the slippery, juicy tomato guts squirting all over your kitchen. Some of the tomato even makes it into the pot and is just as delicious as it is fun!
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