Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mission: Organization

Tal and I have an ongoing goal to increase storage and organization in our house. This weekend we doubled our storage potential in three closets (laundry, office, and master bedroom) by installing additional shelving.

Before: Master Bedroom Closet

Over the past year, I've taken over 80% of "our" closet with my clothes, and poor Tal has had to keep his work clothes in the office closet.

Before: Office Closet (Tal's Closet)

On Saturday, Tal took down the shelving that was in master bedroom and office closets. Then, he installed top and bottom shelving in both closets.

Our main goal was to create enough room for my clothes AND Tal's clothes in our closet. We did it! As you can see below, all of our clothes now fit in ONE closet.

After: Master Bedroom Closet

Also, in the laundry closet, there were several feet of wasted space above the one shelf. To utilize this space, Tal added another shelf.

Before: Laundry Closet

After: Laundry Closet

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Golfing for Charity

On Saturday, Tal (and nearly 100 other golfers) participated in the fifth annual Harold T. Anderson, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament in Pine Knoll Shores, NC.

The golf tournament raises money for the memorial fund that was established in honor of Tal's dad who passed away nearly five years ago.

The fund contributes money to local soup kitchens, as well as provides school supplies and Christmas gifts to students, families, and senior citizens in Eastern NC.

It was a wonderful day to go golfing, and we were thrilled to support Tal's family and such a worthwhile charity.

Tal's Team

The sign below was posted on the 15th hole, where Tal's dad made his only hole-in-one some years ago. You can see that Tal and his brother Benny wrote their comments.

Renee and I tagged along with Tal's team in our golf cart. We had fun being photographers and silent cheerleaders.

During the tournament, Amanda drove the beverage cart and delivered drinks and snacks to the golfers.

At the Beach

On Saturday morning, we dropped off Tal at the golf course, and then Renee, Amanda, and I hit Salter Path Beach.

We had a wonderful time walking on beach, collecting seashells, and watching the crashing waves. One of the highlights of our walk was seeing countless dolphins diving close to the shore.

For lunch, we ate flounder at The Crab Shack, which overlooks Bogue Sound. It was a beautiful and delicious lunch!

A Winning Season

Last week Tal's Little League team played in the semi-finals. After finishing the season with an 11-4 record, the team celebrated at Cici's Pizza and passed out trophies.

Throughout the season, a number of parents, coaches, and umpires have praised Tal for the way he's coached his team, as well as for how his team has played with class, displayed good sportsmanship, and had fun playing baseball.

These positive comments have encouraged Tal and affirmed that he is not only making a difference in his players but in other teams as well.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Popular Tal-isms

Tal's favorite game pose

A number of Little League parents have asked me, "Rachel, where is your husband from? He's not from these parts."

Sometimes, they'll turn to me and ask, "What did Tal just say?"

In fact, the parents have coined Tal's sayings as "Tal-isms."

Throughout Little League season, I've been collecting some popular Tal-isms:
  • "God invented washing machines, so you can get your shirt dirty."
  • "Break it up, guys! We can decide where we're going to eat later."
  • "Smile at the pitcher like you know something he doesn't."
  • "Come on, boys! I smell the buffet."
  • "Quack! Quack! A couple of mallards on the pond (batters on base)."
  • "Come on, get a hit, and Mardi Gras will break out. We'll have a fiesta."
  • "Don't worry, they're not going to close the buffet line without you."
  • "Get your money's worth [when you look at the ball]."
  • "Watching one strike is pretty. Watching two strikes is a parade. This is a baseball game, not a parade."
  • "Turn your frown upside down."
  • "Okay, this is deuces wild (two balls, two strikes, two outs)."
  • "That catch looked like Dancing with the Stars."
  • "If you're not going to swing, then you're just wasting your energy holding it."
Gotta love him! Tal definitely makes baseball entertaining. :-)

Ramp It Up

Take a look at the ramp that Tal built onto his shed today. With the new ramp, Tal will be able to move the lawnmower, bike, etc. in and out of the shed more easily.

Wednesday Weigh-In Results

Some of you have been cheering for me since I joined my school's Wednesday Weigh-In group--our version of TV's Biggest Loser.

Since March, I (along with 20 other teachers) have been weighing-in every Wednesday and charting my weight-loss progress with our school nurse.

Being part of the group has motivated me to exercise five hours a week and stick to a healthy diet.

At my final weigh-in last Wednesday, I discovered that I've lost 12 pounds during the last three months. Yea!

I'm gladly putting my weight loss efforts on hold during the next nine months, but I'll continue the healthy routine that I've established over the last few months.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Follow the Signs

This week one of our year-long goals came to fruition in the library. My wonderful coworker Tonia, who has a small sign business, created vinyl signs for our walls and shelves.

These signs will help students learn how to locate library materials independently. For instance, now students will have visual cues to help them find the chapter books, biographies, and fairy tales.

Plus, on the shelves, we've added letters to help students find books by authors' last names in the fiction section. In the nonfiction section, we put Dewey Decimal numbers to show where the 100's, 200's, etc. begin.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Keepin' It Cool

Last weekend we discovered that the ice in our freezer was melting. According to the repairman, our fridge model had been recalled, and he recommended that we replace it.

When it was time to go shopping, I about fell out of my chair when Tal suggested that we buy a stainless steel fridge.

Tal: "We might as well go ahead and modernize. After all, stainless steel adds value to our house--according to your shows on HGTV."

Who knew Tal was actually paying attention during all my HGTV shows?!

On Wednesday night, we spent two hours cooking everything in our freezer. Tal grilled (in the rain) chicken, pork chops, steak, and shrimp, while I cooked taco meat, sloppy joes, and beef stew. We'll be eating leftovers for days! That's fine with us because that means we won't have to cook. :-)

Our new Whirlpool fridge was delivered today. We trust that it will serve us well for many years!