Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Signing off until tomorrow...
As inspiration for today's post, I will share that Claudia purchased some banners from Pottery Barn that are meant for your own at-home carnival. Take a look at the slide show below to see some of the banners hung throughout her backyard. (sorry, blogger was having issues and I could not upload the pictures directly into the post when I wrote this!) These banners would make the perfect decoration and inspiration for any backyard carnival.
One way to incorporate a backyard carnival into your summer plans is for you to host your own neighborhood carnival. Picture this: You volunteer to host the carnival in your yard and then invite each neighbor to host a booth at the carnival. One neighbor may take face painting, another the classic duck pond, and another pin the tail on the donkey. Each family in the neighborhood would attend the carnival with their children, but would also host a booth. This would be a great summer get-together for your neighborhood! If you feel so inclined, many of the banners pictured above would make great additions to your carnival. I'm sure Claudia will be glad to share purchasing information.
For those of you in Student Affairs, what about a carnival at your summer staff retreat? Each department within your division could be responsible for hosting a booth. Judicial Affairs could take a pie throwing contest, and Res Life could take the ring toss.
When I think back on the early seasons of Jon & Katie Plus 8 (before all the drama began), I remember when they hosted a birthday party for the sextuplets that was a carnival. What if each attendee was in charge of having a booth instead of bringing a present? The possibilities are endless!
Just as we shared our summer traditions and plans for water and soaking up some sun, how about we share plans we can make for carnivals this summer? Who is up for the challenge of planning a summer carnival for your neighborhood, family, or friends? What carnival game ideas do you have or have you been a part of in the past? Do you have a theme in mind for your carnival?
Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As a kid I spent my summers at the public swimming pool sliding, diving and flipping. Pulling from my memory banks, I remember the classic game of Marco Polo or maybe you prefer Sharks and Minnows. Do you remember playing chicken on the shoulders of a friend? Or, under water tea parties? What was it called when you go underwater hold hands with a friend, matching up your feet and pushing so that your bottoms bumped. Hours of fun! I didn't care what I was doing as long as I was in the water.
What every pool needs and what I didn't have growing up is noodles! You have to have noodles. You blow air threw one in and you have a whale or a fountain or good ol' splash in the face. Sit on them to keep you afloat. My 7 and 8 year old boys spend more time chasing each other around the pool trying to pelt each other with the noodles or shoot each other with a water gun that I've got my constant life guard voice saying, "WALK!" They climb in and out of the pool so much I know they're getting an arm workout. They make me tired just watching. Oh, and no day is complete at the pool until everyone has done a cannonball! Even me.
But what if you don't have a pool?
Enter the hose and sprinkler. They make so many fun sprinklers now days but even 30 years ago I remember the clown sprinkler we had. The water pushed up his hat and you ran through the stream. My favorite is still the classic sprinklers that just wave back and forth. Before I got the irrigation system installed the boys loved helping water the yard. I use the word helping lightly.
What about a slip and slide? They've come a long way baby! We just had the yellow strip that went across the yard. No cushy ending to catch you. You just slid off the end. Now they have the blow up sides to stop you at the end. They even have boards that you can slide on to prevent stomach rashes and things you can slide under- like 3-D shark mouths! Yes! The goggles JB is wearing are 3D Goggles! What will they think of next?
So, when the summer heat starts beating down, jump in the nearest pool, break out the hose and sprinkler systems, get the super soaker guns out and cool down. What's your favorite way to beat the heat? I don't know about you but this is my favorite... (my extra cold beer is missing in this picture!)
Yesterday's winner was Sporadic Spy for "I feel like a fish out of water without you." SS, what now? Care to cast us a clue? You won a Big Mouth Bass Cookie Cutter!!! Where do we send it?
Rock the VOTE! Don't forget to go over to Taste of USA to vote for either Virginia or Ohio today. Polls open around 6:30am CST. Tomorrow is between Indiana and New York. Friday we have our final poll!
Signing off until tomorrow...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The weekends for me usually include a bit of cleaning and re-organizing from the whirlwind of the previous week. For that reason, I'm going to share with you all an organization idea that a friend of mine shared with me a few months ago. It involves jewelry, though I think you could stretch it to include any number of things.
My friend from college, Ashley, has a lot of jewelry (like many of us) and was looking for a way to organize it so she could walk in first thing in the morning and just grab the pieces she wanted to wear that day. I know for me, with my jewelry box, I spend half of my time trying to find a matching pair of earrings or pulling apart necklaces to get at the one that I want. Well, with her solution of a pegboard, that problem is solved! Easy access= saved time each morning! With the discussion of budgets in mind yesterday, this organization solution is also cheap and budget-friendly!
Here's what you will need. Simply make a short trip to Home Depot to pick up a 2x4 sheet of pegboard (less than $5). If it's more than you need or if you want to fit a limited space, just ask them to cut it to size. This is a service that they will provide for you, free of charge! You can buy the pegboard in white instead of the industrial color, but you could also consider painting it to match or accent the walls of the room in which you will hang the board. The other supplies you will need include 1/2 inch boards or 1 inch by 1 inch boards on the sides to stick the pegboard out from the wall. If you screw the pegboard directly to the wall, you won't be able to put the hooks through the holes in the pegboard. You will also need hardware to hang the board, a screwdriver, and the hooks to hang the jewelry.
The hooks come in a variety of sizes, so you can buy exactly what you need to fit the space in a way that makes sense for you and your jewelry! For some people, they have a lot of long necklaces, so they need more hanging space so the necklaces don't get tangled. For others (like Ashley), they have more earrings and Ashley created a solution for storage with an ice cube tray!
What about the rest of you? Do you have a way to store your jewelry that you want to share with all of us? Any other organization tips for the day? (Kat, I am sharing this organization idea with you in mind! Happy Fish-food!)
Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!
Signing off until Monday with the song of the weekend...
Friday, May 22, 2009
While I was at home on Wednesday wishing I just had a bad hangover and able to eat a slab of bacon to cure it, I watched some TV in between dosing. I watched Trading Spouses where the mom from Grapevine switched with a mom from a south Dallas. The twist to the show is that the mom's get to decide how the other family gets to spend their prize money of $50,000. I couldn't believe the words that were coming out of this Grapevine ladies mouth! She expected this new family to fix her coffee and make her meals. She acted like she was coming in and "rescuing" this family. Back home she had her dear 70 year old, Japanese mother in law waiting hand and foot on her and her family. The south Dallas mom quickly caught on to the fact that MIL did all the mom's work. The mother in law got a bulk of the money. Has anyone seen this show? What are your thoughts?
I also watched Ellen. She's hilarious. She gave away the Flip cameras that are so cool. I wish I had one to give away to you today. But I don't. She had last year's American Idol winner singing on the show. I know we have some American Idol fans out there. Not me. I haven't watched a single show. I tried to get into it but I got so irritated at the beginning of the season when they focus so much on the horrible singers for comedic purposes. But, I hear it was a huge upset the other night with Kris winning over Adam. Maureen, are you still reading? I know you were cheering for Kris! Who were you cheering for?
I also watched Oprah. Her show focused on a family giving up all technology. It was only for seven days but still. No TV. No video games. No computers. No cell phones. AND- they couldn't eat out. They had to shop at the grocery store on a budget. (Y'all probably all do that anyway, don't you?) At first, they were in shock but as the show went on they realized that they liked doing things together. There was a time period when I was unplugged. Not the "No eating out part" because I don't cook but the no technology part for sure. The boys weren't old enough for video games yet, I didn't have a computer at home, and we did have a TV but we didn't have any service to it. We lived in the mountains on the basement level so antennas didn't work. We did watch videos though. That may have violated the rules.
My point is, could you do it? Could you? Would you? Give up all the technology that comes into your home and reconnect with the people that live there?
Today I am going to my very first Field Day with my boys so I will be unplugged for the day. Scheduled events include the shoe toss, the wooden spoon/egg relay, the sponge/water relay, tug-o-war, 50 yard dash, sack races, the balloon toss and MORE! I took the day off from work and I'm just going to soak in the sun, fun competition and snow cones extending my Memorial Day weekend even longer. Life is grand! Do your kids have Field Day?
Thanks so much for hanging in there with me on this unscheduled content. Now, feel free to discuss TV, debate Ellen vs. Oprah, unplugging from technology, or your favorite field day event. I will check in with you at the end of the day and can't wait to see what y'all have drummed up. Make it good! And juicy!
Signing off until tomorrow...
P.S. I'm sorry you have to work today, Margaret. I hope it's the fastest day ever so you can get on the golf course!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Bacon, bacon, bacon~ it's a wonderful thing! Pancetta, Canadian and Slab! Bacon is our friend. I'm mean really. It is so completely versatile.
You can put it on your breakfast sandwich or club sandwich, your burger and your classic BLT.
You can crumble bacon and put it on just about anything. Salads, baked potatoes, pizza and soup. Go ahead and add some flavor. Flavor your beans and your broths and even your Vodka- all with bacon. (Okay purchase the Vodka from the store but I hear they make it!)
Eggs and bacon. They were made for each other.
You can wrap it around shrimp, scallops, jalapenos, and steaks. Even asparagus.
Somebody stop me because I'm about to break out into a Bubba Gump Bacon Montage!
Bacon goes with everything!
I have to try these bacon cups! You can try them, too. Just check out the instructions over at Not Martha. They look pretty easy. You throw salad in them, of course!
Bacon is loved by so many people there are whole websites dedicated to bacon. There is the Royal Bacon Society, I Heart Bacon and Bacon Unwrapped.
I thought I was going to be so clever and be the very first to make Pancake and Bacon Cupcakes but you guessed it. I am not so clever because lots of someones have already made them! There are actually so many out there that there are too many to share... just google it and make me a batch.
Just this week, Margaret sent me a link to a new dessert that she knew we would both love. I love cotton candy. She loves bacon. Put them together and what do you get? Bacon Cotton Candy! It was from some where in South Carolina.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
20 years ago today, I was attending Texas Tech University majoring in Architecture and I was realizing that I may never understand the math and physics portion of this degree. My dreams of being an Architect were falling apart. My roommate decided she was going to go to Arizona for the summer and I had to shuffle to find a place to live. I felt a little displaced. My cousin also attended Texas Tech and he had room for a third roommate for the summer. That worked except that I had a cat (see, I had a pet) and his fall roommate was allergic. The decision was to relocate my cat and my roommate's cat to my sisters house for the summer.
The plan was to make the 11 hour trek from Lubbock to Refugio on Thursday, stay Friday and Saturday, and then head back to Lubbock on Sunday. Get in. See some friends. Drop off the cats. Get out. It started out as planned but quickly got derailed Friday night.
On Friday, my mom and I went to the infamous Moya's for lunch. Yum. I love me some Moya's. This is what it looks like: Wave hello to the folks you haven't seen. Hello old friend. Oh, hello old friend that I'm no longer speaking to because you led me to believe you were interested in me but were dating someone else. He really is a nice guy despite that incident. Lawrence came to the table and asked if I was still mad at him. I can't remember what I said but I must have forgiven him because we made plans for him to pick me up at Ethel's Beauty Shop.
I went and got my haircut. Hello Ethel. My hair misses you. She trimmed and we talked for a very long time. You see, the other thing going on in the background was that my parents who had been divorced since I was 12 decided that they would get back together. It was a difficult time for me because I hadn't really spoken to my dad in those 7 years after their divorce. If we did speak, you can guarantee that is was an argument. That's a whole different story but you can see that I was experiencing a bit of turmoil. School wasn't going well, I felt displaced when my roommate moved, I was mad at my friend, I was not eager about rebuilding my relationship with my dad and everything seemed to be strangling me.
I know, I know. Get to the point. When did your life change? Lawrence and I spent the day joking, laughing, running his errands and catching up. Oh, and I was drinking. He dropped me back off at home. From there the details are long and boring and complicated but we ended up back together at around the 9pm hour. We went on a "beer run" because that's what we do in small towns- never mind the fact that I was only 19. And that's when it happened.
As we travelled east in his Suburban on Ymbacion Street, we approached the train tracks. Small town- no flashing lights, no warning cross bars and a smaller road positioned parallel with the tracks. I can't tell you exactly what happened because I have no memory of it. I don't know if I saw it or if I braced for it or not. Afterwards, Lawrence said he thought a car was coming down that little road. I was told that as we began to cross the tracks the train hit the front tire on the drivers side, the suburban spun around and the back corner struck the train whereas that force threw us in the ditch. We were young and stupid and not wearing seat belts. I was a human pinball and he held on tightly to the steering wheel that he smashed his faced with and suddenly it didn't matter that I didn't understand physics or that I felt displaced or that my parents were back together.
At that moment my life was transformed into something else. It was transformed into surviving internal bleeding, exploratory surgery, years of dental work, and a new outlook on life. What was my lesson? It's hard to put it in one sentence but something like this: Life is not always easy but if you can keep it simple and focus on the good things you have, life will work itself out. Not that the lesson has always stayed with me in the past 20 years but I try to remember it on the anniversary of the occasion. And believe me, there are lots of times that I need to remember. Obviously, I survived and didn't suffer any real traumatic effects from the accident. Lawrence also survived just in case you're wondering. I gave up the journey to be an Architect and went back to square one. I moved back home to a place where no matter what happens, I will always belong. My dad and I began on our journey of rebuilding our relationship and I'm happy to say we made it through.
So back to those questions of "Why am I here?" and "What is the meaning of life?" I believe that there are many levels and many answers to those two questions. But, the best answer I ever heard was from a man in Utah. When Dick was asked " What's the meaning of life?" he didn't miss a beat and he calmly answered in his mello voice, "Love."
How about you? Do you have a moment where you felt transformed? Maybe you didn't feel it at that moment. Maybe you felt it months or even years later. It doesn't have to be a traumatic thing like a train accident. It can be an Aha moment when the light bulb came on and you finally understood physics. (That aha still escapes me.) Do you have an answer to: Why am I here? Or, what is the meaning of life? Please share.
So, Happy Second Birthday to me. I'm only 20- I can't even legally drink. Hmm... I wonder what Colorstrology says about May 19th. And what Chinese animal I am.
Signing off until tomorrow...
Monday, May 18, 2009
Claudia has used this tool with students, staff, and just about everyone else imaginable and now it has become our own tradition here at HLA.
The process is simple. We ask for you to leave a comment with your high, low and aha from the last month 18th-18th and one lucky poster will be selected at random to receive a Ray shirt of their choice.
I'll get us started and you'll take it from there:
High: Katie arriving in town, cutting my hair (it needed it desperately), Bal getting a promotion at work, watching Lily learn new things.
Low: Work has been all consuming lately and has me bogged down. I don't like that feeling at all.
AHA: If you work hard and are loyal that will be recognized and pay huge dividends. If you are valuable only because of your knowledge but are lazy and unmotivated or have a bad attitude it doesn't matter how valuable your knowledge is.
There you go. So how about you? Take a moment to "stop and smell the roses" and reflect upon this month with us.
Signing off until tomorrow...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
1. Paper lanterns- I don't own one but I've always loved the look of them. I want to run out and purchase one of every color and every size and throw several parties in different themes... orange, white and black for Halloween. All white for a cocktail party by the pool. Pink, blue, and yellow for a baby shower. You get the picture.
2. Along with the paper lanterns I have fallen in love with the styling's of Fabric Bunting... I've always seen these in the solid color vinyl ones and eh- they didn't do so much for me but lately I've seen them in these great vintage fabrics and I'm telling you, it's LOVE! Just google fabric bunting- you'll fall in love, too.
3. Cotton Candy reminds me of being a kid. Whenever I see it at an event all fluffy and pink on it's white paper stick I know I have to have it. And I let me boys have their own, too. I love how their fingers and faces get all sticky with it. I'm also partial to rock candy.
4. Pepperoni Pizza- my comfort food. Growing up we had a pizza oven and my mom could always tell when I felt better after being sick because I would cook up a Tony's frozen pepperoni pizza and eat the whole thing by myself! Oh, the days of eating whatever you wanted and still being skinny!
5. The single greatest invention- the iPod! You couldn't record a record or 8 track tape but then cassettes came along and the Mix Tape was invented. Then the Mix CD I guess but he iPod puts all those to shame! You can have list after list of music. My iPod is filled with country to rock to cheesy 80's and other oldies to blues and jazz. I have my workout mix, my mello mix, and so on. Music- it makes me feel good.
6. Blueberry Stack Cake is the cake that me dear ex-mother-in-law would make for everyone of my birthdays and it is divine! I haven't had it since I've been divorced but this year for my 40th birthday I am determined to bring it back into my life. I even have the recipe.
7. The Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is the perfect mix of coffee. Breakfast of champions!
8. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series has provided an escape like no other. Time travel, romance and historical adventure sweeps me away time and time again. These books are long and involved so whenever she has a new book coming out (and she has another one coming out in the fall) I start re-reading the series so I can remember all the details.
9. Not all sandals are made alike but I like them all. There's nothing better than a cute pair of sandals and pretty pedicure to make a girl feel special. I realize I maybe girlier than others but I may transform you yet. Okay, maybe not any guys reading but maybe you have a favorite pair of shoes, like your golf shoes or something.
10. These boys are the best gift my ex ever gave me. I remember holding Drew in the glow of his blue cloud lamp in the middle of the night thinking, "How in the world can someone love another person this much?" The weight of his tiny body and that enormous love always makes me cry. And I love the second one just as much.
I didn't even mention my favorite beer, my favorite restaurant, my favorite stores to shop at and so on and so on. It's endless, isn't it?
Today is Free For All Friday and so feel free to share your favorites or any other topic that you would like the brains of this readership to give you some tips on.
Signing off until tomorrow...
Thursday, May 14, 2009
So I’ve got a dirty little secret. I’m a total Grey’s Anatomy addict. Seriously. I mean come on the hot chicks and drunken nights, all wrapped up with a little blood and guts. Television doesn't get any better. Truth is I like to picture myself in on the action…you know a little Ray’s Anatomy.
But what are they doing making Izzie be the one that dies off? I love that blonde headed vixen and now that she shaved her head we have the bald look in common, Alex step out of the way Ray is coming in for the score! Maybe I should say Alex and Denny step out of the way. What is up with Denny creeping around anyway? Move on Denny, surely there are some hot angels in heaven!
What is up with Cristina and Owen? SERIOUSLY…the man tries to choke you and you are even thinking of getting back together with him?!? Come home to Ray baby I’ll treat you right.
It isn’t all about the sex either I mean, what’s cooler than seeing some guy baseball bat an engagement ring into the woods? I love it! You know McDreamy and Meredith will NEVER end up getting hitched. She’ll end up knocked up and raising their love child alone while he hooks up with the latest and greatest resident on rotation.
Alright I’m off to stock up on the good liquor for tonight’s 2 hour finale (I’m inviting a few of the ladies over to enjoy it with me.) What about you? If it's not Grey's Anatomy, what show are you addicted to and why should I watch it?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"Email is dying because it's free. If you can send an email for free to 100 of your closest friends, instantly, you probably won't abuse the privilege. But someone else will because they might define 'friend' differently than you or I.100 times 100 is ten thousand. Spam.So now people don't reply when you send them a resume, because it costs too much to do that ten thousand times.Twitter is next. The paradox is obvious: to grow, you need to remove friction from the medium. If it's not easy and free to use, people won't. But then it gets big and it becomes profitable, so people use it too much.The churn rate at twitter is reported as 50%. That's because of lack of friction as well. Easy to get in, easy to get out.Stamps are underrated. Friction rewards intent and creates scarcity."
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
When, I came to JMU, I had just spent four years at Bellarmine where I lived my four years up to the max and took on every leadership position I could get my hands on at the time. All of this involvement and leadership helped me to learn a lot about my abilities, interests, and talents as a student. Then, I came to JMU and I was able to mentor and supervise some undergraduate students who were experiencing the same journey I had been on for the past 4 years. What I found was that sometimes I got so caught up in the work I was doing that I forgot to remember what was most important- enjoying each moment for what it is.
I was reminded of this tonight as I was sorting a pile of books that I wanted to take with me to read for the summer and a pile of books that could stay here in Virginia in storage. One of the books I stumbled upon was "The Why Cafe" by J.P. Strelecky. This is one of my favorite books of all time. A professor of mine from Bellarmine had me read it during my sophomore year. The book is all about a man who is driving one night and gets lost on a long abandoned road. He keeps driving until he stumbles upon a cafe and decides to stop and get a bite to eat. Once inside the cafe, he is confronted with some of life's most profound questions. Ultimately, his experience in the cafe confronts him with the way in which he has been living his life and asks some important how and why questions.
As I flipped through the book, I quickly stumbled upon one of my favorite parts of the book. Essentially, it asks why we spend so much time and energy doing the things we don't find fulfilling because when that one thing comes along that we find fulfilling, we won't have the time or energy for it anymore. The book also speaks of how we spend so much time talking about how we are planning for the days when we can do what we really want to do instead of just doing them right now.
About the time that I read through that section of the book, I dropped what I was doing, grabbed the book, and headed off to spend time with a friend whom I have become very close to this year. I had to ask myself, why spend the night packing and being alone in my apartment when I could go fulfill my friendship by spending some of our last hours in town together by talking through our memories of the year and how our friendship has developed since we met in August? For me, I know that my life is fulfilling when it is concentrated on the relationships I have with others and how I fulfill each of those relationships. Tonight, by spending 3 hours talking with her, I was doing what I wanted right in that moment instead of spending time on something I didn't find fulfilling. This is our last night in town together and that time will never come again (she has graduated and will not be returning next year)- why waste my time packing when I can live my life in a way that I find fulfilling? For me, I'm so glad I spent that time with my friend, fulfilling what has been a great friendship for me this year. I will leave Virginia tomorrow knowing that I spent some of my last hours here with one of my best friends and I will know she is aware of how much she means to me. After all, I did give her my copy of that book to read.
This is my challenge to each of you: Do one thing today that you find fulfilling that you would not normally make the time to do. After all, if you don't do it now, you may never have the time or energy to do it when it comes around again. What is it that you find fulfilling? What will you do today to add that special dimension to your day?
Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
You see...this week has made me realize something about myself that I'm a little afraid to admit. A few weeks ago Katie introduced us to Love Languages and it was shared that mine was "service" add that to the fact that I am frugal (to a fault) and it becomes pretty hard to buy for me. Take for instance Mother's Day...last weekend in an effort to dull the pain of our husband's work schedule Claudia and I made a trip to the Brighton Jewelry store, we searched the racks and I found what I "thought" was the perfect Mother's Day gift for myself. A fun cuff bracelet that was around $50...not too expensive but more than I would EVER spend on myself. Fast forward to last night when Claudia, Richard and I are sitting around talking about what a great husband Matt Struble is for writing that amazing letter about Cristine. That turned our thoughts to Mother's Day gifts yet again and I mentioned that I was probably forgoing the Mother's Day gift this year so that we could put extra money towards my Mom's gift (a flight to Dallas for a visit this summer). Claudia's jaw fell to the floor as she reeled that I had found the "perfect gift" and then just decided never mind. Why?!? Because I'm far to practical to see the benefit of spending $50 for something as unnecessary as a silver cuff bracelet. It isn't that I don't like accessories, or that I don't think they look fantastic on people but for me?!? Nah!
I'm the same way about flowers, shoes, clothes, whatever....unless I NEED the item I feel like it is a total waste.
So my realization? I am the gift givers nightmare...what is the delicate line between practical and inconsiderate?
Most women would balk at their husband giving them an iron for their birthday...me, bring it on. The same goes for vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, or anything practical that I NEED so that I don't have to spend the money on the item otherwise.
So in honor of the fact that my poor husband has to figure out my gift giving needs for Mother's Day in two days and the fact that we have a slew of gift giving events in the near future with Graduations (yay Cassie P and Lindsay Marie!!!), Mother's Day, Father's Day, June wedding season and just the end of the school year let our community at highlowaha help you with your gift giving nightmare. Give us the details of that person you can never figure out how to buy for and we'll help you come up with something that is creative but totally them.
But of course, I couldn't let the day end without a few gift giving suggestions of my own.
First this is the link to a fun video that was made for me for Mother's Day (a gift I loved because it was FREE) that I think our readership will enjoy. Watch it to the end so you can send it out to all the Mother's in your life.
And here are the Teacher Appreciation gifts that Claudia and I pulled together for Jack, Lily and Matthew's teachers. The envelope contains a gift certificate for a pedicure at a salon just around the corner from daycare and we pulled it together with the flip flops and fun ribbon...
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Delanie Grace on May 1, 2009!
Good morning, Highlowaha! It's Katie here, but before we get started I would just like to say thanks so much for all of your wonderful ideas and punch line suggestions yesterday! I plan to mill it over today and then make some final decisions tonight as I pull their gifts together. I will certainly let all of you know how it goes over.
As promised yesterday, today I will share another piece of my world with you. As I mentioned, I am currently a first year graduate student at JMU. In the early part of next week, I will be leaving JMU for the summer. I will be headed home to Kentucky to see friends and family for a few days, and then it's off to Arlington, Texas for the summer to work in Orientation at the University of Texas- Arlington. There is one minor detail that has to fall into place before all of the fun can begin- PACKING!
I am a procrastinator to my core, and packing is no different. Those of you with college-aged children have probably felt the parental frustrations of your children waiting until the last minute to pack up their things. I am no different. Except now, I've moved enough times and far enough away from home that my parents don't have to stress over it anymore- just me! Yesterday, in an effort to avoid studying for my final exams, I decided to do some packing. I realized that I needed to make some quick decisions about what I wanted to take with me to Texas and what could stay here in Virginia, in storage, for the summer. Obviously, there are some things that have to come with me, such as: clothes, shoes, bedding, office supplies, and toiletries. However, I have a lot of possessions which I do not necessarily need to bring with me for a 10 week stint in Texas.
For me, it's like survival of the fittest for my "fun" gadgets and gizmos. I decided to challenge myself to decide on the top 3 things that I think I will use this summer and allow myself to pack those. After all, I do only have my little car with me and so space is a factor I have to take into account. Here's what I narrowed it down to and the fun objects that will be coming with me for the summer:
- Cookie Baking/Decorating Supplies: cookie sheets, piping and flooding tools, cookie cutters, dye for the icing, etc.
- My Craft Corner: Sharpies, stickers, paint, mailing supplies, glue gun, mod podge, etc.
- iSound and iPod: What would my summer be without my music? I will be bringing these with me so that I can listen to some great music while making those cookies and sending those packages. Plus, I have to share this love of music with my new roommate, right?
Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I am currently a first year graduate student at James Madison University. I work as a graduate Hall Director in a residence hall that houses 235 freshmen. In my building, I supervise eight undergraduate students who serve as resident assistants on each of the nine floors in my building. I have been with these students since August when we went through training together and then opened our hall to all 235 freshmen to enter their first year of college. Now, eight months later, it is time to bring the year to a close as all of those freshmen will be moving out of our hall this Friday. As their supervisor and as a way to say thank you for all of their hard work this year, I am hosting a "closing dinner" for my staff on Friday evening. At this dinner, I will be presenting each of them with an end of the year gift from me as a token of my appreciation for their hard work this year.
Enter today's post. I have the gift, I have all the supplies I need, and I'm in the process of pulling it all together. However, one VERY important piece is still missing from these gifts. The punch line!!! What is a fun gift for my staff without a fitting punch line to go along with it. What I mean by punch line is the tag to go on each of the gifts that will, in one short sentence, give them a synopsis of the purpose behind the gift. An example of this was at the beginning of the year, when I gave them each a bottle of Coke, a package of popcorn, and some toenail polish. The punch line for that gift was "Pop Your Feet Up and Relax"! For this gift, I have nothing! This is where you, my trusty HLA community and friends enter the picture for me! You are just the creative group of people that I need to help me out! For me right now, it's like I have a beach, but no sand. I need the sand to top if off (talking in a figurative way).
What about the rest of you? Do you have any gifts that you will be giving to wrap up the end of the year for your students, your child's teacher, your Girl Scout troop, etc? What will you be giving them and do you have any great punch lines that you are using? Please feel free to share in the comment section today.
Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...