30 April 2015

Big Dreams Accomplished!

Blogging friends, my apologies for the continued lack of posts! We have been out of town visiting our daughter who is just finishing up her student teaching assignment. Last week we had the opportunity to attend two performances in which she conducted one of the bands she has been working with over the course of the semester.

As I sat in the auditorium waiting for the concert to start, it struck me that we were about to see the culmination of five years of preparation -- with goals that were formed long before that. I thought back to our daughter's 5th grade year when she started elementary band. From that point on, she wanted to be a band director. She never wavered from that goal, and now it is becoming a reality!

From the minute she took the podium, I could hardly believe my eyes -- or ears! She looked so comfortable and poised that one never would have guessed this was her first concert. I know how hard she has worked to bring out the best in her students, and it showed!
 We're coming to the end of Bailey's college years, and I'm a bundle of emotions about this transition. It's a big change to see her conducting a group rather than performing in one. But this next phase in her life promises to be every bit as fun and exciting as the previous stages, and we're looking forward to watching her grow and develop into an outstanding band director. I truly believe she has found her calling, and I can't wait to watch her future unfold!

24 April 2015

Feline Friday: Where's Tinsel?

Earlier this week, I came upon this back-end display: Tinsel's attempt at hiding in the lap robe my grandma made (which she now calls her own).

Oh, look! There's Tinsel! What a surprise! :)

Okay, Tinsel...your secret hiding place is safe with me!

22 April 2015

Recipe: Nifty Thrifty Cookies

I reorganized my recipes awhile back and because of this, I'm still discovering recipes I'd forgotten. A case in point is this recipe for Nifty Thrifty Cookies, given to me by my beloved first grade teacher at my bridal shower many moons ago. Everyone who came to the shower brought a recipe and, of course, I still have them all. I remember that Mrs. Teter also gave me two cereal-sized bowls which she said were only to be used for vegetables. I use them often. For cereal. :)

Mrs. Teter was one of those teachers who was always old. She was old when I had her for a first grade teacher, yet she still taught for several years after that. She was an old-fashioned teacher with lots of rules, but she was warm and caring and remains one of my all-time favorites.

Anyway, I was recently looking for a cookie recipe and took a minute to actually read this one. I guess I'd never made it past the title! Turns out that this is a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, one of my very favorites! I can't quite figure out why they're called Nifty Thrifty Cookies. The ingredients don't seem especially thrifty to me, but I'm probably a poor judge of such things as I have one of the world's most poorly equipped pantries!

So back to the recipe. I love seeing Mrs. Teter's handwriting, (although I'm a bit concerned that she wrote "cooky" sheet. LOL) Her perfect penmanship takes me back to those days when our classroom was encircled by cursive writing borders. I tried my best to make my letters look just like the samples!

For the record, here is my first grade class, with Mrs. Teter in the top row at the left. I'm in the second row, second from the left. I've recently re-connected with several of the kids from my Kindergarten class, and we've had a great time reminiscing. Of course, I had to share this cookie recipe with them.

The cookies are nice and chewy, perfect with a cup of coffee. Or for breakfast. Or for a late night snack. And I can only imagine how good they would be with walnuts or pecans. Oh, my!
Mrs. Teter has been gone for several years now, but making her cookie recipe (albeit a few years late) was a nice journey down memory lane!

17 April 2015

Feline Friday

That belly! That soft, floofy belly!
There are no more words needed for this extreme cuteness! :)

16 April 2015

Challenge: Print Your Pictures!

Whoa! Where has the week gone? I realize I posted almost every day last week then disappeared into a black hole. Sorry about that! Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.

For today's post, I'm going to direct you to a post I wrote for Memory Bound, the store where I teach. This post is all about the importance of printing your photos, something I've done a particularly poor job of doing for the past few years.

I've written lots about organizing photos that are already printed but this post covers that very important FIRST step in the process: PRINTING.

Take a look at the post here. I'm hoping you'll join me in this photo-printing CHALLENGE!

10 April 2015

Feline Friday: Basket Obsession

I've posted before about Lily's ongoing obsession with our napkin basket. At least once a week she furiously digs out all the napkins so she can sit in it. It has become one of her quests in life.

It will be just like the old days!

When she was a little smaller. 

Make that much, MUCH smaller!

 Yeah...it will be just like the old days! 
Keep thinking those positive thoughts, Lily! We all have a few things that used to fit a little better! :)

08 April 2015

Fitness: The Slowest 5K Ever

It's been a long time since I've posted anything about my trips to the Dreaded Fitness Place. Yep, I'm still going. And yep, I'm still working on the eight-week Couch to 5K program. But it is taking me ever so long to make it through those eight weeks. 

I've done the whole C25K thing before but, for a variety of reasons, did not maintain that level of running. This time I decided to spend several days on each DAY of the program so that I truly build up my fitness level before moving on. After all, there is no rush. I'm not preparing for an actual race. My only competition is myself...and trust me, that's a good thing!

So this month I'm finally back up to Week 7, which is jogging 2.5 miles in 25 minutes without stopping. I can do this level pretty comfortably now and only have to stop if I've had too much water before arriving at the gym! LOL I only need to add 5 more minutes of running to be at the 3 mile (5K level). I'll be there in a couple of weeks!

Remember, I'm not at all athletic, so here are a few things that have kept me going:

* Invest in good running shoes. You can't run with just any old tennis shoes. I tried it. Good shoes completely eliminated my ankle and knee pain.

* Have a positive mindset. I've found that my emotional state affects my ability to run more than almost anything else. If I tell myself that today is the day I'm going to meet that goal, then I almost always get it done.

* Drink 3-4 full bottles of water over the hours before going to the gym. This is the ONLY thing that keeps me from getting a side cramp while running. I have no idea why drinking water prevents cramps but it does. I've tried everything else and this is the only way to go for me. 

* Watch crafting videos while running. :) Jennifer McGuire doesn't know it, but she is now my personal trainer!

When I finally make it to the 5K level, I hope to be able to sustain it and move on to longer programs. We'll see how that goes!

03 April 2015

Feline Friday: Breaking Mews!

Lily was on TV this week!

Scroll down for details!

Keep scrolling!

Keep on scrolling!

Did we get you? :) 
April Fools, a few days late!

02 April 2015

Organization: 8x8 Paper Pads

 As I've been going through my craft space trying to clear out and re-organize a few things, I've been pondering what to do with my 8x8 paper pads. I use plastic magazine-type holders for my 12x12 and 6x6 papers, but it seems that manufacturers no longer make the holders to fit 8x8 papers. That's a real puzzle to me, given the popularity of 8x8 papers these days (and other sizes, for that matter).

So I concluded I would have to figure something out on my own. As it turns out, I already had something in my craft room that worked perfectly. This Target basket measures 8x12, and the bottom inside of the basket (between the little side ledges) is just a tiny bit wider than the 8x8 paper pads, so it keeps them from sliding side to side. Awesome!

This was a super quick and easy project, once I found the container! First, I gathered up my pads and pulled the papers apart so they'll be easier to grab when I need them. I decided to keep the papers in order by line because they are designed to coordinate with each other. 

Next, I cut 8x8.5 "dividers" from kraft cardstock and made a label for the top of each one. Because this basket will be visible in my craft space, I fancied up the front divider with some coordinating paper.

This is a little thing, but it makes me happy that I can finally find my 8x8 paper when I need it. The pads are no longer buried in piles of STUFF!

 Of course, I had to add a cute label to the bin. I know it wasn't necessary, but I couldn't help myself. :)

The only problem is that I don't have enough paper pads to fill the basket. So I had to prop up my papers inside the basket with a small box in the back. 

(Yes, this is a problem that could easily be remedied by a little shopping! hehehe)