Wednesday, September 28, 2011

As of late…

…I have been doing my nails in line with my occupation.

I’ve made these delicious football shortbread cookies and decorated them by cutting a small hole in a Ziploc bag because I forgot to buy a cookie decorating kit. ;)

My husband and a friend installed a mantle for our fireplace.

 And I will decorate it soon…
I was able to meet this fun friend and my aunt in New Orleans this past weekend for dinner.

And this precious pooch has greatly enjoyed watching “Doggie TV” (aka looking out the window) every day at her new home.

It's shaping up to be quite a nice autumn.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet, sweet day

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, my cousin Ashley and her husband Stuart, are officially the parents of this beautiful little girl.

Isn't that such a sweet face??

I now have three second cousins (which we refer to as nieces and nephews!), two of them crafted into our family through adoption. Nikki and my cousin Jacob brought home Joshua last year, and another cousin and his wife had their son last September. Even better, we'll have another new baby possibly by Christmas, as my Mississippi cousin's wife is pregnant.

And what's great is that all of these children are in our family. If it weren't for adoption, we would never have gotten to hold Joshua or see his absolutely adorable "cup trick." We would never have prayed fervently for the birthmother of Ashley and Stuart's child or for this child herself. We would have never had the opportunity and blessing to know these sweet babies.

I can't wait to see all these cute little babies playing together at Christmas and to watch them grow up and to see how many more are added to our number. There are six of us grandkids on my mom's side of the family, and I have a feeling there's going to be at least double that number of grandbabies. After all, we're just getting started!

But today we're going to rejoice in Ashley and Stuart's happiness and know that their precious baby girl is going to be raised by Godly, wonderful parents. No kid could want for more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


As a runner and a stressed out graduate student, I would like to give everyone out there pointers as what not to do/say in certain situations, based on personal preference and common sense.

When you see a runner…

* Please do not slam on your horn when you get right next to a runner or runners and scare the heck out of them. Refrain from your horn for two reasons: 1. It’s just rude. 2. If the runner jumps high enough and falls in front of your car, she probably has a super awesome lawyer friend and/or lawyer relative who will take you for all your worth. Including your sweet little vehicle with the loud horn.

* Please do not let your dogs roam the neighborhood. Especially if that dog (or, in some cases, DOGS) are pit bulls that like to approach runners. Sure, your dog may have never bitten anyone before, but we don’t know that. We just see a big dog running towards us (sometimes barking) with no owner around.

* Please, no catcalls. Seriously, are you that desperate to whistle or call out after females who (very likely) have no makeup on, their hair pulled up, and are dressed in athletic gear? And when did that ever work for ANYONE?

Am I missing anything here?

Now, let’s move on to comps. My stress level seems to go up a notch every day comps gets closer. I worry for my students, especially considering I told one that her column was a “train wreck” and I threw a cell phone across a room. The train wreck comment is par for the course, but I’m usually pretty good with inanimate objects (of course, if this inanimate object had been operating properly, it would not have been thrown). At any rate: Things NOT to say to a comps student:

1. “No one ever fails comps.”
Do not tell me this!! I want to hear that EVERYONE fails and that if I mess this up, it’s okay!! (It also doesn’t help that while most students can easily find the answers to their questions, three of mine are application questions…which means the answers aren’t readily available. I have to apply my knowledge of the subject matter and come up with an idea of an answer.)

2. “Are you studying?”
Seriously? Seriously? This is only the most important test of my LIFE. No, I’m not studying AT ALL.

Oh, and another issue that makes my voice go to a pitch only dogs can hear: I need straight answers when I ask questions. Not, “You may not need to know that.” Please, a yes or no answer for heaven’s sake.

So is anyone else wondering how running and comps correlate? My amount of running is directly affected by my stress level, currently from comps (i.e. running is the dependent variable, and comps is the independent variable). And I have hard evidence to back it up:

In July, when I wasn’t worried about comps, I ran 34 miles.
In August, when I started studying for comps (oh, and MOVED), I ran 50 miles.
This month, I’ve currently run 40 miles and will run 6 more tonight.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


I have been requested to tell the story of How Family Feud Went Oh, So Wrong. It’s probably a good thing I got a request, as I really didn’t have plans of writing this week, so this gives me an excuse to procrastinate studying a little more. ;)

Teaching grammar is about as boring as watching paint dry – and I’ve done both. Therefore, instead of lecturing about grammar for two hours, I told my students to read over the chapter in their book and PREPARE. They figured it was for a quiz. Good for (some of) them. They were happily surprised to discover that, instead of a quiz, we were going to play some version of Family Feud for five bonus points.

I split them up into two teams, and one member from each team would come up to the front of the room and slam on the desk when they knew the answer (Which, btw, I’ve discovered I need to do this in our journalism lab instead of a classroom with thin walls – I doubt my fellow educators appreciated the slamming noises nor the word bombs that were occasionally dropped when students got the answer wrong). The students, however, seemed to have a really great time, and I was thinking the day was a success, too.

I had 40 questions prepared, so, on Question 33, 34, something like that, I thought, let’s do something different (and we were running out of time). So instead of having one person come up from each team, the entire team had the opportunity to participate for the remaining questions. The first team member to raise his or her hand got to answer for the team.

So far, the game had been either a tie, or one team was one or two points behind the other one. It was a close game. However, when I started the “Lightning Round,” I quickly discovered who had studied…and who had not. Team 2, which had been behind a point, had one member who knew EVERYTHING. Kudos to that kid for having studied so well. He knew every question and only missed two because he hesitated too long. Therefore…well, his team won.

The majority of Team 1 whined as a losing team does – not too much but enough to know that they did care about winning. It wasn’t a big deal. Except to one student.

He grabbed his bags and stormed out of the classroom, while muttering (loudly) something about where I and the other team could “shove it” and how I had cheated by changing the rules halfway during the game.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I started laughing. I usually laugh at idiocy, and I was shocked by his reaction. It’s MY class, therefore my rules. I could have made the last question the winning question if I wanted. I’m the teacher. If you want to be the caller of Family Feud, go get your Ph.D. LOL.

At any rate, though, I suppose I do need to address the issue with him and with the class today. You know, say something about if we can’t all be adults, we can’t play kid games.

Oh, college students. 

Friday, September 9, 2011


In honor of school starting back this week, it's time for another round of random quotes. Enjoy!

Student: “Do I have to click on all these links in the instructional unit?”
Me: “If you don’t understand what the information says. For you, I hope you know what a simile and a metaphor are, so you probably don’t have to click on the link over ‘simile and metaphor.’”
Student: “I know simile is spelled a lot like smile.”
Me: Pause. “You need to click on the ‘simile and metaphor’ link.”

“I just don’t feel called to take pregnant pictures in lingerie.”

Teacher: “I have a lot of issues with God right now.”
Student: “I bet He’s got a lot more with you right now.”

Stupidity on Facebook…
Person 1’s Status: I'm soooooo mad at myself right now
Person 2: why
Person 1: Can't talk about it on FB
Then, seriously, why did you even post that??

Student: “My life is like a box of chocolates…you know, dark.”

Me: “And then I smiled at her, but it wasn’t a real smile, it was one of those where I was secretly saying, ‘If there weren’t witnesses, you might need to fear for your life.’”
Husband: “You can pull off those looks well.”

Student paper: " fill that unconsistant void..."
My response: “It’s actually ‘inconsistent.’”

Student: “My mom puts Scripture all over my wall because she thinks that I’ve got men over in my room all the time.”

Konstantin Levin did not like talking and hearing about the beauty of nature. Words for him took away the beauty of what he saw. – Anna Karenina

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

God's hand

“God, I really, really, really want this house. But I only want it if YOU want it. But I really want it. So, if it’s not the house for us, please take away my desire and longing to want it. Or close some doors right in our faces. But…but if it is the house for us, please let everything go perfectly so that we can buy our house. Because there’s a whole lot of stuff that can go wrong…mainly with selling our house.”

That was pretty much my prayer o’ summer. I couldn’t pray for God to simply slam doors in our faces where we couldn’t get the house. I couldn’t. But I did pray that if this wasn’t the house for us, that we would lose some of our fervor and passion in desiring it.

I prayed because it was a big house, a beautiful house. One with everything we wanted but didn’t think we could have at this time.

We hadn’t been looking at houses. Well, we’d been “window shopping,” but we window shop for a while. We weren’t even expecting to seriously even consider moving until at least next year.

So when Kyle showed me this house, I kind of sighed. Because I just knew. I looked at him and said, “You know we’re going to buy this house, don’t you?”

Because we weren’t seriously looking. Because everything started falling into place so quickly. Because, even though it felt like forever to me, how we got into this house was divine intervention.

We caught our seller two days before he planned to put his house on the market. Because he didn’t have to pay a realtor because he had a buyer -- us, he gave us a great deal.

Our (now old) house was placed on the market the week after we found the new house. It was the seventh one in our small neighborhood (of about 30 houses) to go on the market. It was also the first one to sell. We had a buyer in six weeks.


Our friends who have recently undergone the buying/selling process told us to be patient. That their houses had been on the market for over 100 days. There’s a girl in our Sunday School class whose house is still on the market – and she put it on there in May.

It’s mind-blowing how God has answered prayers in such a short amount of time. And in His time. Our purchase agreement with the seller went to Aug. 31. We started panicking around Aug. 26 because our closing went a little haywire, and we were anxious that we would not be able to close by that date. Oh, and it didn’t help that our seller is moving to Pennsylvania and getting married this weekend.

We closed Aug. 31.

But, technically, we moved in Aug. 19. The seller had allowed us to move in early, and, thanks to him and the help of fourteen other friends (yep), we had all of our earthly possessions (mainly) moved in in an hour and a half. You need some gratefulness in your life? Have more than a dozen of your friends give up their Friday night to help YOU move. I nearly cried at their generosity.

And there’ve been so many others who have helped paint, who have helped organize, who have given house-warming gifts to help us get moved in efficiently and quickly. And it’s now home. No decorations yet on the wall, but it is definitely home.

It was so hard to let God have complete control – but I quickly learned I had no control in this situation. Despite my NUMEROUS efforts, I did not sell my house – my realtor did. I couldn’t control home inspectors or appraisers or banks.

This was a learning experience this summer, to just let God take control. It was a struggle, and it’s still a struggle, but it was something I needed to go through. I realized it then, and I see the benefits now – and only one of them is a material possession.

It’s been a year of chaos, that’s for sure, but chaos does not always have to be bad. Sometimes, it’s really, really nice.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home, sweet home

Well. The Super family is legally no longer homeless nor squatting.

We signed papers yesterday at 3 p.m. to buy our new home...that we've been living in since Aug. 19.


It's been quite a roller coaster of a summer, but I had a revelation this summer: I'm never going to have an un-busy life.

Shocker, right?

Seriously, though. I've noticed how all year I've been saying, "Well, when I get finished with my classes, I'll do this..." and "When we get into our new house, I'll do this..." "When this is done, then I'll do this..." No. It had to stop, and it has. I've got to make time for things that are important, most notably relationships, because if I don't, I'll never have the time. You make time for what's important, and those around me are important to me. I don't ever want to be too busy for my friends and family and my responsibilities. That's not the person I want to be.

Anyway. Revelation over. Now time for pictures!!!

The last day we went to our old house (which, ironically enough, is actually "newer" than our current house, as it was built in the 90s).

Taking the sign out of our yard for good.
Here's a throwback from five years ago, when we bought our house in June 2006.

I snapped this while the lawyer was out of the office. We both looked stressed, haha!
Now, five years later, closing on our new house -- with the same lawyer!

Saving the date
So, funny story with the closing...we got to the closing with the seller there, with the lawyer...and someone happened to forget something important.

It was me. I forgot the cashier's check.

That's right. I forgot to bring money to buy a house.

Thankfully, my sweet hero of a husband rushed out to our bank to go get one, and the seller and I started signing papers while he was gone. He returned in about 10 minutes and finished his part of the signing.

And that's how we bought our home.

I know I've kept our house under close wraps, mainly because I didn't want to announce it until it was really ours. But now...welcome to our new home!

More pictures to come (before-after types), but here's some stats on Case del Super:

* She's about 2500 sq. feet -- roughly two and a half times the size of our former home.
* She was built in 1969 -- the year my parents were married (I'm not a hopeless romantic or anything...).
* There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, and a "lair."
* There's a bay window over the kitchen sink. (Heart.)
* Fenced in back yard with a deck.

This house really had everything we were looking for but never thought we'd get this soon, especially room-wise. We wanted three bedrooms, and office, and a "lair" for Kyle, but we didn't think it was feasible right now. But...have I told you the story about how we found this house? If I have, forgive me, and skip ahead.

Kyle and I were both in Tara and Matt's wedding, which was about an hour away from our home, and, as I had to be there much earlier than him, he decided to ride with some other members of the wedding party. One of the guys said he'd pick Kyle up, and they'd go to the other guy's house and drive from there.

Kyle almost didn't ask for a ride the night of the rehearsal.
Kyle almost said, "No, I'm right by the Interstate, can you just pick me up on your way?"
But he didn't.

So they got to the house, and Kyle said, "Wow, this is a really nice place." And we had started pricing houses in the area, because we were thinking about thinking about getting a house (yeah, read that right). And then Jesse, our seller, said, "Yeah, I'm putting it on the market Monday."

Kyle asked how much he wanted for it. And then he called me.

I thought he was crazy. I mean...we had NO INTENTION of moving this year. None. Zip. Zero. But he took me by on Sunday, and I fell in love instantly. We went to the bank on Monday and put our house on the market the following week. We sold our house Aug. 24.

I really would like to go into how much God had a hand in making sure our house sold, everything was great, etc., but this post is getting quite lengthy right now, so I'll stop with this, which makes me smile every time:

Our six year anniversary is Saturday. Yep, six years. Six years ago, Hurricane Katrina had just hit, and I had no idea where I would live, if I had a job, if I still had the majority of my material possessions. I just knew I was marrying my best friend.

This Saturday, six years later, we're staying in, spending time in our new home. It's a great anniversary week.