Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Roll Out the Carpet

My friend Emily took the photo below and made me promise to put it on the blog so "my family can see me in action."

People say a picture is worth a thousand words. In case you didn't believe it, here I am as a bona fide children's librarian. :-)

Also, Tonia and I wanted to show off our new storytime rug that we purchased with our Book Fair profits.

Not only is the rug colorful, but it serves a practical purpose as well. Now every student has his/her own square. Countless times each day I say, "Make sure you're in your square with your legs criss-crossed, your hands in your lap, and a marshmallow in your mouth."

Also, I now can dismiss students by the color of their row. For instance, I say, "The red row can go to their tables." It's amazing how a rug can do wonders for my classroom management!

My spacious purple and turquoise library

He's a Keeper

Sometimes I have to brag about what a great guy my husband is:
  • Last night Tal cooked steak, chicken, pork chops, and shrimp for dinner (actually we'll be eating leftovers for days) PLUS washed all of the dishes.
  • Last weekend Tal took me to the chick flick Made of Honor--just because he wanted to spend the afternoon with me doing something that I would enjoy.
  • A couple days ago, he THANKED me for letting him go golfing. Why would I refuse to let Tal do something he enjoys so much?!
  • My sweet hubby recently downloaded 82 songs by Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and LeAnn Rimes onto my iPod--just because he knew I liked them and needed some new exercise music.
  • Tal actually ENCOURAGES me to go shopping.
  • He calls me "pretty lady," "the best," and tells me that he loves my "cute little nose" and "squishy cheeks."
  • Tal makes me a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast before I leave for school every morning.

I think Tal's worth keeping around for the next 50 years or so. Don't you think?

Got Green Guilt?

Often I feel that every magazine I read and every TV show I watch is "encouraging" me to "go green." Apparently, I'm not the only one suffering from a smidgen of "green guilt." An article I read a few weeks ago revealed that 22% of Americans feel that they're not green enough.

That got me thinking. What are Tal and I doing to reduce, reuse, and recycle?
  • We borrow books from the library instead of buying from a book store. (The library's cheaper anyway.)
  • We read donated magazines from the library.
  • When we're done reading our magazines, we donate them to our gym.
  • We do all of our banking online, so we don't receive paper statements in the mail.
  • I drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. (My Honda Civic averages 30-34 MPG.)
  • We donate our unwanted stuff to Goodwill a couple times each year.
  • We recently purchased an Energy Star HVAC and refrigerator.
  • We reuse our bath towels before we toss them in the hamper.
  • We turn off the water when we brush our teeth.
  • We flush less often.
  • We run the dishwasher only when it's full.
  • We reuse water bottles and don't buy bottled water.
  • We lower our thermostat in the winter and raise it in the winter. (In fact, right now it's set at a warm 82 degrees.)
  • We turn off the lights when we leave the room.
  • We turn off the lights when we watch TV at night.
Sure, we could do more, but I feel so much better knowing that we're doing SOMETHING to save the environment. Goodbye, green guilt! :-)

Memorial Day

While Tal was golfing on Monday, I spent the afternoon with Renee and Amanda. We primed the wrought- iron trellis in their backyard. As you can see below, the trellis has turned brown and rusty over the last couple years.

After eight cans of spray paint, however, the trellis is looking classy again. Now Renee's all set to paint the trellis over the next few days.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Move Over, Norm Abram

Take a look at Tal's newly organized shed in our backyard. During the last couple weekends, Tal has installed pegboard, hung hooks to hold his tools, installed shelving, and built a bench to hold heavier items.

Although our house isn't large enough for Tal to have an official "man cave," he now has two places that he can call "his own:" the office and the shed. :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One Year Older

After church today, we had lunch at Carrabba's to celebrate Amanda's 30th birthday (May 16) and my 32nd birthday (May 18). We topped off our celebration with a slice of decadent tiramasu for dessert.

Ahh...birthdays. I love them!

Time to Cut the Cake

In keeping with tradition, Tal and I ate the top tier of our wedding cake on our first anniversary (May 11) .

In my opinion, the white cake was a bit dry, but the quarter-inch thick butter cream frosting was scrumptious.

Tal, however, was a reluctant participant. He feared the cake would "taste like shoe leather" (and it did--according to Tal).

Afterwards, Tal remarked, "Hey, look at it this way. Now we have more room in our freezer." :-)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Worst BBQ in Texas

Prepare to pig out!

On Saturday night, we had dinner at Rudy's--a restaurant that claims to have the worst BBQ in Texas. What a lie!

When we told some of our church friends that we were going to San Antonio, they said we HAD to eat at Rudy's. At Rudy's, we ate BBQ brisket and sausage dipped in Rudy's special sauce, as well as the best creamed corn Tal said he'd ever tasted.

Afterwards, Tal joked that it was the best meal he'd eaten in three or four weeks. I guess that says a lot about my home cooking, huh?! :)

Putting Around

The Clubhouse

On Saturday, we went golfing at the Golf Club of Texas at Briggs Ranch. (When I say "we" went golfing, I really mean that Tal did all the golfing, and I was happy reading my book in the golf cart.) :)

Pro golfer Lee Trevino helped design the course, which is located 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio. The course featured water on 11 holes and 44 sand bunkers, as well as natural Texas wildflowers, cacti, and mesquite trees.

It was a HOT and sunny day on the golf course, and we had a great time!

Tower of the Americas

Tower of the Americas

Views from the top of the Tower of the Americas

One of the fountains outside Tower of the Americas

On Friday, Tal and I rode a glass elevator to the top of the Tower of the Americas in downtown San Antonio. The 750-foot tower offers 360-degree panoramic views of San Antonio. It was windy and pretty from the top of the tower!

On the River

San Antonio River Walk

River Cruise

Rainforest Cafe

On Friday, Tal and I rode the trolley from our hotel to the River Walk in downtown San Antonio. The San Antonio River Walk is a three-mile winding pathway of restaurants, hotels, and stores that run 20-feet below the city's main street level.

After having lunch at the Rainforest cafe, we took a relaxing 35-minute boat ride during which the river captain gave us a history of the river.

As you can see, the River Walk is serene and park-like. The pictures, however, don't show how hot it was in San Antonio. It was 98-degrees on Friday and Saturday! :)

Shrine of Liberty

The Alamo

On Friday, Tal and I visited the Alamo, which is located in downtown San Antonio. On March 6, 1836, the Alamo made its mark in history when 188 men died after being attacked by Santa Anna's troops. Today the Alamo is a symbol of the state's independence and courage.

Life's a Trip!

Our hotel room in San Antonio

This weekend my sweet hubby whisked me away to San Antonio, TX to celebrate our first wedding anniversary (May 11) and my birthday (May 18). Several people have asked me, "Why did you decide to go to San Antonio?"

The answer is simple: Tal and I have a lifetime goal to visit all 50 states, and Tal had never visited Texas. We've traveled to almost half of the states, but below are 29 states that one or both of us haven't visited yet:
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Alaska
From the list above, you can see that we'll have lots of fun traveling during our next 50+ years together. Stay tuned to find out where our next adventure will be!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Spring Transplanting

Okay, so not having any gutters on our house has created a bit of a problem. When it rains, the water pounds our poor azalea bushes and knocks off the flowers. To correct this problem, today Tal and I transplanted eight bushes in our front flower bed. First, we laid landscape fabric to prevent weeds. Then, we moved the azalea bushes closer to the sidewalk and put the non-flowering bushes behind the azaleas. Finally, we spread mulch around the flower beds.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why I Love My Job

Earlier today, a first grader came up to me. He was grinning and hugging Dr. Seuss's ABC's.

"Mrs. Anderson, do you know why I love coming to the library?" he asked.

"Why?" I responded.

"Because I love books!" he exclaimed.

Ahhhh...that's music to my ears.