Hollywood Tape!

Gals, here is what I have learned: we all NEED this stuff:

While my cleavage for the big event looked nothing like this lady's, I did hunt down and employ some Hollywood tape to avoid too much "gappage" up top. And, looking around, there were plenty of women who could have stood to hear all about Hollywood tape for various and sundry other reasons, as well. The best use for me was MY SHOES!! I had some really fancy-schmancy strappy shoes that were so cute and strappy that at any given moment one strap or all would just fall off of my foot causing me to walk right out of my shoe. So I stuck some tape to my foot and kept my shoes on all night!

I was afraid, of course, that after I peeled my dress and my shoes off of myself and tried to get the tape off, I would be left with some terribly attractive sticky residue that would collect lint for the next week -- not at all! Hollywood tape is the way to go!

If my job required me to be involved in other people's events and/or weddings at all, I would keep a package of this stuff in my purse at all times and completely be the hero to save the day. I'm just sayin'.

For those that have wondered: the deal was great and one of the most fun one of those Troy and I have gone to in the 5 years we've been doing this. I probably didn't see your mother/uncle/ cousin/ friend from church -- there were so many stinkin' people there I saw very few people there that I know were there! I was competely over-dressed for the occasion -- black-tie optional evidently means the men need to be miserable, but the ladies can wear their work pants with a cute top -- but I don't care, it was so fun. Amy Grant was incredibly gracious as an entertainer and shared the stage with 4 year old Rivers who absolutely stole the show. Troy and I got to sit at a table with some people our age and younger -- and that NEVER happens. All in all, it was great!

More later on the rest of the trip and coming soon: the evils of the "faux pillow-top mattress" in hotels! Deliver me!


Don't you wish ...?

Don't you wish you knew what she was thinking in his arms? Don't you wish you knew what he was whispering?

I'll never tell ...

Check out more fabulous pics that Tammy took here.

We're off for a few days -- since I will be with Troy and my parents will be with my children and my house, I don't mind telling the world wide web that my husband and I are going to a fancy-schmancy event AND having about 60 whole hours to ourselves (well, minus about 7 or 8 hours that prepping for the event and being at the event will include). You know we've been married a while when the first thing I pack is my flannel pajamas and house shoes -- I know I will FREEZE all night in this dress and will want to be warm and comfy AND be able to breathe upon my return to the hotel room!

Happy weekend to all!


Works For Me Wednesday

I have mentioned that I don't generally participate in Works For Me Wednesday, but lately I have realized that I do have precious few tricks up my sleeve to make life a little easier.

Little known fact about me: I was in ballet for YEARS. Recently on Gilmore Girls, Mrs. Patty was explaining how cut-throat ballerinas can be, "They're walking around on bloody ingrown toenails and they haven't eaten in four years." I ate just fine, thankyouverymuch, but I did suffer through horrible ingrown toenails once I started on toe shoes. I had forgotten the painless trick I learned to prevent it until recently when Riley had an ingrown toenail: Simply cut a notch, or 'v', in the middle of the problem toenail. As the toenail grows, it will pull out of the sides of the toe and grow to close up the 'v'. Obviously, if the toenail is already infected, other actions need to be taken.

Okay, I know this is a fairly gross first-time-out "Works for Me" and it may not even work for you -- but it did Work For Me!

Check in at Rocks In My Dryer for other "Works for Me Wednesday" posts.


Never Satisfied

I remember through pregnancy and with newborns, I just wanted my body back -- I wanted to eat what I wanted and have it not upset my stomach or anyone else's, I wanted to not have a small person attached to me internally OR externally, I wanted one decent night's sleep. I thought that's all I wanted.

As they got older, I still wanted my body back even though it wasn't quite so involved. I wanted to not be anyone's snotty tissue or napkin for food (which was always purely accidental -- they still don't use napkins, but at least prefer to wipe on their own clothes as opposed to mine). I wanted to walk through one store without being clammy-handed from trying to keep breakage to a minimum. When I wasn't clammy-handed, I had my arms full of toddler. I wanted to sit somewhere without being crawled over, crawled on, leaned on, sat on, or slept on. I thought that's all I wanted.

I'm sure there has been a middle ground, but now? I just want my STUFF back. I want the sweatshirt I let one child wear last week that is now lost in the bowels of elementary school. I want my carpet free of smooshed up hard, red candy. Just once I would like for the paper to be on the table in it's entirity, not missing the section with the comics (although I still really like that someone other than me will go out in any weather to get the paper!) I have a ridiculous expectation that when I buy a child a pair of shoes for church that for at least two weeks in a row, both of them will be able to be located. I would like a guest bathroom that doesn't have a floating, expandable brain floating in one of the sinks. For now, I think that's all I want -- my stuff back.

I'm sure in a few short years I will still want my stuff back, but it will be bigger stuff -- my car, my furniture that is slowly disappearing into a college apartment, my life-savings that is slowly disappearing into college tuition.

Then, I will want my heart back. Because eventually they will pack that up and move out with it, as well. And I will be left with my own body and all of my stuff (much worse for the wear, but it will be here). And I will want my heart back.


Sliced Bread does NOT even compare!!!

Seriously, you wouldn't believe what an issue the whole pencil thing is in 2nd grade. I love to tell my class that 2nd grade is the year to make mistakes and learn from them and that's why we have erasers, but the pencils! Neither Kendra nor I can stand the incessant "whirr/grind" of our electric pencil sharpener (especially since the kids just stand there and watch their pencil spin in circles and nothing gets sharpened) so we have a time to sharpen (8:00-8:15 or 3:00-3:15) and we have a "sharpened pencil bucket" for the kids to trade out pencils when theirs is broken. The perfect solution, right? Except out of 22 kids, at least 5 have a pencil obsession and spend what seems like HOURS standing at the "sharpened bucket" surveying each pencil point and rating it for sharpness and effectiveness. Then, the "sharpened bucket" becomes the 2nd grade equivalent of the office water cooler. Lots of deals and play dates have been made and broken at the sharpened bucket, I feel certain. And, of course, in every spelling test at least 5 pencil leads get broken necessitating a trade. It is just an ORDEAL and it really shouldn't be. It's a pencil, for crying out loud.

Yesterday, I was introduced to these:

Can you hear it?

"The Hallelujah Chorus" while the spotlight from the heavens shines on these "Never Need to be Sharpened Pencils"? I saw these back in August, but thought, "For almost $1/pencil, I don't mind walking to the sharpener!!" Oh, my sad little naive self!! Now I know, now I know the GLORY of the never-need-to-be-sharpened pencils!!! I, also, thought it was another mechanical pencil -- the click, click, SNAP(new, too long lead breaking) of a mechanical pencil.

No, these babies are LIQUID GRAPHITE!! Are you with me? They are ball-point pens with graphite as the ink. My first question is: Why didn't someone (like a 2nd grade teacher) think of this sooner???? (and, yes, to my standardized-test-grade-level teacher friends they are Number 2 lead!!!) I have now bought almost a class set (it IS the end of the month, you know) and every child in room 24 will have one (until they lose it or their neighbor steals it) and it will be a beautiful day. I shall flit about like Snow White while the butterflies arrange the sash of my dress as the children ever-so-dilligently work with their liquid graphite pencils while the birdies sing on the window sill. I can't wait.


Long Overdue

I am a fairly political person, but greatly avoid the topic here. I'm okay with our differences, but I'm not sure YOU'RE okay with our differences. And, I'm a pathetic person who really wants you to like me, so I avoid treading on controversial ground.

But there's one deal that evidently WILL NOT DIE that I have to address.

Does Freedom of Speech -- guaranteed by our constitution -- mean that I am free from the CONSEQUENCES of my speech?

Let's create a hypothetical situation: I, as a public school teacher in West Texas, publicly (in an editorial to the paper, let's say) make disparaging remarks about the entire race of Hispanics. Because of that, several things could happen:
  • LULAC would probably take some sort of legal action.
  • The parents of Hispanic children in my classroom would revolt and see to it that I lost my job.
  • Less "proper" things than legal proceedings may take place: threats of violence to me or my family, people in town that don't want me in their business, etc.
Has my freedom of speech been violated? NO.
Have I suffered the consequences of my speech? Absolutely -- and rightfully so.

Now let's imagine that I'm a more public figure, and depend on the sales of things I make for my livelihood. As such a figure, I make comments during a time of war about how embarrassed I am to be from the same place as the president while I'm on foreign soil. Several things might happen:
  • Groups of people refuse to buy the things I make.
  • Other groups of people refuse to showcase the things I make.
  • Some less "proper" shows of boycott take place, such as threats of violence.
Has my freedom of speech been violated? NO.
Have I suffered the consequences of my speech? Absolutely.

Freedom of speech means that the government cannot censor what you say or punish you for your speech. It doesn't mean that your speech won't have any consequences. That is the absolute beauty of our free market system. My dollars get to tell you if I like your product or not. And, if you choose to put yourself out there and attach your politics, morals, or kids' pictures to your product, I get to tell you if I like THOSE, as well. If I decide not to give you my dollars because I don't like something you've said, that isn't violating your free speech -- it's our market system at work! And it is glorious.

And, if the consequences of my speech cause me to lose much income -- as in losing my job -- if I'm REALLY smart, I will make a documentary whining about how my free speech was violated by people not buying my things so as to recoup that money. And all of the people who have bemoaned my injustice can go see it and support me!

Thank you for this little venue to get that off my chest. Feel free to disagree with me. And, if you choose to stop liking me for my political post, well, I guess I have suffered the consequences of my speech!


On My Mind

A week or two ago on my way to work I was quite heavy-hearted. I wasn't really dreading going to work, but it was that heavy feeling knowing that those 3 minutes were the last moments of silence, solitude, and introspection for the next 8-10 hours (reminder to self: If silence, solitude, and introspection are things you cherish, you may want to reconsider the whole teacher and/or motherhood thing.)

So I began praying for the Lord to change my heart and as I began, I said, "I know you led me to this job and it is what You would have me be doing right now." I really got stuck on that and almost had to stop the car so that I could fall to my knees in worship.

God, the Lord of creation, the Holy of Holies, the Savior of my soul, the God Who Sees Me, (and on and on) has something for me to do. That thought alone is almost unbearably overwhelming to me.

He hand-picked a task for me that Thursday -- that very mundane, nothing Thursday He wanted me to hug the most trying of the children, be firm with those that need it and be the embodiment of His Spirit by showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in room 24.

I thought of Him handing me this task and saying, "Sarah, here's what I have for you today." Who am I to grumble and complain about a task the Lord has handed me? I have tried to have that same mindset carry over to my home -- for that is the foremost task the Lord would have me do. And, yes, the awful and mundane are all part of that task that the Lord has for me.

I would love to tell you that my new attitude/ mindset made that day go extremely smoothly. There really is no such thing in room 24. There were tears, tummy aches, hurt feelings and frustrations -- for me as well as the students. But at my most frustrated, I could say to myself, "This is what the Lord would have you do today. Are you up to it?" Well, how can I NOT be?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23


Which Sports Car Are You?

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.


Or Just Maybe ...

Maybe there's a blog-vacuum of thought out there. I HATE being on a bandwagon of any sort, but I do take comfort that I'm not alone in this loss of bloggity material.

Check out Shannon.

Check out Supermom.

What happened to Elizabeth?

I vividly remember Vann saying, "Blogging is SO 2005!" Is the age of blogging over? Have we finally all said all we possibly have to say? Not that having nothing to say has ever kept me from saying anything.


Because I have Nothing Else to Do ...

Okay, I have plenty else I could be doing (laundry, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, planning) but nothing that I HAVE to do so here I sit. It's been a while, I know. Thing is, I'm out. Out of great blog material.

I KNOW!! I have 2 perfectly healthy, hilarious children AND teach 22 2nd graders full of stories themselves. But I've got nothing.

You know all there is to know about me, and then some, I'm sure.

If I were to tell you what is happening in my life, well, be sure to set an alarm somewhere in your house. It's not too captivating, I assure you.

Highlights for those of you that read this for family news:
  • ACU Homecoming is this weekend. Reunion year (15) for Troy and me. So we'll do carnival and chemistry circus (explosions! yay!) tonight, Riley will run the McMurry 5k tomorrow before the ACU parade, then homecoming chapel, then lunch, then football game. I may go to a wedding while the fam does football -- ACU is 5-0 so far!! Then the reunion dinner. We're gloriously un-obligated this weekend, so not spread as thin as usual.
  • In two weeks Troy and I have a "Black Tie" Dinner to go to. Je-hosaphat -- I FINALLY found a dress, but this is a very time-consuming affair to get so gussied. I am going to have Tammy take our pictures with me in my dress (I thought Troy would have his tux --he won't-- but we'll work around it). I'll tell you the story behind the dress when I can post a pic.
  • Kids especially trying right now (my own, not my class -- although they have their moments, as well!) I will try to continue to be their best advocate even as I post about how crazy they are driving me, so no specifics, but we are definitely in a phase of testing and trying independence and how much one can get away with.
One last funny story before I close my Blog of Nothing:

Earlier this week Riley was trying to read the menu I had written on our calendar for the week. Between the cursive and my messy handwriting, he turned "Crock Beef" into "Crock Barf". It was supposed to be a recipe I was going to try (I try to make every Thursday Crock-Pot night because I am so worn out by Thursday night) called Crock Beef and Pepper Stew. We joked about it all week, "Mark your calendars!! Crock Barf on Thursday!" "Don't eat a big lunch! Crock Barf is tonight!" Well, guess what -- it looked AWFUL. The recipe (for STEW, mind you) only called for 1/2 cup of liquid which was long gone after all day in the crock pot, so it was burned and dry. So, it was Little Caesar's $5 pizza for us and Crock Barf for Duchess, who thoroughly enjoyed it. We decided everyone wins with Crock Barf.


Today's Trivia

So last week in 2nd grade we were looking at our Weekly Readers and talking about the kids being out of school today (Monday, 10/9) for Columbus Day. At this point, I have no idea what Columbus Day actually commemorates. Anyone? Anyone? I didn't know if it was Columbus' birthday (like President's Day and MLK day) or when he first landed here, and somewhere in the fuzziness of my brain, I thought it may be when land was first spotted from one of the three ships.

Here is what I have found.

You may resume your usual blogging.


Weekend Reflection

I generally don't participate in much of Bloggityville's day-specific assignments. Menu-Plan Monday is a great idea, but I plan on Tuesdays so that I can shop on Wednesday. Tackle-It Tuesday? Also a great idea, but since Tuesday is a work day for me, all I am able to tackle is getting out the door in the morning and then dinner on the table at night. Wordless Wednesday OR Works-for-Me Wednesday ... we all remember how I did with my own Wordless Wednesday, and not much Works-for-Me, so I don't post. Thursday Thirteen? Again, a work day, and I would probably only find 13 things that irritate me by the time I got to post. And, Flashback Friday -- I'm just trying to make it on THIS Friday, I don't need to re-visit any other Fridays!

But I love what Judi at Mommy of Two is doing for the weekends: Weekend Reflection. And, darn, if I didn't just see this is for SATURDAYS, not Sundays. Okay, so I'm off to a bad start on the whole "Following Directions" thing. But the task is to: look back over the week and really think about what has happened in your lives. Then, list at least three things (more if you like) that were positive in your life that week.

I love that because my Saturdays I usually use for rest and catching up, then Sundays I am already working on the next week. I rarely stop and look back and see what has gone well for the previous week. With no further introduction:

** Troy was here all week. I know that seems like a little thing, but it makes the week so much nicer when he's not traveling. Sometimes it's the little errands -- "Can you pick up sour cream on your way home?" -- but mostly it's just that he's here.

** I have been fairly consistent in my Bible reading!! God really blessed me with His energy and discipline this week and I think I read every day (of course, I'm still behind, but no more behind than I was a week ago!!)

** It was a glorious "typical" week. We could eat dinner together in the evenings, spend time together, and be with each other. Very few evening obligations!

Feel free to play along, and catch others' weekend reflections at Mommy of Two.


Good Question!!

So, as you have noticed by my lack of blogging, my brain is very full of nothingness lately. So full of nothingness, in fact, that the nothingness spills over and turns into nothing being posted on this blog. No apologies, simple fact.

But, Mel at Unretouched Photo invited (crazily enough) her readers to ask her any question about herself they care to.

Um, no, I do not plan to do that here. Actually, you can always ask, but don't hold your breath waiting for much besides "None of your business!!!" But I noticed she got a fascinating question, then I noticed that it was one of my very own faithful readers, Ginger (Ginger used to be faithful when I actually posted thought-provoking posts or even funny posts -- by now I'm sure she has fallen asleep at her keyboard waiting for anything from me -- someone wake her up and tell her she has the imprint of the 'backspace' key on her cheek!)

So Ginger asked Mel: What Bible story disturbs/irks you the most, and why?

Isn't that a fascinating question that would prove great insight into the respondent? Mel's reply was:

Tough question . . . probably the story of Abraham and Isaac. I think I understand the point of the story, but it’s a difficult one for people unfamiliar with theology to comprehend. The story makes God look irrational and cruel, although I believe He is neither.

I chose a different story, but for the same reason: Job.

My "Sarah's paraphrase" of Job 1 and 2:

Job is faithful and loves God with everything he has. One day Satan is wandering the earth (and 1 Peter tells us he does that "looking for souls to devour"). God notices his wandering and says, "Have you considered my servant, Job?"

Let's stop right there. Are you kidding me? Lord, if I am faithful in all my life, please do not reward me by pointing me out to Satan!! Let's keep my faithfulness between You and me, how 'bout?

So Satan says, "Yeah, but he's only faithful because you've given him such a cushy life."

God responds (again, in Sarah's paraphrase), "Bring it on."

Yep, that one disturbs me the most. What about you?

What Bible story disturbs/irks you the most, and why?


Big News

Sadly, my husband and I get very excited over the littlest things. He shared with me something today that I was just about to post here. Then I noticed that his blog has been updated -- with the exact thing I was going to post. Truly, I am almost in tears this makes me so happy. Check it out -- and, for extra irritation, be sure and read his previous post (I said we get excited over the same things -- I didn't say we think alike!)
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