31 July 2011

Summer craft project

Not long after school got out, I was looking through a magazine (Flea Market Finds, maybe???) and saw a great project that I knew I could do.  I've said it many times before--I can't come up with cool ideas myself, but I can recreate them with some level of success.  This was one of those I knew I could recreate.

I love jewelry.  I have so many necklaces, bracelets, and earrings from Premier Designs shows, from local artists, or that I've gotten as gifts.  For the longest, I've had my necklaces hanging on a "tree" but I just never loved it, and besides, it made my dresser seem cluttered to me.  This project was the perfect answer!

All I needed was an old frame, some paint, batting, fabric, and some knobs.  We had an old, rather ugly frame that was left in the house when we bought it.  Even though it was on the ugly side, we held on to it because it did have potential.  We just didn't think we wanted to tackle trying to strip off the old paint. 

I went upstairs to get the frame and decided to get busy.  My first step was to decide what color I wanted to paint the frame.  That was difficult, and now that I've finished, I wish I had used a different color, but I'm still happy with the color I chose.  Then I had to get the batting and fabric.  Because I wanted the frame to have a shabby chic look, I went with a plain oatmeal color fabric.  Choosing the knobs was THE most difficult!  Did I want to use all the same color/style?  Did I want to mix and match?  Did I want door knob styles, or did I want drawer pull style?  I spent maybe 45 minutes looking at knobs in Hobby Lobby, but I finally (sort of) made my decisions and got everything together.
So here is the ugly frame.  In the picture, it really doesn't look so bad, but take my word.  It was so bad I wouldn't have wanted to put a picture of my worst enemy in it.  You'll notice that I got drawer pulls and the antique brass hooks.  I couldn't make up my mind, so I got both.  I knew that once the project began to come together, I'd figure it out.  Also notice that I went with a burgundy red for the base coat and then a white crackle coat over that.
I decided to keep the gold, so I had to tape that off.
I kind of wish I had gone with a flat black base coat.  I debated the red or black decision for about 10 minutes in Hobby Lobby, and I finally decided to go with the burgundy red.
After giving the frame a good base coat and letting it dry, I gave it a good coat of crackle paint.  This gives it that shabby chic look.  It was after I got the crackle coat on that I decided I think the black peeping through would have looked better.
The finished project turned out pretty good, I think!  I decided to go with the knobs instead of the antique brass hooks.  I had a blue knob, but I overtightened the nut and broke the knob.  John remembered that we had some white knobs from some other project, so I put it on until I can get back to Hobby Lobby to get a replacement.  I may replace the pink one and the clear one, too.  They don't stick out quite as far as the other ones, so I can't hang as much on them.
The finished project in use!!  I think it turned out pretty good.  The white knob looks kinda small and is "the one that doesn't belong" but it will work until I can replace it.

The next project I want to undertake will be a frame backed with screen so I can hang my hook earrings.  Since school is about to start, though, that project may have to wait.  :)  Whenever we decide to build at the lake, I would love to take an old window frame, replace the panes with screen for my earrings, and then hang that as "art."  It would fit with the rustic style John and I are planning.

This was a fun, easy project that can easily be finished in two or three days.  Well, maybe just a little longer, depending on how long it takes the paint to dry.  If I were trying to paint it now, I'd probably never finish because of the humidity.  ICK!! 

Hope you have a GREAT day!

25 July 2011

Senior orientation

This week we have orientation for our students.  The seniors, being the "big dogs", get Monday.  Teachers who had senior advisements last year were asked to work today.  When the alarm went off at 6:30, I wanted to throw my phone out the window.  What the heck am I gonna want to do on August 11th when it goes off at 5 AM??

It was great to see the other teachers and staff who were working and to catch up with what everyone did over the summer, and it was great to see the seniors.  I'd say that probably 3/4s came through today.  I had a few who I had for English 11 last year who will be in one of my English 12 classes, but there were a few who will have Misty.  :(  Honestly, I would be excited to have any of the students I had for English 11.  One of the students who I had for remediation will have me all year...for assistant and for English 12.  I actually have her as an assistant for both semesters. 

After we finished up for orientation, I had to run over to the central office to get my mug shot...I mean my ID picture...made.  We're going to have to clock in and out this year.  I wonder how many days I'll walk out without swiping out?  Probably more than once. 

I think I'm about to make John go start the brats.  I know what he'll tell me--he just finished mowing grass, so he shouldn't have to.  I wonder if I'll be able to convince him that I am just sooooo tired from getting up two hours earlier than I'm used to??  LOL

EDIT:  I didn't even have to ask...he just went to start the grill.  I love my man!  :)

Have a GREAT day!

19 July 2011

Baby love

I came down to spend the day with Jessi and Layton today.  Lance is working at the fire department, so I came to help her out and to keep my Layton level up.  Can't let it drop too low.  Once school starts back, it will be more difficult to come hang out with them and get my dose of love.  Especially the first couple of weeks when I'm worn out and in bed before it gets good and dark.

After he woke up, I fed him a bottle and then spent about 3 1/2 hours just snuggling him and rocking him.  There is nothing sweeter in the world.  Right now, he's getting some Mommy love.  Watching Jessi with her baby is such a beautiful thing.  She is a great mommy.  Both our girls are.  :)

A new picture for you to enjoy.  :)

Have a GREAT day!

17 July 2011

Three weeks and counting

Usually doing a countdown means you're excited about the upcoming event.  In my case, it simply means the end of my summer.  And as always, I'm not ready for my summer to come to an end.  Teacher inservice/professional development begins three weeks from tomorrow.

I am ready to see all of my school friends and to find out how their summers have been, and honestly, I am excited about seeing my new group of students.  Who will I have?  What will my classes be like?  Even though those things excite me, getting up at 5 AM, standing on my feet on concrete floors all day, and talking until my voice hurts do not excite me.  After a couple of days, I'll be used to talking and using my "teacher voice" so my throat won't be tired, and after about a week, I'll be used to being on my feet all day, but never will I EVER get used to getting up before daylight.  For the first couple of weeks after school starts back, I'll crash and be in bed by 7:30 or 8:00 every night. 

We haven't gotten our official schedules yet, but one day when I was working in my classroom, I managed to catch Mr. Reyes and ask him if he had any idea what classes I'd be teaching.  He told me I'd have English 11 and 12 and maybe another remediation class.  (I was hoping for ALL English 12, but I don't mind English 11 or remediation.)  He looked at the tentative schedule and told me it looked like I'd have three English 12s, planning, and an English 11 each semester, but until he and Todd had the classes on the master board with the student numbers, he couldn't be certain.  That's where the "maybe remediation" comes in.  Whatever my schedule is, I hope I have all of one course before I have to swap gears for another course.  One year, I started out with English 12, swapped to English 11,  and then swapped back to English 12 with only a five-minute class change between. 

I need to use these next few weeks to look at my plans for this year and to look over my PowerPoint presentations to see which ones need revising.  I did a lot of revising back in the spring when Ashley was teaching, so I really shouldn't have much to do, especially with the English 12 material.

Guess that's it for now.  John and I need to get busy cleaning off the front porch.  Yuck! 

Have a GREAT day!

13 July 2011

You know you're too involved in a book when...

You have dreams about it at night.  I did that with the Harry Potter series.  I would even wake up and think to myself, "I'm a muggle."  Yeah...a tad bit too involved, huh?

Well, I'm doing it again.  Katy had to read The Hunger Games for one of her library science classes and told me I needed to read it.  I was browsing on Amazon.com the other day in the Kindle store and saw that they had the trilogy, so I bought it.  I started reading it last Wednesday, but I didn't finish until Monday because I was too busy welcoming Layton to the world.  :)  I mean, some things DO take precedence over anything else, right??

I had some stuff to do around the house Monday, so I didn't get started on book 2 until Monday evening.  Yesterday, I had to run to town, but once I got home, I really got into reading.  Right at midnight, I finished book 2.  And then the dreams began.

Honestly, I have never been so glad to hear John's alarm go off at 4 AM as I was this morning.  I was having the closest thing to a nightmare that I've had in a LONG time.  In the book, the Capitol has created "muttations" (or mutts) to basically show they are powerful.  The muttations have taken form of birds and dogs/wolves which were symbolic of the dead tributes. 

In my dream, the mutts were the walking dead.  Several of my bunco buddies were in the dream with me, and I think we were in a school somewhere.  Wherever we were, everything was a grayish color (which is why I'm pretty sure it was a school.  We have very light gray walls, white tiles, and white ceilings in our classrooms.)  The mutts were coming after us, but when we fought back, whatever we touched fell off the mutts bodies and transformed into a new mutt.  The weird thing is that I wasn't really scared in my dream or after I woke up.  I think I must have been aware the whole time that it was a dream, but like I said, I was never so glad to hear John's alarm, just so I could get away from them.

I haven't started book 3 yet.  I was going to, but I've spent the morning doing a little updating on my "first day of school" stuff.  I have a hair appointment at 2 ('bout time to get this mess cut and colored!!)  I'll take my Kindle with me and get started since there isn't much to do while I wait on the color to do it's job.

I'm glad Katy suggested I read the series because I've really gotten into it.  I may make the first book an optional reading assignment for my students.  If they read it and take a quiz on it, they can earn bonus points. 

Guess I need to go and get a couple of things done before I have to head to AC. 

Have a GREAT day!

10 July 2011

More Layton pics!

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

The first time John held Layton--his smile lit the entire room.

I love being a Grana!  I could snuggle with my little sweet pea
all day long!

Grandma will spoil him rotten!

This was a "must-capture shot" because my dad usually doesn't hold babies.
He has always said he likes them when they can sit up for themselves.  I
was completely shocked when he said, "Let me see that boy."  Notice the smile
on his face.

I love love LOVE this picture!  Nothing better than
great-grandparents to love a child.

These two are so much alike it's scary.  Good, but scary.  Jessi got
her a man just like her daddy.  And I can tell you that is a good thing!

Have a GREAT day!

08 July 2011

Welcome to the world, baby boy!

Thomas Layton Caldwell made his entrance into the world on July 7 at 12:35 PM.  He weighed in at 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 21 inches long.  Mommy is doing very well, baby is perfect in every way, and Daddy is still (24+ hours later) floating on air.

So far, Layton seems to be very laid back and easy going.  When he does work up to a cry, it usually lasts only a short time, and then he settles back into his nap.  I hope he stays this way.  :) 

LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture!!!!!!!

Gots ta be purty for dem photo ops later

Jessi's proud daddy and sister

Sweet little bundle of joy

06 July 2011

Fun-filled, but BUSY, holiday weekend and BABY NEWS!!!

We had a busy weekend at the lake, and as much fun as it was, I was glad when it was over.  :)  We got to the lake about 6 Friday evening.  After unloading and eating a sandwich, we went to Danny and Linda's to visit for a bit, and then we went back to our place and replaced the ceiling fan.  It's amazing how much better a new fan will work.  The one that was in there was only who knows how old.  It was loud, wonky, and didn't put out much air.

On Saturday, Misty and Mark came up, and then Jeremy, Amber, and Hunter came.  We got the boat out and took the kids (Jeremy and Mark were "kids" too...) tubing.  When they got worn out, we took the tube back and then just rode for a bit.  Then we just floated for a couple of hours.  Finally, John grilled burgers.  Yum!!  Jeremy and the kids left early evening.

We went to Susan and Tim's on Sunday for the day.  Talk about lazy...we didn't do much of anything except float.  Susan and I did take a ride on the SeaDoo, and then we came back and floated.  :)  It was the perfect kind of day...spending quality time with best friends, enjoying good food, and making fun memories.  The thing I love about hanging out with Susan and Tim is that it can be effortless.  We don't feel like we constantly have to "entertain" so we can enjoy ourselves so much more.

Misty and Mark got up Monday and left about 9.  We got out in the boat about 10:15 and headed over to Roger and Amy's.  I felt bad because almost literally did an eat and run, but it started looking REALLY nasty.  We hauled ass and made it back to our place in about 20-25 minutes.  We got into a little rain, but if we had waited five minutes more to leave, we'd have been soaked to the bone.  I honestly didn't care about getting wet.  I just didn't want the lightning to strike us.  After the rain stopped, we loaded the boat up and took it back to Arrowhead, and then we headed home.  Talk about depressing!  I think I'm going to seriously start praying for a job in that area to miraculously fall into John's lap. Even if I didn't find anything for me, I could live with making the drive every weekend.

Now, BABY NEWS!!!  Jess has been admitted into the hospital, and our sweet Layton will be here tomorrow!!!!  For a while, we weren't sure if it would be tonight or tomorrow.  The doctor wanted to check her labs before making a decision.  They came back good, so it will be tomorrow around 10:30.  I can't wait to see this precious new life.  Our family is being blessed with this new addition.

I guess that's it for now.  I'll be posting pictures of Layton as soon as possible.

Have a GREAT day!

01 July 2011

Long time no blog

Yeah, I'm still kicking.  When I've had time to blog, I really haven't been in the mood to, and when I've been in the mood, I haven't had time.  The pups and I are just sitting here waiting on John to get home so we can head to the lake for the weekend, so I thought I'd post something.

It's hard to believe that my summer is essentially half way over.  Teachers go back August 8-10 for inservice and professional development days, and the kids start August 11.  I need to do some updating for my classes, but I'm going to enjoy this last long weekend before I start anything.  Well, that isn't exactly true.  I'm taking an online class on using social media in the classroom this summer, and I've been thinking of ways I can incorporate Facebook and maybe Twitter into my courses.  I already use Teacher Tube some, but since I've had more time to play around with it, I've discovered many other uses for it as well.

I have taken two days to go to my classroom and work.  I have always made efforts to get my cleaning and reorganizing done before the end of the year, but it just didn't happen this year.  It's odd that I didn't because I had an intern, so I had more "free" time that I could have gone through material and tossed or revised.  Oh well.  :)  I have probably one more day of work, and I'll have everything--my cabinets, my shelves--back in shape.  One of my former students offered to come help, and I think I'll take her up on it.  With the two of us, it really won't take long.  I have some books I need to move to another bookshelf, and that will free up the shelves under my counter for paper, boxes of markers/glue sticks/scissors/etc. and stuff like that.  I still need to go through all my old tests and see what is what with them.

We're still waiting on Layton's arrival.  Jessi went back to the doctor yesterday, but there was no change.  Layton seems to be pretty content to stay right where he is for now.  She was disappointed because she is so ready to not be pregnant anymore.  We were going to take them to Cock of the Walk for dinner (she said Lance has been wanting to go, and we haven't been in a while ourselves.)  Just about the time we were ready to leave to head to their house, she sent a text and said she just didn't think she could handle going out.  She'd had a busy day with going to the doctor and doing a couple of other odd 'n end things and was swollen.  We still went down (I had a card to give them from Linda and Amy), and John and Lance went to pick up barbecue.  I told her that I'd debated whether to go to the lake this weekend or not, and had she been dilated anymore than she was last week we wouldn't, but since there was no change, and since we can be in Montgomery in just over three hours should she go into labor, we decided to go.  I told her we were going to have to have a party to celebrate her pregnancy because she has made it farther than any of the other Vest girls did.  LOL

Phillip, Katy, and Sam came to the lake last weekend.  I honestly think Sam has duck or fish DNA somewhere.  That kid LOVES the water!  Of course, Katy always has too.  We played around in the lake for a couple of hours, and then we went on a boat ride.  By the time we got back, he'd worked up an appetite.  Phillip couldn't get his cheese sandwich made fast enough.  LOL  I hope they'll be able to come back up once we're not all waiting for "the call" and stay for the weekend.  Katy is scheduled to take a class this month, but it's one of her electives, and she said she just isn't "feeling" it, so she'd probably going to drop it.  Besides, she's got some aunt duties (like spoiling a nephew) to take care of.  :)

I guess that's about it for now.  Hopefully John will be here in a bit.  Other than the food and my laptop, I've gotten everything loaded and gas cans filled, so all we should have to do is put food in the truck and head out.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and SAFE 4th of July holiday!

I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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