Saturday, February 27, 2010


I have to share that I just purchased a digital scrapbooking software that I think I'll be quite pleased with. It's called Memory Mixer and I bought the latest version off their site. I hope it arrives in the mail this week! I've been eyeing the Creative Memories digital software for the longest time, anxiously awaiting their release of a version compatible with Mac (supposedly this Winter). Well, they haven't put anything up on their site in reference to a Mac release so I researched quite a bit this evening and after much reading, decided on Memory Mixer. It's one of the few that's Mac friendly and has the highest ratings. Yea! I love scrapbooks and the beautiful papers and embellishments - I just don't quite have the time. With the software, I can use it on my laptop anywhere and print through my company of choice. I can't wait to scrapbook our first year of married life! I'll have to share my first page when it's all finished :)

*On a side note, does anyone know how to insert a link and it actually work? I click on the link button and everything looks as though it'll work fine, and then it shows some silly error message when clicked on from my blog. Help would be appreciated.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

One more thing...

I know I should get ready for bed, but I just remembered that my husband mentioned he had a blog that he was going to try to devote time to with an emphasis on his passion: pictures in the form of videography and photography. Well, I decided to read it in these past few minutes because I had neglected to do so before.

I wanted to share. Check it out here: (it won't let me link it for some reason...)

After reading his two posts, I smiled and thought of how cute he is. The video of his favorite part of the day warmed my heart. Mmm... it's a blessing to be in love.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Critters, critters everywhere!

Let me begin by saying that I am in no way a fan of small rodents... especially ones with a rat-like tail. Ironically, I happen to have 7 gerbils under my care. Yikes! It all began when I decided to give my students a class pet for their "holiday" (Christmas) present.

You see, I thought I'd be smart and let the children vote on either gerbils (another teacher had one and it was all they talked about), fish (I already have a tank), or hermit crabs (definitely my first choice). After they opened their surprise from me, we took a vote. I made sure to explain ALL the responsibilities that came with each pet and we talked about working together to provide a happy home for whatever was decided. Unfortunately for me, gerbils won by a landslide. You know in kindergarten, it only takes one kid to say, "Vote for gerbil, ok?" and all follow suit.

In early January, I headed to the pet store to purchase a cage and gerbil. Thankfully my husband was there to guide me in cage decisions, etc. because he and his brothers owned little rodents when they were kids. We left the store with two gerbils - I didn't want one to get lonely - and cringed as I listened to them scratch and scurry in their box on the way home. I told myself it would be worth it when I saw 20 smiling faces the following morning... and yes, it was (the children's smiles and squeals of delight get me every time ;)

Unbeknown to me, gerbils can begin the whole mating process at a young age. Oh, did I mention that the guy at the pet store couldn't tell me if I was buying male or female? His response... "Uh, they're too young to tell. We just got them in." Silly me, I bought them anyways. Well, about two weeks after purchasing them, I noticed that their affection for one another had blossomed quite quickly. I did some major research on the habits of gerbils and found out that in approximately 24-28 days, little pups would arrive.

That day was Wednesday...

Imagine my surprise when I glanced over at the cage Wednesday after school in between meetings and saw an unattractive pink squishy thing in the cage. I gasped and called my husband right away. "Matthew, dear, I think my gerbils had a baby! wait, two, no four... oh my goodness, there are five babies! What do I do?!" I said as I counted and recounted. He assured me that they have a natural instinct to care for their young so I don't need to do much of anything. After staring at these critters for a very long time, I decided they weren't so revolting after all. Even a hairless, blind, squishy pink gerbil pup can have a teeny bit of cuteness to it - not to mention watching a mother and father care for their young is cool to watch. I was reminded that God created such animals and instilled in them this instinct to nurture that's pretty fascinating for a small rodent. Nice.

Eww...and Aww...are appropriate responses

Well, the babies are now 5 days old and all 5 are still alive. My knowledge of gerbils has grown more than I ever thought it would...ever... and I hope the babies all live! My students were absolutely THRILLED with having an entire family in the classroom. It also works as a great tool to keep the class quiet because "the babies need to rest." :) I haven't told the kids yet, but I already found another home for the male gerbil and hope to have him rehomed in a couple weeks. When the babies are old enough (7 weeks) I will re-home what's left and keep a female with the mother. Smart plan, I think. Lord-will there will be a female in the mix! For now, my class and I will continue to watch as they grow and develop - hoping nothing goes terribly wrong and they have a happy classroom life!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be Mine

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone. Matthew and I laughed as we tried to remember the other 4 Valentine's we've spent together. We can vividly recall our first one - we'd only been dating for about 4 months at the time. I created a valentine on a poster and surprised him with it at his apartment. Probably one of the only times I've successfully been able to show up somewhere and genuinely surprise him. I'm not as great as my husband - he's the Master of Surprises :) although I try and he loves my attempts. We then headed to Sonic's and had this amazing cherry brownie bite ice cream of some sort. Yum!

Our second Valentine's day is kind of a mystery... we thought that was the year my roommate and I cooked a special dinner for our boyfriends, but no. According to photos, I just discovered that the dinner happened to be the same year as the poster valentine. Hmm... maybe the pictures recalling the event are on Matt's computer. I know there are photos somewhere because we rarely go without our camera. Sadly, our 3rd Valentine's is a mystery as well. I guess we've had so many great times together that Valentine's Day just sort of blends in :) Does that happen to anyone else?

Last year's was significant because it was our first one together as a married couple. We celebrated by sharing a romantic dinner by candlelight on the floor of our new apartment. Sweet memories. Thankfully, I can recall this year's because it was only 2 days ago! My husband's gift to me was his time and money. He knew I was wanting some new dress clothes for school (guess me grumbling every time I pick out something to wear finally paid off.. jk), and he devoted his Saturday to... yes... shopping with me! I can wear my own self out shopping for clothes and now that I'm married, I'm aware of how much I can wear someone else out. After lunch with an old friend, we hit the ground running.

I checked my watch and checked my husband: approximately 3 hours until he'd expire according to my calculations. Time to get moving!

Several hours later we left the mall with clothes - always means success - and my dear husband suggested we go grocery shopping since we were out. I was amused at how 3 hours had passed and he hadn't once said anything about his feet hurting :) Ok, he's really not all that bad when it comes to shopping... he enjoyed himself and even came out with a nice looking black button down shirt. He prefers shopping for me and with me as opposed to finding clothes for himself. Let me tell you, finding decent clothes for a 6 foot 5 1/2 inch thin man is no easy task.

Sunday after church we relaxed at our apartment and headed to our 5:30 reservations at a Turkish restaurant, Bosphorous, in Winter Park. Matthew made the arrangements and the food was wonderful! That is where we found ourselves reminiscing on past Valentine's. Love is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated and recognized more than one designated day a year. Isn't it amazing that we have an unconditional love exemplified by the Heavenly Father that we can rely on? I take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, His love abounds. It is God's love that is an example we can follow in our daily lives. Love is certainly worth celebrating. Praise Him for giving His love, and surrounding us with people to practice on ;)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Breezy Saturday

It's so nice to be able to have the windows open and feel a fresh breeze blow through. There's only a short time we can actually do this in Florida and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's a high of 65 today and sunny. I feel a bit guilty freely enjoying this weather when my parents have had wintry mixes, sleet, and snow off and on for the last week and Matthew's parents have a blizzard happening in Ohio... and no electricity. Guess I should do my best to send some warmth up their way!

Today I was on my way to the grocery store when I noticed that my herbs have sprouted in the pot outside our door. I planted them about two weeks ago - even though January is a bit early for planting. It's Florida... the cold won't last much longer. This year we're going to have cilantro (Matt's pick), garlic chives, and lavender (my pick). With my leftover seeds, I secretly tossed them onto the little landscaped island outside our building. The apartment landscapers never seem to care about that spot, so I thought having some extra herbs pop up would be a nice surprise ;) We'll see! One day, we hope to have a nice spot of land of our own where we can plant to our hearts' content... yes, one day.

I wish my husband was here to enjoy a relaxing, breezy Saturday as well. He's been at work since 7 this morning photographing youth sport teams. When he gets home he'll have just a small chance to rest before we head out to a get-together with our Sunday School class. We both are looking forward to this. It's Mexican themed and I am in the process of making Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie... the recipe looked easy enough so we'll see how it tastes later. I was a bit disappointed as I put the ingredients into the dish because the smell very much resembled breakfast cinnamon rolls and there's nothing really Mexican about cinnamon rolls. Oh well. The recipe got great reviews and I think it'll be yummy served with ice cream.

This past week was a bit rough for me. A very stressful event happened at school last week that carried over to this one. I was constantly reminded to trust God and everything will turn out fine. For me, this was difficult to do because I kept going over every possible scenario in my head that could take place and worried over how I'd prepare for it. After wrestling with this for about four days, I finally began to feel some peace and relax a little. One morning as I was getting out of the shower, this song came into my head and it was perfect:

"I will cast all my cares upon you.
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet
And anytime I don't know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon you."

With this comforting chorus, my prayers, and prayers of others, the incident came to a close this week with little drama. God is so good! I can look back now and see how He handled things and how silly my worrying was.

Matt & I started Crown Ministries this week. It's a faith based approach to dealing with finances the way God intended us to. We've been looking forward to doing this with the small group we meet with every two weeks. There's homework to accomplish, scriptures to memorize, and questions to get us thinking deeply about the direction our financial life should take. Call me a nerd, but when I saw the hard back books, nifty carrying case, and the challenge of homework, I was quite excited :) I'm curious to see what God will teach us over the next 10 weeks.

To finish this post, here is a picture of the latest sewing project - a request by my husband. He asked if I could make him a pouch for his graphics tablet so it's protected in his bag when he travels. We went to JoAnn's Fabrics last week and I smiled to myself as I watched him roam through the aisles of fabric obviously overwhelmed. He decided on simple stripes (yay for easy sewing!) with a soft liner. I hope to have this simple case finished this weekend. It's nice being able to use the sewing machine again and get in some MUCH needed practice. I think I'll go work on finishing it now before we leave.

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