Continuing on

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Now that I am back in the habit of writing, I am going to try and participate in the A-Z blogging challenge.  I did this last year with the theme of book reviews. Surprisingly I was able to come up with a book that I had read for almost every letter.  This year I was having a hard time coming up with a theme, but I think I have finally figured out what I am going to write about.  My theme or goal this year will be to find a quote for every letter of the alphabet that speaks to me.  After sharing my quote I hope to be able to talk about why the quote speaks to me, or what it is that I like about the quote.  If you want to join me as I continue this writing exercise for the next month.

 

Worth the $

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Keeping my house clean while working full time, with a husband and two girls that were active has always been a struggle for me.  So a couple of years ago I jumped on the bandwagon of paying someone to come clean my house twice a month for me.  While my house is still not perfect yet, let me tell you there is nothing better than coming home and walking into a clean house.  Unless of course, I was smart enough to put supper in the crockpot.  Then I come home to a clean house and supper almost done.  Coming home to a clean house every couple of weeks, helps to motivate me to get it organized.  Sadly, however, that is taking longer than I would like.  But I will get my house put together and in the meantime, Thanks so much to the person who comes in and cleans my house.

Can we all win?

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If the game of life ended today would you be a winner?  I saw this quote the other day.  It was the opening line to a book my daughter is reading for one of her college classes, The Winner’s Manual by Jim Tressel.  She found this quote to be very interesting, enough so that she had to bring it to my attention.

As I have thought about and pondered this quote, I have wondered what does it mean to be a winner in the game of life?  I am sure that the answer will vary depending on the person who is asked.  I am sure that if you are a coach or athlete it would probably be something along the lines of the number of games you have won. I am sure for others it might be how much money or stuff that they have accumulated.

In the scheme of life are any of these things really important?  Is there something more important that we need to be shooting for?  Should we always be striving to win the game of life?  My brother commented that winning would be mean that there is someone else that has to lose.  Is it possible for all of us to win?

So what do you think?  Is it possible to win? Can we all be winners?

De-stressing today

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What I have been waiting for and longing for, for over a month now has finally come and gone.  I love it when I have a free Saturday.  It is so nice to be able to stay at home, sleep in (I wish) and take it easy in the morning. Then able to do whatever I want with the rest of the day.  Today, was the day.  Husband and DD 1 left for Iowa City and a conference (and of course DD 1 to head back to her apartment).  DD 2 and I had the day at home with nothing pressing.  We straightened up a few things and then watched my favorite TV show ( Pioneer Women, I haven’t seen this show for over a month) Finally heading to my craft room for some peace and quiet.  I was able to go through a few things, sorting and purging.  My goal is to get my space organized, cleaned up and less cluttered this year.  It was so nice to have that time to relax, listen to music, sort, create and generally de-stress.  I honestly think that there should be one day every week dedicated to days like today.  Sadly as much as I try, it doesn’t always happen.  Many times I am lucky to get one day a month like this.   My DD 2 and I enjoyed a nice lunch at Pizza Ranch (no cooking, no dishes, and we love their chicken).  Now she is baking cookies for a County Council meeting/pizza party tomorrow night and then some homemade hot fudge on Ice Cream to top off the day.

Yes, we all need more days like this.

Tonight’s Entertainment

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My youngest daughter lives for the stage. So much so that she has tried out for the school’s talent show or JV show every year since 6th grade except for one.  (Elementary school didn’t have a talent show when she was there). Last year she made the JV show, but then proceeded to get fall and hurt her knee during dress rehearsal the night before the show.  Since she was hurt last year, this is the first high school JV show that we have attended.  All I am going to say about the night was that the dancers at the beginning were very good and it was an interesting night.

To read or Not to read

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For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed reading.  I remember being so excited to finally go to first grade.  This was the year that I would finally learn to read.  And yes, we learned to read with Dick and Jane and of course all of the rest of their family and friends.  I was so thrilled when I finally learned to read.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  Towards the end of first grade or the beginning of second grade, I discovered Little House on the Praire.  My grandmother had the book sitting around and I picked it up to read it.  I remember being told that the book was too hard for me and I wouldn’t be able to read it.  Of course, that was just the motivation that I needed to read the book.  The librarian from our small town library would often tell me that I couldn’t get books from a certain area because I wasn’t old enough to read the book yet.  Once again, I had to show that yes I can indeed read and understand these books.  From then on, I think I always had a book.  Fast forward to 8th grade when my English teacher once again told me that the book was too hard for me.  There is no way that you will be able to understand Animal Farm by George Orwell he told me.  I did read that book and while I didn’t understand all of the concepts that the book touched on, I do remember understanding it enough to get my English teacher to admit that yes, I was able to read the harder books.

I wish we could motivate students to want to try and read the harder books now.  My high school freshman and sophomores are more than willing to settle for what they consider “easy books”  Magic School bus, Magic Tree House, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.  I will admit that it is fun to read these books, but I would really like to see my students push themselves to read books that are a bit more challenging, that will take them out of their comfort zone, etc.  (Don’t get me wrong, I have many strong readers, but would love to see all of my students pushing themselves to be better). Guess in some cases I should be thrilled that they even open a book as I do have other students that work really hard at NOT reading. So frustrating.  So many don’t see the need or benefit of being able to read in their adult lives.

Something needs to change.  We need to find a way to get all kids to want to read and to read to the best of their ability not settling for mediocre.

 

Runaway

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As I have mentioned before, we are a 4-H family.  My girls are the 4th generation on one side of the family and at least the third generation on a couple of other sides.  While it is not necessary, many 4-Her’s show livestock.  I say it is not necessary because I never did, my mom never did and my grandma Holst didn’t show livestock (when she joined 4-H,(hosted the first meeting in Scott County along with her sister)) that was for boys and the girls did Sewing, Food and Nutrition, and Home Improvement.  All of us survived never showing livestock.  However, my husbands family have been showing cattle and I am not sure what else since forever and recently his nephews show sheep.  Naturally, our girls wanted to show and animal so we choose cats.  We already had a cat, so it was natural that Sarah would start showing the cat when she was in 4-H.  We now have two cats because the girls each had to have their own cat to show and we had a 3-year overlap. P1010858 DSCN0010

We now have Sox and Tabitha.  Sox will be 11 years old in about 2 weeks and Tabitha will be 7 years old in a couple of months.  The two cats so resemble the girls in attitude, behaviour and many other areas it isn’t funny.  Sox is the black and white kitty.

Yesterday when I called home to let Kristen know that I was on my way home, she informed me that she hadn’t seen Tabitha since she got home.  This is highly unusual as Tabitha usually meets you on the steps and can’t wait to get some attention. Sure enough, she was nowhere to be found.  I sent Kristen outside with the slim cat food ball. Quite often Tabitha will come when she hears food.  Needless to say, that cat has food on her mind for most of her waking hours.  She didn’t respond.  We tried searching a few more times, but no Tabitha.  Finally about 8:00 that night, Kristen went outside and started calling for her and shaking the food ball.  Yes, Tabitha finally waddled over to our back door.  She had been underneath the neighbor’s deck.  We have found her there a couple of times.  The really surprising thing is that she hadn’t been back and begging for food earlier.  She usually starts begging for food from the moment we walk in the door after school and doesn’t stop until we feed her.

It was rather quiet around our house yesterday afternoon and evening until Tabitha decided to come back home.  Even Sox, who pretends to hate Tabitha, was kind of mopey and sad (if a cat can be mopey). Kind of hoping that she is done wandering for quite some time.  Not sure how she managed to get out.