The Sickies

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I must have a sensitive immune system, because if there’s a sickness going around, I’m going to get it. It’s a fact. The flu, ear infections, sinus infections, the common cold… been there, done that. At least once a year. And it doesn’t even matter if I drink my milk, eat my veggies, or stock up on Vitamin C supplements. I’m just doomed to get the sickies.

While I was student teaching, I got sick the first week, and continued to have various ailments for the next three months. I was only completely healthy for three of my sixteen week placement. Now most of the time, I’m able to push through and live my life fairly normally. (Minus the occasional whining.)

Through our courtship, Brian seldom caught whatever illness I had… in fact, I can only think of TWO times that he has been legitimately sick. Once right after our freshman year of college and then again at the beginning of student teaching when he caught the nasty head cold that I had.

I figured that he didn’t catch whatever I had because he lived in a different place — I mean, we spent the majority of our free time together — but I figured that sleeping in our own spaces would block the germs. I figured that when we got married, he’d start catching the colds that I caught.

Boy was I wrong! So far this cold/flu season I have had a couple colds and the flu. Guess how many sicknesses Brian has had? That’s right. NONE. Not a single tissue used, not a single cough drop savored, not a single puke bucket kept by the bedside.

It’s unreal. Unreal! His immune system must make up for my lack of one, because he his untouchable! Let’s only hope that once we start having kids that they inherit their father’s sense of humor and his rock solid immunity to the sickies!

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Weekend Update

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So, I asked Brian to write this week’s update. His response was “What did we even do this week?” My answer “I don’t know, I was sick for most of it.”

And that’s the truth. Monday and Tuesday I had a horrible migraine. Wednesday night, I started getting the worst head cold I think I’ve ever had. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but it has made me feel so off since Thursday morning.

We both subbed a few days this week, and got some days on the schedule for this coming week. It feels refreshing to know that you have things to do in the next 5 days!

I judged high school speech on Saturday. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to coach with any of the kiddos this week due to my illnesses. The tournament was an eye opener to many! A lot of students really brought their A game. Which made it easier to judge… but harder to compete!

Afterwards, the team met a swanky new dive in GI. The Chocolate Bar was amazing! Brian and I decided to join them, while the kids read their ballots. The atmosphere is so great, the chocolate was to die for, and there were so many coffee/tea selections! I can’t wait to go again and have some of their wine and meat and cheese tray. ūüôā

So, I’m sorry dear readers, that I didn’t post at all this week! I have some great ideas, I just need to start feeling better so that I can sit down and FOCUS on something for longer than 5 seconds!

Any tips for curing the worst head cold of my life?!?!

 

Weekend Update

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Oh man! Things have been pretty slow this week, so it was hard to find the motivation to blog about our week. But this is only our second weekend update! They say you need to do something at least seven times before it becomes routine, so I knew if I skipped writing this post, it would all go downhill.

So, I bring you this: lists. I know, it’s kind of cheating, but I PROMISE to write more this week.

LIST 1: Food we ate.

  • Homemade roasted veggie pizza. And I’m talking COMPLETELY homemade. Brian made the crust, roasted the veggies, and made the sauce.
  • Thai Noodles. For lunch on Friday, we pretty much followed the recipe (see my pinterest if you can’t wait for a post about it!). Then for supper on Sunday, we added pork and “winged it” a bit on the sauce.
  • Apple Crisp
  • Crispy Baked Chicken
  • Cinnamon Roll Waffles — turned out MUCH better than the brownie experiment! But it was REALLY messy to clean up!

 

LIST 2: Chores we accomplished.

  • Vacuumed the ENTIRE house with our BRAND-NEW vacuum! We absolutely love it!

 

LIST 3: Chores we didn’t accomplish.

  • Unpacking the last Rubbermaid tote of books. Should have done it when we did the rest of the books, because now it seems like a chore!

 

LIST 4: Total Days Subbed.

  • 2… it was a slow week.

 

LIST 5: Number of crimes we assisted GIPD in solving.

  • 1… we were eye witnesses to an attempted robbery. Kind of. We went to the store and saw some people very suspiciously running across a yard and hopping into a car. We thought it was weird, but finished our trip. When we came home, we saw at least 7 police cars surrounding the area where we saw the strange runners. So we stopped and told the cop what we saw… he said he really appreciated our help. I just felt bad that we didn’t think it was strange enough to get a license plate number. ūüė¶ But still, he took our number and said he’d “call if they needed anything else.” Essentially, we’re PROBABLY now on their speed dial for anytime a crime needs to be solved! ūüôā

 

Well, that pretty much sums up our week. Like I said, I’ll actually write about stuff later. Maybe I’ll even get Brian to share his cooking secrets, because that man can cook like a pro! Iron Chef Zakarian better watch his back!

Nailed It!

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So, I posted earlier today about my awesome wine cork “M.” I have a post in the works about a great way to keep cards that you receive displayed in a way that you can always look back at your memories without having a drawer full of unsightly clutter.

You see, I was feeling “Pinterested” today. I wanted to create! And my loving, supporting husband approved of my need to try new things.

I just got my office desk in decent condition, so I didn’t really want to craft. (Although, at the top of my to-do list is to make this awesome tea bag wreath.)

So, I decided to try a new and easy recipe. We got a waffle maker for Christmas… and I have been seeing these delicious looking waffle brownies popping up on Pinterest, so I decided to try.

Here’s what the pictures looked like on Pinterest…

So, when I saw that thisRachel Ray Show recipe called for a box of brownie mix, I thought we were good to go. Did I bother to read the rest of the instructions? Nope. Thought it was as simple as mixing up a brownie mix, pouring it into the pan, and waiting for deliciousness.

(Side note: Brian insists that I add this part of the story, which I would prefer to omit. He DID ask me before we started this adventure, “Sooo… we just follow the recipe like usual???” To which I did not hesitate, I just said “YEP!” and started mixing.)

A few minutes later, this is what I found…

Whoops! This crunchy, crumbly “dessert” made a nice mess in our waffle maker! I was so disappointed.

When I went back to find the picture of the perfect waffle brownie, I looked at the instructions. Guess what step I missed?!

OMIT ANY WATER OR MILK FROM BOX MIX INSTRUCTIONS

Lesson learned, my friends. Sometimes, “winging it” doesn’t work for this cook. Sometimes, I just need to slow down and read ALL of the instructions. Thankfully, only a fraction of the batter was lost. We now have a nice little pan of fudgey-gooey perfection.

___________

Epilogue:

Brian did eat the cunchy brownie. It basically turned out like one big over-cooked edge of a brownie — which happens to be his favorite part. I TRIED it, decided it wasn’t worth it, then had a small piece from the pan.

I think we should try it again, this time omitting the water or milk. Brian, though, doesn’t think it’ll make a difference. It will still turn out like an edge piece. What do you think? Have you tried these “treats”?

Drinking wine has NEVER been so productive…

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I got this idea from Pinterest, and I just HAD to try it.

Five easy steps, and you have a great wall decoration:
1. Buy a wooden letter. (We got ours from Hobby Lobby for about $2)
2. Drink wine.
3. Save the cork.
4. Use a hot glue gun to adhere your corks to your wooden letter.
5. Attach wooden letter to wall. (We used the 3M velcro strips. That way, we can peel it off the wall when our next stash of corks is ready to adhere. Then just stick it back up. Plus, when we eventually move, that’s one less hole in the wall that we’ll need to fill!)
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until letter is full.

So remember: The faster you go through your wine, the faster your letter will fill up!

I think this is going to be a super fun project to finish…

Beef

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Chicken makes up a good deal of our meals. It’s cheap per pound, versatile, and comes in many forms. Yet it becomes boring through overuse, of course. Consequently, we don’t eat a lot of beef, pork, or fish — they just can’t compete with 78 cents to 1.99 per pound.

We do eat a lot of good deals, though. If our menu shows a sudden flourish of variety all of a sudden, it’s not because of creativity or desire for better food — it’s probably a reflection of current sales or coupons.

HyVee had a deal where if we bought a beef chuck roast we’d get a free mashed potato side, a free bag salad, and free pack of hawaiian sweet rolls. I think we’d quickly gone to the store for something simple, planning some boring chicken thing for dinner once we got back. Seeing this deal, though, we pounced and began changing our meal plans for the next few days.

Upon arriving back home, “boring chicken thing” (the details of such blandness are hazy, thus the generic stand-in) was good enough for the time being, especially because we had no plan for this new piece of meat that we had very little experience with.

After perusing countless recipes online, we finally felt ready to “wing it,” whereas winging it is defined as pretty much making your own recipe but finding inspiration from others, and making sure you have a least decent idea of how to cook something so it won’t kill you. See Works Cited at end of post for these inspirations. (This will probably be the first of many posts where you learn about our desire to “wing it”… it’s kind of our style.)

The plan became this: I (Brian) would . . .

1. ¬†round up 4 or 5 small russet potatoes [ed. note- I won’t specifically mention how¬†and when¬†I clean ingredients or equipment within my descriptions; assume whatever makes you feel comfortable], cut them up into large chunks, and set them aside

2.  find a couple handfuls of baby carrots that still smelled/looked like carrots in the bottom drawer, and would be much easier than cutting up adult carrots.

3.  cut up two medium onions into big chunks.

4.  place all of the above into our Deep Dish Baker.

5.  sear the roast on all sides in a cast iron skillet on the stove, liberally salting and peppering all around (the roast, not the kitchen).

6.  move the seared roast onto the bed of vegetables after the roast is browned all over and the house smells like an Applebees.

7. ¬†pour about a cup of red wine (we used really cheap Merlot — Tisdales, $2.88, HyVee) into the dish, and then fill with water until the vegetables are all covered.

8.  create a small amount of basting goo (culinary thesaurus unavailable) for the top of the roast: a bit of the wine, a little vegetable oil, a dash of cornstarch for thickening, and then a bunch of all the spices that seemed to make sense (see next step).

9.  season everything very liberally. More salt and pepper (make sure you get the veggies on the perimeter), garlic powder, oregano, rosemary, sage, Worcestershire sauce. Place three or four bay leaves in the liquid and on top of the roast.

Oh yeah, the reason I don’t write recipes — I forgot to tell you to preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Do that now and find something to do until it’s ready.

10.  Cook in the oven at 325 for about 3 hours. A meat thermometer would help . . . mine was out of batteries, so I played it safe, and ended up with a drier roast than I should have.

It was really good! And only took ten steps!! (if pressed for time, you can make it in one or two steps, but it would require some strenuous-to-impossible multitasking).

A future blog post will address what we did with the leftovers.

  

Works Cited

http://judicialpeach.com/2010/04/25/beef-brisket/

http://fastpaleo.com/merlot-braised-beef-roast/

Weekend Update

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Well, friends, it’s been a crazy week in our little world. There were some ups and some downs and I am so glad that this week will be different.

I subbed for three days this week. Brian subbed for two. While his days were usual high-school sub days (read: he watched the same two movies all day), one of mine was a bit different.

Now let me preface this by saying that I love subbing — much more than I thought I would. I really feel that I am learning to be more flexible, learning to pick up on student behavioral ticks, and becoming more comfortable with my teaching style while learning a lot about other teaching styles. I know that all the experiences that I have this year will only make me a better teacher in the long run.

That being said, I left one job this week in tears. Without getting into specifics, I was overwhelmed with the lack of specificity left in lesson plans, not being able to find the needed materials, and most of all, it was the most alone I had felt in a long time.

How do you get over a day like that? A day where you doubt that the regular teacher will see how capable you are of running their classroom? Well, you have another day in a different classroom where the principal comes in and tells you that they love having you in their building.

Life goes on — some days are easy, others are hard. I was lucky to have a great first semester of subbing — no major issues. So I think it was due for me to have a fantastically awful day. At first, I vowed to myself and Brian that I would NOT go back to that position again. But after a few days, I think I’m more open to the idea of trying it again. I know in my heart that I can lead this classroom, and if I’m ever asked again, I wouldn’t say no right away. And I’m proud of myself for that. ūüôā

In other news:

Brian made a roast for me. A post will be coming on this wonderful meal. Be ready to salivate. ūüôā

Brian also made buffalo wings. If you know Brian, you know that wings are his favorite treat (aside from Rice Krispie treats). And these homemade wings did not disappoint. Maybe I’ll get him to write about them?!

I finished up three crafts and have one in the works. Will post about that this week!

I judged a high school speech meet. I even went into my alma mater to help coach a few days last week, and I think it’s definitely something I’ll continue doing. I love being back into the speech thing. I forgot what a special part of my life it was. And let me tell you, even with only practicing with these talented young adults a few times, they have a very special place in my heart. I was beaming with pride when 20 of their 27 events medalled today!

A final note of sad news:

A young man in our community passed away this week. I had only met him in passing, but he definitely impacted my heart. Everyone who met him was warmed by his giant smile and genuine love. His untimely passing had quite the impact on me. I only hope that everyone who met this wonderful boy will be able to impact someone’s life the way he impacted the lives of all he met.

So, you can see, while it was a normal week in some respects, it was also a week of learning more about how to be the best you can be. And with that, I’m going to bed. Let’s hope next week is different.

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