Sunday, January 22, 2012


So, I've been doing the insanity workout for 3 weeks and 2 days now.  It is aptly named, for sure! 

Here are the results that I've seen in these few short weeks:

Vertical Jump
Before: could barely jump 3 inches off the ground
Now: 11 inches

1.5 mile run
Before: could barely run for more than 2 minutes straight
Now: I can run the entire 6 laps without stopping in 14:33

Before: couldn't do 1 with good form
Now: can do 10 consecutively with perfect form

Before: not great :)
Now: i've dropped 7 lbs

What's the moral of my story??

Insanity is a GREAT workout! 

The downside?

My body aches...a lot!  Currently, my ankles and knees are hurting, but I keep telling myself that old saying: "No pain. No gain."

Icy-Hot'ing my ankles,

the craft rookie

Friday, January 20, 2012

star staff board...

Last week, it became my turn to participate in the "Star Staff - Get to know you" board at work.
This was my contribution:

 lot's of things going on in that photo.

if you want to be able to put text on a photo like that, go to  BUT, you've got to go fast. I just got an e-mail from them yesterday that said they are going to be shutting down in april of this year.

get those pictures done fast!

i miss the summer,

the craft rookie

Monday, January 16, 2012

what teachers do on "teacher work days"

While the name of the day implies that teachers actually get work done, that is actually not 100% accurate.  We, as Teachers, would LOVE the ability to come in on a day without the students (during the week...definitely not the weekend) and plan lessons, grade papers, reorganize our classrooms, respond to e-mails, meet with our co-teachers, meet with parents, etc, etc.  

However, most districts do not allow this to happen - they require teachers to sit through so many hours of workshops and trainings every year.  Today, our very own "teacher work day" was spent learning how to teach writing and reading strategies to our students.

Now, if I were a Writing or Reading Teacher, I could definitely see the value in this.  BUT, I teach Math. Math only.  Nothing but Arithmetic.

So, I spent the day finding ways to entertain myself while still listening to the workshop.  I learned how I can incorporate Writing into my Math lessons - by having students write a dialogue between the operations of Multiplication and Division where they argue/bicker about which operation is most important and why.  That why word is the kicker.  Kids have a hard time explaining why.  Generally, they say, "Well.  Because you said so!" 

That makes me wonder about how we speak to children as adults.  Is "Because I said so" really the only answer we give?  Or, does it just seem like it to them?

Anyway, back to the point.  This is how I spent the afternoon:

I made little index card mouths :)  I'm mostly proud of this one. 

Who says teachers can't act like their students every once in a while??

happy "teacher work day,"

the craft rookie

Friday, January 13, 2012

babies and friday the 13th

i officially know 2 ladies who had their babies today and another who MIGHT have hers by the end of the night.


the craft rookie

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

i'd like to share a funny video with y'all...

It's called "Children's Book" by Home Star Runner...

This is my humor.

Being "fangoriously devoured by a gelatinous monster." Freaking BRILLIANT!

Some people need to go get a glass of lemon-water.  The craft rookie needs to go get a glass of lemon-water.


the craft rookie

Sunday, January 8, 2012

i finally got my wreath hung up!

I found the perfect place to hang my wreath!

Outside my bedroom door, of course!

Ignore Rudolph. He likes the warmth in Texas and didn't want to make a trip back to the North Pole just yet.

I took 3 naps today,

the craft rookie

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the many looks of berkely the cat, and interpretations of her dreams.

Oh, that cat.

That cat named Berkely.

Berkely, the kitty-cat.

Let's meet her, shall we?

This is what Berkely looks like when she is lounging on my new blanket that I got for Christmas.

She loves this blanket. Do you see that little smile?

 This is not the same picture as above.  This is just rapid fire photography.  You never know when a kitty-cat is going to move and do something adorable.  All you moms out there know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.  Don't even pretend like you don't.

 When she curls up like this, I wonder what she dreams about...

Here she is trying to get into a tighter tuck...

 The pike position, which she was in initially, gave way to this little number.  I imagine that in her dreams, she is an Olympic diver - pike, somersault, somersault, somersault, dive! No splash! Then, be sure to look beautiful and graceful under water for the cameras.

 A close-up.  Turns out, if you get closer, you still cannot read their minds. Dang.

After her somersault phase, she resorted to this.  She must be exhausted from all that spinning, protecting her face from the flash of the camera bulbs! Or...back in reality, she just doesn't like the light hitting her eyes when she sleeps.  I knew I liked this cat for a reason. A female after my own heart.

Another rapid-fire photo.  Again, I'll cite the moms out there as my reference for why these photos are important.

On a completely different day, this is her under the covers. She lounged like that with her arm extended out all the way.  I had a bunch more of the photos from that day where she was just lookin' ridiculous!  

In this photo, I imagine that she thinks she is an Army soldier, crawling through the trenches in war!

Oh, what an active imagine she's got...

the craft rookie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

organize my life...

So, for as long as I can remember, I have been an organizer.  When my mom used to take me to the grocery store with her, I would sit in the cart and arrange all of the items she picked up off the shelf by type of food and shape of the container.  I was 6.

For people who have met me lately, my "organized" mindset has not necessarily come across.  With being a teacher and managing my life outside of work, I have allowed myself to get MAJORLY disorganized - to a point where I was embarrassed to allow even my roommate to see my personal space in our house.

So, I went for a MAJOR overhaul of my bedroom, office, and bathroom; and, lucky enough for you, I took photos of the before and after!

Are you ready for this journey?

I promise to not get too personal... :)


This was the room that I started with, mainly because it was the lesser of 2 evils, and because I found some ideas for how to organize on Pinterest.

Here are some BEFORE shots of the chaos:

BEFORE: The top of the linen closet.
BEFORE: The bottom of the linen closet.
BEFORE: The cabinet where I used to keep my medicine.

BEFORE: Under the sink storage (left side).
BEFORE: Under the sink storage (middle cabinet).
BEFORE: Under the sink storage (right side).
BEFORE: Under the sink storage.
I decided that I desperately needed a neat way to organize all this stuff, so I went to Wal Mart and found these cute canvas containers for $1.97 each.

IN PROGRESS: Linen closet

IN PROGRESS: Linen closet.
IN PROGRESS: Old medicine cabinet.
AFTER: Under the sink storage.
AFTER: Under the sink storage (left side).
AFTER: Under the sink storage (middle cabinet).

Monday, January 2, 2012

casinooo, baby...

okay, so, those who know me know that i'm not a big fan of drinking.  i'll have a beer or two and then i'm done for a while.  sooooo, because of that, i asked my friends if we could not do the traditional "crazy" new years eve celebration and opt for something just as fun, but with less alcohol around us.

the solution?? go to the casino, of course!

so, on nye, destre, matt, destre's mom, Sandy, and I drove up from my house to durant, oklahoma where the choctaw casino and resort is.  we stopped for dinner at chili's just past the border and then made our way up to the large color-changing building :)

this was my first time at the casino, so i needed to be educated on how to play things.  because i don't trust myself at a table, and i get bored easily when things aren't moving quickly, i stuck to the slot machines, specifically the 1 cent machines where the max bet is $1 (big money, big money!).

i did pretty well for myself - at the end of the night, i came out in the plus by $20. all in all, i'm happy with the results.  i might also be considering a repeat trip when it's less busy!

the best part? just before midnight, this is what happened:

I won $16.65 off of one spin!  So awesome!  At that point, I had won $58.04 (after putting in $80) basically, I was down about $20).  I kept playing, and finally got in the plus. Those machines were lucky for me!  When I go back, I'm planting my behind in front of them.

This is us at midnight.  I asked if we could take a different photo because my arms looked awkward in this one.  That's Destre, me, and Matt (left to right).

Here's the one Destre snapped.

Meet Destre's mom, Sandy!  She's a blast to have around!

i've already spent my $20,

the craft rookie

ride alongs

okay, so remember when i told you guys that i was going to be doing a police ride-along a few weeks ago?  well, i did!

so far, i've done 2 of them, and i have another one scheduled for january 14th.  i'm in love!

Bryan Ride-Along
 This is the only photo I have from my ride-along in Bryan.  We were going lights and sirens to a call, and I got this cool shot of the side mirror with the lights reflecting off of it.  The officer I was riding with, a friend of mine from college, was going 90 down the road.  So exhilerating!

Arlington Ride-Along

The Officer I was riding with was driving down the street on patrol, and we saw this little gem.  I asked if we could pull over so I could get a photo. Yeah, that dude did not have a good end to the night :)

Here are a few more photos and different angles from the interesting driving talents of a less than aware person!


that explains it all.

who wouldn't want a job that allows you to see stuff like that?!

feeling driven (no pun intended),

the craft rookie

newest of new years :)

so, i know that our culture's interpretation of the Mayan calendar supposedly says that the world is going to end this year; HOWEVER, I'm gonna believe the true scholars who say that December 21st of this year just marks the beginning of a new calendar.

okay, now that i've addressed the "end of the world" consipiracy, i feel as though i can move on :)

i'm gonna go back to christmas day.  ahhh, 2011. it's nice to reminisce about you.

i know that i already showed y'all my gift to my niece, Eden, but i wanted to share some other fun photos from the day.

here we go, charlie.

Eden: "welcome to Christmas at g-paw and g-gran's house" (I imagine that this is what she is thinking when she saw me come in...I think she's got majoooor intelligent thoughts going on in that 5 month old brain of hers!)

A family photo - Jamison (the cuuuute 6 year old), Jon (my bro), and Melissa (my sis-in-law).  Jamison has a candy cane that i gave him in his hand.  OBVIOUSLY the sugar has already kicked in!  He's moving faster than the camera can keep up with :)

Alright...then, we opened some gifts.  I only got pictures of silly Jamison opening a few presents!

That's Jamison opening my gifts to him.  Aunt Sarah got him an I Spy book and a 3-D Transformers I Spy book. I also got him more sugar.  Haha, Jon and Melissa - you are WELCOME :)

My sister, Kristina, and her husband, Travis, gave Jamison the best gift by far! They got him a beginner's guitar! He LOVED that thing - wouldn't stop strumming away at it. When dinner was called, he came up to Melissa (his mom) and said "My fingers hurt from playing that guitar." Gotta get those calluses, J! :)

So cute!

 This photo really isn't all that important.  It's just how I wrapped my gift to my dad [obviously :)].  Notice the black wrapping paper.  Can you tell that I'm not terribly festive?  Do I own Christmas wrapping paper, you ask? Nope! Not a single bit! And I like it that way.

Then, we ate.

And eat we did.

I should have worn my Thanksgiving pants - name that reference :)

I'll spare you photos of the food.  It will make your mouth water because my Gran made it, and she is at all things food!
Okay, so after the meal, I got to play with that little niece of mine.  This mainly consisted of me laying on a blanket with her and setting my phone up to take photos...

Exhibits A through F:

That's her cute little baby foot. She likes to curl her big toe forward like that.

She was bored? WHAT?! WHAT?!? Nah, that's just a cute little baby yawn :)

2 things about this photo.  
1) The bunny ears. I'm ridiculously mature.
2) There are 4 generations of women in my family in this photo. How cool is that?!?

I'm a big fan of that Nat Geo TV Show Alaska State Troopers.  Here's my Moose ears, in reverence to the fact that I haven't seen a new episode in a few weeks.  I'm Jones-ing!

Jackrabbit ears :) How are they different than bunny ears? You decide! Oh, that's also a Mimi sneakin' a kiss from a jackrabbit.  Silly, Mimi - that's not a baby!

And here I am picking her nose. Or, at least faking it. :)

The last really incredible thing that my grandparents shared with me on Christmas day is just how talented my cousin, Grace, is!

This is the card she sent them for the Holiday season:
 What I learned about this card? She drew it. She imagined it.  She created it! That's her puppy in the front window there!  How impressive is that??
With the card, she also sent this painting.  She painted that! She thought that scene up and put it on canvas!  So beautiful!  That swing there is her sentimental addition - it is the swing that sits in the backyard of my grandparents house overlooking the river. My grandfather didn't even need to tell me about the swing.  I saw it and knew!

And here's my cousin - little miss Grace; who isn't so little anymore!
I still remember when my Aunt and Uncle brought her home and she was just a teeny-tiny little baby in diapers who laughed when you squeezed her toosh!
Did I mention that she's 12?

I'm sure she's happy that I've mentioned her days in diapers. 

bye bye 2011,

the craft rookie