Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Punching the pig

We made the decision to switch our bank from Fifth Third to PNC.

It was partly because of the $150 we got for opening a new account with them, partly because they have better interest rates on their accounts, and partly because they have a website that lets you punch a pig to move money into your saving account.  I don't think I've ever been so excited about getting to use a banking website!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


A. Age: 27
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore you hate: 
D. Dogs: Schmoo
E. Essential start to your day: Coffee
F. Favorite color: Purple
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5′5″
I. Instruments you play: French horn, piano, ukulele! (more on the ukulele later...)
J. Job Title: wife/teacher/friend
K. Kids: not yet
L. Live: Noblesville, Indiana
M. Mom’s name: Nancy
N. Nicknames: G, Gretch, Gretchie, and others that Andrew calls me
O. Overnight hospital stays: none
P. Pet peeve: people who say they're going to do something and then don't follow through
Q. Quote from a movie:
"You rock, rock." from I Heart Huckabees or "R. Right or left handed: right
S. Siblings: David and Sarah
T. Time you wake up: 6:30
U. Underwear: what about it?
V. Vegetables you dislike: olives
W. What makes you run late: Andrew
X. X-Rays you’ve had: my foot when a rusty bobby pin got stuck in it during marching band in high school
Y. Yummy food you make: pretty much anything as long as I have a recipe
Z. Zoo animal: I LOVE the zoo!  My favorites are the polar bears.

I got the list of the ABC's from That Wife

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Have you tried pilates?

I tried it for the first time on Saturday morning.  I didn't know what to expect, but I was definitely surprised by how hard it was and how much I felt it (especially today).   Most of the movements were pretty small, which would make it seem easy if you were watching it, but definitely weren't when you were doing it!  

Andrew and I've been working with a personal trainer twice a week for the past few months and I felt like the pilates class was harder than most of the sessions with the personal trainers, except for a few where we had to do what seemed like endless lunges...

It reminded me a lot of yoga, which I absolutely love.  I looked up pilates when I got home to learn a little more about it and found out that there are six principles that are included: concentration, control, center, flow, precision, and breathing.  No wonder it reminded me of yoga!

I will definitely be going back again!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have the best husband

I had a bad day at work and when I called him to complain about it, he suggested that we meet at Orange Leaf for a frozen yogurt date.  Yay!
Image from here
How could going there not make your day better?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Becoming a member

As we were walking out of church today, Andrew turned to me and said "I think I'm ready to become a member of the church."  This completely surprised me because he's said on several occasions that he doesn't think that he needs to join the church as long as he's going to the church.

But I guess that the sermon today made him think about getting more invovled in the church.  This means a lot to me because Orchard Park is the church I grew up in.   Andrew started going to Orchard Park with me when he moved to Indiana, but this is the first time he's ever talked about actually becoming a member.  I think that shows how comfortable he is there, which makes me really happy.  I want him to be as comfortable there as I am.

(When I was talking to him about it a little more, I found out that he's never actually been a member of a church because his family switched churches during the year he would have gone through confirmation.  I never knew that!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This morning

The sun is up.  I'm reading blogs and finishing a book while drinking coffee and eating flaky layer biscuits.  Life is good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recipe: Baked Mac and Cheese

This recipe is our new favorite.  We've already made it twice, mostly because it's quick and easy.

Macaroni and Cheese
3/4 pound elbow macaroni or penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces cheddar cheese (the recipe called for cubed, but we found using shredded works better)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While pasta is cooking, combine sour cream, cheese, and salt and pepper. Stir in drained noodles. Pour into greased, 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book review: Day After Night

Image from here
I just finished reading the book Day After Night by Anita Diamante.  I loved The Red Tent and have been waiting for her to write something else that I enjoyed as much as I did that.  I had seen Day After Night at the library a few times, but had been reluctant to read it because it's set during World War 2.  And while I find that time period extremely interesting, I teach an entire class about it the Holocaust so I sometimes get tired of reading about it.

I was completely surprised by this book because it introduced me to a part of history that I had never even thought about: What happened to the Holocaust survivors after they were liberated from the concentration camps?  The book is told from the point of view of four different women - Leonie, Tedi, Shayndel, and Zorah - who meet at an internment camp in Palestine that is run by British soldiers.  During each section that a girl narrates, you find out a little more about where she was during the Holocaust and how she ended up in Atlit, which adds to the characters as you read so you end up caring about each of them as individuals, not simply as examples of Holocaust survivors.

At times, I found it hard to follow all of the plot lines because the narration switches from one girl to the next and because there are several concepts that I didn't completely understand until I looked them up on my own, such as why the British were keeping these people in an internment camp instead of allowing them into Palestine.  After doing a little research, I found out the British limited the number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine by keeping them in camps like Atlit.
At Atlit camp, the men were sent to one side, women to the other.  They were sprayed with DDT, then told to undress and enter the showers.  In 1939-1948, tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants were interned here, men and women separated by barbed wire.  Some interns stayed as long as 23 months.
The fact that I found it hard to follow all of the plot lines when I was reading and the somewhat graphic descriptions of some sexual acts means that I won't be able to teach this book.  (I'm always looking for new books to introduce to my students, especially ones that discuss the Holocaust since so many of them have read The Diary of Anne Frank and Night.)  But I did enjoy this book.  The characters were extremely realistic, the plot was interesting, and it made me think about something that I hadn't thought about before.  I will definitely be rereading this book to see what else I get out of it now that I better understand the historical period it takes place in.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting a little political for a moment

Did you hear about President Obama reversing his decision to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay?  He decided that the United States would resume trials at Guantanamo Bay becuase there were a number of people who did not feel that it was safe to try some of the detainees in the United States.  This was one of the main reasons I voted for Obama.  I believe that it is unfair to detain people without charging or trying them.  So I'm really disappointed that he's decided to reverse his decision.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Do you watch Secret Millionaire?

I had seen some people from the show being interviewed on Oprah a few weeks ago.  There were some women from the episode that was set in Knoxville, Tenneesee who I fell in love with so I was excited to watch part of it tonight.  Twin sisters Helen and Ellen run The Love Kitchen where they follow the three truths that their father taught them:
  1. There is only one race, the human race.
  2. There is only one Father and that is the Heavenly Father.
  3. Never take the last piece of bread.  Someone may come by in need of it.
I love how simple and beautiful those truths are.  I just thought I would share!

Hot dog!

My husband is the best.  He just made me a hot dog.   I am fully capable of making my own hot dog, but he did it cause he's wonderful.  I just felt like sharing how wonderful he is:)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hanging out at Starbucks

Image from here
I had a little time to waste before my dentist's appointment today so I went to the Starbuck's that's just across the parking lot.  I recently found a Starbuck's card that Andrew had gotten for Christmas, but since he doesn't drink coffee I get to use it!  Which means I'm more than happy to sit here and enjoy a (free to me!) cinnamon dolche latte.   (Let's just ignore the fact that  I'm drinking coffee before I go get my teeth cleaned, okay?)

There's something about being somewhere other than school or home that let's me focus completely on what I want to without feeling like I'm wasting time that could be spent on other things.  I feel free to browse the blogs I read, write a little for my own, and catch up on what people through Facebook.  Yay for a little relaxing time!