Sunday, February 28, 2010

Birthday Bonanza.

There are a lot of birthdays in the next week. February ends and March comes quickly behind with birthdays for a lot of fun & lovely people. They live in three different states so I'm sharing birthday wishes digitally, with cards in the mail and phone calls. I miss birthday happy hours.

Jennie's birthday is today, the 28th. She is one of my two oldest friends - but only in number of years that we have been friends. Not in age. It's rude to tell you how old my friends are. They are pretty and young young young. (Photo taken last year in Chicago. So SO cold but one of my favorites of all time.)

Lindsay's birthday comes at the end of the week. We have been studying the Bible together since my sophomore year of high school when we took Disciple together at Stanley Pres. Lately we have been studying together over the internet. It's pretty stinkin' awesome, and our friendship is good for my heart. Also, Lindsay took me to see Celine Dion. This was also good for my heart. (Photo taken on the second annual Mission Pub Crawl.)

Emily's birthday is a week from tomorrow. We were Alpha Chis together at K-State, and she is a veterinarian. Seriously - people call her DOCTOR. Em lives really close to us up in Silver Spring, and I love having her near . She was a guest speaker at our middle school earlier this year and the kids asked her the best questions. For example, "Have you ever seen a pet and an owner both with Afros?" (Photo taken in Em's apartment with baby Finn!)

Happy birthday friends!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thinking It Over.

The last two posts have been well liked. Some kind people might even say they are funny. My grandmother Mary emailed me yesterday after reading the post about my ideal match lists, and her loving email humbled me. In her email, she asked me a lot of questions about my expectations and contributions to a marriage.

The kind of questions that made me glad that I am single and still learning about myself, faith, love and relationships.

So I've been thinking about it some more...

I will not always be the best wife. I expect that sometimes I will be dramatic, exhausting and argumentative. I am a sinner, and quite good at that. My prayer is that I could be a wife of noble character (Proverbs 31:10), something only possible because of grace. I will try to submit to my husband, because I hope that he will love me like Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:22-28). That's a lot of love!

Moving to Virginia was a good lesson in how God's plan is better than mine. If I get to live in Kansas again, that's a good thing. A really good thing. But I am willing to move again for love because I want to be a partner in whatever our love story is and wherever it goes.

My grandmother's email closed with this, "I am sending more $2 bills. Use them wisely."

I'm going to print her email and attach a $2 bill. Then I'm going to put it in my Bible as part of my prayer that God will prepare me for His plan. And maybe someday I will give that $2 bill to someone special.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Matchmaking.

People are interested in my love life. I don't really mind. I've always been a bit of a meddler myself, and I'm thankful whenever anyone wants to return the favor. Seven people left me comments yesterday about what to do next in my pursuit of greatness (Shane). Several more mentioned it in emails or conversations.

It's so lovely of you to leave a comment or try to set me up with your friends. Honest. These are little and big things that brighten my day.

Here's what I'm looking for when you set me up with your lovely friends. (Helpful hint: print out this blog. Put in your wallet. Then you'll have my checklist AND a picture of me with a current haircut wherever you go. Or send them to my blog. Whatever.)
  • Loves Jesus.
  • Employed.
  • Willing to eat my cooking - especially my baked goods that look weird but taste great.
  • Dog lover (Belle is part of the package, and she's a bit crazy.)
  • Kind to my friends and all the Luhrs Ladies.
  • Not afraid to be featured on the blog.
  • Likes sports - especially football.
  • Doesn't care how much TV I watch.
  • Travel willing.
  • Comfortable at home.
  • Reader.
  • At least 5'10".
  • Doesn't use the word edifying.
  • Votes.
  • Supports the fact I like to teach. And loves that about me.
That's it for now. Do you think I missed something? I'll be covering what I would like in an engagement ring soon just so you can have that for your files too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shane and the $2 Bill.

I'll admit it. I have a crush on the guy who works at the front desk of my gym. His name is Shane. He doesn't wear a name tag, but he's there often enough that I was able to figure it out. You know, someone says something like, "Hey Shane - we're out of towels!" or "Shane, can you make this guy his protein shake?" or "Dude, Shane, what do you think of my new weight lifting gloves?"

I go to a really hard core gym.

Rachel is sort of a bully about Shane and told me that I had to stop talking about him, or she was going to ask him out for me. Mortifying - she's like my mom.

So last night I devised my own really mature plan to talk to Shane. It was inspired by the shenanigans of my 8th graders and a $2 bill. You see, it's a family tradition that my grandmother mails me a $2 bill with holiday cards. It was something my grandpa Gordon started back when he went to the barbershop, and it lives on. I was carrying my $2 bill from Valentine's Day in my wallet and decided last night it would be a good excuse to talk to Shane when I bought my water bottle. Then he could remember me as the tall girl with the $2 bill.

Good plan, huh?

I told Rachel about the plan, and she agreed to be my accomplice. But when we stepped into the gym, there was someone else at the counter occupying Shane's time. A friendly girl greeted us from behind the counter, but we didn't care. We needed to buy a water bottle from Shane.

Rach jumped in with her quick thinking skills and started stalling. She asked questions about childcare during the week. Then she asked about it on the weekends. Finally, she asked about childcare in the evenings.

All this time, Shane was still busy. Rachel was about to ask a dumb question about protein shakes or nutritional cookies when I stopped her. I had to buy the water from the girl so we could get to working out. I reluctantly gave the lady behind the counter $2 bill.

"OH WOW!" she exclaimed, "Do we even take these?"

I chitchatted halfheartedly about the $2 bill. This conversation was supposed to be for Shane. My best plan ever for love was ruined. Now I have to wait for another $2 bill before I can talk to him, so I will probably just have a crush until Easter.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Complicated Clarification.

I live in a lovely home in Falls Church, VA. Very close to the beltway on the end of a cul-de-sac, it is generally pretty quiet. Ambulances rushing to the nearby hospital and the hum of the highway are white noise now. Sort of like the large train that used to run by apartment 404 in KC. Never even heard 'em.

I used to think telling about our house was really complicated. I would launch into elaborate explanations using my hands and clarifying the specifications of our house. People would look at me confused, and I would try to explain it a little bit differently. It was painful to watch me describe.

And then finally, in Chicago, my friend Brian said, "It's like duplexes top and bottom instead of side by side." It clicked! That made it so much easier to explain. Everyone sitting at the dinner table said, "Ohhhhhh!" nodding their heads in understanding.

In my top-and-bottom duplex, I live on the first floor. Because it has two bedrooms and two baths, I have a roommate. MANY many people assumed I lived by myself with Rach, Sol, Finley and Copper upstairs. Nope.

We're a regular live action animal adventure. Belle, Victoria, Karilee and her cat, Gatica (Tica is what we usually call her.) Karilee also teaches middle school at our rival school, Twain. I found her online through the message board at her church, and it's nice living with another teacher. We keep similar hours and snow days.

She and her kitty are kind to me and the crazy dog. Karilee reports that Tica is more tolerant of Belle than any other dog. For good reason: Belle doesn't try to eat her, lets her eat scraps of deli meat too and gives her sweet, unsolicited kisses.

Belle loves to give unsolicited kisses. She's just plain generous about it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pop, Soda and Coke.

After a pleasant shopping trip to SUPER Target, I stopped at the little snack shop up front for a Diet Coke.

Me: "I'd like a large pop, please."
Refreshment Dude: "That will be $1.45.
Me (getting out change): "Great."
RD: "Hold on while I get your large popcorn."
Me: "WAIT. I wanted a pop. A large pop."
RD: Blank stare.
Me (recognizing his confusion): "Soda. May I please have a large soda?
RD: "Ohhhhh!"
Me: "I'm from Kansas."
RD: "Huh!"

There is research that supports this anecdote.

Americans that say pop. Notice the Virginia/Kansas difference.
Americans that say soda. What is up with Missouri?!? Pretending to be East Coasters. Ha!
And finally, crazy Americans that call everything Coke. This is even more confusing to me. But it's the south.
Come visit. I'll take you out on the town, and we'll drink some sodas. Because that's what you do around these parts.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Greendale Community College.

Today was a grad school Saturday. I really love my program - it's a perfect fit. George Mason University is a very large university in Northern Virginia, with a few lovely smaller campuses around the area. I made the short trek west to the GMU Prince William County campus for a day full of discussion, reflection and quite a bit of fun.

This morning when I was sitting in class, I started to pretend that I wasn't in Virginia anymore. Our campus is pretty new, and if I squint a little bit, I think I've been transported to Greendale Community College. Today, I saw Abed and Troy working on a video. Jeff and Britta were fighting about something in the cafeteria.

My small group wasn't talking about how to become learner-centered teachers but about Senor Chang's Spanish class and going to the Valentine's dance.

I know that I have a hard time keeping reality and TV separate. But the whole nature of my campus (commuter school, a surplus of adult learners, and the fake homecoming this week) makes it even harder to distinguish the difference.

I'll be back later. I'm going to go to Britta and Troy's dance recital and get a drink with the gang.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hanging Out with Finn.

When I was putting this post together, I started missing Finley so much I had to go upstairs and see him.
Finley and I spend a lot of our time lately singing. I have two songs I sing to him on repeat - Patty Cake and the K-State Fight Song. He likes both and doesn't judge that I don't sing as well as either of his parents. He just bobs his head and giggles.

Sometimes Finley hangs out with me downstairs in my room. I don't have as many toys as upstairs, so I improvise. Finn loves my TV remote, my alarm clock from Tara, my cell phone and a green cup I keep around because it makes a fun noise.

He also thought this coaster from my room was inspirational and tasty.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reminders.

You don't have to look far here before you remember we just had a blizzard.

Wednesday was our first full day back in school with our students - Monday was a teacher workday, Tuesday was a two-hour delay, and yesterday we tried to establish normal routines again. My teacher friends and I catch ourselves asking each other and our students what they did over "break." Seven snow days in a row made for a nice long break. The worst part about being back is that there are sidewalks that are still not cleared. They are buried under the snow accumulation and extra snow pushed over from the roads. It's common to see students waiting for the bus standing on five or six foot piles of snow and walking in the street. We need it to warm up. There's no shovel strong enough for these piles.

Another reminder gathered outside our front door on Sycamore. The trash and recycling trucks couldn't get down our street last week. I'm hoping they can scrape by this morning. We need to get rid of this stuff. When four adults, a baby and two dogs are stuck inside for ten days, they make a lot of trash.

And they do a lot of online shopping.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

People Named Kenneth.

If you are a fan of the show 30 Rock, then you know Kenneth Parcell.


Everybody likes a boy who parts his hair.

Ironically, that is how I met one of my good friends, Kenneth. I thought it was nice he parted his hair. In my life these things have become a pattern - boys named Kenneth part their hair. And they are very nice. And today is Kenneth's birthday (Norton not Parcell).

I first met Kenneth when we were freshmen at K-State, and he still parted his hair. Our sophomore year we started hanging out a bunch more thanks to the Silver Key sleep-out and DU/AX Homecoming. We were homecoming partners, and we were young college sophomores that didn't drink. Ever. So we hung out together. The photo above is from a rank karaoke night at the Flashback Lounge. Kenneth's hat lights up. Rachel probably sang "Fancy." And we are ridiculous and sober.

Since then, Kenneth and I have been roommates, debaters, and friends. He's married to lovely Melinda, and they live a long ways away in California. But if all goes according to our grand scheme, we'll travel abroad this year and eventually buy houses on the same street as Erica & Jon.

Happy BDAY KNort. Thanks for being one of the first men to publicly admit you read my blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Letters.

I save all the cards and notes I get from people. Call me sentimental. In honor of Valentine's Day, here are a few of my favorites.

Jennie made me the "Friend 4 Ever" button when we were in 8th grade, 1997. Maybe she knew we would be friends forever or maybe it was just something to say, but I've saved it. The card on the right she gave me after I won the Kassebaum scholarship at K-State. That was 2001, our senior year of high school, and we were still so close. You know about Jennie...we're still besties 13 years after her prophetic button.

I have a well loved Bible that I used my four years at K-State. Inside it our two of my favorite notes. Katherine slipped me that note during "study hours" at Alpha Chi our first semester at K-State, fall of 2001. Rachel wrote me this post-it note when I was breaking up with my long-distance boyfriend our sophomore year. She stayed up with me until 2 am (on a school night!) in room H. Look at her words, "God has an awesome plan for you and He will show you!" Would you believe those are the things that Rachel says to me still today?

I found this note today when I was looking for Valentine's cookie cutters, and it made me laugh out loud. It was sad to move back to KC and away from so many of my best friends at the end of college. But Rachel and Alison had gone through my stuff and left me random little notes. In shoe boxes, my clothes, and my desk drawers, among other places. I left them where I found them, and they occasionally still surprise me five years and several moves later.

I have boxes more full of notes from friends. They are lovely. I have undeniably some of the best friends in the world. Please don't be surprised at my wedding if I have twelve or eighteen bridesmaids. I'm just that lucky.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Style Treats.

The Olympics make me giddy. And weepy. Whenever Bob Kostas starts telling one of those stories that Sol calls a "Triumph of the Human Spirit," I start losing it a little bit. The Olympics are just awesome, and I'll pretty much watch until the flame goes out in Vancouver. I've always been more of a Winter games fan because of the "x factor." Snow and ice are just plain unpredictable.

Summer or winter, the Olympics are a good reason to get together with friends and have an Opening Ceremonies party. I am sorry you weren't invited to ours. It was in Virginia and was pretty small with just two of Sol's friends from work.

I really wanted to make an Olympics themed dessert. I was inspired by my friend Martha who made this beauty for the Summer games in 2008.

That's a lot of Rice Krispie treats! We had a couple of rings left over at the end of the party. My supportive friends thought it was a good idea for me to take the yellow ring over to my cute downstairs neighbors and introduce myself.

They watched from the balcony while I made a fool of myself. It's never cool to open with the line, "Hey. Do you want an Olympic ring made of Rice Krispies?"

This year I tried to think of something easy but Olympic themed for the Opening Ceremony.

I started with a box of Trader Joe's "Brownies without Guilt." They are so yummy and all you add is vanilla yogurt to the mix. I baked them in little muffin tins for bite size fun. Then I made peanut butter frosting because I knew it would make Rachel happy. So easy and so yummy. I added a LOT of yellow food coloring to make them golden in color.

I should have stopped there. But I saw this thing in Martha, and I wanted to try it.

Sigh.

I printed ones off the computer and put them under a piece of waxed paper. I squeezed melted chocolate out of a ziploc trying to make artsy ones. Then I put them in the freezer to set up. I wanted them to stand up on the cupcakes. Wrong. They were much better laid across to the top of the cupcake.

And even then, I wasn't that impressed with myself. As I've said before, I don't have a future as a food blogger. At least they tasted delicious.

Now excuse me, there is a tub of leftover frosting in my fridge and the Olympics are on. I better find my Kleenex. This is better than a romantic comedy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Frequently Asked Post Blizzard Questions.

Question #1: Have you left the house yet?
Yes! Today after four days of flu and weather imposed hibernation, I put on pants that weren't sweats or pajamas and went to lunch with Rach & Finn. I'm feeling much better - I didn't take a nap even. Thank you everyone for checking in on me!

Here's proof I left the house. As you can see, I even showered and did my hair for the occasion.


Question #2: Just how much snow did you get in Falls Church? And is this normal for the area?
Our estimate for last weekend's snowfall is about 24 inches. This Tuesday-Wednesday, we received another six to nine inches, but the winds and drifting were much worse. Here are the snow piles next to our driveway. Keep in mind that I am exactly six feet, so the piles are close to 4.5 or 5 feet tall next to our driveway. We think that it could be April before the snow melts everywhere - some parking lots have at least eight to ten foot piles of snow.

Our total for the year is about 54 inches, a winter record for the area. The DC region normally sees only about 18 inches of snow a year. Our cities are just not prepared for this huge mass of snow.


Question #3: Are you going to be teaching school until July?
Today was our 10th snow day, including six in a row. The last day I saw my lovely 8th graders was February 4th. The calendar only explains what happens with 10 snow days, and it looks like we will be in school until June 25th. If we have any more we will all be surprised to find out what happens! There is a chance we might not have school Monday, or at the least we might have a late arrival. It all depends on how the neighborhood streets get cleared over the weekend. We are just not equipped for this kind of snow. Look at our poor cul-de-sac below. Part of the circle has NEVER been plowed. The driver stopped and backed up, leaving a couple of houses on their own to dig out.


Question #4: How's Belle handling this?
She's getting a lot more adventurous when it comes to playing in the backyard. She looks like a rabbit as she tries to hop around the snow. It is definitely deeper than her legs, and sometimes she sinks down as she tries to run around. However, when she is tired, the snow also makes a nice cool pillow. I cringe just thinking about how many more months we will have to wipe their paws every time they come inside. The snow will be with us forever.


That pretty much answers most of the questions I have received. If you have something else you are dying to know about Snowmageddon 2010, leave it in the comments, and I'll get back to you.

We're just glad to have our electricity, our SUVs and DVR. Life is looking up around here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Early This Morning.

My poor puppy woke up this morning at 6 am and needed to go to the bathroom. I grabbed a leash and my camera and ventured out front.

The snow was done falling and mostly done blowing. Leaving us instead with these huge drifts and snow covered cars. The sun was rising, and the sky was sort of lavender in anticipation of a day with no snow in the forecast.

There is no grass for the puppy to use to go to the bathroom. At least three feet of snow covers the front yard, guarded by five feet drift piles along the driveway. She gave up and eventually went in the backyard - familiar territory.

I accomplished exactly this much today: sleeping, cleaning off my car, driving around the cul-de-sac 0.5 times, more sleeping, and watching ridiculous amounts of TV. Maybe a little more sleeping truthfully. I hate the flu.

Because Everyone Loves Benihana.

(a note from me: I know many of you were hoping for an update about the blizzard. I owe it to you. With photos. But I had one more post to share from my Indy trip. And I've been under the weather. Literally and figuratively. So snow post later today...trust me. It's not going anywhere and neither am I.)

My Kansas friends are not lucky enough to know about Benihana. It's a Japanese steak house where a nice chef cooks your delicious food in front you. In Kansas we have a few different hibachi restaurants, but no Benihanas. My Indiana family loves Benihana.

So do Michael and Andy on "The Office." Remember that Christmas episode from Season 3? Oooh...I can't eat at Benihana without a chuckle about the shenanigans of that episode.

So what better place to celebrate Grandma Mary's birthday? At the end of the meal, everyone comes to sing and brings instruments. It's nice for the kids.

The whole meal is really a show. Volcanos made with onions. Fried rice shaped like a beating heart. A chef who can catch an egg in his hat. Our sweet chef Jose did a good job cooking and entertaining. He was only thrown off once when Spencer asked/yelled really loudly,

"HEY, hey, HEY! Do you think I'm three?"

He is four. He was just trying to see if Jose was paying attention.

Spencer has three older brothers and three older sisters. He likes all the attention he can get.

Don't worry, he gets PLENTY. I love my little dramatic buddy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hello Again from Virginia.

Well hello there.

I'm back in Falls Church - and just in time too! Here's a little update on how my return trip went.

Last night after the Super Bowl, I checked my phone and found out that my flight on United was canceled. No reason. They nicely rescheduled me for a 6 am flight Tuesday morning. Wrong-o United. I needed to get home Monday.

A phone call later I was booked on the 7:30 pm flight out of Indy Monday night. WHY I wasn't automatically booked there is beyond me. But it was nice to spend one more full day in Indy with everybody!

Tracy dropped me off at the airport at 5:40 pm where I learned that my flight for was canceled. Again. United tried to move me to the 6 am flight. Again. I said thanks but no thanks and took my business elsewhere. I knew darn well that Indy was expecting a good dose of overnight snow, and I wasn't sticking around for that. Because Virginia was getting the snow next, and I needed to get home before 2011.

Too make this long story a little big shorter, here's the run down of what happened next.

- I bought a ticket on Southwest to Baltimore (my car was at Dulles).
- I heard a FINAL boarding call for an AirTran flight to Baltimore.
- I ran and bought a ticket on AirTran.
- Rachel got me a Southwest refund.
- I used wifi in the air on AirTran for only $3.71.
- I landed in Baltimore.
- The Super Shuttle was going to be at least three hours before I could get my car.
- A cab fare from Baltimore to Dulles is really expensive, especially because there was a surcharge for the snow.
- I got the cab.

And went to Wegman's.

No school Tuesday or Wednesday. 10 to 20 more inches of snow starting at noon going through Wednesday night, so school isn't looking great for Thursday either. But at least I got milk and eggs and flour at Wegman's.

And I'm sitting on my bed with my dog. It's good to be home again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Go Colts Go!

Can you tell who we are rooting for today?

And yes, you can tell we are related.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Waking Up in Indy.

This is what we looked like when we woke up this morning in Indy.

Pajamas: check.
Three blankets (including Big Blue): check.
Hot chocolate: check.
Sponge Bob on TV: check.
Bed head times three: check, check, check.

With little brothers like these, I'm in no hurry to get dressed and go anywhere.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Learning the Rules As I Go.

I'm in Indianapolis. We have about four inches of wet, powdery snow. It looks terrible for snowmen, snowball fights and sledding. Maybe it will become a little more solid overnight.

I spent most of today playing around the house. And I couldn't help but feel that I spent a lot of the time learning the rules as we played.

At lunch, Spencer informed me that he would rather have Lauren come visit because, as he said, "You scare me." After lunch we played Power Rangers for awhile. I had to wear the Power Ranger mask, probably to hide my scary face. We shot 55 bad guys in the house.


Before dinner, I invented another game to entertain my four-year-old brother. It was a variation of football where I tossed him the football from three feet away and then he fell over. We called it "Dead Man." I learned the rules as we went (read: when Spencer made them up.)

After dinner, we played "Hand and Foot." No one was making up the rules tonight but it had some pretty crazy tricks to it. I am a terrible at a lot of games, this one included. First round - fail. Second round - I improved tremendously. My score was positive by the end of the game.


And even though Grandma Mary just learned the rules tonight too...she's smoking us. The morals of the story are this: four-year-olds like to make up the rules and never trust a bridge player.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

SNOWendinsight.

A quick update before I head to the airport...again!

I was scheduled to fly to Indy on Saturday after grad school. Dad said that unless I headed to the airport tonight, the snow converging on Indianapolis and DC would prohibit travel.

So I gambled this morning and moved my flight to tonight at 10 pm. I'll get into Indy at midnight tonight ahead of all of the massive snow headed towards my Virginia home. Sixteen to twenty-four inches of snow predicted again.

After school and quick trips to PetSmart, Target, and the gym, I packed my bags...again.

This time Finley helped. His right sock was falling off. One of his socks is ALWAYS falling off.

The good news is that school has already been canceled for tomorrow. I get to spend three full days with my grandma, dad, and family in Indianapolis, including watching the Colts win the Super Bowl. Guilt free. No substitute teachers or sick days. And no shoveling.

I'm assuming grad school will be canceled Saturday too. Over a foot of snow tends to stop traffic and school. The weather people say to have enough food to stay inside for three days.

Happy birthday Grandma Mary! I'm on my way to celebrate with you!

You can celebrate the snow and enter our giveway over at RV Designs. Unlike the snow, it comes to an end on Sunday.

Not Your Momma's Classroom.

A few words about technology in the classroom out here in Virginia. It is awesome.

First, meet my buddy Larry. He's a "small" laptop lab with ten dell laptops. He lives in my room. Students can use him for internet searches, papers, reading books and brainstorming activities. They are very handy and if there is something wrong with one (for example, the E key is missing), I turn in a work order and it is fixed quickly.

Next, I would like to introduce you to the NEO2s. These are my little babies. I'm one of a few teachers in the county who has them, and they are little keyboards of joy. The NEOs are a streamlined ways to write a paper, and they can print wirelessly. Plus, they can be used to play games I make up on the spot in my classroom. The students can type in an answer, and it shows up on the projector. My second period is compliant and willing to play appropriately. My fourth period writes in answers about Hitler and Brian the whale.They are only allowed multiple choice question options now.

This is the main hub of activity some days. The document camera, projector and spot for my laptop gets a lot of use. For grad school I have been reading about "Learner Centered Teaching," and it makes me want to get away from this activity center and give my students more of the reins. I'm working on using the technology as an assist, not a crutch.

Rachel and I have been debating the pros and cons of technology this week. It's great to see our students using the technology to further their learning. But is it always the best way? Our students spend more time independently when they are on the computers and less time together working in groups. They have more control over their learning, but at what cost?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicago: My Kind of Town.

After the Mortar Board meetings were done, Jennie picked me up for a perfect day in the city. We met her lovely boyfriend, Joe, and headed out in Bucktown for brunch and exploration.
We ate at Hot Chocolate where we obviously ordered hot cocoa. Mine had hot fudge in the bottom and a delicious homemade marshmallow on the side. The brunch options were delicious with a focus on local cuisine and fresh ingredients. And there were mini doughnuts. The restaurant has been a finalist for James Beard awards. I don't know really what these awards are for except that they talk about it on Top Chef.

Also in Bucktown, we did some vintage browsing, had pedicures, and looked in some of the great stores. Bucktown is a fun addition to my Chicago neighborhoods I like to visit. I didn't know about it until Jennie & Joe started dating, and I feel the most like a local and not a tourist when I am in Bucktown. Especially when I am all bundled up like the locals.

Jennie is one of my two high school BFF that I am going to see during the month of February. I've written before about how MUCH they both mean to me. Being with Jennie is one of the easiest, most relaxing and delightful ways to spend a Sunday.

She was also super helpful when I was tying up some loose ends for RV Designs. Which reminds me, have you entered the giveaway yet? Do it today and you could win!

Monday, February 1, 2010

RV Designs and Matching.

One time Rachel and I bought matching sweater vests. I invited Rachel to a special lunch at the Union for the Truman Scholarship. She managed to get away from student teaching to come, and she showed up wearing the same sweater vest.

This is funny stuff here.

She's a good friend, and she ran home and changed her awesome matching outfit.

Five years later, we're continuing to aim for awesomeness over at RV Designs. The blogosphere allows us to hang out together and be good friends, with nobody caring if we wear matching outfits. And most importantly, we get to share designs with you.

To celebrate RV Designs, we're hosting a giveaway all week long over at RV Designs. Go check it out. With a few clicks you can enter our giveaway up to three times.

1. Enter by leaving a comment saying "Hi!"
2. If you are a follower, leave us another comment saying you are following the blog. If you aren't a follower yet, click on the bottom right hand corner of the blog where it says "FOLLOW."
3. Go all out and blog about our giveaway and RV Designs at your blog for a third entry. (Or post it on facebook or twitter!)

On Sunday, Rachel and I will put on matching outfits, and we will randomly select three lucky winners. Here are the three awesome prizes:

1. A signed cookbook from Pioneer Woman because we love her. And you.
2. A homemade bag from our buddy over at Knitty Bitties. We're proud owners of her camera straps and coffee coats. You want this. Handmade love.
3. A $15 gift certificate to Shutterfly. Because we are fans of photos in every form.

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for supporting us. And thanks for going to RV Designs.