Sunday, January 23, 2011

I love a good list

This "101 things to do in 1001 days" list has really got me going.

I'll let you in on a little secret about Whitney.
I love lists.

I write lists for everything.
At any given moment I usually have four or five different lists going - grouped by category of course.
I love the idea of crossing things out; not checking them off but really going to town and marking straight through each item.
I've even been known to add things I have already done that day to the my list just so that I can cross it out.
I love looking back at the end of the day and seeing how much I've accomplished!

So anyway... I've been excitedly seeking out items on my "101 in 1001" list to start working toward and here's what I've been up to lately:

We picked up loads of FREE rock for our coming landscaping ventures

I've cut up my GAL T-shirts and bought the material for the quilt

I've started working on wrist warmers!  Six complete pair thus far...

This is Skylar's before shot... LOL

Then he was bashful...

So his sister joined him and ta-da, now you can see!
I gave Skylar a hair cut!
So technically I haven't completely finished any of these items on my list, but they're on in progress!  =)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not even close, definitely no cigar

Attempt #1 at Chicken & Dumplings
miserable failure.

I mean by a long shot... 

It was just all bad and it started with a recipe typo.

I used Paula Deen's recipe posted here.
I didn't pay much attention to the sense of things at first...
{I'm a dedicated rule follower... I have a tenancy not to question directions until it's too late}
When I got everything but the dumplings in the pot I was looking at it thinking, that is a LOT of water to thicken up... maybe I should compare my recipe to some others...

So I started looking...

And then I realized.. my recipe says 4 Quarts instead of 4 Cups of water.
Holy moly.

I now I'm bailing water out.
Well then you lose flavor too, right?  So I add another bouillon cube and some flour to help thicken it up.

It's still pretty soupy so I'm thinking, okay... I know my grandma used to make her chicken and dumplings with noodles, I'll add pasta!  What better way to soak up extra broth?!

Potentially could have worked, if I hadn't added the dumplings so soon after.
I may have only a vague memory of making chicken and dumplings once with my grandmother when I was a little girl, but I remember one very important tip she gave me.

"Don't stir your dumplings to death or they'll turn into hard balls of dough instead of  fluffy dumplings"

Yes Ma'am.
So I'm stirring as little as possible, trying to balance the concepts of not killing my dumplings and keeping the pasta from sticking... I failed.

The dumplings were fluffish, though a little tougher than they should have been and some pasta, though mostly loose in the pot, stuck vehemently to the bottom of the pan.
Then the burning smell, and thus the burnt taste and now the house stinks... and I'm irritated.

You and I shall have our day #91... I will make successful chicken and dumplings... you just wait and see.

Snow Day #4


Yup, that's right.

The great thing is, I wasn't even expecting this one!
Hubbers came up and whispered in my hear while I was still wrapped snuggly in bed.

What?!  SWEET!

And that done it... I was too excited and instantly too awake to sleep in.  LOL

What's different for this snow day:
I'm not even going to write a to-do list.
I'm just going to do little things around the house and enjoy my day off.

Sounds like a plan!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

101 in 1001

Inspired by my friend Jenny, I too have decided to set a few goals for myself by creating a list of 
"101 things to do in 1001 days."

Some are fun, some are more serious, but they're all measurable goals and I think it will be great to have a list to check off and see how much I accomplish in these following 1001 days!

Here are my goals:

1. Write a letter to myself for the end of 1001 days
2. Make daily blog posts for one month
3. Fit back into my ‘skinny’ clothes
4. Grow my hair out again
5. Read a classic novel - 06/26/11 Pride & Prejudice
6. Play three favorite songs on guitar
7. Practice piano regularly for one month - 03/14->04/21/11
8. Journal regularly for one month
9. Make a T-shirt quilt from GAL shirts
10. Floss daily for a month
11. Graduate with my BME - 05/07/11
12. Start my career - 07/01/11 HS Choral Director
13. Get Skylar fully potty trained
14. Don't complain for a week
15. Learn to crochet
16. Take a picture everyday for a month
17. Buy and wear flat boots
18. Buy a new pair of sweats and wear them all day
19. Comment on 5 new blogs
20. Go one week without hitting snooze
21. Talk positively about myself for a week
22. Go one week without television 
23. Meet regularly with my accountability partner - Summer 2011
24. Complete 5 crafts in my “Whit’s Projects” folder
25. Complete a 5k
26. Paint something with chalkboard paint
27. Go a full week 100% makeup free - 07/23/11
28. Knit/crochet a shawl (like Sandy’s!)
29. Do a health cleanse
30. Get 9 hours of sleep per night for one week
31. Keep my clothes consistently put away for a week
32. Write & send a Christmas newsletter
33. Pay off Mark’s student loans - 01/30/11
34. Pay off my student loans 
35. Read and go through The Love Dare
36. Make breakfast for Mark every morning for a week
37. Complete our Kansas City: Then & Now dates
38. Attend a marriage retreat
39. Write sweet notes to Mark
40. Go through a couple's devotional
41. Go on a weekend getaway
42. Plan a surprise for Mark - 06/27/11
43. Take a video of Mark and I everyday for a week
44. Establish a family calendar - 01/18/11
45. Complete ‘vows’ project - 02/14/11
46. Start a family (assuming it’s the Lord’s timing)
47. Create nursery for said expanding family 
48. Groom our dogs at home - 01/23/11
49. Make homemade shampoo & conditioner
50. Have a DIY Christmas
51. Paint the interior of our home
52. Paint the exterior of our home
53. Start a garden - 05/08/11
54. Complete my ‘window garden’
55. Complete our landscaping project
56. Do the mending I've neglected
57. Invite someone new over for dinner - 03/11
58. Organize & arrange the basement
59. Organize & arrange the guest bedroom
60. Reupholster our garage sale furniture
61. Refinish the white dresser
62. Put pictures in all our empty frames
63. Host overnight guests
64. Make homemade laundry detergent
65. Finish the laundry room
66. Create a gift-wrapping/crafting organization station
67. Create a chore schedule for myself
68. Sort through & reorganize ‘storage stuff’
69. Get the house rekeyed - 02/09/11
70. Try 5 new local restaurants
71. Visit the observatory
72. Take a road trip
73. Plan a day of fun with my little niece, Kinley
74. Go to a flea market
75. Go bowling with friends
76. Attend a musical at my old high school
77. Get involved with a small group
78. Step up to serve in a ministry role - 03/13/11
79. Memorize the books of the Bible
80. Read the Bible cover to cover
81. Read 3 new 'godly wife' books
82. Make a meal for someone who needs it
83. Write a thank you note, just because
84. Tip 50% 
85. Do 5 random acts of kindness
86. Make baby blankets to donate
87. Pay for a friend's meal when they don't expect it
88. Give a random gift - 04/16/11
89. Write notes of encouragement
90. Make my own bread
91. Make chicken & dumplings - 01/18/11
92. Make a sour cream apple pie
93. Make a successful pumpkin pie
94. Finish my recipe book
95. Participate in a recipe swap
96. Make orange juice with fresh squeezed oranges
97. Try 5 new ‘outside the box’ recipes
98. Get a food processor
99. Get a nice cutlery set
100. Make a cake from scratch
101. Make strawberry jam - 06/21/11

My Start date is Sunday, January 16, 2011
My Deadline date is Sunday, October 13, 2013

I will update you via this post and others periodically so that you can see what I'm checking off the list.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to School Today

Not gonna lie.

A small part of me was holding out for another day off due to wind chill.


Oh well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Creative juices flowing

So I bought the material I need to finish my T-shirt quilt, yay!

I also bought buttons to use on my write warmers.  I've got several pair made now and I'm loving them!  I can't wait to put the flowers and buttons on them to finish 'em off.

Here's the tutorial I got the idea from:

They're precious, I love them! 

So, as I said I would report...
So far today I've gotten the laundry put away, made my errand runs and worked on my DIY projects.

Okay, so I wasn't as productive as I had wanted to be, but I'm still chalking it up to a successful day.
I'll still refigure my lesson plans yet tonight and am hopeful of getting Sir Skylar his long awaited bath -- he needs it.  But I suppose his hair cut and the lingering Christmas in our home can wait another day or two.  ;)

Many a'spoon in the pot

Welp, going on snow day number 3!

If you had told me on Sunday that this would be a two day week, I'd have laughed at you.

Snow Day #1:
I was super wife!
I made potato soup, baked cookies, caught up in blog world, wrote a few posts, started my T-shirt quilt, did six loads of laundry, straightened house, cleaned house, played with puppies and was still go, go, going when hubby got home from work!

Snow Day #2:
Slightly less productive in those more measurable ways...
I folded a load of laundry while the last load (in the entire house!) dried, took a dear (very pregnant) friend grocery shopping to assist in carrying enough food to feed 80-100 college students, ventured to Hobby Lobby only to realize I hadn't thought thoroughly enough about my intended purchase, visited the thrift store for a few sweaters, fought with my sewing machine for a good hour, finally got it working right and started cutting up said sweaters and working on my wrist warmers.
When hubby came home the basement was a disastrous mountain range of folded laundry piles, sweater scraps and loose threads... but he didn't seem to mind.  =)

Snow Day #3: 
Wow, three in a row, really?
I'm banking on this being the last day off I'll get for some time so this has got to be the finale of all my To-Do's this week!

I would like to accomplish the following:

1) Put away my mountainous piles of clean laundry
2) Reorganize my lesson planning 
(since the rotation is all funky now)
3) Bathe & trim Skylar (that was on day #1's list, woops)
4) Revisit Hobby Lobby / JoAnn's
5) Put away the Christmas tree and other distinctly Christmas decor
6) Continue work on my various projects 
(wrist warmers, baby clips, t-shirt quilt, etc.)

I do this often... I get multiple projects going at once because when I hit a bump in the road with one and get frustrated I need to take a break.  However, creative juices are still flowing so I end up starting up another project!  

It's rather hysterical.  

Well, my aim is to have at least two of my current three projects finished by the end of this weekend.  That would give me quite a sense of accomplishment!  =)

I'm sure I'll be checking back in to report my progress...
well, until then!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Doggie Treat Canister

Recently, I tired of the ugly plastic bag I stored my puppies' treats in after I tear them up in to bite size bits.

Luckily, a friend had just gifted me a Hobby Lobby gift card, so away I went!

I'm all about simple fixes.

Small Glass Canister = $3.00
Clear Paw Scrapbooking Stickers = $1.50

And voila!

Now our puppies have a cute little canister just for their treats... and it even seals to keep them moist and fresh! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Recapping 2010 with the Young's

2010 was a year full of adventure and blessing in the Young household.

Here's a short little recap of what this young family has been up to in the past year:

Kicked off 2010 in the TX panhandle, still on Mark's job assignment
Celebrated the marriage of dear friends, The Hoeffer's
Celebrated the birth of precious Jackson Hannon
Miss Bayley Rae graduated from obedience school
Spent Easter in San Diego with Karissa, Ryan, Nachelle & Sarah
Went Camping in Palo Duro Canyon
Bayley had a near death experience, and healed up great
Whitney cut off 14 inches of hair!
We celebrated our one year anniversary in Padre Island
Celebrated the marriage of Kevin & Jessie Young
Attended Texas the Musical with our small group
Said goodbye to a friend & neighbor, Ms. K
Inherited a little blessing from Ms. K; Skylar Kal
Went to Tablerock for the annual 4th of July trip with fam
Whitney packed up and moved back to Kansas City
Celebrated the marriage of Nathan & Nicole Potter
Whitney started back to UMKC for her last year!
Celebrated the marriage of Dustin & Kristin Smetona in Cali
Celebrated Whitney's 24th birthday
Found out we will be aunt & uncle to Baby Tischer next June
Whitney & mom took a trip to the Bahama's!
Mark taught Whitney to shoot a handgun
Whitney made one last trip to Texas
Whitney finished the last semester of her undergrad classes
Mark finished his assignment & moved back to KC!
We celebrated the end of long distance marriage!
Celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and brought in the New Year together as a family

We hope whether 2010 was full of struggles and heartache, joys and blessings or a mixture of it all, that you have found peace in the Savior through it all.

We have been incredibly blessed this past year and look forward to growing closer to the Lord and journeying through His plans for us in 2011.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

What I love about being a music teacher

1) Summer break
2) Thanksgiving break
3) Christmas break
4) Spring break
5) Easter break
6) of COURSE I love the music & kiddos ;)

...and last but definitely not least...

Yes folks, today is a snow day, WOO!!! 

There's something especially magical and exciting about the first snow day of the year, wouldn't you agree?  
No matter student or teacher, seeing the name of your school district flash across the bottom of the news screen in the morning sends little tingles of joy from your head to toes!

Okay, okay... I realize that maybe as a parent with a normal, non-teaching job, snow days may present a bit of a stressor... 
...but I'm a teacher and I LOVE THEM!  =D

So what does this snow day mean for me?
An entire day of quiet house 
(the regular 9 to 5ers still had to go to work, tee hee!) 
and I have all day to...

Play in blog world
Catch up on laundry/house cleaning/organizing (YES!!!)
Work ahead on lesson plans
Bathe & trim Sir Skylar
Do a bit of baking & cooking
Start my GAL T-shirt quilt
Possibly write a "101 in 1001" list, inspired by my friend Jenny

Yes folks, it's going to be a lovely day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday, I'm so glad you're here.

Good news, folks.
Today I was 100% successful in bathing, arriving on time and not making any children cry!
Ahhh... practice makes perfect.  ;)
I have officially survived my first full week of student teaching and it feels pretty great!

What doesn't feel so great is the headache digging away at my skull -- boo.  
So now I'm going to reward my hard work with a couple of pain killers and a nap before it's time to go pick up the father-in-law's trailer.

Did I say what we're doing tomorrow?

I'll tell you what we're not doing -- sleeping in. 
Yea, I know, right?
Though it is for a good reason which will save our Dave Ramsey budget a ton!

Tomorrow we'll be spending most of the morning/day loading and unloading some free landscaping rock from a friend who has decided they would like to remove theirs.
This will help us out so much when we start our landscaping plans this summer!
I'm just not looking forward to the lifting, loading and unloading part... though to be honest, hubby does most of the work; I only carry "Whitney sized" rocks.  =D

So here's to afternoon naps and early to bed!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today I...

Didn't shower.
Was late to school/guitar club.
Played G, C & D chords (taught by a 4th grader).
Made a child cry.
Helped another child stop crying.
Was hugged and hugged back.
Faced kindergarten again... successfully.
Saved a "squishy."
Tied a shoe.
Watched 1st grade go wild.
Fixed a pony tail.
Taught 2nd grade.
Made dinner.
Straightened the house.
Kissed my hubby.
Loved on puppies.
Spent time with a dear friend.
Scheduled dinner with family.
Wrote this post...

And tomorrow I'll probably do it all over again...
Hopefully save the parts about running late, not bathing and making children cry.  ;)

Oh, while straightening house, I pulled out several of my GAL T-shirts and have decided I would like to make a T-shirt quilt out of them.  I've never made one before and was hoping if anyone has any pointers on making T-shirt quilts, that you would please share!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just Call Me "Snack"

Day two.  Thirty-three remaining.

Today, I became the tasty afternoon snack to a class full of kindergarteners.

I've taught the kindergarteners before and it went GREAT!  Which was why I was fearless in taking them on first in my student teaching.

I'm not sure if today was just a bad day for the kids, for me, for both or if my other experiences were just a fluke... but
it. was. not. pretty.

I thought that starting off on a good note was supposed to last longer than just the first day!  LOL  


Oh well... tomorrow is a new day, right?  And I shall face the kindergarteners again... oh boy.

PS, I'm starting to feel old.
First of all, my little sister-in-law made a remark over Christmas break about a beloved music artist of mine being "too 80's for her."  Ouch.  
Also, I'm finding that on only the second day of student teaching, all I want is to delve into a good book on my way to bed right now.  Yes... right now... note the time stamp.  ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One Down, Thirty-Four to Go...

So today was my first in seven weeks of student teaching at my elementary placement.

It went well!

We're teaching the instrument families of the orchestra to the 3rd grade, so my cooperating teacher and myself decided it would be fun for me to bring in my violin to do some demonstrating.

Well I was able to do one better when I dug out my old 3/4 violin -- you know, one of those good ol' "rent to own" little guys from Meyer Music?  So I took them both to school, did some demo and while we rotated through singing/playing with percussion instruments, each student got a turn to play the violin! 

They seemed really excited, a few even came up to me at lunch and said, "Mrs. Young, thank you for teaching me to play the violin!"  It was very sweet.  =)

All in all, a successful first official day of student teaching at the elementary.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Look for a New Year!

Well... as our new look progressed I learned that apparently I'm in somewhat of an antique/vintage mood this evening... I hope the mood sticks for a while because it took just a bit of effort to edit everything to match!  

Alright folks, let me know what you think of my handy-work...

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Arriving home this evening from our fifth and final family Christmas celebration, Mark and I started unloading, unpacking and attempting to find places for our new gifts and trinkets.  Though we've already done some major sorting followed by some significant Goodwill trips this year with all of our moving about, we did of course find a few more things that we no longer needed as new Christmas items replace the old.  One of these "old" items, happened to be my pile of ShamWow's.

You have to understand... when we registered for wedding gifts, I was SOOO excited about the ShamWow's!!!  I wanted them bad, and some dear friends of ours bought them for us.  I was thrilled!!!

Of course, as many of those things go, once I got them home I didn't have much use for them... you know, waiting around for spills to happen.  So my first reaction when Mark finds the pile of ShamWow's is excitement, let's clean some messes!  Then I think about it and say, well... I really don't use them that often... I guess maybe we could give them away?

...Then I falter again...

So my hysterically logical hubby takes the stack inside, picks up the water pitcher and proceeds in pouring it all over our kitchen floor!!! 

I stand AGHAST. 

Then -- just like in the infomercial -- Mark takes a large ShamWow, lays it over the puddle, pats it on one side, flips it over, pats it on the other side and picks it up.  Of course the ShamWow is fairly filled with water as any towel would be but um... the floor is still preeetty soaked.

Needless to say, he won and the ShamWow's went to the Goodwill box.


I feel I may regret this... perhaps I'll buy a new box in the spring?

So... anyone else have experience with the famous ShamWow?  
Do share!  
I'd like to know if others have found them useful... then maybe I could convince Mark to rescue them from the Goodwill box...  ;)