Thursday, December 17, 2009


So I combined one of my soup recipes with one my friend Andy shared with me. It turned out fantastic and I've had some requests to share the recipe so here it goes.

1/2 sweet onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced thin
3 stalks celery, diced
1 c green beans, snapped into short pieces
1 c cabbage, shredded
4 medium red potatoes, cubed with skin on
olive oil
salt & pepper
roasted garlic powder
onion powder
2 cans chicken broth (i use Swansons with no MSG)
2 cans water (just filled the broth cans after i used them)
2 c soy milk
1/2 c flour
1 package/link Hillshire Farms polish kielbasa, sliced then quartered (think small bite size)

1. In large soup pot, saute the onions, celery and carrots in some olive oil.
2. Add the broth, water, green beans, cabbage and potatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt, pepper, roasted garlic powder, and onion powder. Cover and let simmer.
3. In frying pan, sauté the sausage until good and browned.
4. While the sausage is cooking, whisk flour into milk in separate sauce pan and heat to a simmer.
5. Drain the sausage and lay out on paper towels to soak up the grease.
6. Add sausage and milk mixture to the soup pot. Let simmer together for a little while.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Houston's First Day of School at Columbia City Elementary

Look at this ... going to school in regular clothes with a ... what's that? A Transformers backpack?!?!?! Say it isn't so! :o) Houston is loving every bit of his new school. He is especially enamored with the hot lunch line in the cafeteria. His teacher is fantastic and he has already made new friends. He loves all the things they get to do and the playground at recess is a big hit too. He has transitioned better than I could have dreamed. He just fit right in.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Where Do I Start?

Really ... so much has happened lately, especially just this last week. I don't even know where to start or how much I want to post about. Maybe i'll just start with the facts ...

  • Our family is no longer associated with The Blake School in any way. The boys don't go there, I don't teach there, Brett and I are no longer on the Advisory Board, I am not running the Christmas Parade float tomorrow. Done. Finished. Over. Yes I am happy about this. Not happy about how it went down, one thing I cannot stand in life is a lier, but the stress that has been lifted from my life is tremendous. One word ... "karma".
  • Houston starts at his new school (Columbia City Elementary) tomorrow. I've heard great things about the school. It's been an "A" school for seven years now. I've heard great things about his teacher, Mrs. Kennon. We are excited about this. She was super nice when we met her on Friday and Houston is really excited about all the fun things at his new school. Pet hamster and hermit crabs in the classroom, computers in the classroom, really big playground with lots of fun playground equipment, the lunchroom where we will actually be able to afford the hot lunch ($1.75 vs. $4).... he's been asking all weekend if he can go to his new school yet. It's super close too. It literally takes us only 5 minutes from our driveway to the school. Why we had to get re-zoned for this is beyond me. The school we are zoned for would probably take us closer to 20 minutes to get to in the morning given the distance, traffic and area we would have to drive through.
  • I am really looking forward to spending more time at home with Brody. Rock on.
  • I am super excited about teaching at the community college. LCCC is actually now a four year college and is going through a name change. It will be Florida Gateway College. The math department just won a big award. More good news. Also, less than 24 hours after things fell through at Blake I was contacted by the math department to see if I could teach two more sections of the math class i'll be teaching in the spring. Heck ya! Bring it on! :o)
  • Sometimes when things get too stressful it's good to look around and see what needs to change and allow yourself to be open to the new things the universe has planned for you. Good times folks, good times. I am so excited about the new direction our life has just taken and I truly hope this is a sign of wonderful things to come in 2010. I'm healthy, i'm happy, i'm really excited about my new job, lots of stress is gone ... good stuff! And I still haven't even posted about my awesome weight loss/weight watchers/running goals met. I think I'm afraid to jinx it. ;o)
So I think that's a good update for now. Houston and Brett are on their way to see the Jacksonville Jaguars and the the Houston Texans play in Jacksonville. Wish I could see the look on Houston's face when he walks into that stadium. He's never seen anything like it. I told Brett he better take lots of pictures with his phone. Brody and I are enjoying a lazy Sunday. I suppose we'll have to get out of our pajamas eventually and make it to knitting group.

Ahhhhh .... life is good. Now if CES could just get a new project or two so we can pay the bills life would be just about perfect. Minus an SEC championship and a national title. Poor Tim Tebow. I hate it for him.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Big Changes

Big things have happened here lately and I promise to blog about it soon. Hopefully before the weekend is over and after the Gators beat some 'Bama tail! Go GATORS!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And so it begins ...

I taught Houston how to make a crochet chain. I woke up two Saturdays ago to find him showing his brother how to do it. Now they both sit on the couch at night and crochet.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Have a Laugh

Have you Elfed Yourself lately? I did:

Check it out. Funny stuff. :o)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update: Surgery, School

So much going on lately. Some I've wanted to share and some I haven't. Seems there is always some good to outweigh the bad and bad to outweigh the good. Balance, I suppose. So here's a bit of what's been up around here:

On October 15th I had surgery to remove a milk duct and surrounding tissue from my right breast. There were mammograms, ultrasounds and a core biopsy before this. According to studies, there was a 12% chance of my having breast cancer due to the condition found on the first mammogram. I didn't want a lot of people knowing I was going through this. I told more friends than anything because they are supportive without freaking out. (thank you) Many of my family members don't even know yet and this is probably where they will learn. I'm sorry if you are offended by this. Just know that I did what I had to do for myself here. The good news is that everything came back completely benign and the condition I have carries no increased risk of breast cancer. Yippeee!!!! All I have now is a big reminder to get regular mammograms, do regular self-exams, a nice big two to three inch scar across my boob and more gray hair. Well more like my gray hair went white and some of the brown went gray. A couple of people have actually asked me if I highlighted my hair because I have a new streak towards the front that almost looks like I put it there on purpose. Nope, ahhhh the wonders of anesthesia and stress. :)

So about two hours after I found out I did not have cancer I learned that a very special woman passed away. Here name is Colvin Carter. She was a high school teacher that was very sweet and comforting to me during my year teaching at Columbia High while Patsy was dyeing of cancer. She will be very missed around this town. There were a few other things that all happened within 48 hours of me getting my good news. The balance, I suppose?
In other news, I'm going back to school. Just got my acceptance letter from the mathematics department at UF for some post bac work. I most likely will not be accepted into the master's program there because I don't have a 4.0 in undergrad math and they are, apparently, extremely competitive like that. I have a few tricks in my pocket though so I'm not counting it out completely. And in totally related news, I interviewed at the community college here in Lake City a month or two ago. I just heard today that I will be teaching Elementary Algebra there in the spring. Which is awesome because I was starting to sweat about paying for my class at UF in the spring. I will be one busy woman come January. I already have my schedule all entered into a spreadsheet with driving time included. Best to be prepared for the craziness. Morning class as teacher at Blake every day. Afternoon class as teacher at Blake on Tuesday and Thursday. Afternoon class as student at UF Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Evening class as teacher at Lake City Community College on Tuesday and Thursday. Boys will be on their own for dinner those nights! Depending on enrollment, there is a possibility of me teaching more than one class at LCCC. And of course, Blake is way out west of town, LCCC is way out east of town and UF is down in Gainesville. The good news is that I'll get to make it through a ton of books on CD. Good thing the library has a large section to borrow from. :) And LCCC just had a name change approved .... it will now be Florida Gateway College and will begin offering four year degrees. They are even starting an engineering program. I'm so happy to get my foot in the door there. I love teaching but middle school students are tough. I love teaching, hate discipline. Shouldn't have too much of a problem with college classes.

Well speaking of school .... I better head that way. Got a math and science class to teach. Lab day!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fashion Sense

Brody loves to pick out his own clothes. He was quite proud of this outfit today. Does he have good fashion sense or what? ;o)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Costume Progress

The theme of our Fall Festival at school this year is "magic and make believe". The boys decided they wanted to be wizards. I spent most of my weekend sewing Houston's wizard costume. I was hoping to have both done but they are taking much longer than I anticipated. I think it came out really good though and have to say I am proud to have sewn my first ever set-in sleeve. My grandma will be proud! :o)

I'm going to have some cute little wizards on Friday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Knitting Update

Just a little snippet because I can ....

The Revontuli (aka take forever) Shawl ... almost done!

And the Math Geek (aka Recovery) Scarf ... I have absolutely no idea what possessed me to make this or what I will do with it. I'm loving every minute of it though. Wheeee!!!!!


There's a lot going on behind the scenes these days. I'll be able to let the cat out of the bag soon. In the meantime, here's the soup I made in the crock pot today. Cabbage Taco Soup ... yummy! :)

Brown some lean ground turkey in a pan with some onions and olive oil. Throw some tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, kidney beans, corn and shredded cabbage in a crock pot. Mix in the browned turkey and onions. Add some parsley and taco seasoning and let it ride for 6-8 hours on low. I'm a soup lover and this is some of the best ever!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Houston Can Swim!

This is awesome! Thanks Aunt Karena for sending the video. This was the weekend I was down in Sarasota at the Florida Fiber In so I missed Houston deciding to swim. Apparently he just decided it was time to take off the water wings. :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Matt & Karla's Wedding

Some random pictures from my trip to Virginia a couple weekends ago. Lots of family, lots of love and lots of fun. It was a great weekend! The pictures are in reverse order (forgot about that deal in blogger when I was uploading). The first picture is the morning after the wedding when we were all beginning our trips home.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So much going on, so little time to blog. Here are some cute kid pics to entertain you for a bit.

Wrenda took these two pics of Brody while I was out of town this weekend. Too cute!