Gathering Graces 2/27/2017

*Snow! Snow! and more Snow!  It has been snowing on and off for the past few days.  I am not tired of it yet.  I think it is beautiful.  Give me softly falling white, beautiful snow over gray, drizzly, rainy weather any day!! 
*I came home at lunch and put some ingredients into the crock pot to make Beef Stew.  I use the same recipe for stew that I started using after we were first married.  It is in the little book that came with our first crock pot that we received as a wedding gift.  It is easy, flavorful and delicious.  Sometimes I buy the frozen bags of Stew Vegetables in the store, but today, I had carrots, potatoes, celery and onions on hand, so I cut them up and put them in the pot.  Here is a copy of the well-worn recipe I have been using to make stew since 1986. 
*With the snow falling, it was nice to have a nice, cozy fire to warm up with when we got home from having dinner with Mom.  Our fireplace has had a good workout this winter!!  I am so grateful to Mr. Bisaro who built the fireplace, and did such a good job, not only making it beautiful to look at, but functional as well.


Gathering Graces 2/26/2017

*I spent some time this morning before going to church watching the birds come to our bird feeder outside the window of our dining area.  I am so glad Paul put up the bird feeder last summer.  It has been fun watching the different types of birds come and eat at the feeder.  I think my favorite are the doves.  Yesterday I think we had over ten doves in our yard eating.  I think they are beautiful.
*Today I packed up the snowmen and put them away, saying goodbye to my wintry-themed livingroom.  Now I want to find all my spring decorations.  I found a few in the basement yesterday, but I think I need to purchase some more.  I did find a tote with lots of valentine decorations in it that I forgot I had.  But I used to have more Easter decorations.  Oh well, I’ll figure something out.
*I spent some time planning out the Drama program I am starting on Tuesday at the afterschool program at Pinehurst Elementary.  It was nice to get that figured out, and to feel better prepared as I meet with the students on Tuesday.
*I also got laundry done as I was watching and listening to the “All Access” backstage show streaming from oscars.com.  The ending had quite the twist.  “La La Land” won best picture, no wait, that’s not right, it was “Moonlight”.  I haven’t seen any of the films up for best picture, but there are quite a few I would like to see, hopefully soon.


Gathering Graces 2/25/2017

*Paul and I piled into the car and headed over to Coeur d’Alene to do some shopping.  First stop was The Lockerroom where Paul got his haircut.  Next stop was Costco, where we did some shopping for ourselves, and for Mom.  For a Saturday, it actually wasn’t too busy in Costco today.  Then we headed up to Fred Meyer.  Well, I drove, Paul jogged over. Our last stop was Lowe’s, where I purchased some items for a project I am working on.  Then we headed home to then unload everything.
* While walking in Fred Meyer, a woman was watering the primroses, and I couldn’t resist purchasing some to add a bit of spring color to the still wintry landscape around our home.  (We woke up to about an inch of snow this morning, and more is expected to come!)
*It was family dinner again tonight over at Christy and Everett’s.  We went to Mom’s house a little early so we could unload all her items we got for her, and put them away.  Then she bundled up and got her walker, and we trekked over next door.  Christy prepared a delicious dinner of lemon marinated chicken, wild rice blend, fresh veggies and some beets.  We had some cookie bars for dessert.  We got to enjoy the new recliner her and Everett purchased this last week, and it was very comfortable.  Their dog Tucker and I played tug the rope, capture the rope, throw the rope until the Gonzaga basketball game began.  We watched the first half there, then Mom was ready to head home.
*We watched the second half at home, and saw the Zags lose to the BYU Cougars.  I am hoping for good things for The Zags during March Madness!!
*The Zags may have lost, but KHS had two big winners at the State Wrestling Tournament down in Nampa yesterday.  Taylor Bush, who is a freshman, won second in his category, and Tanner Figueroa, one of my Gear Up and NHS students, won first place as a senior this year!!  Everyone is so proud of, not only these two boys, but the whole wrestling team!!  Way to go boys!!  Go WILDCATS!!!


Gathering Graces 2/24/2017

*The last two Friday mornings, I have gone to grab the keys to go over to Mom’s house and they have not been there.  Paul has had them in his coat pocket...OOPS!!  Thank you Logan Jacobson this morning for driving my car keys to my house from KHS so I could use the car for the day!!
*On the way home from Mom’s house, I saw our neighborhood moose in the neighbors front yard.  I stopped and took some photos, then she wandered through our front yard, nibbled on a shrub, then headed on down the road. 
*I had a mystery I needed to solve this morning.  I was eating a sub sandwich and the phone rang.  It was a call I needed to take, and I needed to be on my computer to take care of the business of the call.  When I got off the phone, I tried to figure out if I had finished the sandwich I was eating or if I had laid it down somewhere.  Well, I had laid it down on the plastic wrapper it had been wrapped in on the couch, and low and behold, Sadie the Sandwich Snatcher had taken it and went to her kennel in our bedroom to finish it.  By the time I found her, all she was doing was licking her chops. 
*I went to the freezer and grabbed a top round roast out to cook for dinner.  There was a bottle of Coke on the counter.  I found a recipe for Coca Cola Roast.  I did some modifications, but ended up with a pretty good sauce that I cooked the roast in in the crock pot.  I made some rice, and put it in the bottom of a pan.  I sliced the roast and layed it over the rice.  Then I poured the sauce over the roast and rice, after thickening it a bit with some corn start.  It turned out really good.  Then I made a Top Ramen Cabbage Salad to go with it, and we had one delicious meal to take over to Mom’s house.


Gathering Graces 2/23/2017

*Well, Uncle Bill, your tomato sauce recipe is making its way through the family.  Molly tried it tonight on some spaghetti sauce, and was very impressed. 
*The moose was around this morning behind that back fence, then I didn’t see it until I came home for lunch, and it was relaxing behind the back fence.  I’m not sure where it spent the night.
*I visited Pinehurst Elementary to observe the students in the PASS program, and see how things are fun to help me better prepare for my opening Drama Class that begins on Tuesday.  It was fun seeing students I was familiar with, but many I have yet to learn more about.  I also had a wonderful conversation with one of Zoe and Coco’s former teachers, and with a parent of one of my Gear Up students.  When I left the school, I looked up and captured some beautiful colors on the clouds as the sun was beginning to set.
*I stopped at Walmart on my way home to pick up dinner for Mom, Paul and I.  I grabbed a Sub Sandwich, Potato Salad and Potato Chips.  There I ran into one of my neighbors, and we visited about the resident moose for a bit.  She said she had a conversation with her neighbor who has lived in this subdivision for close to close to 50 years, and my neighbor has lived her on and off for around 30, and neither of them has seen wildlife like this in the neighborhood.  Earlier there were deer, then a herd of elk resided here for a while, and now the moose.
*An exciting day for KHS athletes.  We had 11 wrestlers get on a bus and head to Nampa this morning to compete in the State Wrestling Tournament.  The day before I had a conversation with the Wrestling Coach and congratulated him, and he made very glowing remarks about the boys on his team, and what a great group of young men they are, and now they never got into any kind of trouble all season.  Tonight the KHS Boys Basketball Team won their fourth straight district tournament, and are on their way to the State Boys Basketball Tournament in Meridian next week.


Gathering Graces 2/22/2017

*Today at KHS we had a little celebration for our library assistant Taylor Hahn, who is expecting a baby boy very soon.  It is so fun to see all the little baby items and clothes.  And it is fun to gather as a staff and celebrate at lunch.
*I was feeling a little sick to my stomach around 3 p.m., and realized I had not eaten any lunch, just a piece of cake from the baby shower.  Paul had done the same thing.  So we decided to go to a local Mexican Restaurant, Casa d’Oro for a late lunch/early dinner.  Paul enjoyed his fish tacos, and I enjoyed my Tacos al Carbon.  We ran into Jim Vergobbi and his grandson Nicholas Lee finishing up eating, and it was good to say hello.  We also saw the Gilseths and got caught up on how their grandchildren are doing. It was a fun outing.
*We arrived home, and Paul left to head up to Wallace for at bit.  I went over to the modem, because our internet had not been working that morning and unplugged the modem and plugged it back in again.  It is by one of our big windows that looks out into our backyard, I look up, and was startled to see a moose posed very comfortably under out arbor in our backyard.  It was just as relaxed as can be.  I got some video and photos while she stayed in our backyard.   Apparently she has been seen various places around town, and has been named Georgia.  Around 10 pm I headed for bed, then heard some noise outside my bedroom window.  Georgia was up and ambling around the backyard.  Once I saw her upright, I realized she could do a bit of damage to the yard.  She spend about 45 minutes or so wandering around, eating on various shrubs and trees, then headed back out the gate that she had squeezed through to enter our yard in the first place.  It was a wonderful experience, but I don’t think I would want to keep a moose for a pet!!
*Throughout the evening, I talked to all three of the girls.  Actually, Cosette called me first, and I shared with her, then the other two called at different times, and I sent them photos of the moose.  It was quite the experience.  I was a little upset I had missed out seeing the elk herd that was living in our subdivision a week or so ago, so instead I got to experience the moose, up close and person.  The Kellogg Police Department had posted on Facebook about “Georgia” letting residents know they were aware she was around, and to leave her alone.  Here is what they said,  Please do not feed, pet, take selfies with, or even shoo away “ Georgia the moose” The City of Kellogg and Fish and Game are aware that she is in town for a visit. Again, Please DO NOT FEED her or even get close to her. She will run you over. Georgia the moose will eventually leave on her own. Thanks. Some people thought it was a little humorous that people had to be told not to do this, but, let’s face it, people can be idiots when wildlife is concerned.  I hope George makes it back to the forest safe and sound, and everyone just leaves her alone.


Gathering Graces 2/21/2017

*As part of my job with Gear Up, our students and their parents have to do Gear Up surveys every year,  The student ones are easy, because the students just get on the computer and take them while I have them in class.  Now the parent ones are a little trickier.  They are paper ones, and I send them home with the students so the parents fill them out, then the students need to return them to me.  Today was the first deadline, and I have quite a few returned.  I need 60 percent of parent surveys returned, and I am about 20 shy of my goal.  Come one juniors and seniors, bring those surveys back.  They need to be all submitted by March 6th.
*SNOW! SNOW! SNOW!  Sorry folks, but I love it when it snows.  Give me snow over drizzly, gray, slushy weather any day.  I love the big snowflakes that fell today.  It is so beautiful!!
*I tried an interesting combination for dinner tonight to take over to Mom’s house.  Bill had posted a couple of days ago, a recipe for Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce that sounded absolutely wonderful, so I decided to try it.  It did not disappoint.  Basically you take two cans of tomatoes, an onion, butter and salt, and you make this incredible sauce.  If you want to check it out the recipe is here.  Then I prepared a spaghetti squash in the microwave, because I read the directions, and it seemed so easy to cook the squash in the microwave.  After I cooked it for 5 minutes, you turn the squash 180 degrees, which I did, and let it cook another 5 minutes.  About two minutes into the second five minutes, I heard a funny noise, and went to investigate, and my squash had exploded!!! (Yes, I had made six or seven sharp incisions with a knife into the squash, so that wasn’t the problem.) But I was able to reclaim most of the squash, despite the explosion.  I also roasted some cauliflower in the oven by covering it with coconut oil, salt and pepper.  I cut it up, added it to the spaghetti squash and the tomato sauce, and had a very delicious veggie dinner, that received Mom’s approval as well.
*After dinner, Paul and I headed to Wallace for our monthly board meeting for the Sixth Street Theater.  We had a very productive meeting, as well as listened to the cast of Escanaba in da Moonlight rehearse for their upcoming show which opens at the theater on March 3rd.


Gathering Graces 2/20/2017

*Today was a nice and relaxing President’s Day off from work.  I enjoyed the quietness of the house, and the chance to think and meditate on things.  I also read a lot today.
*One thing I finished reading today was the book Laura Bush:An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady.  It was interesting reading about her life while in the White House, and how President Bush dealt with some things that our current president is dealing with, such as being called a fascist, legitimately dealing with fake news reports.  But the way they handled these accusations was much different.  They seemed more private and gracious, despite their treatment.  I have now started a book about George W. Bush by Frank Bruni titled Ambling Into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush.
*Sister Christy hosted our weekly family dinner tonight.  We went and picked Mom up at her house next door, and she four-wheeled it over to Christy and Everett’s with her all terrain walker.  We enjoyed a lovely meal of barbecued pork steaks, a Mediterranean salad, petite peas, and a delicious applesauce cake for dessert.  We enjoyed some good conversation, and Christy was able to show Mom her “portal” from our local clinic to see what medical information was on there about her.


Gathering Graces 2/19/2017

*One of the verses from my morning Bible reading was in Luke 6, where Jesus says, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  Then, when I get to church, our pastor shares these verses from Matthew 5, where Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemies’.  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of you Father in heaven.”  Who am I becoming?  How will I respond to people that don’t deserve my care or compassion?  What will I say or do to the one who has disappointed me and to who I feel justifiable anger?  Christ brings love to a broken and hurting world.  As a Christian, I am to share that love to others just as Christ did.  Am I loving my enemies, or just tolerating them and respecting them?  Some serious words to meditate on this week.
*After church Paul and I went to see Joan Ross at her home.  What a delightful time we had visiting with her, as well as  her sister Rachael, and her son Rob and my friend Nikki.  Later, while we were there, Bev Jacobs arrived with her son and daughter Ron and Sharon.  It was nice to visit with all of them.  It was a lively time of conversation and laughs.
*I had a quick conversation with Molly on phone about couches.  Even though is was quick, it is always nice to talk to one of the girls.  Then later in the day, Zoe called, because she had been doing research on names in the Bible, and had sent her dad an email about the name Nimrod, and how the meaning of that name had changed because of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  It was nice catching up with her, and we are excited she will be coming home for her spring break at the end of March.
*There is a show on Netflix called The Royals that focuses on different aspects of England’s royal family. One episode focused on weddings, one focused on funerals, and one on being a teenage royal.  There was much said in the wedding and the funeral episodes about Princess Diana.  It is such a tragic story.  They referred to Elton John’s beautiful song Candle in the Wind that he sung at the funeral, so I had to listen.  If you would like to as well, here it is.


Gathering Graces 2/18/2017

*Earlier this week, brother Bill shared about making a tuna casserole with potato chips on top.  That got me thinking about my favorite casserole from my childhood, Potato Chip Casserole.  I knew I had some of the beef left over from the sandwiches made earlier, so I sent Paul to the store to buy a bag of potato chips, some green onions and a can of cream of mushroom soup, and I cooked up a delicious Potato Chip Casserole.  The photo of the recipe above is a copy of the recipe off the Nalley’s Potato Chip box that Mom used to make this recipe.
*I am cleaning bottles to start working on some projects to sell items made from empty bottles.  One thing I got done today was soaking and cleaning labels off of about 10 bottles, and another 10 or 12 washed out.  I hope to work on some more tomorrow.  The secret to getting the labels off is soaking them in hot water, and putting a mixture of dish soap, baking powder and white vinegar in the hot water that helps break up the glue holding the labels.  It worked really well!!
*Paul and I wanted to watch a movie last night, and, as I was flipping through options on Netflix, found Finding Dory. What a fun and touching movie to watch.
*I continued listening to What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell on my Kindle while working on my bottle project.  Today I listened to a story about hair color, and how an advertising copy writer came up with the slogan for Clairol Hair Color “Does she or doesn’t she?”. and how another copy writer years later came up with the L’Oreal “I’m Worth It”.  It was a fascinating story of how these two women in the advertising business changed the way people looked at women who color their hair. The Clairol ad slogan focused on how others saw the woman, and the L’Oreal ad slogan focused on how the woman saw herself.


Gathering Graces 2/17/2017

*Since reading the book American Wife, I have been interested in learning more about George W. and Laura Bush.  So I put some books on hold at the library.  They arrived this last week, and, since my sister Christy is now one of the librarians, I was able to have her take my old books in to return, and she delivered my new books to me while we were over at Mom’s having dinner last night.  The two books I got are Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady by Ron Kessler, and Ambling Into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush by Frank Bruni.  These are two books Curtis Sittenfeld used in her research when she wrote the fictional novel American Wife.  I think reading these books will add to our book group discussion about American Wife in a couple of weeks.
*In keeping with the George W. Bush theme, I also borrowed the movie W from the library.  This is an Oliver Stone movie made in 2008 that chronicles the life and presidency of George W. Bush.  It was very interesting, especially the parts leading up to the invasion of Iraq and the aftermath of that decision. 
*Last Monday I was in a discussion about what we used as stress relievers in our lives.  Household chores was on the top of many of our lists.  I wasn’t stressed by any means yesterday, but I did enjoy taking some time to empty and fill the dishwasher, wash some dishes by hand, and clean up the kitchen.  I have a big project I want to work on in the kitchen this weekend and I need a clean kitchen to do this project.
*Last time as I was searching for ways to cook London Broil in the crockpot, I noticed you could cook this particular cut of meat in the crockpot, and use it for French Dip sandwiches.  So that is what I did today.  After seasoning the frozen London Broil with Montreal Steak Seasoning (my favorite go-to seasoning), I cut up an onion and put it on the bottom of the crock pot.  I put the meat on top of the onions, then added two cups of beef bullion and a bay leaf, and let the crock pot do its’ magic.  And it did.  By 4:30 p.m., the meat was nice and tender, and I cut it up, strained the juice and got as much fat off the juice as I could, and headed over to Mom’s house.  I toasted some sourdough bread, buttered it, and added the meat and some sharp cheddar cheese.  I put the juice in small bowls so we could dip the sandwiches in the juice.  I threw together a bagged Italian chopped salad that was in Mom’s fridge, and we had a wonderful meal. 


Gathering Graces 2/16/2017

*I spent part of my morning visiting Pinehurst Elementary to check out the rooms I will use once I start the Drama Class as part of the PASS after school program.  I will begin this on February 28th.  It has been quite a while since I worked with elementary-aged students on a long term basis.  I am looking forward to the challenge.  It was fun seeing the bustling halls with students and teachers.  Pinehurst Elementary is a very inviting building to walk through.
*When I got home from work, I pulled up President Trump’s press conference.  I wanted to watch it for myself, before I read about it through other people’s impressions.  I was actually impressed with the way he had command of the room.  I am realizing our President conducts himself in a manner different than previous Presidents, and I think we just need to get used to it.  And I don’t think he will change.  He will share things that are not true.  He will sidestep or refuse to answer questions.  He will be rude to the press.  But that isn’t any different than he was throughout his campaign.  But yesterday I saw the Donald Trump that was so appealing to so many of the people who voted for him.  It reminded me of seeing Hilary Clinton speak at a conference back in 2009.  She was a commanding, passionate speaker in person.  Yesterday, I didn’t feel like President Trump was ranting and raving and out of control.  This is his normal.  And I think I need to get used to his normal.  I don’t have to like it.  I don’t have to agree with it.  But my conclusion is, this is who he is, and he isn’t going to change.  And I need to spend time fact checking everything he shares from the podium.  It has been hard for me to show grace toward our current President, and today I think that changed a little bit. 
*Paul and I went up to the Sixth Street Theater to take photos of the cast and get some information on them for some publicity for the upcoming play, Escanaba in da Moonlight.  It opens March 3rd, and you won’t want to miss it.


Gathering Graces 2/15/2017

*Taxes done and submitted!!  Woo Hoo!!!
*Had a nice P.E.O. meeting tonight at Sandy Scott’s house.  Carolyn Gibbs did an interesting program on blood typing, and talking about donating blood.  It was fun to hear the comments from the ladies in the room talking about how interesting the topic was, and how smart Carolyn is in her field of expertise!!
*I have had an unusual week of being showered with unexpected gifts this week.  My friend Anita sent me a calendar and three new cookbooks, I received a coloring book and colored pencils and some chocolates from the secret pal at work, Christy brought me back a scarf to thank me for watching the cats while her and Everett were on their recent trip, and Jane brought a lovely bouquet of flowers to dinner Tuesday night.  I am thankful for each and every one of these lovely surprises!!


Gathering Graces 2/14/2017

*I had three very special Valentine’s presented to me by my husband and the three different KHS drama classes.  I was sitting in my office and one of the students came in and said she was to escort me to Mr. Roberts’ class.  I was then handed off to another student and taken to the front of the room.  The music began as 8-10 young men were snapping their fingers and swaying back and forth.  They parted, and Paul started singing Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E.  Toward the end I danced with him and joined him for the ending.  Fourth period, I was escorted upstairs again, and this time Paul started out singing “How To Handle A Woman” to me, and the music began, and we both sang “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.  The Technical Drama students also had me come up, and they performed “Somebody to Love”, with me joining in at the end.  These were the best surprises, and the best Valentine’s EVER!!!! 
*After posting the video (found here https://youtu.be/4TV7nvYZvtM ) of the second Valentine, is was fun to read people’s comments.
*The day ended with a wonderful dinner at my house with Mom, Christy, Everett and our friend Jane.  We had Chicken Thighs in a Creamy Mushroom, Bacon and Thyme sauce, four bean salad, bread and Champagne, with homemade Cream Puffs for dessert.  It was a wonderful evening.


Gathering Graces 2/13/2017

*After a small hiatus from having our early morning walks up at KHS, Nikki and I were back at it this morning, and boy did it feel good to have our early morning walk together.
*On the way home, there was a beautiful sunrise to greet us. 
*The day continued to be beautiful with lots of sunshine and blue skies.
*Our book discussion after school today on the book  Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, had the focus on Self-Care, and making sure, as you deal with students throughout the week, that you are taking care of yourself so you are able to deal with the issues that come up.  One question that arose was asking how school districts can do a better job of making sure their educators are receiving some self-care, taking care of themselves, so there isn’t such a tendency for burnout, and teachers leaving the profession.  In this book, teachers are not referred to as just educators, but as care givers and members of a service-oriented profession. I think this is a big shift in thinking from even ten years ago.  I look forward to more discussions from this book.


Gathering Graces 2/12/2017

*What is Jesus telling us in Matthew 5:21-37?  That is what Pastor Dave shared about today in church. The question was posed to us, “Is the Sermon on the Mount about a list of new Christian Commandments, or is it about Grace?”    It was a timely message as we looked at how anger can hurt, not only our relationship with the person we are angry with, but with our relationship with God as well.  And we examined the things we treasure, and were given the following choices:  Anger or Friendship, Using People or Cherishing People, Brokenness or Wholeness, Cunning or Truth.  Is the transforming power of the Gospel a myth or a reality?  I must examine my life and ask myself this question as it relates to me tod
*I got my federal income taxes done (and got a little bit of a refund.  Thank you Zoe and Cosette for getting me your college information!!), and should be able to finish the state later on Monday and get it submitted!!
*I am starting an after school Drama class in a couple of week as part of the after school program at Pinehurst Elementary.  I took some time to start drafting a schedule for the time I will be with the students (twice a week from February 28 to April 27).  I am looking forward to working with younger students and getting them on stage!!
*I talked to Zoe on the phone for a bit this evening.  She is so funny as she shares stories about her slow journey into the realization that she is an adult living on her own, and the things she has to take care of herself.  She cracks me up, especially because she is handling this journey quite well!!


Gathering Graces 2/11/2017

*The morning started off with Hailey (6) and Hayden (4) showing up for the morning, as their mom Heather, who is the counselor at KHS, had to proctor the ACT test all morning, so Paul and I got to spend time with her girls.  What a fun morning!  We made music by playing the piano, the xylophone, the hand bells and ukuleles. They discovered the pool table downstairs, and likes rolling the balls into the pockets.  We baked some sugar cookies.  We walked over the Silver Mountain and didn’t fall once on the icy road in front of our house.  We then decorated the cookies. We looked at books. We pushed the girls on the swing outside.  A whole morning full of fun!!  Paul and I make a good team.  We look forward to another visit soon!!
*I was able to take a nice afternoon nap today on the couch.  I love taking naps, especially when I sleep well.
*Christy invited us over to Mom’s house for dinner and some Gonzaga basketball.  She made Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili that was delicious!!!  Mom made a batch of deviled eggs, and Christy threw together a salad, and we had a wonderful meal.  And Christy was impressed I actually sat and watched the whole Gonzaga basketball game.  Go Zags!


Gathering Graces 2/10/2017

*It was a nice Friday to be home and enjoy reading, and catching up on things, and enjoying a quiet house.  I was sorry I missed the balloon launch at school for Sarah McFeeley, but I watched the videos and saw photos, and it was awesome!!  Especially the one where the Kellogg School District IT Department used a drone to video the balloon launch.  Not only did they capture the balloons, but also some beautiful footage of the area surrounding KHS and the town of Kellogg.
*Our dog Sadie has needed a bath for a while, so today was the day.  She actually does really well taking a bath, and she looks all clean and fluffy and nice, and smells great, too!!
*When I arrived at Mom’s this morning, she had a grocery store list for me.  I had told her the day before that I could go shop at Stein’s for her.  I got her stocked up on some fresh fruit and veggies, some meat, but haven’t found the elusive Sunbelt Granola that she likes, and also had a coupon for.  It wasn’t at Yoke’s last week, and wasn’t at Stein’s either.  The search continues!!
*I have a large collection of bottles that I am going to make into a variety of items to sell.  My plans are to make hummingbird feeders, bird feeders, and tiki torches, at least to begin.  I researched some today on what supplies I need to purchase to get those things started.  I also found a couple bottle projects I would like Paul to work on, such as a wine bottle shelf and a wine bottle chandelier.  He then showed me a wine bottle fountain he want to build in our backyard.  It was fun sitting down this evening and planning these projects together.
*I remember my girls reading  The Series of Unfortunate Events books growing up, and then a movie came out based on the books.  Now Netflix has a series based on the books.  Many students at school have given Paul and I great reviews on the series, so we decided to start watching it tonight.  It is a very enjoyable show and very clever.  We made it through two episodes tonight, and plan on watching more tomorrow. 


Gathering Graces 2/9/2017

*Each evening I sit down to write myself some notes about my day, so I can share them the next morning.  The journal I use to do this is titled Meditations, and on every other page is a quote to meditate on if you choose to do so.  Here are some from the last few days.  “God’s nature is given me...  All His attributes are woven into the pattern of my spirit.  What a God is this!  His life implanted in every child.” ~Jim Elliot  “Prayer immerses us into the silence of God.” ~Richard J. Foster and today’s quote is “God gets down on His knees among us: gets on our level and shares Himself with us.  He does not reside afar off and spend diplomatic messages.  He kneels among us.” ~Eugene Peterson.  Wonderful word to think and meditate on throughout the day.
*I had planned on baking some chicken breasts for dinner to take over to Mom’s house, but they were still frozen.  I looked in the fridge and had eggs, mushrooms and cheese, and thought, maybe I could make an omelet.  Wait...Mom doesn’t like eggs like that.  Then it hit me...I have been kind of craving a veggie pizza from Yoke’s,  so I put in a call, and ordered a pizza, picked it up, and Paul, Mom and I enjoyed veggie pizza for dinner.  And it was delicious!
*While at Yoke’s picking up the pizza, and ran into my friend Cheryl Hunter Gladish, and had a nice visit.  I was complimenting her on her granddaughter, who is one of my GEAR UP students, and we talked about the upcoming KHS All Class Reunion and our graduating class getting a float put together for the parade that weekend.  It is always fun running into Cheryl and having a little visit.  She is just a really wonderful person...someone I have known since we were in first grade together at Sunnyside Elementary.
*I had a call from Cosette today.  Sometimes when she is walking home from classes she will call either her dad or myself, and I just love these surprise phone calls.  She was talking to me about her possible plans for the summer, and it sounds very exciting!!!


Gathering Graces 2/8/2017

*I have been spending a lot of time lately reading a book titled American Wife.  It is fictional story based on the life of Laura Bush.  I hope to finish it tomorrow.  The premise of the book is showing the life of a woman who ends up marrying a man who becomes President of the United States, and how she deals with this in her life.
*The snow was falling again today, and people were grumbling about wanting winter to be over.  Not me.  I love to watch the snow fall.  But tomorrow may be a different story.  I really do not like it when the rain begins to fall, the days are drizzly, and the landscape turns gray.  But it looks like that is in the forecast, so time to stay upbeat and not let the gray get me down.
*I am really blessed to work with a wonderful staff at Kellogg High School.  I really believe they have the best interests of our students in their hearts, and want to make their learning experience and just their time at KHS a very positive experience.  I love the short visits I am able to have with staff members to hear about how they do help students and care for them. 


Gathering Graces 2/7/2017

*Another day working with seniors in the classroom.  Helping them with scholarships, reminding them to get their FAFSA submitted, sending home GEAR UP Parent Surveys...just helping them stay on track.  It was a very productive day!!
*I went to my first practice for this year’s Community Easter Cantata under the direction of Joy Persoon.  Paul and I always love being a part of this community choir.  The Easter Cantata will be performed on Palm Sunday.  The name of the cantata this year is “The Tomb Is Empty Now”.
*I love my time in the morning when I first get up, when I read my Bible, and pray and have thinking time.  I feel like it is stirring up many things in my life that need changed and, although it can be hard, it is also good to realize I need some transformation in my life.  And for me, the Holy Spirit is who makes those changes... gently, lovingly, patiently.
*I had to go the my bank this afternoon, and all of a sudden I hear behind me, “Is that you Carol?”  I turned around, and was delightfully surprised to see my friend Marian Russell standing there.  She, of course, gives me a big hug, and we had a nice visit for a few minutes to get caught up.  She was a wonderful ray of sunshine to be blessed by this afternoon!!


Gathering Graces 2/6/2017

*This winter there have been elk roaming through Kellogg.  I have seen photos from the Kellogg City Park and the Sunnyside Elementary building.  Paul keeps seeing them on his way to and from work on the dike road behind our house.   This morning during our walk, Nikki said they were sleeping in our subdivision in an open area behind a group of houses.  So on my way back home from Mom’s this morning, I took a different route to see if I could see them, and there they were.  I was not able to see them for long, but my goal is to at least get a photo of these beautiful creatures who sleep only a block away.
*My Gear Up program purchased some books, and today some of the KHS staff and myself started a book discussion on the two books.  They are both about dealing with students who have Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and how this trauma can effect their brain and the way they are in the classroom.  We had a wonderful discussion and I look forward to the many weeks ahead to further discussions.  The two books we are reading are Fostering Resilient Learners and The Body Keeps the Score. 
*We noticed evidence of water dripping from our ceiling earlier this fall, where we have a small leak.  Yesterday, when I came home at lunch, I realized the ceiling was leaking again.  So I grabbed a pot to put under the leak.  Paul climbed up in the attic and tried to make his way back to where the leak was, but couldn’t quite make it.  But he could tell there was not a lot of water, and we will have to wait until things dry up on top to see what can be done.  I am so thankful for this husband of mine who loves taking on all our little household mishaps, and figures them out!!