Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh, hi there!

I feel slightly ashamed - I haven't forgotten about you all, but life gets in the way.  This time, it's in so many good ways!
  • The secret I kept hinting around?  Surprise 16th birthday party for my principal's daughter.  It was a huge success!  I acted as DJ, her dance teacher gave some ballroom-ish lessons.  It was fantastic!
  • My junior high kids perform in 8 days.  EIGHT.  That requires a little bit of attention on my part :)
  • I have bronchitis, caused by my allergies.  Which means I have next to no voice.  Combine with above, and it causes some more stress.
  • My choir performs for First Communion on Sunday.  I'm supposed to sing.  Probably not happening, but at least I can still play the clarinet!
  • But in good news... Josh is back.  Long story, not necessarily for public consumption.  But I think it's safe to say that when he walks back in and his first words are "I love you" that it's ok to trust him again.  Because that's not something that's just said by him.  Ever. Means a lot, and made my heart sing.

Are you still stopped by that last bullet point?  It's ok, I understand.  I tell people that I know (you know, face to face), and their jaw drops.  In a way, it's totally worth everything that happened, just to see the reactions.  Not that I would ever go through it again.  But obviously, that has meant some of my free time has become not so free :)  Dinner last Friday night with a couple we hang out with quite often, Saturday night with his parents, and then Sunday was Easter!  It's nice to have someone at my house a few nights of the night to relax with - I hadn't realized how lonely I was getting.  It is always harder the closer I get to the musical.

We start rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdie Monday night.... yes, I have a one week overlap between shows!  I'll run from my rehearsals to Birdie, hopefully with time to grab something to eat in between.  Josh is convincing me to join the YMCA out here, so expect to see some exercise logs starting next month!  I knew he was good for me :)

What do you do when the stress levels rise?  Does your body revolt and get sick?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

As you celebrate today, make sure you take a minute to reflect on what today is really about.  Christ died for YOU and for ME.  Pretty incredible.

Enjoy time with family and friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stormy Weather

We've had a lot of storms lately.  Jager, my dog, HATES storms.  He shakes and wakes me so he's not by himself.  Needless to say, I've had quite a few interrupted nights of sleep lately.  Last night was the worst though - we were under a tornado warning for around half an hour.  Thankfully Josh called to wake me, as I didn't hear the sirens!  Me and my 65 pound dog in the bathtub.... that was an experience.  I've decided my next house MUST have a basement - then I could just go back to sleep!

What do you do when you are under the threat of a tornado?  Do you prepare any differently for the night if you know storms are coming?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beautiful Day

I know it won't last, but the weather here is PERFECT today!  Warm enough to feel great, cool enough that you're not sticky.... sigh.  Even though they are calling for rain, it's not even very humid.  It makes me wish I was at home - I would love a nap in the sun!

Happy Monday!  Hope you're enjoying the weather if you're not stuck inside :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's an addiction, but it's so much fun....

The Vera sale was AMAZING!  Seriously, it was overwhelming, but once I got over the sheer volume of discounted product, it was amazing.  I feel like I did well (not pictured are items bought for others as gifts or requested (some are delivered) as well as a laptop backpack that I had to special order).

Yeah, I'm a happy girl.  My stash from the Vera sale, from upper left, going clockwise: Water bottle in Night and Day, One for the Money in Barcelona, Small Duffel in Frankly Scarlet, Apron and Box gift set in Night and Day, Beach Towel (highly coveted!) in Simply Violet, Sunglass Hard Case and Lanyard in Loves Me, Morgan in Night and Day, Curling Iron Cover in Calypso, Flip Flops in Deco Daisy, Lanyard Keychain in Deco Daisy, Slim Case in Deco Daisy.  Not pictured: Coin Purse in Frankly Scarlet, and the Laptop Backpack in Deco Daisy that I had to have special ordered!  THRILLED!

Other good news: I was cast as Gloria in "Bye Bye Birdie", so I'm pretty excited!  She's the tap dancing secretary, so I should get some dance experience in :)
School visit went well, I'm glad it's over.  Now to dig out my back room, where I stashed everything that cluttered my room at all!

Can't update on the secret yet - after it happens, I will. I've spent a lot of time and effort on it, so I definitely don't want to ruin it.  Excited for everything this week, it definitely is ending on a higher note than it started!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sponsored Post - Paying for College

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Flatworld Knowledge for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Flat World Knowledge for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
We all know that a college education is expensive.  Unfortunately, all of the things that go WITH those tuition payments are pretty expensive too.  What if there was a way to save some money?  Wouldn't you do whatever you needed to?
Higher Ed demographics are shifting; almost half of students are in community colleges, and up to 80% are at public institutions. My brother falls into this - he started at Purdue (public) and is transferring to Northern Kentucky University (also public, considered by many around here a community college).  There is an increase of displaced workers returning to school. Textbook are becoming an increasingly important barrier to completion of education.
Students spent an average $1137 in 2010-2011 on textbooks and supplies, according to The College Board.  According to the Department Of Education, textbooks cost almost as much as tuition and fees (72%) for 2 year community college students. This means 42% of college costs for these students go to textbooks.  That's a lot of money!  Inflation doesn't even come into the picture, as textbook prices are rising at 4 times the inflation rate.  According to Gates Foundation study, this is having a substantive impact on students’ ability to complete coursework. 60% of students who did not graduate report that textbooks and other fees besides tuition affected them; 58% of those who did graduate cite the same (source:…).  In these tough economic times, it's no wonder people have to drop out of school.
Flat World is using technology to reduce cost barriers and increase access. Pairing open licensing and textbook personalization with a radical pricing model gives a formula for disrupting an $8.5bil U.S. textbook market. Books are free online, while offline books cost around $35 for print, and $25 for other formats. For the first time, students can choose the format and price point best for them.  How awesome to have the book available wherever you were - I would rather carry a laptop than a pile of books an day!
Flat World is going beyond leveraging technology to reduce cost and using the open license to improve learning materials in 2 critical ways
o Enabling faculty to change the textbook from a book to a platform
o Enabling the student to consume content that suits their learning style
I really like that faculty could make this interactive.  Even better is that, if you don't like looking at a computer for your textbook, the paper copies are available at a cheaper rate than traditional textbooks.
Early indicators are showing high trajectory. Since Spring 2009, Flat World’s books have been adopted by 1600+ professors in 900+ schools. That’s equal to over 115,000 students. Flat World has raised over $27mil over the last 2 years in venture capital to build a sustainable model to build open content. Further, several early pilot studies conducted by colleges using Flat World open textbooks have demonstrated significant (10-15%) increases in course completion rates where open textbooks were used vs. traditional books.
As someone who has thought about going back to school (again) I would love to have classes using this method.  It would save money, but it would also mean less things to carry around campus to be prepared for class.  Visit their site and request more info
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