Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 30 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

We love Janie's cooking!

Mmmm...spaghetti! Don't mind the steam - Janie never sweats in the kitchen!

We have all enjoyed Janie's cooking this week. Tonight was no exception...spaghetti, salad, and some garlic bread. As we all sit around eating we can't help but think of all the calories that we have been consuming this holiday season. It's been an eating fest since Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve - so one more day to indulge before we (that means you too Chuck) hit the treadmill regularly, cut out the sweets, and eat the good stuff!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 29 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Megan & Cooper enjoy the iPad

While Megan checks out Rich's iPad Cooper hops up to see what the hype is all about. He looks as though he'd like to try his paw at it.

Today was another fun day here at the Davis house - especially since I was back to feeling just about 100 percent. We spent some time lounging around, some time shopping, went to IV's for a yummy dinner, and then finished the day off playing a very long game of "Things". We were all missing Chad though - he ended up not coming over to join in the fun...but he was definitely in our thoughts.

Just a few more days until 2011 and back to home and work.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 27 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Waiting on some women & Chuck :)

A shopping trip in Carbondale found some of the boys waiting for us shoppers...all three of them messing on their phones. I guess waiting now a days isn't as boring as it used to be.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Day 26 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Lunch with Grandpa George

Our after Christmas vacation started with a stop in Springfield to visit Grandpa George. A yummy lunch at O'Charleys and good company!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 25 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge


The picture says it all! I was totally shocked when I opened this gift that Chuck said was my Christmas/Graduation gift. What can I say...he is the best. I'm very blessed and beginning to feel a bit spoiled!

Everyone in our house had a wonderful Christmas. We are all looking forward to spending the next week with the Davis family. A fun time is always had when our two families get together.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 24 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

What a beautiful tree!

This is such a beautiful sight. Today has been a day of baking and relaxing with the family. I love the anticipation of Christmas day...excited about seeing the look on the kids' faces as they open gifts. My kids are not little children anymore - but that doesn't change the joy it brings to see them unwrap presents. There just isn't anymore barbie dolls and Legos wrapped up in the boxes. Or is there??

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

OH What Fun!

I have to say that I believe that I am blessed to live with a man that exudes Christmas Spirit. My darling husband loves this time of year and everyone around him has to feel that love. He loves the holiday environment, the family gatherings, making and partaking in the wonderful food, and I believe above all - finding gifts for the people he loves. Honestly every day it is a joy to be around him but during this time of year the fun, spirit, and love of life that shines from him is a joy.
This time of year can be tough for me. I miss my mom's presence terribly - but God sent me my wonderful husband to make those tough times so much easier.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord. God sent him to us. Some may say that this holiday has become too commercialized - and perhaps they are right. But I see it as a celebration of not only the birth of Jesus, but the celebration of life, of love, of family, of helping and doing for others.

So - smile, shop, eat too much, hug the ones you love and have a very Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 22 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

More Yummy Treats!

I'm still making Christmas goodies. I love baking and making goodies! Tonight was some dark chocolate dipped pretzels, pretzel turtles, and pretzels with hugs in the middle.

Tomorrow....The famous Butterhorns - a tradition in the Davis house that I must try!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 21 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

He's At It Again!

He swore that in July of this year that he was done doing any more "work" in this house for awhile. really hasn't been that long - but Chuck is hard at work once again - with a bit of help from the boys. Today he install two new windows in the boys' room. The draft that came through those old broken windows was costing in heating bills and Shawn was quite tired of the little bugs and moths that seem to get in their room through those windows.

In this photo you see the hole where the window has been removed and the boys working on taking apart the old window so that it will fit into the garbage can. (Well Chris working and Shawn supervising, lol!) Good thing it's a pretty warm day in comparison to what it has been!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 20 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Snowy Monday Morning

We had some errands to run this morning - after we all slept in of course. The first was to take Shawn to get his glasses adjusted and pick up contacts for Chris. This photo shows how big flakes of snow was falling. It was pretty slippery out, but that didn't stop Chuck and I from dropping Shawn off at home as we headed back out shopping. We had a few more things to pick up for Christmas - a fun shopping trip - then had to tackle Walmart and HyVee for not quite as fun shopping.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 19 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Rich Versus the Cake Pop

Today was another fun day celebrating the holidays with Chuck's family. All of us gathered at Jennifer and Jamie's house. A lot of fun, laughs, conversation, Christmas trivia, sing-alongs, and a ton of food to eat.

Lots of pictures were taken but I chose this one for my pic of the day. Last night I tried something new - cake pops. 14 of my tree cake pops never made it to the party - Toby decided to snack on them this morning. Those snowmen and tree pops that remained were added to all of the other yummy food.

I love the way Rich looks as though he is admiring the snowman as he bites his hat off and gently nibbles on the top of his head. After this photo was taken - the snowman was devoured.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 18 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Happy 16th Birthday Sara!!!

Today is Sara's 16th Birthday. She has grown to be such a beautiful and smart young lady.
She even puts up with Chuck and I's silliness or spontaneous sing-alongs. She may shake her head, but we know she really likes it.

I feel very blessed to have been a part of the last 11 of her 16 years. I'm very proud to call her my daughter and look forward to continuing to watch her grow more each year. I know that she will be successful at all she chooses to do in life.

I love you Sara - Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 17 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Clean doggies ready for company!

I took a bunch of photos today and had a hard time choosing one. I loved this one of Molly and Toby - and loved it even more when I changed it to black & white.

While I was at work, enduring an incredibly long, seeming to never end day, Chuck was very busy at home running errands, cleaning, and making some pizzelle cookies (which I forgot to try one - there's always tomorrow). He dropped the dogs off at the groomer for a much needed bathing. This photo was taken when they came home smelling and looking nice and clean. They were all ready for company that was coming over tonight.

They enjoyed the company about as much as we did. We had a very nice dinner - eating way too much of course. It was a nice start to a great holiday break. Lots more fun to come!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 16 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Molly Baby Loves the Snow!

Our fresh fallen five inches of snow was a treat for the dogs this morning. Even Toby, who doesn't like to stay out in the cold, wanted to go out in the snow. Molly looks like she belongs in the snow. She likes to eat it. I told her January snow is best...but she doesn't care.

This picture makes her look like a puppy - not the very plump girl she really is. I wonder what she is thinking as she looks around the yard? That reminds me of a dream that Shawn told us about the other morning. He said that in his dream the dogs talked to him in people voices. Molly told him that he should make a list of all the things she shouldn't to get into. Chuck asked what their voices sounded like. Shawn said that Molly sounded like a normal girl, but Toby sounded "gangster". Too funny!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 15 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Weatherman Chuck checking out the radar

He's calling for 5 inches of snow for us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 14 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Love this ornament and I wouldn't want a family any other way!

"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 13 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Ahhhhh...this is nice!

I'm very comfy right now. Been a long - super cold day and it's so nice to stretch out in some pjs, soft warm socks, my blanky, and of course my computer. The dogs are stretched out on the floor beside me (letting stinkers that I could do without though!), Chuck is on the other couch (heck - I'm so comfy right now I'm even letting the tv stay on Monday Night Football), and the Christmas lights fill the room with a wonderful warm glow.

Even better that I don't have to get up early in the morning. I've taken two personal days this week to catch up on Christmas shopping, baking and whatever else I feel the need to do. Perhaps spending more time just like this. I very rarely take days off during the school year - but last week I quickly had my principal sign my personal business leave slips before I changed my mind. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic and taking days off when it's not absolutely necessary is just not in my nature. But I did it! I put in for a sub for not only one day - tomorrow - but also for Thursday. Why not Wednesday - you might ask? Well...I like my Wednesdays and I love my Fridays. They are very productive days. And I thought it might be fun to work a day, take a day off, work a day, take a day off, work a day...and then it's break!
I'll have to let you know if it really was fun when the week comes to an end.

Now...perhaps a snack...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 12 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

It's Christmas Cookie making time!

Sara and I had some fun rolling and cutting out sugar cookies today. I used a recipe that was Chuck's grandmothers. We opted for sugar, sprinkles, and even some mini M&Ms instead of frosting the cookies later. Sara was very creative in her cookie decorating. I especially enjoyed the circle of sugar cookie kids decorated quite multi-culturally and the fat sugar cookie man with an attitude! We even ended up with an orange snowman.

I enjoyed our little cookie making session and hope we can do it again soon!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 11 of my Picture-A-Day challenge

We got our Starbucks - now we're ready to shop till we drop!

First stop when we got to Northpark mall today was Starbucks. You have to be alert and awake to shop right?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 10 of my Picture-A-Day challenge

Wrapping up smiles

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and the love of God. A part of celebrating that love is giving gifts to the ones we care about. I love the feeling that comes with gift giving.  I love the the smiles that come when a wrapped present is handed to someone you care about.

Of course I Love to shop so that makes it even better!

I've wrapped up all the presents that needed wrapping tonight. Guess we'll have to shop for some more smiles tomorrow!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 9 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Before I sit down I must...

It was a very hectic day today. Kids were crazy and there was a ton to do. Many trips from my room to the kiln room and back again today. By lunch time I was wondering why on earth had I scheduled doing clay with my 1st grade and Kindergarten classes in the afternoon. Crazy! But everyone survived and some of my to-do list was completed.
Before heading home I had to stop at my old school to pick up some supplies that I needed. Boy I miss that building! I miss the staff and students there and even my old cupboard under the stairs.

Once home I knew sitting down could not happen until I was able to stay sitting. So as my wonderful husband cooked us dinner, I pulled on my sweats and shoes and got up on the incline treadmill. I only lasted about 30 minutes...but that was pretty good for as tired as I was.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 8 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

I Love to Paint!

Today I decided that I would do something I have not done in a couple years - paint on the front window of the school. I used to do it all the time, but had a hard time finding the time in the last couple of years. I'd think about doing it...but it would get shuffled to the bottom of my very long to-do lists.

So after school I gathered my supplies and headed to the window. I knew I wanted to do some snowmen...but just started making it up as I went along. I love the feeling of a paintbrush in my hand. I loose myself when I'm painting. This can be a bit dangerous when you are standing on a step ladder. Twice I forgot I was on the step ladder and step back off it. Luckily no harm done. I just looked around to make sure no one seen me doing such a stupid thing.
I painted for a little over an hour and then had to stop due to hunger. I have some more work to do on the window tomorrow so I will enjoy a bit more painting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 7 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

The Fun Face of Clay

There are those days where I wonder why on earth I do what I do - and in the last few years those days seem to happen more and more. But as much as I am exhausted by all the work it takes to do my job well, and all frustrations that comes with teaching in today's world, there are many, many things that keep me going each day. One of these is seeing students enjoy being creative in my classroom. For at least a few minutes out of their week they get to work with different supplies and create. Now - I'm not saying that every student that walks into my room loves art, but the majority enjoy their time painting, drawing, cutting, gluing, or doing many other art activities.

The absolute favorite of all my students is working with clay. So when a class comes in and I tell them that today is a clay day - the room fills with cheers. I always attempt to make sure I've shut my door before I make that announcement. Today one of my second grade classes made clay monsters. Not a one student was off task during this class and each and everyone ended up with a wonderful work of art!

The clay face in the photo makes me smile. The student went on to add other things to his monster to make him a bit more monsterous, but I love it at this stage.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 6 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Hey Mom can you spare a Cheezit for me?

Toby boy always knows when you are having a snack. Though we try not to feed the dogs people food very often, they sometimes get a little something when we are having a snack. Toby's favorite is peanut butter. He can be two rooms away and knows when I unscrew the top of the Jiffy jar. The drool starts to flow almost immediately. Gross! He's not quite "Snots" but close at times. Him and Molly both also like when I'm having popcorn. They know that even neat eaters drop a few kernels when they eat popcorn.

But tonight's small snack was a handful of Cheezits and all I have to say to Toby is "get your own box!"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 5 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Have you seen this man?

If you happen to wonder upon this in an aisle at Michaels would you laugh or scream? As I was looking for some glitter for a project with one of my classes, Chuck was amusing himself. Gotta love him - always makes whatever we do fun!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 4 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

The hands of the one I love making something yummy!

Another one of the infinite number of reasons I love my husband. He is awesome in the kitchen!

One of the joys of this time of year is a reason to bake as much as you want! I love to bake different kinds of yummy treats for everyone to enjoy. I hope to make lots of goodies in the next week or two. You never could be the recipient of some of those goodies!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 3 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

First Snowfall of the Season

I was working away in my classroom after school and glanced out the window. Huge snowflakes were falling and the cars were already covered in a thin blanket of white. My first thought was "Oh - it's so pretty!" That thought however changed quickly to "UGH!" I usually stay and work at least another 30-45 minutes longer, but decided I should pack up and head home. The first snowfall always seems to take everyone by surprise. For some reason people forget how to drive in the white stuff. This would be the first time I would be traveling from this particular school in snowy or icy weather and I wasn't familiar with the usual conditions of those roads. So...I packed up my bags and headed out into the wintery scene.

It was a bit of an interesting drive home. It seems the salt trucks were not listening at all to this forecasted snow. The roads were slick and cars were sliding all over the place. I didn't have much trouble except getting up a hill were two different wrecks were slowing traffic to a halt at times - making it hard to get traction up the hill. Took me only about an extra 20 minutes to get home - safe and sound!

Now...I'm in for the night. That's the best thing to do during such weather - snuggle up on the couch with a cup of coffee.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

There is a fine line between creative supplies and a mess!

I was struggling with keeping up with things in the Art room today. So many projects in progress on drying rack and in crates, finished ones in piles waiting to be graded and photographed for Artsonia, and supplies for all of these creative endeavors in cupboards, on shelves, and - unfortunately - in boxes on the floor. UGH! I started picking up this and that - frustrated with all the piles and stuff I saw around me. I hate a disorganized environment - and this room is beginning to drive me crazy! I need to spend time organizing, but that time is not easy to find. As I hurried to clear up some scraps left behind by one class before the next entered I opened the scrap box and tossed in some more. I paused a minute and ran my hand through all the different papers in there. What fun creative things are going to be made from all those pieces? In many classrooms most of what's inside that box wouldn't have made it in there. They would have been tossed into the trash. But not in the Art room! In this room it's not trash - it's just waiting to be used in a work of art!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 1 of my Picture-a-Day Challenge

Okay - So it's December 1st. The first day of my self-imposed month long challenge. Each day I'm going to post a picture taken at some time during that day. Should be easy to find a moment in each 24 hour period - right? My goal is to stop and take some time to reflect on the day or at least a moment in the day.
I got the idea for this from other bloggers - mostly the artist or journaling folks that I follow on Twitter. I would love to do an artwork-a-day challenge, but let's face it - anyone who knows me knows I tend to be a bit busy. I figure if I succeed at a picture & reflection a day that perhaps I can challenge myself to do an artwork a day.

So here's the first...

Today - December 1, 2010 my youngest son turns 17. Each time one of my children have a birthday I think about my goals for them. My number one goal I have for my kids is for them to be happy. I want them to have every opportunity in life that they can have. I want them to have the best life that is possible. I want them to be aware of the world around them and help make it a better place by being kind and considerate of others. I want them to be a success at whatever they choose to pursue in life. I know most parents feel the same way I do - they want their children to have a better life than the one they had. One of the many things I loved about my mother was that she was always proud of everything my brother and I accomplished. She wanted us to have a better life than she did. She was always so happy when we were happy. She couldn't wait to tell her friends about any little thing we were doing or what was going on in our lives.
Now the problem with wanting your children to be happy is that giving them what they want isn't always good for them. So I'll admit - I have probably spoiled my children way too much. But I'm not going to fret about that this time of year! Not when I love to shop for them.
Happy Birthday my Pooh Bear!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Been a long time

I just realized that I hadn't updated my blog since August! Things always get crazy for me as the school year gets underway. I tend to work a bit too much. I immerse myself in trying to be the very best at what I do. It's a good work ethic to have but it leaves me feeling exhausted - physically and especially mentally. I really need to work on focusing time for me to relax, have some fun, not worry about work, and reflect on the joys of life.
I've decided to try something the month of December. I'm going to take a picture of a moment in my day, post it, and reflect on it in writing. My goal is to do this every day - even those days where I feel I'm super busy. I want to take time to think about things that I find important or interesting every day.

We'll see how this goes...December 1st is just 2 days away!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ups and Downs

These last few weeks have been filled with ups and downs for me.

Up - finished my Master's degree program! Yippee! No more tasks to complete and my pay raise will be on my first paycheck in September.

Down - So darn tired lately, frustrated about not losing weight, and experiencing other symptoms. I make an appointment with the doctor who finds that I have heart murmur that was never heard before. Blood tests show vitamin D deficiency and possibly anemia. Have to have an Echo Cardiogram. Then when results come back from that - I'm told I need further - more invasive test done. So tomorrow morning I go in for a Transesophageal Echo Cardiogram. Which means a tube with a camera is inserted down my throat to get an ultrasound picture of the heart. I'm not looking forward to this at all. I hope it is over quickly.

Up - I entered my art room at Washington in a contest on facebook sponsored by Bounty paper towels. We are one of 11 finalist for a $25,000 art room make over! We have until this Friday to collect votes to win. Very exciting!

I'm hoping for more UPs and very few DOWNs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What a transformation!

I'm relaxing this evening after a very hot day of working in my classroom at Washington. As I sit here on our new love seat, I look around this room and love it! Chuck has done such a wonderful job working on this room. What a transformation!

Before images

After images

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Found a Friend

This guy was hanging around us for a very long time. He flew from person to person landing for a bit on each one.

Enjoyed an evening with Davis family

Spent Saturday evening at a get together at Marilyn and John Davis's home. A Bix night tradition before Rich, Janie, and family head back home to Southern Illinois. Lots of their family and friends were there. It was nice to chat and relax outside.

Some participated in a whiffle ball game. I enjoyed watching the fun. By the time the game was called the ball was nearly crushed and a nice dent could be seen in the bat. Lots of power in those young men...of course they had to try to show each other up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer is zooming by!

Wow...July is well underway. It always seems as though the summer flies by. I know - there is still lots of summer left...but it's going too fast. A lot has been going on here in the Gillespie house since returning from our wonderful vacation. Chuck began pretty much right away working on his phase 3 of our remodel - opening up the living and dining room to create one big comfy, usable space. He's been working very hard every day. Chris and Shawn have been a big help. They are growing up so fast (in about 3 weeks Shawn will be a Senior!).

I haven't been a big part of this remodel. Instead I've been trying to complete my Grad program so that I can graduate and get that Master's Degree! I'm very close. I have some work to do on the final chapter of the written capstone project and then when it has all passed the grading process I will have an oral capstone interview. I Just Want It Done!! I feel as if I'm wasting summer and not being much help with the remodel. This past week I developed a nasty cold that has slowed me down. And I don't like that!!
To top it off...I have 2 rooms to get ready for school before the 3rd week of August. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased to have a room upstairs out of the watery, moldy mess at my home school. But that means putting together the room from scratch. The room at the other building I teach at will require less work - since It has all the right furniture and things...but I need to make it my own (even though I will share it with another art teacher).

So many things to think about...but first - finish the Grad work! So back to the writing tonight and I will cheer on my guys as they work in the living room. Chuck textured the new drywall ceiling today and is planing on cleaning up the walls and then the painting begins!

Here are a few pictures of the progress since destruction day!

The old ceiling is replaced with a nice new drywall ceiling. That required a lot of teamwork. Great job guys!

New recessed lights were put into the ceiling which required moving the switch and some wiring around. Success with that part. Then Chuck spent many days on the taping, mudding, and sanding after patching holes from the wall taken down and a window that was taken out.

Today Chuck applied a texture to the ceiling. It looks great!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Patriotic Toes

I took a break from working on my capstone project this afternoon and decided it was time to repaint the toes. Since the 4th of July is in a couple days I thought I'd have a bit of fun and paint them red, white, and blue. One star would have to do - 50 would have been a bit more of a challenge than I wanted to undertake.

So my toes are now ready for the fireworks!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our 9th Wedding Anniversary

Nine years ago this afternoon I married the man of my dreams! We both had our struggles early in life but we were meant to find each other when we did. God blessed the broken road that led us straight to each other. I think that Chuck and I have a marriage that most people dream of having. We are as close to perfect together as you could get. I feel so blessed that God sent my angel to me when He did. It's hard to believe it's been nine years since we were married and yet I really can't remember much of life before him. For life truly started when we met ten years ago.

We spend much of our time together...and that's how we both like it. I love every second that we spend together. He makes me laugh several times a day and he makes me feel like someone special. I couldn't imagine life without him!

So how are we spending our 9th anniversary? Well...we are working together on a remodeling project in the living room today and then plan to spend a nice dinner together at Wood Fire Grill in Davenport.

Dinner was Yummy! We took a walk on the sky bridge after dinner to see the view. I had never been up there...thought it was pretty cool!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wall gone!

Wall is gone and the ceiling didn't collapse so Chuck was right about it not being a load-bearing wall.

Now to just clean up all that plaster dust. YUCK!

Room cleared out! Where's my Hammer?

Everything taken off walls or protected with plastic and sheets. Chuck checking for hidden electrical we go!

I will go hide in the kitchen for awhile!