01.30.10 - 01.31.10- Days 30 and 31

Good Saturday...
Lazy morning with Alan, working out at Body Flow with Nicole, eating brunch at Snooze (specialty breakfast restaurant) with Sarah and Nicole, cleaning the house, making enchiladas, dinner with Sarah, games with Andy, Sarah, Nicole, and Eric!

Sarah, Nicole, and I at Snooze after working out- some of the best pancakes I've ever had! Andy and Alan shredding our hand and foot score (because we BEAT them SO BAD!)
Sarah and I- the victorious winners!
Sunday- Woke up early and had a lazy, good morning chatting with my mom and reading. I love lazy mornings. It makes me want to get up early everyday- somehow I'm not sure that will happen tomorrow morning :). Church was good. Our pastor did an excellent job talking about community and how essential it is to the Christian life. I kind of wasted the afternoon, but it was nice and lazy with a small nap thrown in. Alan and I went on a quick grocery restocking/Subway trip when he woke up. Now, I'm watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition and listening to my phone beep "low battery" at me. I'm trying to get motivated to do some research for a presentation I'm doing at our inservice day this Thursday. As a side note... I can't believe that it's already February tomorrow! Crazy. Life goes by so quickly!


01.28.10- Day 28

Uggghhh... I made a shrimp taco salad for dinner, which in theory sounded really good, but it ended up as a real disappointment. And... it did not settle well for my dear little stomach. I hope that Alan isn't dying tonight at the hospital. I think the problem was that the recipe wanted everything cold, but I really prefer the mixture of hot meat/beans and cold lettuce on my taco salad. Oh well... better luck next time.

On a better note, I love yoga. I went tonight and it just helped center and relax me (while giving me a really good arm and ab workout). The song during final relaxation was even Amazing Grace, which was great for me to meditate on while "allowing my body to sink into the mat" :) I really am amazed in all the grace that takes place daily in my life. There are so many good things that I take for granted. Thank you for mercies that are new every morning!


01.27.10- Day 27

Sorry I have been a little lagging in posts this year so far. I promise at some point to get disciplined again with a picture and thoughts everyday- maybe :). Nothing too exciting has been going on around here. Mostly working, generally cool weather, Nigel being needy, etc. We did get in our last shipment of new blinds for our house. I'll definitely post pictures once they are up. I'm very excited. When we first moved into our house, we bought blinds for our bedroom, the guest bedroom, and the office because they didn't have any blinds (which could be kind of awkward). Now we are updating the blinds in the part of the house that everyone sees.

We've kind of gotten back into a house fixing mood, which is good because we took a break for a while. Hopefully we have Philip's dad (Philip is a guy in our small group) coming to look at our kitchen/pantry in hopes to put in a washer and dryer hookup in the pantry. Then, Bob (also in our small group) is probably coming over on Sunday to take a look at our house to help us decide what is most important to fix for resale value. I was looking at house values the other day and I think that if we sold our house now, even after fixing it up, we still would lose a bit of money. The sad part about the situation is that if we lose money, that means the market is likely still bad, which means we will get a better deal on another house, but the opposite is also true. If we make money on our house, the market will probably be back up and a future house would be more expensive. Ahhh- what do you do? I guess we're taking steps to figure that out. Maybe if we stick around Denver, we'll keep the house until it does raise in value. Who knows? It's fun to fix it up for now and enjoy our hard work!


01.23.10- 01.24.10- Days 23 and 24

Relaxed in the morning, took a package to the post office. Went up to Evergreen to go ice skating with friends (notice Carissa and her new friend- hehe). It was so fun! I have never been ice skating on an open lake before, but it was beautiful with all of the pines and the mountains around. Afterwords, we went to Beau Jo's (a famous Colorado pizza place) for dinner. Then, we played the game of Life (old school!) back at Eric and Nicole's.

Church- I helped out with Sunday school. Visited the Hanger 61 (the building our church is going to buy). It is a little hard to envision the finished product, but I think it will be awesome when it is finished! I went to Target and Borders this afternoon. Borders is going out of business, so I had to check out their 40-75% off everything sale. I ended up getting a few books and a calendar (thanks for the heads up Nicole!). Football and Extreme Makeover Home Edition and reading for the rest of the evening. Now time to rest up in prep for the week. (hmmm maybe I should have done a little more prep this weekend- oh well!)


01.22.10- Day 22

Autism conference all day- good reminders and tips.

After work:

Alan and I ate burgers from GoodTimes.

I returned some clothing/shoes that I bought that didn't fit me. Then, I bought a new bathroom stand to replace our old college plastic drawers that were in the bathroom before. How come some assembly required always turns into A LOT of assembly required? I moved the old plastic drawers and bought a new one to store Alan and my socks, underwear, etc. because we are running out of room in the little drawers of our dresser. (We may also need to go through our clothes again. It may be a spring project.)

I also got a letter organizer for our entry table, since mail always piles up and the bills sometimes get put on the bottom...

I have some laundry going and I'm feeling like I had a very productive evening.


01.21.10- Day 21

I went to the National Western Stock Show today with my lifeskills class- we had 7 children and 10 adults :). Somehow I still managed to be exhausted by the end of the day. But... it was really cool. We got to go to the rodeo, a free petting zoo, and wander through tons of western shops. And we only saw a little bit. The kids LOVED it. (well most of them, for the most part). I always see the sign for the stock show when I'm on the interstate, but I never imagined how big of a deal it is. I'll have to take Alan with me next time.

This evening, I needed a little decompression... and my lovely yoga mat came in the mail. So, I went to a wonderful yoga class with this...
and I could conveniently store all of my stuff in this...
I'm so glad I went. It was a really good end to a semi-fatiguing, semi-mindblock day. (don't even ask what that means- that's just how I felt)


01.19.10- 01.20.10- Days 19 and 20

I've not been in the biggest blogging mood lately, but I'm going to post anyway because I think that I'll get back in the mood again. I would love to have a whole year of posts!

On Tuesday (the 19th), I had a pretty busy day. I worked all day, then went to a sign language class after work. I am taking an hour long sign language class after school on every other Tuesday afternoon. I have a child in one of my classes that only speaks sign language, so it's important to learn a little so that I can understand him. I enjoy learning it anyway because you can communicate so much through gestures and signs, especially since I work with a group of children with special needs. Many of them are non-verbal or need additional supports to communicate. After the class, I went over to Nicole's for dinner, Biggest Loser, and accountability. Nicole, Sarah, Carissa and I are trying to do accountability this semester. Some people (like me) need external accountability in their lives to help them accomplish things. Plus, it's just fun to get together with the girls.

Today (the 20th), I saw all of my preschool kiddos in one day! Whew... it was busy, but I did it so that I can go to the Stock Show tomorrow with my lifeskills classroom. I was just having a discussion with Alan about how sad I am that I cannot post pictures of my kiddos on my blog. :( They are SO cute and such a big part of my life. Oh well. Just know that they make me smile everyday (and every once in a while they make me frown- like when I get spit on or they try to run away or I can't seem to break through to them). But, almost all smiles! I visited with Alan for a while before youth group started (he helps out when he's not working), then I went to go work out. It was just my luck that Carissa (and Sarah and Amy) were already there working out and there was an elliptical right next to Carissa! So, I got to chat while she finished up her workout. I came home, got something to eat, then watched the Bachelor (with Alan- haha he doesn't want me to write this, but he DID watch it). Now, it's time for bed because tomorrow is going to be a busy day chasing kids around the rodeo!

Sorry no pic- the only pictures I took were for a positioning chart for one of my kiddos. Better luck tomorrow!


01.17.10-01.18.10- Days 17 and 18

  • Church
  • Noodles with Alan, then Coldstone
  • Walk, then reading at Starbucks with Nicole
  • Dinner with the Hunts
  • Chats with family on the phone
  • Sleep!


  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day- no school!
  • Went to Walmart to get the oil changed in Rita and do some errands
  • Lunch
  • Watched "Up" with Alan- great movie by the way- totally recommend it!
  • Ordered Select Blinds for the last two rooms in the house
  • Alan went and picked up threshold wood strips (the strip that connects tile to wood, etc)
  • Moroccan Chicken Stew for dinner: instructions- Deskin and lightly flour 4 chicken thighs. In a skillet, brown the thighs, remove and put on a plate. In the same skillet, heat garlic and onions in oil, then add about 1 T of cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and ginger and heat for about 1 minute. Add 16 oz of tomato puree, 1/4 cup honey, and salt to taste. Cover. Add chicken back in for about 10 minutes. Then, add 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, 1 green and 1 red bell pepper diced, and about 1/2 cup golden raisins. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice or orzo topped with fresh parsley and almonds. Yum!!!!! Maybe I'll take a picture later.
  • Alan made hummus for small group while I was making dinner- it was super delicious, especially with our fresh cilantro.
  • Small group- refreshing and fun, as usual. Spoke with Bob about updates on our house. (We've been getting back into house fixing mode again). Thus, this picture was spurred:

Any ideas on what to do with the white giant in the corner? We've got to do something with our patched together kitchen- random washer/dryer + portable dishwasher. Anyone have any ideas? Feel free to send us drawings, thoughts, prayers, etc or lend us your handy talents/ friends' handy talents/recommendations of friends with handy talents... Thanks...

01.16.10- Day 16

Errands, then Body Flow with Nicole- so good. I loved the mix of pilates, yoga, and tai chi. It was a great way to start the day. Came home and got ready for another Cowboy Casual event- Cale Myer's wedding reception. It was fun to celebrate Cale's marriage to Beth, back in CO. (Their wedding was in Hawaii a couple weeks ago, so not many people were able to attend). At the reception they showed the wedding video, so we all got to be part of the special event. We also got to see some of Alan's old high school friends.

Alan and I with Cale and Beth Matt, Cale, and Alan with stylin' hats

We came home and went over to Sarah x2 + Carissa's house for some games. I always love a good round of Loaded Questions.


01.15.10- Day 15

Oh Friday. TGIF. + 3 day weekend!
Finally got some of my shipment in of an order the OT's/PT's put in after Fall Break! Geez. I was afraid I wasn't even going to get to use the stuff I ordered this year. I got a balance beam and 2 stools so far. I'm expecting quite a bit more stuff soon!

It's been beautiful weather around here the past few days. 50's and sunny- what more could you ask for (in January)? I just got my February Better Homes and Gardens and it makes me anxious to do some spring cleaning and get to planning my garden. I think I might be getting a little ahead of myself seeing as the last frost date is in the beginning of May! I guess it's never to early to do spring cleaning though! I hung out with Sarah this evening and we just chatted, ate fried rice, and ate ice cream. It's nice to have a friend you can just sit with. I also talked with Stephanie for a good while. It's always good to catch up on life with a cusper (sister). It will be very interesting to see where we all end up in the next few years. I wonder if we'll be surprised.
PS- If anyone has a shot/dose/sprinkling of motivation they would like to pass over, I could use it. I've been majorly lacking motivation lately! I've been sleeping too late, not getting enough done during the day, lazing around too much, etc. In the past few days I feel like I might be coming out of it a little, but seriously! Is it just this time of year or something? Anyone have tips on how to get motivated?


01.11-14.10- Days 11-14

So, I apologize for the lack of blogging over the past few days. I think I am in a blogging slump, but hope to be back to my usual consistency tomorrow. I've been a little busy too, and Alan has been home the last few nights, so we've watched several movies (causing me to stay up later than I should which leaves no time for blogging.) Life is good, although I've been thinking a lot about Haiti over the past few days. Not really sure what to say about it- it's just surreal and I don't know how to respond.

In other news, Alan got pulled over by a cop on the way to work tonight because he had no tags on his car. Someone must have peeled them off! I went out and checked my car and my 2009 tag is peeled up around all of the edges. Crazy! Now we have to make a police report and go through a bit of hassel. Ugg. Oh well, stolen tags are better than stolen cars or stolen license plates, etc.


01.10.10- Day 10

While sleeping peacefully this morning, I was awakened around 4:45 a.m. to the sound of what I thought was my neighbor trying to start his car. After about 5-10 minutes of listening to this, I finally decided it must be something else going on. I looked outside my bedroom window to see two huge spotlights, a bulldozer, and some guys jackhammering across the street. After a bit of moaning and groaning, I threw Alan's pillow over my head and tried to go back to sleep. I think the jackhammering must have stopped in the next hour because I was mostly asleep when Alan got home. He tried the water and sure enough it wasn't working. About the time I decided I better call Nicole to request the use of her shower before church, the water started working again. So, I'm not sure which I would have preferred: peaceful sleep with no water or quickly repaired water lines with the lullaby of jackhammers.Went to church. I was very happy to be back after about a 3 week hiatus due to holiday travel. And... we have a new couple joining our small group this week!

Most of the rest of the day was spent relaxing and planning for the upcoming week. Oh, and I also started the Raw Shark Texts for book club this month... I will give a review once I finish it.


01.09.10- Day 10

Remedy for my persistent sweet-tooth after having no sweets in the house for over a week
Homeade brownies!
Awesome finds at Goodwill/ARC- toy unicorn, matching padded shapes, a recipe book, a homemaker/gardening book, strength training with the ball book, a 1924 edition of Moby Dick, and a cool, illustrated, children's book from 1954 (all items bought for under $2.00 each)
A belated Christmas present/early bday present from my sister, Stacy- it is so cute! I can't wait til the yoga mat comes in so I can be the most stylish yogi out there!
PS- I enjoyed getting a resistance training circuit set up with Nicole at the gym today, and I'm extremely excited to go to church tomorrow! It's been over 3 weeks! I miss SFC!

01.08.10- Day 8

Three thoughts:

1. I know it might be a little soon, but I've already started the countdown to summer break. Yes, I did say that I like my job, but I didn't say that I like it more than summer break :). So, I officially have 95 weekdays until May 21st, aka the last day of work for the school year. Ahhh, I'm ridiculous, I know.

2. I like friends and lazy Friday evenings.

3. I found an awesome glider chair for one of my kiddos at ARC today on my way home from work. I'm starting to be able to envision what equipment I want for my kids, even when it's not in the catalog. I still have a LONG way to go, but I'm also becoming more handy. I fixed the brakes on one of my kiddo's wheelchairs, I've adjusted equipment, put things together to make equipment, etc- all without any training. (oh wait... maybe that's a little scary). I am learning though, and creativity/ingenuity/elbow grease is an essential in this job.

Imagine this chair in child size form with blue cushions! (because actual chair is crammed in one of the seats of my car like the rest of the equipment I haul around everyday!)


01.07.10- Day 7

Although it doesn't really look like this outside... this is how I feel inside, or beginning to feel...

I was talking to my sister, Stephanie, tonight and I was telling her that I feel like I'm coming out of a haze that I have been in for the past 3 years. I feel like I sacrificed a lot of who I was and what I liked to do and many other things during graduate school. It was necessary for a time, but I feel like I'm coming alive again. I'm spending time with friends, working out, reading, spending time with God more consistently, thinking again- and I'm working at the same time. I did a little of these things in grad school, but everything I did was tainted by the load of schoolwork, classes, and studying. I do feel like I'm just now coming out of the pattern I lived for so long. I'm rejoicing that I can see a little more of the Susan I was before grad school, but there also seems to be a more mature balance to my life- most likely due to things I learned during the past three years. I definitely have so much more to learn about living life consistently, working (for an indefinite amount of time- yikes!), regaining inner motivation, and who I'm supposed to be now (identity). All that to say, I'm thankful for this new phase of life.

The other thought I had while talking with Stephanie is that: my job doesn't wear me out! Yes, I'm a little tired at the end of the day, but I'm not exhausted physically or emotionally. It's actually somewhat energizing on a good day (I'm still working through some perfectionistic, newbie self-criticisms). I'm so blessed. I think it's because I love working with my kiddos, I have really good work hours, and that I have a balance of alone time/people time. Although slow, I can see that I make a difference in my kiddos' lives, as well as helping the teachers that work with them. So, I'm also thankful for the job I have. It's amazing to me to think back to my toiling and indecision a few months ago about what job I should take. Thank you, Jesus, for always being faithful to work out your plan for us perfectly.


01.06.10- Day 6

Alan and I watched the Soloist this evening. If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend it. It is a beautiful movie that deals with homelessness, mental illness, music, and good intentions. It speaks to the difficult question of: "What does it mean to help someone?" I think the movie answers, "Be their friend." I think that it really hit home with me because so often I seek to bandage up problems or fix things that I assume are broken. I think my perception is so skewed by my upbringing, my education, my race, my socioeconomic status. I assume that what I want for others must be what they want as well. I forget that the power of true friendship is often more powerful tool than money or access or systems or counselling (not that those things are not helpful, but how can you truly help someone while holding yourself at a distance like they are dangerous or foul or below you or not worth the risk). Friendship is also the most costly gift, but gives the highest returns. People are beautiful.
PS- crazy day, lots going on, love zumba, want a snow day, cookie jar blizzard, glad to have alan home...


01.05.10- Day 5

Worked on getting back in the rhythm of work again today. Hopefully I'll be back in full force at the start of next week. I have a feeling this week will just be all over the place- which is okay, just disorganized. I went to small group and held this amazing little bundle of joy. I also made Nicole hold this bundle of joy as well (I think she hit the first step to overcoming holding infant fears- doing it! I totally understand because I was the same way until my pediatric PT class last year.) May I just mention that I love my small group and am so thankful for them!

Bob, Kyla, and baby Ezra

Also of note... I actually saw this video on Ann Clipperton's blog yesterday, then saw that Lindsey Friesen had it posted on her blog today. I thought it must be destiny, plus it's hilarious. Watch it if you want a smile. This girl is so random that I love it! Enjoy "Kittens inspired by kittens."

PS- I thought it was of note that I just nearly ate an entire box of prepared instant pudding by myself. Although satisfying, I might puke.


01.04.10- Day 4

Worked... organized... planned... saw a couple kids in between...

Highlight of the day: dinner at Pei Wei with Carissa and Sarah
Stumper of the day: how to repair a part to a sidelyer that goes in one of my life skills classrooms
Still unfinished of the day: Putting away all the travel items from the past 2 weeks
Sad news of the day: one of my favorite students was withdrawn from my school over break :(
Good news of the day: my lost library book is now found and returned

01.03.10- Day 3

So, after breakfast and hanging out til around noon, the Denver girls headed back towards Colorado, while the Denver boys + Paul/Bethany + Megan went back to Kansas City. We weren't really paying attention when we started the journey back and just followed what the GPS said. However, we kept going on this highway we didn't know and not going towards I-70. We ended up pulling out the travel atlas and discovering that the GPS had taken us all the way up to near Nebraska! We abruptly tried to figure out the best way to work ourselves back down to 70. Luckily, we ended up hitting 70 at the place it intersects with Colby, KS and the Oasis of the Plains (the best travel stop in Kansas). We loaded up on some Quizno's and Starbucks and got back on the road. Despite our travel through the wilderness of northern Kansas, we made it home in pretty good time (around 6 hours).

After dropping off my stuff at my house, I went to pick up Nigel at Carissa and Sarah's house. I stayed for a yummy dinner of taco salad. I am SO happy to get back on a normal eating schedule. I have had SO much junk in the past few weeks. Yay for real meals!

On the way home from Beloit, the girls also made plans to keep each other accountable to our New Year's Resolutions on a monthly basis. So, we all broke our resolutions down into goals for this month. We're going to work out on Tuesday nights before the Biggest Loser and do accountability, then go to someone's house to watch it. My goals for this month are:

Physical: work out 4 times each week
Spiritual: pray every day this month
Life: organize work papers and come up with a system to stay organized

01.02.10- Day 2

The second day of the year brought on a very relaxing day, followed by a wonderful celebration. All of us non-bridesmaid girls hung out at the house we were staying at and just chatted all day. We did take a break to run coffee over to Megan (who was suffering severely from jet lag). Then we got ready and headed over to the church to get ready for our assigned duties. (Alan and I were greeters/program-handerouters).

All the girls with our beautiful bride, Allie Sarah, Nicole, and I before the ceremony
Alan and I at the reception- look at all the pretty lights
All of our friends after Matthew and Allie left (minus Allie, plus her mom- hehe)
Much fun was had by all and Allie was successfully married. What a great day!

01.01.10- Day 1

2010 was beckoned in during a 1 hour visit to chat with some people and watch the ball drop at the Johnson's house after eating steak and salad at Grandma Kindscher's house in Beloit, KS. Honestly, I hardly noticed that 2009 was disappearing and a new year was here. I was too distracted by a wonderful event: Allie's wedding! It was a wonderful weekend of friends and celebration. Times like these make me wish we didn't just joke about starting a commune. Here are some pictures from both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Decorating the bridal party's table
Nicole and I were bow-tying extraordinaires
All the girls on New Year's Day after finalizing some decorations
At the rehearsal
Matthew and Andy's version of "Sisters"
Dressed up in all our "Cowboy Casual/Fancy/Sexy" glory
All the friends together at the rehearsal dinner
Me and beloved Meggie (it was SO good to see her!)
Good times were had by all, even if 2010 was a little overshadowed. Welcome New Year and bring more memories just as happy as this weekend.


1st "post" of the New Year?

Will post pictures/stories tomorrow... too tired tonight. Glad to be home, but it was a really fun weekend. I can't believe it's 2010!