Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple Picking

Today Vanilla Bean Counter and I drove to the farm to visit Grandma Norma and Grandpa Joe. It's apple-picking time, and we decided to help. (This is only fair, considering I use the apples throughout the year to make my favorite apple pie). Despite some rain, we had a very nice time. Grandma made cheese soup and lemon dessert, and we worked for a couple hours. After two wheelbarrows of apples, we had bags of sliced apples ready to freeze and two large bowls of applesauce.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello, I'm Mrs. Sombrero

I have a really hard last name. It shouldn't be, but it is, especially for my students. Today, of my students said to me, "Excuse me, Mrs. Sombrero, could you help me?" I couldn't hold the laughter in. Too funny. I really do have a pretty fun job.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday

Did we not learn a lesson from good old Berenstain Bears? I guess not. This weekend was Joshua's birthday extravaganza, to the point where this is what my kitchen looked like this morning when I got up.
Really, though, we had a great time. Friends were here all weekend for games and good times. We had birthday pie (chocolate, key lime, and apple) and pulled pork and Italian beef for dinner on Saturday. And the party was completed with Transformers hats. At one point during the night, we had to bring in the deck chairs so everyone could get around the table for Apples to Apples.Happy Birthday Joshua!


This morning Vanilla Bean Counter and I headed to Bloomington with Grandma Bev and Mom for the much-talked-about Third Sunday Market, a giant flea market, antiques show, craft show, and famers' market. Everyone found a trinket, and we had a nice time despite a little rain.
Back to work in the morning.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Field Trip!

Today was my first CBI (Community-based Instruction), today's way of saying field trip. This morning we loaded up the bus and traveled to the Morton Pumpkin Festival. Each year, the festival is opened up for free to special education classes in the area. We had pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin cookies and went on rides all morning. Then it was off to a local park for lunch and playground fun. It was a great day with perfect weather, and I can't believe that I got paid to go. It was definitely work, though, especially when one of my students climbed all the way to the top of the giant slide with me and then panicked. She wouldn't slide down and didn't want to go back down the stairs either. We were up there for ten minutes. We made it down in the end. The only other small problem of the day was a broken insulin pump clip. Over all, a very fun Friday at work.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ping Pong

So I hate ping pong. In high school, we would play it in gym class during the same unit that we played pickle ball. The ping pong tables were on the stage, while the pickle ball courts were adjacent to the stage in the gymnasium. I always felt like I spent more time chasing the silly ping pong ball as it rolled off the stage and across the gym than playing the game.

Even though ping pong isn't my favorite, I'm growing to appreciate it because of my neighbors. They have a table in their garage, and most evenings, they open their garage door and spend some time battling. It's fun to be outside watering plants and listening to their game. It's homey and just one more reason I love my neighborhood.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Baby Shower and a Chicken

Yesterday after Joshua was off of work for the morning, we headed to Mahomet for a baby shower. Luke's little girl was born 6 weeks ago, and it was time to celebrate. The shower was about as you can imagine, lots of women taking turns holding the baby, cake, and presents.

Before the shower, we had time to stop in Monticello to visit Joshua's grandparents, always a good time. We met them at Phillipo's for pizza. While there, we caught up on the town's latest news, a new pool going in, the new Mexican restaurant on the square, and Grandpa's new chicken. This was quite a comical story. Grandpa is about the nicest person you can imagine, but is too funny sometimes. I guess a few weeks ago while a heavy storm was passing through town, a chicken came flying out of sky, landed on the driveway, and skidded to a stop. Then, the chicken got up and started strutting around. Well, as Grandpa described, you could just tell it was a mean old bird the way it was walking around. The next day, he called up the mayor to find out what to do. Afterall, you can't keep farm animals in town. The mayor sent out the game warden who attempted to catch the chicken with a net. Apparently with a little persuasion from Grandpa, who was the sherriff in town for many years and is still highly respected, the game warden didn't try very hard to catch the chicken. So, the chicken stays, and Grandpa loves feeding it, along with his dog and the many birds and squirrels in his yard. I'm skeptical the chicken is going to last with the golden retriever around, but we'll see.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Man Cave, Done!

Joshua has been pining for a man cave since middle school, and now his dream has come true. It involves horrible dark green paint, a giant sectional, and an even more giant TV. Would I pick any of these things? No. Am I a little annoyed that the basement is the most expensive room in our house? Yes. It's worth it, though. He loves it and has already started breaking it in by playing nerd games while watching comic book inspired movies.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fun Long Weekend

Saturday was the annual family Labor Day party at the farm. Besides lots of good food, the main event of the day is always the rolle bolle tournament. Rolle bolle is a traditional Belgian lawn game involving competing teams rolling beveled wheels toward a stake 20 feet away. Think horseshoes/bowling. It's always a good time. This year my team did fairly well, and Joshua's team won the grand champion title. It was a great time.After the competition ended, we hurried home to meet our guests. Jenna and Randy drove from Alton to see our new house. We had a nice time relaxing, celebrating Jenna's birthday, playing Wii, and touring Peoria. They stayed until this morning.

After they left, I got to work filling in some sod in the front yard around the new landscaping. I need to get a picture of it... This afternoon Mom, Dad, Shaun, and Joshua's family from Springfield came for a nice afternoon of chatting and homemade pizza.

What a full and fun weekend. Back to work in the morning.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bathroom, Done!

I got out of my painting slump and worked on the bathroom last weekend. The mirror problem is solved. The holes are now hidden with a new large mirror. Lazy to hide them again, I know, but as my parents taught me to say, it's the next owner's problem. new cabinet hardware and some green paint were the only other changes. I'm quite happy with how it all turned out. At some point new flooring and a new light fixture would be nice, but those are projects for a later time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Umm, I don't really like puppies or cats, but for some reason, this just makes me smile uncontrollably. I couldn't tell you why, but I love it.