Thursday, February 20, 2014

Good Mail Day

Outgoing

     I have had a quite a few things go out in the mail this past week. Knowing how behind I am, I tried to push myself a bit. The first "bunch" of mail went to all of the kids in my church. We just started a new youth program for kids 1st-12th grade. It's pretty awesome to be involved with these dynamic youths. They are a great group of kids. Our team (who will be working with them all) sat down last week to write them all a quick note telling them that we are excited they'll be with us or inviting them to join. There were 25 letters in all.
     I also sent a package to one of my soldiers. It had some snacks and a letter. Unfortunately, I sent it and then got a "mail stop" order the next day. Hopefully he'll get it.
     Lastly, I sent out 9 postcrossing cards.  Tomorrow I will send out 2 postcrossing cards and 1 in response to the card I just got from Latvia. I got them all while on vacation (now) down in Cape Cod.  These are the 3 I'm sending:
 Headed to the Czech Republic
 to Canada (wrote while I watched the US Women's Hockey team playing Canada. Sadly, they lost but both teams played hard.)
 to Latvia

INCOMING...

Some great postcrossing cards. This one is from Latvia. I used to collect Madame Alexander dolls and this card reminded me of them. Love the costumes! I don't have many cards from Latvia.
This next card is from China. The site itself is from Cambodia. It is another UNESCO card. This card shows Angkor Wat. I also loved the stamps on this card, especially the fish one.

    Lastly, I got this neat card from India. I think Indian dance is beautiful so I was excited to get this card.

   In addition to my postcrossing cards, I also got a letter from my pal Katherine in Australia. Love the hedgehog stamp!!!

The 366 Project:

Sent: 52
Received: 18 

February 20 is the 51st day of the year so I guess I'm back on track in mail sent! That's kind of nice to realize... now don't let me get behind again. :)


"Bonus" pic

    I'm just including this pic of me and my little guy, David, because I like it. This was us at his "sweetheart tea" at school. I love his cute little smile and his twinkly eyes.  He's the sweetest kid.





Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A bit about myself...

One of the blogs I follow had answered these questions. I enjoyed the one I did last month so I figured I'd answer these questions too.  If you answer the questions, comment at the bottom so I can read your answers.

What are you wearing today?
I'm on vacation and so far I'm just sitting around in my nightgown! (I know it's late. David was sick last night and we were all up late trying to take care of him.)

What are you listing to right now?
My son is watching Thomas and Friends so that's the only thing I hear.
Do you like the beach?
I like looking at the beach and visiting for a few minutes but I hate going to the beach. I actually have some weird antibody in my blood that makes me sunburn more than other people (like in the winter.. or inside a building if I'm sitting by a window. Fun stuff-not) so the beach is not a smart place for me to be. If I'm somewhere warmer, like South Carolina or New Jersey, I can handle the beach a little better than in MA.
What is something you really want right now?
My son to feel better.
Who was the last person you added to your contacts?
 A friend from church who is in the youth group.
Do you have any piercings? 
Yup, double pierced ears but 1 hole is closed up.
What are your favorite stores?
Barnes&Noble, Bath and Body Works
Favorite nail polish brand?
OPI
Ever failed a test?
I'm not sure.
Do you prefer shorts or skirts?
Depends on the weather
Favorite social media?
Facebook
Do you play any sports?
Not regularly
Long or short hair?
Long, though I need to cut mine.
Favorite quote?
 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.- 2 Corinthians 4:18
What color is your room?
Burgundy
Are you outgoing or shy?
outgoing
What was the last text message you sent?
A message to my friend about David having a high temperature
Have you ever won a competition?
Yes
How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two
Who was the first person you talked to today?
My son
How many hoodies do you have?
1, but I don't wear it
What should you be doing?
Starting my day instead of sitting around
Can you keep your shoes clean?
I don't usually try.. lol They always get dusty at school
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I never really thought about that. Abigail?
Do you prefer milk, dark or white chocolate?
Dark
Open a book closest to you and turn to page 13 what does the first line say on that page?
"The Lebanese born terrorist was the most ruthless man he had ever met"- Vince Flynn, Protect and Defend
Do you still watch Disney films?
Yes
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Iced coffee. I like yogurt, or a bagel with cream cheese, sometimes a donut. I'm having cereal today
Do you have any pets?
1 cat
What's your favorite holiday?
Christmas

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Today's mail

366 Project

Sent: 14
Received:14

     Today I received 2 postcards which bring my sent/received today to equal. I'm way behind with what I wanted to mail so maybe I'll take tonight to send a bunch of postcards out and finish the letter I'm working on. I'm also taking part in the Month of Letters Challenge in February, which challenges you to :
  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.
  Although I'm getting a late start, if I mail something every day, I should be able to get at least 23 things out. 

    Here's what I got today:
 This card is my first Lettermo mail this year! It is from Michelle. I can't wait to respond. I have something special I'd like to send back to her.
 
   This is from Pedro in China. It is of West Lake, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. (I collect UNESCO cards so I was really excited to get this!) The card is really pretty.

Olympics

     How many of you watch the Olympics? Although I'm not a huge sports fan, you can't help but be impressed by the dedication of all of these athletes from around the world.  Meghan Duggan, captain of the US Women's Olympic Hockey Team is actually from our town. I have never met her but I think it's awesome that she made it back to the Olympics. I will try to catch a few of her games on tv. 
     We are going to do a little "Family Olympics" over the next month. Today we made some Olympic rings for our front door, made team flags and competed in our first event- The Snowball Toss. I made Olympic rings in the snow with some food coloring. The object was to see how many snowballs you could toss that would land in one of the rings. I won this event. The boys tied for 2nd and Matt didn't play. The kids are excited about this. Many events will be pretty goofy but we'll have fun. Do you have any suggestions for us? The boys are 5 and 8 so we want it to be something each boy could be successful at while still having to try and enjoying themselves. They do not all have to be sport related. 
     What are your favorite events to watch in the Winter Olympics? 
 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

January

    I saw a cute summary of the month on one of the blogs I follow so I decided to do something similar.  Here's what's been going on for the past month...

Reading: I love to read. I can't get enough reading lately. This month I read "The Accident" by Linwood Barclay, "What the Deaf Mute Heard" by G.D. Gearino, "The Lost Hours" by Karen White and "As She Was" by Alison Gaylin. Out of the 4, I liked The Lost Hours best. I didn't think I'd like it at first, but I did. I didn't like What the Deaf Mute Heard. I'm currently reading "A Clear and Present Danger" by Tom Clancy but I'm not feeling really into it. I'll probably pick a new book tonight.

Watching: American Idol. I usually do not watch this show but the recent addition of Harry Connick, Jr. piqued my curiosity. I saw Harry in a concert before and got a chance to talk to him for a few minutes afterwards. He is incredibly talented. I appreciate his sense of humor and the fact that he actually gives suggestions and reasons why he didn't like the performance. There are some talented singers on the show but I usually can't make it through all the diva moments(For those of you who might be wondering- yes, many people who are not talented at all frequently think they're amazing. As a music teacher I have seen many people who have been told they're wonderful for years who do not have basic skills of a musician. Many times these people also lack the ability to follow direction and work cooperatively with others too. As a teacher, I'd love to encourage everybody and make them better musicians but people who know it all don't usually have to learn.)

Eating:  Trying to eat healthy. I've been into munching on mushrooms and Hidden Valley Ranch dip.

Drinking: Lots of water. I'm cutting out Coca-Cola. I love Coke so it's been a transition.

Trying: To work really hard and do my best work even though I have recently run into a few people who don't value what I do. It's really hard to demand excellence for yourself when people are critical and disrespectful. Anyways, good thing I hold myself accountable to God and not to those people. I'm also trying to lose weight.

Purchased: A "new" 2005 Subaru Outback Limited Edition Wagon. It drives nicely in the snow we just had.

Rejuvenate-Spiritually- I have been working with a few friends to try to begin a program for the kids from 1st-12th grade at church. We're looking to mentor the students and we're hoping that the older students will be good leaders for the younger children. I'm really excited about this. It begins this Sunday!

Rejuvenate- Emotional- I have realized over the past few snow days that I really, REALLY have been enjoying my kids. It's not that I haven't enjoyed them before- or noticed. I'm just intentionally spending specific time with each one and appreciating how wonderful each son is. Timmy has a really quirky sense of humor and frequently (much to my chagrin) comes up with puns that I feel are too old for him to come up with. David has a goofy little smile and spent about 30 minutes playing the piano with me yesterday. (We improvised using a pentatonic scale and different sounds on the keyboard, tempo, dynamics, etc.) I am learning how to turn off "work mode" when I get home with my family. (That doesn't mean that I'm always successful or that I don't have work things going through my head for half of the night, but I'm making progress.)

Rejuvenate-Health-  I have lost almost 10 pounds so far this year. I'm monitoring what I'm eating a little more closely. I wouldn't say I'm dieting, but I am trying to watch things. My "Will this be rejuvenating?" question has been really helpful. I've gone back to the gym a few times, I've thrown out or given away a bunch of junk food left over from a school event, and I've been tracking my progress using LoseIt. I'm feeling really good and I'm excited to continue.

Rejuvenate-Career- I have had the blessing to work with some really hard-working, genuine kids over the past month. I was coming in to school early, staying after school and giving up my lunch period to help the kids audition for Jr. Districts and treble chorus which will be conducted by Henry Leck. I had 8 kids make it into the 2 events. Things that I made appreciate what I get to do every day.
     - Hearing students progress over a month's time
     -Having a girl thank me because I'm "giving up [your] lunch period so you can help me become  a better musician. I know you might not mind, but I do want you to know that I really appreciate it." 7th grade girl. REALLY mature.
     -Seeing the excitement of the kids who made it into the festival.
     - Having the students who did not make it in look over their audition sheets and talk to me about good and bad things about their audition rather than blaming a judge, making excuses, or running away crying. They were happy for their classmates and their classmates were also encouraging to them.
     -Getting a few thank you notes from parents for the opportunities their kids have been given.
     -Again, most importantly, getting to be a good influence on these kids and watch them discover that they can improve if they work hard. VERY COOL.

Rejuvenate- Relationships:  Kind of a fail on this one. I did invite a friend that I haven't seen in a long time to come over but then it was super snowy so we are rescheduling. I have been in touch with my mom a lot this month. She slipped on the ice up in Maine and broke her hip. She needed emergency surgery and will be out of work for a while. She's doing a great job with things. 

Looking forward to... February vacation. I don't feel like I really NEED a break but I am looking forward to catching up with some friends and hanging out with my family. We may go to Cape Cod, which is not very exciting in February, to a time share my parents own. This would be special for us since it's out of the ordinary. 

    Hope your January was great! Feel free to comment and let me know what you are up to.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow day!

    I have a snow day today, which means I have a little unscheduled time. I have been trying to find time to write, blog, and catch up with a few people. I'm hoping to do a little of each today!
     I have not received many good mail lately. Since my last post, I have only received 3 things in the mail. This is probably directly related to the fact that I haven't been able to sit down and write, which I really miss. Here's my mail update.

366 Update

Sent: 14

Received: 12

    I sent out 2 postcards this morning- both to Russia. I meant to take pictures but I forgot. Sorry.

Incoming...
    





     I did a special Christmas Mystery Envelope RR with a Postcrosser in the Netherlands and one in New Mexico. Here's what came back to me in the envelope. The first things were items I put in that others didn't decide to take. The next pictures are: Christmas sitckers, cards from New Mexico, a traditional ornament from New Mexico, David (didn't come in the mail) and a candy stick, and a cute little tealight holder. (I love the reindeer.)
 
   This is a card from Russia. It is an illustration of an old Russian epic.  Thanks, Yulia!
 
    This card is from Inna in the Ukraine. It is the recipe for traditional stuffed carp. It surprised me that it was made with sunflower oil. (This may just because I don't usually cook with sunflower oil.) I'm not sure I would like to eat it but I love getting cards with traditional foods. 

Snow!!!

     This winter has been fairly snowy compared to the past few years. One great thing- Timmy has discovered that he loves helping to shovel- as well as sledding and snowboarding. David also likes snowboarding and sledding but seems to be less excited about being freezing!  
 Here's my new car...or at least part of it. (My old car was considered a "total loss" after the accident. Boo!)
 Matt and Timmy hard at work.  We have about 1 foot of snow so far.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Car Accident

     You know what is NOT rejuvenating? Getting in a car accident on the way to work. Today on the way to work, my car was hit at full speed by a young girl. She was coming off a side street and her brakes apparently didn't work. She slammed into the back passenger seat. The car spun around and landed in a snowbank. I whacked my head and shoulder against the window but I'm alright. The doctor said that the next few days will be really sore but I'll be okay.  Reasons I'm grateful:

-I'm grateful that I have a God who loves me and protects me. I don't think it's realistic that a Christian will go through life unscathed by anything, but I know that God is with me all the time and that's a HUGE burden lifted off of my shoulders. (If you've ever had questions about faith in Jesus and you've wanted to ask anyone, feel free to message me. I'll be glad to share.)
- I'm grateful that I have enough money to have a car, car insurance, health insurance and to possibly rent a car.
- I'm grateful that I am healthy enough that I didn't break anything.
-I'm grateful that I saw her coming and was able to brace for impact a bit.
-I'm grateful that I have friends and family who called or wrote to check in on me.
-I'm grateful that the girl who hit me was not hurt.
-I'm grateful that my kids weren't in the car.
-I'm grateful that I know my car is just a possession so I'm not horribly upset.
-I'm grateful that I have a husband and kids who prayed for me when it happened.
-I'm grateful that I was able to rest a bit today.

      I hope you all take a moment tonight to just count your blessings. You never know when something like this will happen and what the outcome will be. Be grateful and aware of the conveniences you have and mercy you have been shown. Be kind to others and show forgiveness. All of these things are extremely rejuvenating to both you and the people you associate yourself with.

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mail 1/8

366 Project:

Sent: 12 
Received: 9 

Incoming...

     Another great mail day. Here's the loot:
     Thank you note from my sister-in-law. You're welcome :)


     A somewhat funny story from the 3 pictures above. As I was walking toward my mailbox today, I got this sweet smell that wafted through the air. When I took my mail, I realized that the smell was my mail. It is a lovely card from my penpal Miera in Malaysia. She also sent some goodies- beauty samples and a ticket. You know me well- the Lancome cream has SPF 50. Unfortunately, it looks as if all of the samples were squished so all of the shampoo and lotion was all over the envelope and the bottom of the card. Thanks for sending them though.
    This card made me laugh today. This is a postcrossing card from Germany. The children talking to Santa Claus are saying "We regret nothing." Ha ha ha!!!

Outgoing...
US-2585313 to Russia