4.26.2008

Fresh Guacamole

I used to hate Mexican food.  Even on a mission trip in Mexico, where the food was authentic, I still chose to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over empanadas.  However, I have had the privilege of eating at the most wonderful Mexican restaurant in the world--Rosie's--and now I LOVE Mexican food!  Rosie's makes the best salsa, queso dip, fresh hot tortilla chips, chicken tortilla soup, enchiladas, tacos, Mexican lasagna, and chicken fajita salad.  I'm sure every menu item is good, actually.  A new Mexican restaurant opened recently called Cantina Laredo. Brent and I went tonight just see how it compares to Rosie's.  Maybe it wasn't a good night for CL, but Rosie's wins by far.  CL is known for making fresh guacamole at your table.  We've never had guacamole, so we thought having it made fresh at our table would be a tasty first time to try it. It wasn't until after we asked our waiter Salvador to make us some that we realized it was $9!  I guess we were paying for him to make it right before our very eyes. Well, it was a wasted $9.  Not only did we discover that we don't care for guacamole, we never had a chance to eat it. As Salvador was making it, the main dish was brought to our table (less than 10 minutes after we ordered it). After Brent and I finished our food, we still hadn't touched the guacamole. Even though we were stuffed, we still had to eat it since we were paying nearly $10 for it.  We were out of chips.  We had to ask Salvador 2 times to bring more chips...and he never did.  Finally, some random lady brought some. By this time, we were ready to leave the restaurant, but the bowl of fresh green stuff reminded us that we couldn't yet.  We ate a few bites, then decided that next time we would save the money for a yummy dessert rather than fresh guacamole. But, I'm not sure there will be a next time.  The food was good, don't get me wrong, and Salvador was a very nice waiter.  But the food was a bit more expensive at CL and, in our opinion, Rosie's tastes much better.  

4.23.2008

Would You Rather...? for beginners

We haven't kept up with the would you rather's much the last few days.  So, here are a couple of easy ones that will get you back in the swing of things (or maybe we have new readers and this is your first Would You Rather)

Would you rather...

be suave and sophisticated with nice hair

or

rotund and misshapen with rickets?


Would you rather...

have $200 

or

$45?

4.21.2008

New phone number

Brent's new cell is (256) 652-1450.  

Would you rather...
have American cheese linens
OR
wall to wall ground beef carpet?

4.20.2008

Fun in the Car!


Brittany and I like to play a game while we drive called the "Mustang Game"  My family plays all the time and they taught it to us.  It is very similar to the "Punch Bug" game, (where you see a VW Beetle and call out "Punch Bug (color)!" and hit the person next to you) except in the Mustang Game you don't hit anybody.  So, if you see a Mustang, you have to be the first to yell out "Mustang (color)!" and you get a point.  If  you are the first one to call a yellow Mustang, then you get a point, and everyone loses all of their Mustangs.   The person with the most points by the end of the trip (destination reached and car is turned off) wins.  This game is a lot of fun, but it has also started many arguments between the two of us.  Actually, some of our worst arguments since we have been married have been initiated by the Mustang Game.  I guess that's a good thing, because we haven't argued over anything important yet.   Anyway, if you want to have something to do in the car, I suggest you play the Mustang Game.  Leave us a comment and let us know how it goes.  

Would you rather live in a world...

where the convention of singing "Happy Birthday" was replaced with "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive

or

where Congressional debate was settle with dodgeball contests?


4.15.2008

Bad Idea




Sanibel got spayed today and she, of course, is not acting like herself. It's strange. She is normally an extremely hyperactive dog, demanding attention from the minute I walk in the door to the minute she goes to bed. Then, it starts all over again the next morning. She never stops...always going, moving, jumping, running, licking, smelling, chewing, etc. When I brought her home today, she immediately (but very slowly) made her way towards the back door to go potty, forgetting about a few pieces of furniture that she ran right into. Thankfully she has no short term memory, so it didn't bother her one bit. She willingly went in her crate and has been there ever since.  She never does this. Usually it's like pulling teeth to get her in the crate. Well, maybe not that bad but she usually puts up a small fight when it's time to go "night night."  She got up to come see Brent when he got home. She tried with all her might to wag her little tail and show some excitement.  I guess it was too much for her.  On her way back to her crate, she threw up all the corn she ate last night.  Lovely :) I guess letting her eat human food the night before surgery was a bad idea.  

Would you rather...
have Spanish subtitles appear as you speak?
OR
have a photographic memory where all the people involved are replaced with the cast of Night Court?

4.14.2008

Just gnawin' on some corn




Our rat terrier, Sanibel, is very sneaky. When she wants something, she will find a way to get it. Tonight as we were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, Sanibel decided she would like to try an ear of corn. So, she propped herself up on the trash can, stuck her long tongue down in it, and pulled out a piece of corn on the cob (minus the corn). Brent immediately went after her and she ran to the back of the house. We let her gnaw on it for a little while. It was a perfect photo opportunity. She gnawed on it for about 5 minutes and when she started eating the cob, we had to take it away.

Would you rather eat...
the contents of a full vacuum cleaner bag
OR
forty-five dollars in nickels?
  

4.13.2008

WYR

Since we weren't prepared in Sunday School with a "Would You Rather...", here's a double dose 

Would you rather...

be a brilliant essayist but have to wear to matching set of wristbands and headband at all times 

or 

have a heightened Stratego intuition, but talk like Liberace when asked to repeat yourself?


Would you rather...

have a lake named after you

or 

have a popular children's multi-vitamin shaped in your image?

4.12.2008

Chicken & Egg Festival Redux

The Chicken & Egg festival wasn't as big of a let down as my wife would have you believe.  While we were there, I realized that I don't have an essential part of the male wardrobe... leather chaps. I know what you're thinking, "Brent, you aren't a cowboy and you don't own a motorcycle."  Those are two very valid points, but I have a one word answer for you... versatility.  I could wear chaps to work, while cutting the grass, and maybe to lounge around the house in.  Maybe I could take up welding as a hobby, because I think welders might wear chaps.  Is there another piece of of clothing that has so many options, I think not.  And by the way... 

Would you rather be:

Rash Man (annoys foes with minor skin irritations)

or

The Tenderizer (softens foes with rapid strikes of a mallet)

The Chicken and Egg Festival











What a let down, the Chicken and Egg Festival was boring.  But...we were one of the first 250 people to ride the free shuttle so we got free admission!  We got there, walked around a little, shopped for some arts and crafts but didn't find anything worth buying, ate hand dipped corn dogs, watched an egg eating contest, then came home.  I don't know what we were expecting, but whatever it was, our expectations were not met. I wanted to see more chickens and more eggs...instead we some of Alabama's finest residents.  The one thing that made the festival exciting was meeting Brad Travis...a local chief meteorologist.  I have a student that LOVES him and wants to "beat him up and take his job one day." So, I got his signature for my student.  That was the only highlight of the day. Picture note...the one of Katie all by herself...the sign behind her says "This seat is designated for persons with disabilities."

4.11.2008

Thwimming

Katie (my sister-in-law) is coming in town today...whenever the weather simmers down.  We are going to the Chicken and Egg Festival in Moulton.  Not sure what that's all about but I want to see if it can beat the Loachapoka Syrup Sop.  If nothing else, at least I'll come back with a new t-shirt. 


Would you rather...
have a written lisp
OR
fizz up like Alkaselter when in the water?
Things to consider:  Thwimming

4.10.2008

Finally...

Welcome back Dunder Mifflin!

Would you rather...
watch The Office
OR
watch The Office

There are no decisions to make tonight.  We will be watching The Office!

4.09.2008

WYR

I didn't forget a Would You Rather question yesterday.  I was taking care of my sick husband and never got on the computer.  Brent has horrible allergies in Spring.  I think he sneezed yesterday more times than I have sneezed in my entire life.  It was crazy!  

Would you rather...
have elastic lips 
OR
reflective calves?

4.07.2008

Would You Rather...?

In 2002, Brent and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together.  Big deal.  But, he gave me a white gold chain that I still wear to this day, complete with a monogrammed pendant.  The piece of jewelry is very special to me.  If the house was on fire, it would probably be one of the items I would grab before I got out.  Another item I would want to grab (only because it provides so many opportunities to laugh) is a little book called "Would You Rather?"  This was another gift Brent gave me that same Valentine's Day.  It is packed full with "absolutely absurd dilemmas to ponder".  One of my favorite things to do is laugh till my stomach hurts, till I'm no longer breathing, till my nose flares.  It's the best feeling in the world.  And that is what happens when you read these dilemmas. Unfortunately, my mother likes the book as well and now has my copy.  Who knows where it is...she probably doesn't.  But, last night Brent and I went to Barnes and Noble to grab a cup of coffee, dessert, and browse the store...one of our favorite things to do.  While we were sitting down, I looked up to see a stand of "gift books" and guess what book was on the stand?  "Would You Rather 2"!!!  We read through that book for close to an hour, laughing till our stomachs hurt, till we weren't breathing, till my nose flared (Brent's nose doesn't flare) trying not to let the coffee spew out of our mouth, or even nose.  Then, we bought it.  $10 well spent.  So...we are going to have a daily "Would You Rather"  question on our blog (if we remember). Please make any comments you want.  I hope you laugh as much, if not more, as we do. Laughter really is the best medicine.  

Would you rather...
have permanent Cheetoh residue on your fingertips
OR
have skin that doesn't tan in the sun, but rather plaids?

4.06.2008

No pictures, but a little bit of Jesus!

Ok I have given up on posting a picture of us.  Irfanview was a great idea...and after spending 20 minutes on the phone with my dad, I figured out how to change the size of a picture.  But...that is apparently not the problem.  After reading a ton of "Help" articles on all kinds of confusing websites, I can now post a picture to a blog.  Wonderful...but that's not what I was trying to do. I want to post a header picture.  I've tried all the things that the help articles told me to do and when I try to upload the picture, I am told that "The file name you have specified is not valid." Whatever that means.  My photos are JPEGs, so I'm not sure what the problem is and I'm too irritated to think about it anymore.  If you want to see pictures of us, just check out mine or Brent's facebook profile.    

On a more positive note...
In Sunday school today, we were talking about Abraham when God told him to "Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father's house to the land that I will show you"  Gen. 12: 1. I was reminded of the many stories I've heard my dad or Granny Rosie tell about their family vacations when my dad was a kid.  Pop Pop would tell the family, "Pack up, we're going on vacation."  And when they asked him where they were going, he said he didn't know.  They just packed up, left and ended up somewhere to vacation.  But, really, what would you do if God asked you to pack up and leave where you were...leave your friends, family, house, community, church, job and He gave no direction, except to follow him wherever He leads?  Would you do it?  That was a question Rod, our teacher, asked us today.  I thought of the time when Brent told me he was moving to Fort Myers, FL after he graduated to take a job, which ultimately meant that I had to move as well.  I never imagined living anywhere but Birmingham, never imagined leaving my home church in Cahaba Heights, never imagined having to learn to shop somewhere other than the Summit or Galleria.  But, God imagined something different.  After we got married in May 2007, I packed up my things in Auburn and Birmingham and moved to Fort Myers--a place only familiar to me because I had visited him 4 times in the span of 11 months before we got married.  8 days after we returned from the honeymoon, he called me around lunch time from work...a phone conversation I will never forget:
Me:  Hey
Brent: (laughing sarcastically) We definitely have something to talk about when I get home from work today.
Me:  Do you still have a job?
Brent:  Yeah
Me:  Ok, where are we moving?
Brent:  Fort Lauderdale
We didn't want to move to Fort Lauderdale because it was further from home (as if we weren't far enough already) and we would be broke because the cost of living there is high. Thankfully, after we waited about a week, the Lord provided a position for Brent here in Huntsville.  But I look back and I feel like I can kind of relate to Abraham.  I wasn't moving to another country, but I was moving, twice in 4 weeks.  I left my comfort zone in Auburn/Birmingham to move with Brent to Fort Myers.  I got there and spent all my free time unpacking and making our townhome "home", I was preparing to start my first year of teaching at Mirror Lakes Elementary and I even joined McGregor Baptist the first Sunday I was there.  Then, God told us to leave.  As sad as I was to leave and as much as I sometimes wish we could have stayed, we wouldn't be satisfied because that's not where He wanted us.  And now that we are here, we are so blessed. After God told Abraham to leave his country, He said, "I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you"  Gen. 12:2,3. Just as God fulfilled promises in Abraham's life, he is fulfilling the same in ours.  We bought a house, we have a dog, we are closer to family, we both have jobs, my car is still running (even though it sometimes runs when no one is in the car).  But the best blessing is that God directed us to Lindsay Lane Baptist through one of my co-workers, Elayne, and we are so grateful. We have a wonderful Sunday school class that seems to grow every Sunday, either with new members or babies.  We have a lot of fun, but we also can be real about God and desire to learn more and grow in our walk with the Lord.  Brent and I are starting to get involved with the youth group, which is where we desire to serve. Starting next Sunday, I will be teaching Sunday school to the high school girls and Brent will be helping in Sunday school with the middle school boys.  And...something that I am VERY excited about...our church is starting a christian academy that will open in 2009.  I am on the volunteer committee (even though I haven't done anything to volunteer yet) and I would like to teach there sometime in the future.  We are blessed beyond measure and my prayer is that we don't lose sight of that.  Instead, I pray that we can bless God with the things he has given us.  With all that has happened in less than a year, we are excited to see what is in His plan for our future.  

House #3, just not good enough

Does it irritate you when you are watching "House Hunters" on HGTV where the couple has a $5 million budget, and the potential homeowner says, "I don't think I like this house because I'm not sure the garage would hold all of my cars"?  Me too.

4.05.2008

bored with no pictures

We had plans to clean out the garage today, but it was cold and wet outside.  So, we took a trip to Hartselle to go antique shopping.  We've never been before and I've heard it has great antique shops and boutiques.  I think we walked through every store that was open.  Many of them smelled like an old person's house (Granny Rosie, Mom and Pop, Grandma and PaPaw, your houses don't smell like an old person's house) .  I just don't see how people collect so much junk.  I love antiques, but some of that stuff belongs in a thrift store or flea market. Anyway, all we came home with was some peanut butter chocolate fudge.  We didn't want to buy any, but we walked into a small fudge shoppe and we were the only ones there.  Brent wouldn't let us walk out without buying anything.  We drove home through Decatur and ate dinner at Five Guys, then through Athens.  We looked at some land a builder is clearing for some homes...just dreaming. We would like to build our next home.  We finally got home around 5:30.  So, what to do now??? We are bored.  Brent is playing the Wii.  I decided to post some pictures...except the file names are "unknown" or something like that.  I went to the "Help" section and found that the pictures can't be any bigger than 50k.  The pictures I am trying to post are 1.something MB.  I'm not sure which is bigger a k or an MB.  I'm thinking MB, since my MB's are too big for the blog.  Whatever.  Brent is in a mood and when I asked him about it, all he said was "I don't know."  That means he doesn't feel like dealing with it right now.  Hopefully, we'll have the picture thing figured out soon and we can post some.  

4.04.2008

QUIT SAYING TILAPIA!

If you've never played "Catch Phrase" you have really missed out on a good time.  If you've never played "Catch Phrase" with a group of 5th graders, you really just haven't lived at all.  This week at school has been SAT/ARMT testing.  Once all the testing is over, the rest of the day is a complete waste.  You can't give any homework or tests and the kids are so brain dead that you really can't move on with instruction.  So, what do you do?  Play LOTS of Heads Up Seven Up, Hangman, and my all time favorite, "Catch Phrase."  We have now played it two days in a row and it has been the highlight of my week.  We have shared some good laughs.  As you may or may not know, usually the game is played with two teams:  guys and girls (at least when I play it, that's what we do).  The girls in my class are great sports.  They are in it for the fun, not for any sort of competition.  The guys, however, act like there is a Catch Phrase National Championship at stake.  It is hilarious.  I have a few guys who are playing for fun and they do everything they can to get under the skin of the other guys who are in it to win.  For example, one of my wittiest and silliest boys started to randomnly yell "Tilapia" during the game.  I thought it was really funny, as did most of the students in my classroom.   So, we all randomnly started saying it.  One of my guy students just doesn't get the joke and instead gets VERY frustrated.  "Quit saying tilapia"  "That has nothing to do with anything, why do you keep saying tilapia?"  "QUIT SAYING TILAPIA, IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE" Well, of course that makes all of us say it even more.  Today, I told him he needed to learn to have fun and not take it so seriously or he wouldn't be playing anymore.  So, he took my advice.  He was participating, trying to guess words, and all of the sudden, I hear him yell, "TILAPIA!"  I pretended to be really mad at him..."That's not funny anymore, why did you say tilapia, don't say that, tilapia is just dumb!"  And he said, "What? You just told me not to say it anymore and you just said it Mrs. VK!  You can't do that!" Once again...he just didn't get the joke and we all laughed so hard.  Now, you need to understand that we are not making fun of this child.  We all love him and he definitely adds something unique to our classroom.  By the time the game ended, everyone was saying tilapia.  At lunch, one my students came up to me and said, "Mrs. VK, what is tilapia anyway?"  Come to find out, no one really knew what tilapia is.  

4.02.2008

World's Most Ridiculous Interview

I have been wanting a blog for a while.  Since Brent and I got married, so many crazy things have happened and I have had so many stories to tell.  So, Brent finally created a blog for us and my mind went blank.  For a few days I couldn't think of a thing to write on here.  I guess you could call that "bloggers block." But...I definitely have something now...read on. 
Whenever I have a bad day at school, I come home and search the internet to find another job, determined that something better is out there just waiting for me.  On Sunday, I found a job as a "Curriculum Coordinator" at a private daycare in town.  I emailed the director my resume and letter of interest.  The only thing I knew about the job is what the website told me...training and mentoring teachers on NAEYC standards to ensure that this daycare gets accredited.  The director called me on Monday and we had an interview yesterday (Tuesday).  Now, keep in mind that this week is testing at school which means I can wear t-shirt and jeans everyday.  We need to be comfortable.  Well, because I knew I had an interview right after school, I wore nice clothes that were not comfortable.  I even left school a little early to make sure I got there on time.  At 3:20, I walked into the daycare with complete confidence.  I introduced myself to the people at the front desk and they handed me an application to fill out until the director was ready for me.  At 3:30, he welcomed me into his office.  In the span of one whole hour, a complete waste of my time, this is what happened...
The first and only question he asked me was, "What do you think this job is? "  I explained to him that all I knew about the job was the explanation on the website.   Then he proceeds to tell me, in a round about way, that I am not qualified to have this position.  Because I have a degree in Elementary Education and not Early Education, I do not know how to educate infant-4 year olds.  This position takes intricate knowledge of the developmental years and, according to him, I do not have this knowledge.  He already had his mind made up when I came in the office that I was not qualified.  However, he never asked me any questions pertaining to the job, so I'm not sure how he came to that conclusion.  Because I was so tired of him telling me how unqualifed I was and how qualified all the other applicants were, I finally interrupted him to let him know that I worked in a daycare all through college.  If he had taken a look at the resume and application, he would know that.  It didn't seem to change his mind.  At this point, I realize that I don't want to work for him, in any position, but he continues blabbing on and on about how unqualified I am.  He even went so far as to say that he would hope and encourage me to go back to school for Early Ed. if I got the job.  Yeah right!  Let me go spend thousands of more dollars so I can work in your daycare.  He mentioned ever so slightly that he was hiring for an assistant director and that caught my attention.  However, he wouldn't shut his yapper and I didn't have the chance to voice my interest.  Instead, he starting talking about putting me into the classroom to learn how to teach...HELLO I have a F-O-U-R Y-E-A-R D-E G-R-E-E in education and I have a highly qualified certification in AL.  I said to him, "If I have a four year degree and you put me in the classroom to learn how to teach, I would be bored out of my mind."  And he said, "Yeah, you don't want to seem to the other teachers that you think you know more than they do."  I DO know more than they do, most of them do not have a 4 year degree in education...of course I know more. I was so tired of him talking about putting me into the classroom that I finally said to him, "If my decision is between teaching 2 year olds here and teaching 5th graders in a public school, I would much rather be in the public schools."  Then I brought up the assistant director position and that's when he said to me, "I'll just keep your application at the bottom of the stack and if we haven't hired anyone by the end of May, I'll give you a call."  Just throw the applicaton away, rip it to shreds.  You aren't going to call me back and I certainly wouldn't answer the call if you did.  THEN, he said to me, "You can always tell a good candidate if he/she does all the talking during the interview.  In your case, I've done all the talking."  I wanted to scream...he gave me no room to breath in that room!  I couldn't get a word in with him.  So, I finally think the interview has come to an end and he proceeds to ask me personal questions, "Are you married?  For how long?  Children?  Where does your husband work?"  ILLEGAL!  You can't ask those questions in an interview.  He finally wraps it up and I head for the door and he asks, "Would you like to take a tour of the school?"  Are you crazy?  I will never step foot in here again, why do I care to see your school?  But, I'm not that bold, so I said yes.  After a quick tour of the perfect cookie-cutter facility, I left irritated and frustrated...not because he didn't want to hire me as Curriculum Coordinator, but because it was just SO dumb and unbelievable...that a person with a 4 year degree in education isn't qualified for a position at a daycare.  An interview at Walmart would have been more successful. Thanks for letting me vent. 

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