Monday, February 28, 2011

Whew! Finally, a breather!

The last week has been nuts!  It was my last week of classes for the semester so I had a big project due for each class.  Got both of those submitted by Friday evening and now I'm just waiting on the grades.  So far, I have an A in both classes, so I'm not tooo worried!

Thursday night I had my one-stroke painting class.  I still need a lot more practice doing the butterflies.  They're cute, but nothing like the instructor's were.  But, I loved doing the daffodils!

Friday was our IEP meeting at Mariah's school.  I have to say, for about two hours afterward I felt like the world's worst mom.  Mariah is seriously backwards socially and is serious danger of needing psychological care.  According to the school.  Apparently, putting black olives on your fingers and pretending they are finger puppets is unacceptable lunchroom behavior.  So is reading a book during free time and fanning it to your imaginary class while you're playing school.  They can't sit her with a group because after a couple of weeks she and whoever she's sitting with start arguing.  They can't sit her in the front row because her talking to herself and hand movements distracts the other kids behind her.  Um, ok, I'm not a teacher yet, but I'm thinking that if I was I would put her in the back row!  She is 7 and has ADHD!!  She can't sit still and focus for long periods of time!  I'm so glad that we've made the decision to homeschool her next year!

Saturday, she had her swimming assessment.  The instructor has worked very successfully with autistic children and said he doesn't see any problems with her learning to swim.  She starts lessons next Saturday!

Today, I met with the small group for the homeschool co op that Mariah is joining.  There are 10 other kids in the small group, ranging from 4 - 8 yrs old.  Today, they played dress up and had a tea party.  I think Mariah's going to fit in just fine!

I finished the model project I was working on.  Now I can work on the RR piece that I'm hoping to have finished by this weekend. 

I finished reading Joanne Fluke's 'Gingerbread Cookie Mystery'.  Great read!  Now I'm reading 'The Murder Room' by Michael Capuzzo. 

Well, 'Castle' is about to start.  I'm going to sit down and enjoy a cup of chocolate cherry coffee and a carrot cupcake that Mariah made and stitch while watching TV.  Good night all!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Valentine's Exchange

My ILCS stitching group had a Valentine's Exchange.  My partner was Judith in Germany.  This is what I sent her:
Valentine 2011 from Berly

The earrings are a freebie pattern from Brooke's Books Publishing and are very easy to do. 
Judith doesn't have pierced ears, so I made them clip earrings.

This is what I got from her!

The pillow is so cute and I love the chocolates!  It was a very nice exchange & I can't wait until the next one!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


My friend, Sarah, has having a wonderful giveaway on her blog.  Walk on over & check it out!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Exchange

I got my package from my partner in the ILCS Valentine's Exchange.  Thank you so much, Judith!  She made me a lovely little pillow that is stitched front & back with gold beads all around the border.  She also sent me 3 of my favorite dark chocolate bars, Moser & Roth, and 2 skeins of DMC thread.

For those of you who have requested pics of my new rocker that Rich bought me for Valentine's Day, here it is!

I love my new rocker!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A request for prayers

If I might be so bold, I would like to ask for prayers from all of my friends, both online and in person.  Here's why.  For those of you who know us well, you know that the last few years have been, quite simply, hell for us.  Our peace of mind has been totally shattered and there are days when I find it difficult to understand why this has all happened.  For those of you who don't know the story, suffice it to say that God has definitely put us through trials and tribulations.  We've come out on the other side, with the help of God and a lot of friends, but with a lot of scars for Rich, Mariah and myself. 

For the last few months, I've been working at a temp assignment that is an hour and a half from our house.  We live in the country and with bad weather the roads get dangerous.  One morning I ended up in a ditch facing the direction I had come from.  Thankfully, neither my car nor I were hurt.  I don't get home until between 6:30 and 7pm, which makes it hard to help Mariah with homework.  After I get her in bed, then I have to do my own homework.  Housework has gone out the window.  I finally made a difficult decision and called Office Team to ask them to find someone else to go to this assignment and find me an assignment closer to home.  They said they would, but as of yesterday they hadn't even started. 

I interviewed last week for a 2 month temp assignment that was 15 minutes from my house.  They chose someone else. 

Last week, I found out that 2 of the girls in the office had birthdays over the weekend.  I baked strawberry cookies and cherry chipotle brownies and took them in on Thursday for treats. 

Today, I got to work and 1 of the birthday girls handed me a card and a Lindt dark chocolate chili bar.  The card was a thank you note for the treats on Thursday.  Later, I had a long talk with the assistant dean where I'm working as a temp. She asked me how my interview went last week and I told her that even though I thought it had gone well, I didn't get the job.  That seems to be the norm lately.  The college is having a Mock Interview Day next week and she offered to put me on the list to see if I'm doing something wrong and change it.  She also offered to sign me up for some computer classes that the college offers so that I could pick up some office skills that I don't have.  Lastly, she let me know that she had discovered that I'm only getting $9.48 an hour from Office Team for my assignment.  The girl who I'm replacing had made $17 an hour, but she had been there for 15 years.  She expects a brand new person will start at $12-15 an hour.  She also said that she hopes to make a decision about what's going to happen with my position (are they going to hire someone for the 2 days a week that I'm working or make it a full time position and let the woman who has worked the other 3 days for 20 years go?)  sometime within the next 3 or 4 weeks.  Several times the staff in the office have let me know that they hope my assignment doesn't end any time soon. 

Now, here's my dilemma.  I'm going to call Office Team in the morning and tell them to stop looking to replace me - I can continue on as a temp for 3-4 weeks.  I know that I can interview for the position and I've already been told that I would have more consideration since I've been there since October.  If I got it, I would have to hire someone to help Mariah with her homework until school is done.  I would also need to hire someone to help with the housework.  Possibly the same person??  Anyone know an Alice or an Aunt Bea?  If they decide to make it full time, starting pay would be $17 an hour with full benefits.  I have been against going back to work full time for a while now for a lot of reasons - my school, Mariah -  but that's very tempting and it would go a long way towards healing some of those scars.  It's also quite possible that I could do some of my teacher's aide requirements for my degree in the preschool and kindergarten that they have there on campus.  It would be more likely if I'm already working there.

I've prayed several times for guidance regarding this position.  Since I have not been able to find anything close to home, and since Office Team has known that I wanted a replacement for over a week and hasn't even started looking, part of me is leaning towards the thought that God is telling me to stay there.  But is that me imposing my will on Him?  Or is that His still small voice speaking to me? 

I'm asking all of you to pray that I make the right decision, the decision that He wants me to make.  Feel free to pass this request along to your prayer groups and prayer chains.  I can use all the help, voices and prayers that I can get.  And thank you.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!


It's been a busy week!  Mariah was Star of the Week in her class at school last week.  Monday she had to fill out a page telling all her favorite things and got to take a couple of her favorite things to school with her.  On Thursday, Daddy got to go up and have Buddy Lunch with her.  I was working so I didn't get to go, but they had a lot of fun.  On Friday, I spoke with the school nurse.  She's concerned that Mariah's not getting enough to eat.  I pack her a very healthy lunch every morning, and for an adult it would be plenty.  Apparently, Mariah's eating the whole thing within seconds of sitting down and is still hungry.  Who knew?  So, now she's getting way more than I think she can eat, but at least she'll have enough.  I would have thought that a sandwich, carrots & dip, fruit, chocolate pudding or yogurt with sprinkles and a carton of milk was enough!

Mariah and I had a very full day on Saturday.  We started out early in the morning at her dentist.  Poor baby had to have a tooth pulled, a cavity filled and another tooth cleaned out & medication put into it.  We stopped at Walgreen's before going to the dentist and I bought her a pillow pet.  That helped out since she held on to him for dear life. 

Then we went to our library for a tea party.  We heard two stories, had tea and punch and LOTS of sugary treats, and got to make a frame and put our picture in it.  Mariah mostly made it by herself and I just love it!

We started making Valentine's bookmarks for Mariah's class party today.  They were coming out very nice, but I kept running out of ribbon!  So, when we still had 10 more to do and ran out again, Daddy took her up to the store and bought a box of cards.  I had already bought 3 dozen storebought cupcakes for the party.  Whatever happened to the really good parties we had in school, where our moms made all the treats for it?  My mom & I used to make Rice Krispie treats for parties.  At Christmastime, we'd make them into snowmen and Christmas trees.  They were so much fun!  Now, everything has to be storebought, prepackaged, preportioned and only the proper number per people in the classroom.  I can't even buy a fruit tray and send it to class because then the teacher would have to portion it out! 

2011 Reading Challenge
I finished 2 books this week.  In the car, I finished 'The Runaway Quilt'.  I've replace it with 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I'm not quite sure whether or not I like it yet.  If you haven't read it, it is a work of fiction that is a collection of letters back and forth between a number of people after WWII.  It's funny, just a little hard to follow the back and forth.

The 2nd book I finished was 'Aunt Dimity's Good Deed'.  I'm really loving this series.  As an added bonus, there was a recipe at the end of the book for Uncle Tom's Butterscotch Brownies.  I made them last night and they were pretty good.  A little too sweet and gooey for my taste, but Rich loved them so I've made note of the recipe and I will make them for him again.  I started Joanne Fluke's 'Gingerbread Cookie Murder' and I have 'The Murder Room'  by Michael Capuzzo sitting here to read after that one. 


I finished the piece I was working on for my Valentine's exchange.  Not only can I not post a picture until my partner gets the package, but I actually forgot to TAKE the picture!  I'm working on a model now for X's & Oh's so there won't be a picture of that one for quite some time.  So, I apologize, but I don't get to share with you guys. 

Weight Loss

We went to Lifetime Fitness Saturday afternoon for an open  house.  I had been working out last week under a guest pass.  Rich & Mariah both liked it so much that we joined as a family!  I have an appointment Wednesday morning with a personal trainer to get a good routine set up for me.  I want to have all this weight lost by Christmas!

Well, that's it for me this week.  How about you?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heaven in a brownie

Ok, I have to share.  I have had this brownie in my head for a couple of weeks now.  I had to make 2 treats to bring to work today so I finally broke down last night and made them.  They are the bomb!  Cherry Chipotle Brownies.   Everyone at work was just going crazy for them and wants the recipe.  I had to tell them it is my own creation.  In case anyone else would like to make them, it's very simple.
I took a family size Pillsbury fudge brownie mix and made it like the box says to.  Pour it into the baking pan.  Then take a can of cherry pie filling and pour into a bowl.  Open a small can of chipotle peppers and take the peppers out and put to the side.  Take the paste out of the can a little at a time and mix well into the pie filling.  When you can taste the heat, stop!  Swirl the cherry filling through the brownie batter.  Bake it like the box says to, but it'll probably have to bake a little longer.  After they cooled all night, I sprinkled powdered sugar on top.  They were awesome!  Just enough heat to say, wait, was that, no, not in my brownies!  Try them, you'll like them!!
P.S.  I would have shared a picture, but they're all gone!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another finish and a contest

I finished an ornament for a round robin that I'm in.  It's cute, but believe it or not this little piece took several days to do!  And, for those of you who really know me, I did somethng on this ornament that I have never done before.  The first person to guess it will get a special prize in the mail!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wow, what a night!

Last night's storm was a doozy!  Thank God that no one I know was hurt, killed or had severe damage from the storm.  This is how it looked at 2:45 yesterday afternoon outside our house.

This is 2 hours later.

This was our front door at 8:15 last night.

And this is what we woke up to this morning.

That's a lot of snow!  I'm just hoping that we can get out tomorrow morning for me to go to work.

2011 Reading Challenge

I finished 2 more books this week.  The first was a book on my Kindle on PC at work.  It was written by Lori Copeland and titled 'Unwrapping Christmas'.  For those of you who are like me and try to do EVERYTHING for Christmas (bake, cook, decorate, make gifts, volunteer, etc, etc, etc) and who don't know how to say NO to anyone - READ THIS BOOK BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!  It is awesome and really makes you stop and think.

The 2nd book was Jennifer Chiaverini's 'Cross Country Quilters'.  What can I say, I'm really loving this series!  Now I'm listening to 'Runaway Quilt' in the car, the next book in the series.


No finishes so far this week, but I got a lot done on Judith's ornament for our RR. 

I'm hoping to finish it today, although there's still a LOT to do on it!  I have a model coming for me to stitch and I want to get this, the January/February Mill Hill Seasonal Window and my Valentine's exchange gift done by the 12th.  There's gonna be a lot of smoking needles here!

And how did everyone else do this week??