Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Sweetheart

2 months after we started dating. November 2004

I belong with you. You belong with me. You're my sweetheart.
I belong with you. You belong with my. You're my sweet. 

8 years later - September 2012. 

God Bless

Friday, September 28, 2012

Choosing a gray

First off - who knew there were SO many shades of gray (other than 50 shades, which I won't even discuss right now because I wasn't apart of that book club. Don't get me started.).

Sherwin Williams has 137 shades of gray.

Twilight Gray. Repose Gray. Agreeable Gray. Functional Gray. Thunder Gray. Gray Clouds. Tinsmith. Cyberspace. Gris. Light French Gray. Serious Gray. Morning Fog.

Benjamin Moore has 232 shades of gray.

Gray Gardens. Street Chic. Silent Night. Pewter. Sweatshirt Gray. Dior Gray. Sterling Silver. Hearthstone. Timberwolf. Sabre Gray. Sea Haze. Pelican Gray. Sidewalk Gray.


Some shades are considered "cool" and will make the room look very light and...well, cool. They tend to have a light blue tint in them. And in some instances, depending on the light in the room, and they can actually appear to be lavender.

Other shads are considered "warm" and will make the room feel warmer. These shades tend to have more of a beige and taupe hint. Hmm...I wanted to stay away from the beige, but I want that warm feeling.

Grays can be as dark as charcoal or as light as too almost appear white.

And some grays go well with light hardwood floors, but not dark hardwood floors.

Again - seriously!?

All I wanted was to paint my house gray. I wanted a neutral, calm, collective color. Gray. It's versatile. It's timeless. It's elegant (in my opinion at least) Plus, not to mention that it's agreeable with every other color out there so we could update furniture and pillows and throws as needed and not have to worry about changing wall color. Makes complete sense, right?!

Here are some images I found of gray rooms that I like and got me hooked on this color scheme.

SW - Gray Clouds

I don't remember what this one is. Oops. 

Benjamin Moore - Revere Pewter

Benjamin Moore - Willow Creek

So now I have 14 gallons of paint underneath my bed, waiting to be tinted.

Waiting, sweetheart. Just waiting.

The other day I did go to Sherwin Williams and get three small pints of paint colors that I thought I liked. I had picked up the small display cards and thought they looked good. Tinsmith, Gray Clouds, and Monorail Silver.

Well - not so much. Not that they were bad, but not quite what I was imganing. Tinsmith was too close to white. Gray clouds was ok, but again, it was too light. Monorail Silver was the best of the three, but I wasn't crazy about it. It was more silver than gray.

 If you look closely, you can tell the difference between the three. Kinda. These three just weren't "gray enough". You know?!

So back to the drawing board. Fortunately if I find a Benjamin color I like (aka - Willow Creek), Sherwin Williams can actually match it and make it for me. Good to know.

Hopefully we will find just the right color and be happy with it. Not too dark. Not too light. Not silver. Not lavender. Just gray.

One good thing - we should have great before and after pictures! Can't wait to post those! :)

God Bless.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting closer

Today was Paul's first day at Carolina Dental Studio! He was glad to be back working, and said his first day went really well. Thank you for all your prayers. I've already asked him to schedule me an appointment. Anyone else looking for a REALLY good dentist?! :)  I have the name and number of the best in the Upstate!

We're also moving forward with our house. We will hopefully close the second week in October, and can't wait! The house got a new roof due to the inspection report and the sweet family selling the house providing one. And today I bought a bunch, some, A LOT of paint and painting supplies! Evidently you can buy the paint "untinted" (plain paint without any color added) at Sherwin Williams, and then when you know the color you want, they will add the tint free of charge. And since SW was having a 40% off sale, I decided to go ahead and buy the paint. We're planning on painting the living room, the kitchen, and two of the guest bedrooms before actually moving in. I'm still currently trying to figure out what color I want to use. It will be some shade of gray- but there are SO many shades of gray. Who knew!? I want to keep the wall color a neutral gray, and then each room will have an accent color. I'm thinking about a green accent for living room (which will match the wall color of the dining room), and maybe a yellow accent in the kitchen. I have two FABULOUS interior designers (a.k.a my mom and Laurie) helping me and I can't wait to see how it will all come together.

This is it!!
There's a chance we could close on my birthday! How cool would that be?! Talk about a memorable birthday present!

God Bless

Friday, September 14, 2012

Being an assistant

I went to Furman for college. I received my degree in Elementary Education, and my master's degree in Early Childhood Education. I taught 4th grade and 2nd grade for a year each, and then K4 for 2 years. I loved teaching even though it was tough job. It's a job that you take home with you - literally! And those three months during the summer that the general public thinks teachers have "off" - not so much. I still worked most summers setting up classrooms, collecting and making materials, and writing unit and lesson plans. And now that Pinterest has set the education creativity standard extremely high - there's no telling how much time will be spent finding, preparing, and implementing new activities, designs, and classroom organization strategies.

However, education has certainly changed since I was in elementary school - ask any veteran teacher. The amount of planning, preparing, testing, paperwork, "paper trails", curriculum standards, behavior management plans, meetings, and even teacher homework, has sky rocketed. Don't misunderstand - these new standards are for the benefit of the students for sure - it just means a lot more work for the teachers.

This year, it took until school had already started for me to get a job. With budget cuts and not as many teachers retiring early, it was hard to find any opening. However, I did find one - and I'm LOVING it! At first I was worried about "transitioning" from a lead teacher to an assistant - but you know what - it's been wonderful!

I don't have to do any planning, just plan for small groups if I want to (which I will start doing in a couple of weeks), I don't have to worry about testing, grading, or paper work. The lead teacher (a.k.a "LT" from now on) is also a Reading Recovery teacher/tutor, so she has to work with 2 first graders every day for 30 minutes each, so I still have "my time" with the kids and can teach lessons (which she is planning now, but if I wanted to plan, I could, and will start as well). I interact with the kids, teach them, and show them who's boss manage behavior when needed. Basically, I get to be a teacher without all the added stress of being a teacher.

However, I would say one of my main responsibilities is helping LT's day go smoother, easier, and without all the small hassles that would take her away from teaching.

Here's a look at some of what I do:

I sharpen pencils at the end of the day so the kids have fresh ones in the morning. 

I prepare their morning journals. They have to write their name 4 times and draw a picture every morning. This won't last much longer though; we'll start transitioning them over to a given topic to write about each morning.

I check folders in the morning, looking for notes, homework, or papers. And in the afternoon I stuff folders, and fill out behavior sheets.

I prepare the tables for Writing Workshop - paper, pencils, date stamp, and a basket of crayons. I love helping these kids learn to write! We're working on writing words to match pictures. We encourage "inventive spelling" right now - and it's so fun to see what they come up with! We're working on "popcorn words", and will continue to teach new words every day. 

I made a lunch choice board - it's not the prettiest thing in the room right now, but it works. I spent a couple of nights finding images of the lunch choices, printed, laminated, and organized them. The kids can now find their name on a clothes pin and make their own lunch choice. Today was breakfast for lunch - french toast sticks, or egg and cheese biscuit, or fruit and yogurt plate. I remember french toast stick days from my days in elementary school! I swear they are the exact same!!

I put all of their work into their cubbies. I have almost all of the kids memorized in alphabetical order and by number! At the end of the week all of their work goes home.

I made these floor squares with the kids as a small group math activity. Each square has the numeral and word form of the number, plus that many stickers. They serve multiple purposes. First, the kids each had a number, then they had to count out (math skill) the stickers and put them on the paper (fine motor skill). Second, they help the kids know where to stand in line when we line up to go somewhere. Third, we can say "go stand on number 6" and the kids have to find the number. For the ones who don't know numbers past 10, we can tell them what color to stand on. And for those who get bored, we can tell them to count the stickers for something to do. 

I lead a shared reading every day before lunch while LT is tutoring. One thing we do is read the letter poem and take turns finding that letter in the poem. It's amazing how quiet and still 20 five year olds will get when they're told they have to sit still and quiet in order to be called to come up and find a letter!

 I also teach math a couple days a week. We've been working on numbers 1-5 this week. Most of our kids haven't been to any form of pre-school so we had to start with the basics. 

Next week will be really interesting. Part of my job requirements include training and obtaining a CDL - that's a bus driver's license for those who don't know, 'cause I didn't know at first!! Like I've said before, this is a small, country school district and school. There are two buses for our school, and a short list of subs. In the case that a bus driver is out, and the subs aren't available, then I might be called to drive the school bus!! I don't know if I'm more scared and anxious, or kinda excited about this. We'll see how training goes next week.

I have really enjoyed being back in the classroom. The kids are really good and crack me up all day long. I've already formed special bonds with some of them, and I can't wait to see all that they will learn and do this year. I'm so glad to be with them.

God Bless

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New feature

As you may have noticed, I've changed the design layout of my blog. I wanted the pictures to be bigger, so I found this template that would allow for that.

However, it isn't quite as easy to navigate around. So let me point out a few things for you -

1. On the right hand side of the page there are three "hidden" tabs. All you have to do is scroll over them and they magically appear.

  • the first one (that looks like note book paper with three holes) is my Blog List - or the blogs that I like to read and follow - friends, family, random blogs that I enjoy. 
  • the second one (it looks like a file folder cabinet) is my Blog Archive - you can click on this and look up any previous blog by date
  • the third one (this one looks like sound waves) is the coolest and the new feature I want to mention. Click on this one, and then where it says "subscribe via email", if you enter your email address, every time I post something it will come to in an email! How cool is that!? You'll always know about a new post! 
2. On the pink line at the top of the page it says "home" and "recipes". If you click on recipes, a new page will come up, and these are the recipes that I have tried and loved and wanted to share. Click on one and it will take you directly to that page. Then just click on home, and it will take you right back to the home page. I'm thinking about adding a DIY page - so check back soon for that!

3. Another thing on that pink line/bar - it says "classic". If you simple scroll over it, a bunch of other words pop down. These are just different ways to view the blog. Just something different and neat. 

Please let me know if this is at all confusing or if you subscribe and it doesn't work! My goal and purpose for this blog has always been communication with my family and friends! I want to share my life with y'all as we continue to move through various stages in our life, and since most of you live in other cities and states, this is the best way for me to welcome you into my home and life! 

And always feel free to comment or send me messages. I love hearing from you!!

God bless!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Go Tigers!!


2-0! Not a bad way to start the season. :)

Paul and I got season tickets for the first time, and today was the home-opening game. We enjoyed being able to tailgate with the whole Reid family, and then sit with Anna and Kevin to watch the game.

Clemson played well against Ball State, and ended up winning 52-20.

12:30 game time means breakfast tailgate. Holly and I put together yogurt parfaits, Anna made a breakfast casserole, and Leah made biscuits and hams. Add some coffee, orange juice, and milk, and it's a party!

Anna also made these - Dunkin Donut holes on sticks! Supper cute treat.

Scott, Paul, Mr. Reid, and Kevin before the game. These guys are serious about their Tigers!

View from our seats. We are up in the upper deck around the 25 yard line, but the seats are good. We have a great view of the entire field, as well as the campus and mountains in the back ground.

Traditional "Tigers" spelled out by the band.

25 Most Exciting Seconds in College Football! The team coming down the hill.

Next week is the Furman game! I'll be wearing my white and purple again so I can cheer for both teams!

God Bless.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thank you's all around

A couple of months ago I posted about some of the struggles Paul and I were facing in our lives - and so many of you reached out to us offering wonderful words of encouragement and thoughtful prayers. You will never know the extent to which you touched our hearts. We are truly blessed by our family and friends. Thank you.

As an update...

God is ALIVE and working in ways that we can now see, but also in ways we may never know. He is a powerful God who loves His children and "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Rom. 8:28).

Since that post, we have moved back to Greenville, I got a job teaching as a Kindergarten Assistant in a wonderful little country school, Paul has gotten a job offer at a private dental practice in Boiling Springs and is finalizing paper work, and we are in the process of buying a house! I cannot begin to express my excitement and joy as we start this new chapter in our lives. My heart is happy.

It has not been a an easy journey to get here, but in all honesty I would not trade it for anything. These past few months have taught us more than we could have ever imagined. We have had to learn the true meaning of resting and waiting in the Lord. We have learned how to pray with a true purpose. We have learned how to be humble and grateful. We have learned that God really does have a perfect Will and a perfect Plan, and when we wait for it, it's life's richest blessings.

We are still waiting on that the one final piece of our puzzle - a baby. But, again, we know that God already has a picture of our family on His mantel, and someday our wait will be over. And on that day, as with the past few days and weeks, I will loudly and assuredly proclaim, What an AWESOME God we serve! Glory be to God.

Thank you again for all your well wished and your prayers.

God Bless

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celebrating my Mom

My AMAZING mother is celebrating her birthday this week!
This past weekend we went to the North Carolina Mountains to celebrate as a family. My Dad has been planning this surprise get-away for her for close to a year now, and we have all been excitedly awaiting for the weekend. Needlesstosay, it exceeded any of our expectations and dreams - especially my moms. She was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the weekend with all her kids and her grandson.

We stayed at Fox Hollow on Lake Glenview. It was a gorgeous "log cabin" that had beautiful views of the mountains and the lake. 

 The front of the house.
 The back of the house with two levels of porches, a fire pit, and lots of stairs that led down to the lake.We spent a lot of time out on the porches - drinking coffee in the morning, eating lunch, playing games, reading.

Glenlake was gorgeous. It wasn't really big or crowded, which was actually really nice. 

Paul and I got up early one morning and watched the sun rise over the mountains. It was God's beauty shining through.
The pontoon boat! We took a couple boat rides, but the water was too cold to actually get in. 
 A trip to the mountains wouldn't be complete without a hike! The weather was perfect, and the roads/trails were just right.
Meredith made some cookies for my mom - "Vintage 1952". Hanna made some Rice-Krispie treats.
 I would say elegant and classy more than vintage, for sure!
 Henry was adorable all weekend! I can't believe how big he is getting! And so full of life and character! He loves to laugh and loves making other people laugh too!
 Birthday dinner, complements of Chef Hanna! Baked vegetable and chicken enchiladas, homemade guacamole, and Saffron yellow rice with black beans. All so yummy!!
 Henry was wearing his Carhardt overalls from Uncle Paul!! They were perfect for climbing rock steps and playing in the grass.
 Boat Ride!!

 David was at the wheel.

 Too cool, little man, too cool.
 Family photo shoot.

Isn't she lovely!? My mom was glowing for her birthday celebration. 
Full family photo. I thank God everyday for the blessings these people are in my life. I treasure every moment we spend together.
 Mom's favorite - Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
 And Sunday morning Hanna made Monkey bread!!What a way to finish the weekend!
All in all,it was a very memorable and special weekend. One that I will always hold close to my heart. My mom is more than a mother - she's my best friend, my support, my confidant. She has always encouraged me and uplifted me. And I will always love her WAY past Pluto.


God Bless