Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer is here!

Well I had my last classes for the school year on Wednesday. My students were great and I've really enjoyed them! I got several cute little gifts and many hugs and "I'll miss you's!" I got a little teary eyed but managed to keep it together. I will miss the little darlings. It was kinda anticlimactic though. I started Summer 1 at Texas Tech the same day and I'm walking straight into the summer classes I'm teaching. I start teaching kids kollege on June 8th and then Senior college on June 15th. I've been busy working on getting my handouts ready and then starting my assignments from Tech. This afternoon I'm going to a bridal shower and getting my nails done with my mom. I think it will finally feel like summer is starting on Monday when there isn't any school!

I never updated about how my meeting went last week. I was asked to come speak with a principal at a local high school. He has a position that has opened up for an English/Journalism(Yearbook) teacher. He wanted to speak with me since I have experience teaching yearbook. He also may have a position opening for a business teacher. His thoughts were that if the business position opened up he would have me teach BCIS for 5 classes a day and and 2 yearbook classes a day. This is still a big IF though because the business teacher is yet to definitively leave or stay. I'm really hoping this works out. I believe I would really enjoy it and we need the money and health insurance. I believe that the business teacher has until July 4th to decide so I could be in for a long wait. Please pray that this works out. I went ahead and registered to take the Journalism grades 8-12 Texes exam in June. I figure it can't hurt since I have the yearbook experience. We'll I've got to get ready to go the the bridal shower! I'll be back again soon!

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Reason to Remember

On Memorial Day, we all have different reasons to remember. These are mine.

Corporal Kevin Allen Johnson, USMC

Lance Corporal Eric Daniel Johnson, USMC

Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in one way or another...

Lance Corporal Aaron C. Austin KIA 4-26-2004

Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez KIA 3-21-2003

Lance Corporal Brad S. Shuder KIA 4-12-2004

Lance Corporal Robert P. Zurheide Jr. KIA 4-12-2004

Elena and Robbie Zurheide

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5/25/09

We will be eating a lot of chicken this week. It is very hard to eat red meat and keep it low in points. I'm substituting turkey for ground beef in the meatballs so we'll have to see how they turn out.

Monday-Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast (8 servings/4 WW pts each)
Tuesday-Pork Carnitas (6 servings/4 WW pts each)
Wednesday-Chicken Divan (8 servings/4 WW pts each)
Thursday-Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs (4 servings/10 WW pts each) I will be using jarred spaghetti sauce. Maybe someday I'll be adventurous and make my own.
Friday-Chicken Squares (4 servings/9 WW pts each)

I will type up the recipe for Chicken Divan tomorrow. We haven't tried it before but it sounds good.

This is the last week of school! I'm subbing for 5th/6th grade on Tuesday and my last day of computers is on Wednesday! Just in time for Summer 1 at Tech to start on well at least they didn't overlap a lot. I've been working on my lesson plans for my summer classes I'm teaching. Oh the work never Have a great week everyone!

PS: Kevin loved the Taco Bake from last week. Try it out!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spinach & Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Picture Courtesy of the most wonderful Mom in the world! Patti!!!

Update: We made this when my parents came over and it was FANTASTIC! This will become a regular in our house!!!

I haven't tried this recipe yet but it sounds so good! I built it in weightwatchers recipe builder and it says that it makes 8 servings with 4 points per serving. I'm going to make it later this week.

Spinach & Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breast (8 servings/4 WW pts each)
8-4 oz chicken breasts
4 slices precooked bacon, diced
1 cup minced onions
4 minced garlic cloves
1-10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 ounce fat-free garlic & onion croutons, crushed (I'm substituting Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing mix)
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 ounce roasted red bell pepper, (in water not oil), drained and chopped
Black Pepper
2 teaspoons butter

In a large skillet, saute bacon, onion, garlic for 2 minutes using cooking spray. Place in a large bowl. Make sure to drain the spinach well! Add the spinach, egg substitute, croutons, rosemary, and bell pepper and mix well. Cut a pocket in the side of each chicken breast and stuff lightly with spinach mixture. You can seal them with a toothpick if needed. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In the same skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 20 to 25minutes. Turn chicken periodically until completely cooked through.

I screwed up...

I just ate WAY too much fried rice. I feel terribly guilty and I want to go throw up. I've spent the last 2 1/2 hours wandering around the house trying to find something to eat for lunch. I'm out of the WW smart ones that I like and I need to go grocery shopping. I had been doing so good counting points today and now I totally blew it. I saw a package of frozen fried rice in the very back of our deep freeze when I was scrounging around and have been avoiding it this whole time. I finally broke down and made it since I couldn't stop thinking about it but instead of eating just a little like I would have 2 1/2 hours ago...I ended up starving and eating WAY too much. These are the times I get so down on myself. I've had a headache since I woke up. It hurts everytime I turn my head. I think I'm going to go just lay down and I can't eat while I'm sleeping.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Favorite Low Point Snacks

I finally made it back to Weight Watchers this week! I got out of the habit of going when I got sick this semester and didn't go for a while afterward. I gained a little but not as much as I thought since I haven't been great about counting. I'm glad I went back again! I decided I wanted to make a list of my favorite low point snacks and thought ya'll might enjoy it!

My Favorite Low Point or No Point Snacks
-Oranges! 1 Orange is 1 point (I LOVE ORANGES! I eat one a day at least!)
-Apples 1 apple is 1 point
-String Cheese 1 point
-Cheetos Asteroids 100 Calorie Packs (2 points per package)
-Hostess 100 Calorie Pack Chocolate Cupcakes (1 point/package of 3 mini cupcakes)
-Fudgesicles (0 pts for 1! 1 pt for 2!)
-Light Popcorn (1 pt for single serving bag or 3 points for a regular size bag)
-Laughing Cow Cheese (1 pt per wedge)
-HEB Brand Wheat Entertainer Crackers (I think these are 1 or 2 points for 13 crackers. I haven't been back to HEB in a while so I can't quite remember but they are perfect with the laughing cow cheese!)
-Crystal Light Lemonade (0 points) I know...I is not really a snack but I love it!

I might add to this as I remember more!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have a very important meeting at 10 in the morning tomorrow. Pray that it goes well!

Who's Your Pick?

Ok Ok...I'm not really big into American Idol...I posted earlier this season that I heard a song that was sang by Adam Lambert and really liked it. BUT then I heard Kris Allen and I like him better! I hope he wins! He gets my vote and my mom's apparently. She just called to tell me I better vote. I didn't know she even watched that show!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Trash Can

I had the strangest epiphany today while cleaning my kitchen no less. After work, I had to go get groceries for this week, pick up the dogs from groomer, make dinner, clean the kitchen, and do a little straightening around the house. Not a whole lot really. When I got home and started putting up the groceries...I noticed our trashcan.

My dear sweet husband took out the trash on his way out the door this morning. Therefore, he did not put a new trashbag in the can. Now this is perfectly understandable! Nothing wrong with it. Well logically I would've bent over, gotten a new bag from under the sink and lined the trash can after I finished the groceries...but I didn't.

I walked out of the kitchen and left it there unlined. When I came back in later to get a drink and ate string cheese, I left it unlined. When I finally started to make dinner I actually resorted to getting out an old Walmart sack and using that for my cooking trash instead of lining the trashcan. It wasn't until I was cleaning up the kitchen after we ate that I finally reached in the cabinet and got out a trash can liner and started to line the can. When I was bending over putting the bag in I had a sudden thought, "now why didn't I just line this trash can when I first saw it instead of waiting until now?" Then the scariest part happened...I couldn't answer my own question.

I don't know why I didn't do it! I was going to have to eventually. It would have made throwing away my snack easier and cooking dinner easier. There is no logical explaination for it!

And then it hit me...I've done the same thing with my weight for years! It was always there, right in front of my face with a solution to the problem just one cabinet away if I would just make the small effort to fix it. I just ignored it! I said, "oh I'll mess with that later when I do this or that." I mean how in their right mind can someone let themselves gain over 100 lbs during college and not even bat an eyelash! Honestly I didn't think about it. Literally I didn't weigh, I bought new clothes regularly from clearance racks, found something fast and easier to feed Kevin and myself, did homework, did homework, did homework. I really didn't pay attention to it and the few times that it may have crossed my mind (if ever) I said, "well I'll work on that after I finish these 18 hrs this spring." "I'll work on that as soon as our anniversary, thanksgiving, Christmas, new years, my birthday, valentines day, Kevin's birthday... is over."

I just didn't think about. I thought about everything else. And I think it was partially on purpose now that I think about it. Even if it was my subconscience doing it. It's easier to ignore stuff than deal with it. And that was the most dangerous thing I could do. Because if your not paying attention things can get out of control very quickly...just like a house fire.

I've got to keep my weight loss and my health front and center in my mind or I'll just not think about again and the fire will consume me. Because it will. My weight will kill me if I don't to something about it. I let my concentration fade away again this 1st semester of grad school and I can't do that. I might have to admit that I can't make all A's all the time and still focus on my health. I might have to make B's and that is ok. Because what good is that graduate degree going to do me if I'm dead.

I'll have to move my priorities around. God, Kevin, Weight loss, school. My life though imperfect is too good for that kind of ending. I sure would hate to leave my adorable husband as an adorable widower for someone else to enjoy.

Sad Eyes

I'm having the "last day" of some of my preschool classes today since we do not have school next Monday and I've seen more sad eyes today than I ever wanted to see. I've had all I can take of sad eyes! I've beat my quota! Reached my fill! They make me feel so loved and I don't want to leave them! I want to hold onto them and never let them grow up!

Working with the little ones has been such a blessing this year. I will miss them terribly next year. No more "I love you Mrs. Johnson" "Your beautiful Mrs. Johnson" "Your the best teacher Mrs. Johnson". It makes me wonder why I want to leave them for moody gives me a hug and wipes boogers all over my shirt. lol No I wouldn't trade any of them for the world but I realize that I need to make more money and have health insurance. Maybe someday...I'll get to work with little ones again.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5/18/09

We've had a very busy and tiring few days so I put together a very quick menu plan and this will be a quick post.

Monday-Spice Rubbed Pork Chops Day 7 (6 servings, 5 WW pts each) - We didn't get to this one last week. We ate leftovers instead!
Tuesday-Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches? (We will be in Abilene this day and might be headed back late so we might pick up dinner on the way home.)
Wednesday-Balsamic Chicken w/ Mushrooms (4 servings/3 WW pts each)
Thursday- Broccoli & Shrimp Chowder (4 servings/2 WW pts each)
Friday-Taco Bake (8 servings/5 WW pts each)

I will try to post Wednesday and Thursdays recipes later this week! I cannot link to them so I will have to post them. Last weeks favorite recipe was the White Chicken Chili. We enjoyed it and I've already thought of stuff that I want to add to it for next time!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Opinions Needed!

I've enjoyed all the wonderful encouraging comments on my blogs! Thanks to everyone so much for reading and commenting! I was always so scared to hear what people would have to say about my thoughts and y'all were so nice! My doctor's appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist is not until July 21st. That is the earliest they could get me in. I'm just trying my hardest to do good on my weight loss until we get to go see her.

My hair has gotten really really long right now. At least longer than I have had it in several years. It just hangs flat against my head even when I try to fix it. This is also partly due to the fact that it has gotten MUCH thinner than it was when I was younger. One of the effects of PCOS is thinning hair and in the last year it has really hit. Another reason I really need to get to the doctor about all of this. I love to be able to put my hair in a pony tail during the summer but the rest of the time it does nothing! Since I graduated from high school my hair has gotten cut off almost every summer because I can't stand it making my neck hot. Not way short since I have a fat face but higher than my shoulders.

I was watching Food Network yesterday and liked Rachel Ray's haircut in one of her episodes. I paused the show (GOTTA LOVE DVR!) and took a picture of it with my cell phone. I think it will be too short for a pony tail but I like it.

I'm going to post the picture so you can give your opinion. It isn't great quality...remember it was taken with a cell phone on a paused television set.
What do y'all think? Yes or No?

We have had a very lazy day around this house. Kevin has been working non stop this last week... all while he had FINALS! They did like 10 water damages this week alone and about an hour ago he had to leave to go work on 6 apartments that had flooded. He is exhausted from school and working so much. One job they did this week was a 3 hour drive away! A 6 hour commute!

I don't have reason to complain about being tired except I really don't sleep well when Kevin is gone. If he was going to be gone for the entire night I do better. But I think when I know he will get home in the middle of the night and I will get woken up in a few hours my body just revolts! It takes forever to fall asleep and then when I do...I wake up almost every hour like I'm waiting for the garage to open and him say he's home.

We did get a little accomplished today but not a ton. Kevin mowed the grass and checked on jobs and I worked out on the elliptical, changed the sheets on the beds, and looked up recipes. The girls (my puppies) slept most of the day! Sometimes I will let Reese get in my bed after I get up in the morning and if I don't watch...she'll stay in there all day! One time I had to make her get up at 7 in the evening. She stayed curled up under the blankets all day and didn't even get up to go to the bathroom! The girls all are going to "the spa" on monday to get groomed. "The spa" is what we call the vets office. Gracie is the only one that actually gets groomed. The other two just get baths and their nails trimmed. A special treat for rotten girls!!!

I'm so very proud of Kevin because he did so well during his first semester of college! Not only did he recieve an award for Outstanding Student in English he also made an A in all 4 of his classes! All while working full time! He is such an amazing man and I'm very lucky to have a husband like him! I love you and am so proud of you sweetheart!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Oh my gosh! MckMama just mentioned ME on her blog!!! I won her photo captioning contest! I screamed when I saw it because I was so excited! My dogs all looked at me like I was insane. Oh well...they look at me like that a bunch! I won a set of the most adorable little hair clippies for little girls. I'm going to put them in my special drawer where I store all the secret little baby items I've bought over the years to save for my future baby!

I LOVE reading MckMama's blog. She is so intelligent and so strong in her faith. She had faith in even the scariest of moments with her son. Moments when I don't think I could've been that strong. I hope and pray that I will someday be such a great mom and christian woman as she is! I this is what it would feel like if a celebrity accepted an invitation to my birthday party! HA! lol Go check it out!

Great Buys!

I was off of work today and was lucky enough to spend the day with my fabulous mother! We went shopping around town and I wanted to post about my two new purchases that I LOVE!

First...I've been reading PastaQueen's blog for a while now but have yet to read her book. I never remember to look for it when I go shopping! Well I finally got it and from just the first few pages...I already love it! She really knows what she is talking about and makes it hilarious!

My second purchase was a GREAT deal! My mom has a fantastic set of Wusthof kitchen knives that never dull! I love to use them when I'm at her house but they are VERY expensive. I've seen one knife cost over $89. We wandered through Dillards today and I saw a Wusthof set on the clearance table. The original price for the set of 6 knives and knife block cost $599 but they were clearanced for $100!!! I saved almost $500! I was so excited! My set it the exact set pictured above and I can't wait to use them! I love it when I get a good deal!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'm feeling honest today so I think I'm going to get a few things off of my chest.

Today I made an appointment with a doctor that may change my life forever. It is with a reproductive endocrinologist. My husband and I spent just under 2 years "not trying for" but "not preventing" a baby. A few months after I graduated from college we decided to stop my medication and just see what happens. Well nothing happened. Slowly and painfully...every month...nothing happened. I've known that I have PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) since I was about 16 years old. I make too much insulin, too much testosterone, and I do not ovulate so I will not have my period unless I'm on pills to make me do so. It did not start out that way but about the age of 16 things started to change. My mom took me to her doctor which is where they diagnosed me. My doctor warned me at the time that it might be difficult to concieve but I was hoping that it would just happen I guess. We didn't tell anyone. Not even my best friend. I was only 22 years old at the time so I convinced myself that I was too young to be complaining to my doctor about infertility. I decided that I must not be mature enough or deserving enough to have a baby so that is why God decided we didn't need a child. So I said nothing to my doctor...

About a year ago I began dieting and working out so I could become healthy. I gained over 100 lbs during college. I'm not proud of it. I spent all my time doing homework and graduated with almost a 3.9 gpa but it took a major toll on my body. I'm so overweight right now that many complications could come along with pregnancy...gestational diabetes, pre eclampsia, miscarriage. I've lost 40 pounds in the last year but have hit a plateau that I have not been able to get over. I decided to make the appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist so she can help me work towards having children. Whether that be helping me with a diet plan or helping control my insulin and hormone levels...we'll see.

Mother's day the last few years has been heartbreaking but I deal with it. My husband and I were married very young and people are always asking when we are going to have kids. I usually lie and say that we're not ready yet. It is easier than explaining that we can't have any. More and more of our friends that were married a LONG time after we were are having children. I want so badly to be happy for them but somewhere inside of me...I'm not. I hate myself when I get hurt, angry, or jealous because others are being blessed with children. I feel like such a bad person and I don't like that.

I just happened to find a website for this doctor today and before I knew it I had the phone in my hand and was speaking with the receptionist. I've never had the courage to do that before. I don't know. We'll see how this goes. Kevin is very excited about the appointment and can't wait to go with me. I'm scared. Please be praying that we hear good news and something blessed will come out of this.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5/11/09

It was busy as always around here last week. We ended up with so many leftovers from dinner with my family on Sunday that we didn't eat some of the meals until this weekend! Overall favorite from the new recipes was hard to choose this week. I would have to say that the Ritz Crusted Porkchops came in 1st and the Soup-erb Chicken Casserole was 2nd. The casserole maybe could've used 1 more can of soup because it was a little dry. The Beef Stroganoff melts were good but Kevin and I agreed that next time we'll leave out the frozen veggies. Of course the Crockpot Roast is good all of the time!

I usually figure my weight watchers points on the day I eat the food but I decided to pre figure my points so I could post them on here! I hope they are helpful!

Monday-Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (estimated 6 servings, 4 WW pts/serving)
Tuesday-Pigs in a Blanket (2 Pigs in a Blanket = 6 WW pts) This is just a hot dog wrapped in a crescent roll.
Wednesday-Crockpot Chicken Parmesan (estimated 4 servings, 7 WW pts/serving) This does not include any spaghetti added to the Chicken.
Thursday-Spice Rubbed Pork Chops -Day 7 (6 servings, 5 WW pts each)
Friday-White Chicken Chili (estimated 6 servings, 7 WW pts/serving)

Kevin was given an Outstanding Student in English award from Howard College! I'm so proud of him! He has done so fantastic during his 1st semester and he works a ton too! We had a little get together afterward with finger foods and cake. It was great fun and then Kevin's parents stayed with us on Thursday and we had a good day together on Friday.

Mom's Banana Nut Bread

I had some bananas that were getting a little too ripe today so I called my mom for her Banana Nut Bread recipe! Some of my favorite memories were when she would make it and we would get to have it for breakfast! Yum!

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 bananas (mashed)

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup Pecans

In one medium mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter together. Then add eggs, vanilla, and bananas.

In large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. I mix them together well using a fork.

Add wet ingredient mixture to dry ingredient mixture until completely incorporated.
Next I added 1 cup chopped pecans but this is optional. I love the crunch!

Bake @ 350 degrees in a loaf pan for 50 minutes. My oven has been on the fritz so I ended up having to cook it at 325 degrees for an additional 25 minutes to get the inside completely cooked. My oven does not have a very good reputation so just make sure you cook until the outside is brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Happy Mother's Day!

I have the most wonderful mom in the world!
She's smart, funny, creative, caring, and a wonderful christian woman!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!
I love you!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Unanswered Prayers

"Warning! This post is really long. You might need to take breaks if you attempt to read it."

I read a really interesting article in Today's Christian Women magazine. The author was writing about how we as Christians tend to feel, react, respond when God does not answer prayer. There are times in our life when he just doesn't answer or fulfill the things we pray for. She said that most people tend to get hurt and disappointed when something specific we prayed for does not end with the outcome we wanted. We tend to "draw a line" between ourselves and God. We pray less or not at all and when we do pray we don't ask for what we really want or what is really on our heart. We start to ask God for more general things that we think we can't be disappointed about when he doesn't answer.

It made me start thinking about times in my life that I've gotten mad or disappointed with God and it made me sad when there were more times than I could count on both hands. I mean times when I seriously was mad, angry, and wanted to scream at God. Usually they were really serious instances like when both of my grandmothers passed away within 2 weeks of each other. These times...when I should have drawn closer to God for comfort...was usually when I was pushing him away. I don't know why this is my tendency. I can't explain it at all. Finally after all my thinking and beating myself up for acting the way I do I started to realize that God doesn't always answer prayer but most of the times he does answer it...just not the way we want or in a way that we even realize that he has answered it.

Many people don't know that when I started college, I was an Elementary Education major. I spent 2 semesters in the major and excelled but after I did an internship at a daycare while Kevin was in Iraq I became very worried about my career decision. There were so many kids in the daycare that did not have a great homelife and it showed. I was already stressed out, emotional, and crazy since the war had just started in Iraq and I just couldn't get those kids out of my head. I decided that if I ever wanted to have children of my own and be the best mom that I could be I might need have a different job. I had been working for my father's small business for years so I changed my major to Business and loved the rest of my college career. I never could get education out of my life though. I always ended up tutoring, teaching, or helping others learn. At graduation I really had no idea what I wanted to do except I knew I didn't want to do retail sales or accounting. I applied for all kinds of jobs...HR, administration, government jobs....I really had no idea.

I worked in the business industry for about a year before I become completely miserable! I started school to complete my teaching certificate early in the spring of 2007. I was not scheduled to be finished with my certificate until after public schools started that fall so I didn't think I would be able to get a job until the next school year so I continued working at my current job.

My current job was not anywhere near a good working environment. I was the youngest worker in the office by almost 10 years. I struggled while I listened to women gossip about other workers, talk badly about their husbands, utilize company time for anything but working, plot to get rid of women they didn't like so they could get their friend/cousin/aunt a job, and then get angry when I didn't join in. I also dealt with a situation when a new supervisor came into the office and was very jealous and insecure. I would spend all day sitting in my desk working away with my earbuds in my ears so I didn't have to listen to what they were saying.

I prayed constantly...more fervently than I ever have in my life. I needed to be able to stay at that job until I could finish my certificate and that was becoming increasingly difficult. Part of me wanted to be able to witness to these women, to show them that it didn't have to be that way, to help them. The other part of me wanted to just run away as quickly as possible. Just as everything was getting to its worst point at work...I received an email from my teaching certification program notifying me that if I was able to obtain a full time teaching position they would go ahead and recommend me for a probationary teaching certificate and allow me to finish my classes while teaching! And then after I recieved the email and began applying for jobs I almost immediately was offered a full time position in the area I wanted!!! Looking back this was such an answer to my prayers but I didn't see it. I was so entrenched at being angry with God. Why would he let me have to endure this environment as long as he had? Why did he allow people to hurt me the way they did every single day? I couldn't even see the blessing.

I began teaching and LOVED it! Every day was a new and exciting adventure and I couldn't wait to start on each new topic. Now don't misunderstand me...teenagers will be teenagers...attitudes and all. But it was so different. So fleeting and then their mood would change and things were ok again. I was working with people who enjoyed their job and wanted to be there! They treated each other with kindness and were always willing to help each other out. I had the world's greatest boss who trusted my judgement and supported my decisions. My mentor teacher was very patient and became a great friend. And yet I still didn't see what God had done for me. I was still so bitter and so angry that I had ever been in that situation.

At the end of the school year I was asked to come back again. They had liked me...I mean really liked me! I had done a good job and they appreciated it! I immediately signed my contract and finished up the school year. As summer came I began to see just how much money I was actually spending commuting to my job (just under 2 hours each day; about $450 a month) and how much time I had not been at home with Kevin. I usually left at 6:45-7 every morning and arrived home around 6-7 each night. I usually spent all day on Sundays grading papers and completing lesson plans. Kevin had been responsible for everything! Cleaning, cooking, shopping, paying bills, taking care of the dogs, all while working full time also! I was torn. I finally had a job and coworkers I loved but my life at home was really suffering. It broke my heart.

I debated and cried for a month and a half. I did not want to leave my job but could Kevin and I really afford another year of expenses and living the way we were? It was taking a toll on our bank account and our relationship. When I say our relationship I mean we literally had almost no time together. Kevin was fantastic...never complaining, always supportive, would let me do anything I wanted but it wasn't really fair to him to take care of everything. I prayed and prayed and finally felt like God was leading me to find a balance between work and home. As much as I hated to leave...God had shown me a career I loved and now I needed to find something a little closer to home in that area...which I did.

As most of you know I've been teaching part time at a private school about 10 minutes away from my house and it has been such a blessing. It has taken almost 2 years but I'm finally seeing the way God has worked with my life. Slowly but surely I'm erasing the lines that I drawn in my heart and opening back up to God. He deserves so much more than I give him and I'm growing every day. I know it will not be an overnight process but getting started back on the right path is better than reinforcing the walls I had built. I know to fully repair my relationship with God I will have to forgive the troubled women I worked with before. But I haven't been able to do that yet. I still feel dislike burning deep down in my heart when I see one of them or something reminds of them. I think I've finally reached a point where I can start to begin to forgive... A quote from the Fireproof bible study explains it best: "I will forgive them not because they deserve it...but because God has forgiven me." Then God can begin work on repairing my heart...

Immediately after I finished the article about unanswered prayers another article listed a piece of scripture that I read over and over and over again. It made me cry because the timing was so perfect and I felt like God was speaking to me specifically. I'd like to share it with you now.

Psalm 18 (This translation is from The Message)
"But me he caught-reached all the way
from the sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, the enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowing.
They hit me when I was down,
but GOD stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved-surprised to be loved!"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

My last pre-k class of the day just left my classroom. As she was leaving, the sweetest curly blonde haired, blue eyed little 3 year old girl just told me that she loved me and that this weekend was Mother's Day. I said "Yes ma'am, make sure you tell your mommy you love her." She replied by asking "who's mommy are you Mrs. Johnson?" I said "I'm not anyones mommy yet Riley but I will be someday." She said "Then you'll be a good mommy someday Mrs. Johnson and then you'll get presents." I replied, "I know sweetie...I know."

Why does this sweet conversation just break my heart?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5/4/09

Well we definately discovered a family favorite in our menu plan this last week! The Baked Teriyaki Chicken was a huge hit and will be one we use quite often! I definately recommend that one but I do have one hint. This dish can make quite a burned mess on the edges of the pan as it cooks so definately line your baking dish with foil. It took quite a while to get the pan clean. The Cheeseburger Soup was also very good but not good enough for all the WW points it took. I think it could be tweaked to have less points and still taste just as good.

I'm really excited about this weeks menu. I think I've found several easy and tasty dishes and most of them use stuff I already had in the pantry!

Monday-Baked Pork Chops, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans
Tuesday-Soup-erb Chicken Casserole
Wednesday-Beef Stroganoff Melt
Thursday-Undecided (Kevin is receiving an Academic Achievement award this night from his college! I will probably pick up Subway on the way home for something quick before we get ready for the ceremony. I'm SOOOOOOO PROUD OF HIM!!!)
Friday-Crockpot Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots
Saturday/Sunday: Leftovers and South of the Border Chicken Rolls (I did not find this one on the internet so if it turns out to be good...I will post the recipe.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

So unbelievably disgusted...

I love to watch a show called Private Practice. I'm sure you all know what show I'm talking about. It was a spin off of Grey's Anatomy focusing on the character Addison Montgomery but I love it for all the other characters and storylines!

Well tonight I watched the season 2 finale. I had DVR'd it from last night.

I'm totally, irrevocably, and unbelievably disgusted.

The ending was TERRIBLE! I will not give it away if you haven't seen it but I'm not impressed. I'm all for having a big hanging ending on the finale of shows so that it leaves you wanting more but THAT WAS RIDICULOUS! I don't have any intention on watching it again next season because they have made me so mad.

Whew...well now that I have that off my chest...I feel a little better now. Only a microscopic little though...

What do ya'll think? Am I crazy here? Wait a minute...maybe you shouldn't answer that...