Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Begining to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love all the pretty decorations, good food, seeing family, time off school and of course - presents! I like to get presents but I especially love to give them.

I love to decorate for the holidays! I was always the one to bug my parents until they put the tree up. I decorated my tiny dorm rooms in college and I have especially enjoyed decorating my new home for Christmas. We started off by putting lights up on the house.

Well, my husband put up lights. Poor jake, it took him three days of putting up lights after work, in the dark to get it all completed. He did have help from a friend a the first day. Of course, I helped by sitting on my bum in the house watching TV. :) But it looks so good in the dark!

Well, becuase my husband did all that hard work AND was working crazy hours at his job, I surprised him by putting up the Christmas tree. That's right folks! I got it down from the attic (huge accomplishment) and put it up all by myself! Ok, putting it up was easy but man getting it down from the attic was crazy! I hate the attic! First, you are always scared you will walk off the beam and fall through the ceiling. Then there is the fact that are probably some 8-legged friends living up there. AND then there are the millions of nails sticking out from the roof that are only 5'4" off the floor when your head is 5'9" off the floor.

Anyways I got that sucker up. This tree was a hand-me-down. It was once I really great pre-lit tree from Garden Ridge. Well, now it is mostly a pre-lit tree. Several parts of the lights only came on after replacing bulbs, fuses, a little bit of wiggling and a lot of prayer. And one section will still not light up. So I just strung on a strand of lights we had. (Kind of ghetto, I know). Needless to say, I will be shopping for another tree after they all go on sale! Here is the finished product.

I'm not one of those people who decorate their tree around a theme. I like to put up ornaments from our childhood and every year we pick out an ornament. I hope to allow my children to do that someday too!


Here is the ornament from the year we got married.



Here is the ornament from last year - the year we purchased our home.

Here is one of Jake's childhood ornaments.

One from my childhood.
I enjoy all the memories that are tied to the ornaments.



Of course there are other decorations up. My wreath is one of my favorits. It is made of bells and it made a lovely sound everytime you open the door.
I actually made this one. It is a card holder. I just measured and cut some ribbon for where I wanted to hang it. (I have two hanging up. They are in the middle of three windows.) Then I made a bow out of the same ribbon and hot glued it on there. Then I took some mini clothespins and painted them silver. And I glued them on a varying distances down the ribbon. Voila!

Our stockings and holders. You can't hve a fireplace without stockings!

And of course - the mistletoe!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am...

A daughter - I have been blessed with wonderful parents. They are not perfect but they love my sister and I very much. I have amazing in-laws who may love me more than their son! :) I have also been blessed to have more people in life that I consider to be parent-figures even though we have no shared DNA. People like Bob and Deb Lipscomb and Marlene Carpenter.

A sister - Not a great one but I love my sister very much. We are very different in all the big ways but deep down we can be surprisingly alike.

An aunt - My nephew is the cutest little thing that ever walked this Earth and he knows it! He is smart and so funny! I am so thankful that God protected him and allowed him to overcome being a preemie.

A teacher - I have wanted to be a teacher since I was very young. It is an amazing feeling to know that I am doing exactly what God designed me to do. I can be lazy and short-tempered sometimes but I really enjoy my career. I am thankful that God gave me such a passion for teaching young children.

A student - I am not in school at this point, though I may someday go for my masters degree. But I try my best to learn something new everyday. Whether that is about children, God, my friends and family, being a wife or just new and interesting things.

A wife - I married my best friend. We laugh and play and just have a good time together (most of the time). We are not perfect spouses but we learn to be better ones on a daily basis.

A friend - I have been lucky to have a lot of friends throughout my lifetime. I have lost touch with a lot of them for one reason or another and I can be insecure when it comes to trying to reconnect with them. I have known great friendships in my 24 years and I hope to continue to make new friends as I grow older.

A cook - I love to cook for my friends and husband. It makes me feel great to get compliments on my cooking. I especially love to bake but I have cut back on that lately.

A mother - No, I don't have kids but I know that I am a mother in my soul. I mother my husband, friends, family (older and younger) and my students. I know that I will someday have children (in God's timing) but until I will just take care of everyone that I can to practice :)

A believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord - I am not perfect and I never will be. I do my best to live my life as I think He would have.

Who are you?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Mom

My mother is an amazing woman. She is not perfect (who is?) but she is spectacular. Here are some reasons why...

10. She makes the best meatloaf ever!

9. She never rambles away on the phone. She doesn't even like to talk on the phone!

8. She is a great multitasker. This woman can accomplish a million things at once.

7. She is an amazing googler. This woman can find anything about anything by simply searching for it. (I got this trait from her :)

6.She never gives up.... on anything!

5. Her house could pass as a hospital, it is that clean! I got my cleaning habits from her (although I don't do it as often as she does). The best way to clean is with the radio blaring some great music like Celine Dion, Reba McEntire, etc.

4. She gives great gifts and I can always tell that she enjoys giving them. She always knows exactly what to get me for Christmas and my birthday. I know that she puts a lot of effort into picking it out and finding it for me.

3. She will do anything for her friends and family. I have to be careful what I say around her! If we are out shopping and I happen to mention that I want/need any random and unimportant thing she will search high and low for that one thing for me.

2. She has an amazing work ethic. She works her tail off about 360 days of the year. If there is something to do, she will get it done and get it done the right way.

1. She always finds a way to overcome obstacles. She has not had the easiest time of things in her lifetime (as it is with most of us). But she has found a way to get through every situation and better herself through it all.

(Sorry this is a picture of a picture but I don't have any digital
pictures of us on hand).



I love her so much and I am proud to be her daughter!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weight Watchers

I joined Weight Watchers a month ago. I had always heard of this program but I never liked that I would have to pay to be a part of it (I am kind of cheap like that). But I have always heard great things. I had some friends that have tried it and I knew of one girl in particular who has lost over 100 pounds with Weight Watchers (what an amazing accomplishment!).

Now, I know how to lose weight. I learned about it in health class and an aerobics class in college. I know how many calories I should consume in a day to lose weight in a healthy way. I know what my heart rate should be when exercising to help burn fat. I know the foods I should eat and the foods I should avoid. I know the the healthy ways to cook, shop and live. But the fact is, I wasn't doing it. I was eating what I wanted, when I wanted and I certainly wasn't exercising.

I was having a conversation with my sister about my wanting a baby. And she talked to me about how I should lose weight first (in a very caring and compassionate manner). I knew this already but her speaking to me about it made it more real. She told me she saw a commercial that Weight Watchers was doing a promotion that you could join for free for a certain time period.

So, I sat down and did some research on the program and looked into locations and meeting times. I spoke with Jake about it. He was hesitant because I had to pay. He, like a lot of other people, assumed it was just a way for them to make money but he eventually came around and agreed that I should go. I set myself a date of when to go and I went. It was a little scary to go alone but I eventually got out of my car.

And you know what? I LOVE IT!

Weight Watchers is exactly what I have been needing all along. Here is why.

1) I have to get on a scale in front of someone else. - Only another staff member and they only comment when I have lost weight, but the fact that someone else knows how I have been doing is very motivating to me.

2) They celebrate my successes. This may make me sound conceited or something but I like that they cheer for me. It fits my personality well. (They always ask privately if they can celebrate with you before the meeting starts). They share with the group when I have reached my personal goals people clap for me! AND you get stickers every time you lose or reach goals. Who doesn't love STICKERS?!?!

3) They are empathetic to my struggles. This is a meeting full of people who are battling or have battled and won with their weight. It is so great to be in a room full of people that know what I am going through and are dealing with or have dealt with the same problem.

4) They have great ideas. At the meetings we share tips about all kinds of related topics like snack ideas, meal ideas, exercising methods, websites to look at, books to read, etc. I usually take notes in the meetings because they are so full of ideas. These really help me stack on track.

So far I have lost 13.8 pounds with this program. In a month! You can't argue with those kind of results!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Motivation

Reasons that I could have just left my weight alone:

1)I have always been a big-boned girl. Some people don't believe there is such a thing but I am proof. I think that even with just my skin and bones that I couldn't be less than a size 10 or 12. I have big hips!
2)If I told you my real weight or pants size you probably wouldn't believe me. I wear it well.
3)My weight could be worse, much worse.

Despite all those excuses that I have been letting myself use these past years, I decided to do something about it. Here's why:

1.
Health: Though my weight hasn't gotten bad enough for a doctor to say anything or for my blood pressure, cholesterol or any other factors to be messed up, I know I was not far from it. I am enjoying my time on Earth. It's not always easy or fun but I am happy with it. And though I have no control over God's timing, I would like to be here as long as He sees fit. I want to be alive when my grandbaby's are here and be able to run and play with them.

2.
Embarassment: I hate wearing swimsuits and shorts and clothes shopping with my friends. I want to be proud of my body (in a very modest and tasteful way, of course). And my best friend is so fashionable and can dress me so well but I get so embarassed that my size is more than twice what hers is that I usually don't even shop with her anymore.

3.
Babies: I have always had two major goals in life: be a teacher and a mom. Well, I'm a teacher so that just leaves one thing. I know that a prenancy will be easier and better if I am at a healthy and manageable weight. I have lots of fears of things like people not knowing I'm pregnant because I have always had a big belly or not being able to feel my baby kick through my thick stomach. Not to mention, I know it will be so much easier to lose baby weight if I started at a healthier weight to begin with.

So, those are the reasons I am working towards a healthier me. I will admit that number 3 was the biggest motivation this time. It seems to be working so far!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Self-Control

If you had come to me two months ago and said, "Tricia, why are you 80 lbs overweight for your height?" I would have replied, "I have no self-control." But now I know that was a lie. I, in fact, do have self-control. (Much to my surpise.) Now I would say, "I am lazy and a little bit addicted to food."

I make these amazing Oreo Bon Bons during the holidays. They are like heaven. And my mother-in-law makes the best peanut butter fudge. These two treats would often find themselves at the same family function. And I would devour these treats. Literally, I could eat on them all night long, consuming 1,000 calories on just sweets. And now I realize that I never savoured those treats, I just inhaled them. I would often eat some of those things so quickly and think to myself, "I don't even remember what that tasted like." I was just eating to eat and that's CRAZY! That's not why God gave us food! Food was created mainly to sustain us. And yes, to be enjoyed - but not inhaled.

I have come to realize that I can take a bite of something and enjoy it. Slowly chew it and taste all those wonderful ingredients blended to make something that tastes amazing. And that's all I need. My craving is almost always satisfied from that one bite. Every bite tastes the same as the first. I have tried to "diet" enough times to know that if I deny myself my cravings for sweets that I will end up gorging on them later. So I still enjoy some things in moderation, one bite at a time.

And now, I can to a party and just have a bite of my husbands cake. Or I can to the self-serve yogurt place and get fat-free yogurt, fruit and one mini reeses cup. Or better yet, I can say no thank you to those sugar cookies from Wal-Mart or a brownie that looks really dry because I know that the taste won't even be good enough to waste my time/calories/progress on.

All of my life I thought that I had no self-control. I am so proud to be able to say that I do. It feels wonderful to learn something new about yourself, even at 24 years old.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weight Less

This morning as I was getting ready for school, I looked in the mirror and couldn't help but smile. Here's why...

I have wanted to be healthy for a long time now but I have had extra motivation to work toward this goal recently. With some encouragement from my sister, family and friends I made the jump and have actually starting WORKING toward that goal. As it turns out, the hardest part of this whole thing was starting it!

In the past month I have drastically changed my eating habits and seen results! And this morning as I looked in the mirror, I could have sworn that I noticed my muffin top was slightly smaller than it used to be. And that thought - The thought that changing my habits and putting more effort into my health is actually working - made me feel WEIGHT LESS. I literally laughed out-loud and jumped a little bit. And then I got dressed and - wait for it - my clothes are becoming looser! I am wearing one of my favorite pairs of khaki pants today. For awhile now these pants have been cutting into my stomach. It could get very comfortable when I sat for any length of time but not today. Today they feel great!

What a great way to start a day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Aschlie Meryhew Heart and Lung Transplant Benefit

This is my sister-in-law. She is married to my husband's twin brother. Please give if you can, but most importantly, please pray her. If you have any questions, just ask. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ho Hum...

I'm going to take this quiet opportunity to post, finally! My students are all sleeping (well most) and my assistant is gone. So I am stuck at my desk supervising my snoozing students instead of packing my closet.

So, lets start with that. Yes, I am packing my classroom up. As you know, this is my first year to teach. I am currently employed with the largest school district in Oklahoma. With everyone else, our state is making cuts to their budget and this includes the education department. That means my district will have less money next year and has to budget for that. They have done a good job of cutting EVERYWHERE possible but they are currently cutting some 250 teachers from the classrooms next year. That 250, unfortunately, includes me. There is still a tiny ray of hope. The state budget has not been finalized yet, hopefully we will have less of a cut than expected and TPS will be able to hire some teachers back. If that does happen, it will take some time. Please say some prayers :)

So, not knowing has been rough. I am such a planner and I like to have everything lined out. I have known since March and tried to let God have this problem but I am failing now. As the year started to come to a close (only 10 more days with students!) it has become progressively harder. And EVERYONE asks about it. I told my Sunday school class and bible study class so they could pray for us and of course all the teachers in the building know. So, I am OFTEN asked about it. I know they are simply caring about me but saying "I have no job for next year" can really get to you after the 100th time. And of course, the Tulsa news channels are all over it, so I hear it on TV also.

I did get chosen to teach summer school, which is really great. I only work 4 weeks, for 20 hours a week and I get paid $23 an hour. Our plan is to put that money in savings to use in case I don't get a teaching job in the fall. That will help us pay bills and get by for awhile. But our HOPE is that I will have a job and we can use that money to buy couches and a fence!

Jake is working at Wal-Mart. He currently works undercover to catch people stealing. He really enjoys the job. He has a lot of fun. Unfortuneatly, the hours aren't great but they aren't horrible either. He just applied to get a promotion. He would be a zone manager. Not really management but close to it. He would have better hours and get a $2 an hour raise. That raise would be really helpful. Again, please say a little prayer for us :)

Our home is great. I love it! I am really hoping to actually decorate it with my summer school money. It is starting to feel kinda big for just the two of us... :) but that is tied to the job thing also.

I am sad to be leaving Addams. I have made some great friends here and I was looking forward to watching my pre-k students grow into 5th graders. There are some things I will not miss. There is a lot of politics and not-so-professional things going on behind the scenes.

There is my life these days. I'm sorry I am bad about updating. We don't have the Internet or a computer at home, so it's hard to update often. I need to try to do it more often, it is sort of therapeutic. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My 2009

In 2009....

- I began subbing for Tulsa Public and found out that subs do not have easy jobs.

- Jake transferred to Wal-Mart in Tulsa.

- We helped Sierra and Jerad move and paint their new home.

- I got a long term sub position at Addams Elementary School. I was covering for Susan Henderson while she was on maternity. It was a fifth grade class. I taught reading and social studies. Man, that was a learning experience! The biggest thing I learned was that it is important to balance the "I'm a person you can trust and talk to" teacher side with the "I am an adult and you will respect me" teacher side.

- We joined First Baptist Church Tulsa and began to enjoy ourselves in our lifegroup.

- I went with FBC to San Antonio on a spring break trip chaperoning 5th, 6th and 7th graders.

- Jake spent a lot of time looking for, applying and interviewing at various jobs in Tulsa. None of which gave him a job.

- My 8 weeks at Addams was up and I left to regular subbing.

- Two weeks after leaving, I got a call back from Addams. The other 5th grade teacher had to leave and the principal asked if I could cover his class for the rest of the year.

- We began to think about taking advantage of the first time home buyers tax credit of $8000.

- Jake broke his foot while bowling. Only my husband! This put him out of work for 6 weeks.

- My principal offered me a prek position at Addams for the 2009-2010 school year! My first teaching job!

- I began making friends with my new colleagues.

- I watched my fifth graders graduate elementary school and see how nervous they were about middle school.

- I worked at FBC Day Camp. I was a counselor for the kindergarten class.

- We toured a model home in Sand Springs, OK and feel in love with the idea.

- We went down to Dallas, TX to see my cousin graduate from High School. It was fun to catch up with family and just have time away.

- After a few weeks of talking and prayer, we decided to build a home in Sand Springs.

- I went to Literacy First Phase 1 training and Great Expectations Methodology classes.

- We watched our foundation being poured and the frame go up!

- Jake finally got released to go back to work.

- I spent way to much money on my classroom and began to make it my own.

- Jake continued to look for jobs outside of Wal-Mart.

- I survived my first day of school and from that I knew I would be ok.

- I began to become very good friends with my colleagues, began the residency process and how learned just how hard teaching can be.

- I started studying the book of John at Bible Studies Foundations.

- I realized I love my students and my job.

- We continued to watch our house go up. We made choices on colors, carpets, layout, stained concrete, door style, fireplace location, lights, appliance, cabinets and many others!

- For the first time, we didn't have to live paycheck to paycheck and had good health insurance.

- I realized how necessary school breaks are for both teachers and students.

- I learned that schools have politics. A lot of politics. Luckily, I had good friends to help me learn how to avoid as much of this as possible and how to play the game.

- We went to Tahlequah for Homecoming and enjoyed visiting Bob and Deb, Mike and Danielle, other friends and our old church!

- We closed on our home, moved in and unpacked all in one weekend.

- We went to Broken Bow, OK to visit my Granny and family for Thanksgiving.

- Jake got a different position at Wal-Mart that he enjoys much more.

- We decorated our home and celebrated our second Christmas.

And through the whole year...

- We saw God working in our lives and our families and friends.

- We continued to grow in our relationship with each other. We realized marriage was something you always had to work on and communicate about.

- We had some fights and we learned and grew from them!

- I missed some old friends, gained some more and grew in my relationship with others.


For 2010...

- We will see what happens...

- My one main resolution is to get healthy! I am calorie counting, eating healthier and trying to be more active. Hopefully, I will stay motivated and continue to work toward this.

I hope your 2010 is all that you hope for!

World Clocks