Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Dinner

This is where we have our spectacular Thursday night dinners.
We moved to Texas in July 2010. And by "moved" I mean we were unwillingly uprooted from our super awesome life in San Diego where we had great friends, good decent jobs, and a teeny tiny overpriced morsel cozy little apartment. To put it bluntly, we were living the dream in SoCal, and CenTex (is San Antonio centralish in TX? **need to check my map) though certainly not a nightmare, was a wake-up call at best. More like an alarm clock that plays nothing but country music and humidity.  End random rant.
{I always wondered why my teachers affectionately referred to me as "wendy whiner" it's all very clear now :) }

When we got here we knew no one. Sure, Andrew had a couple acquaintances in his classes at UTSA, but as for me, I just had my puppy to keep me company. Don't get me wrong, I thought that was ideal at the time. Maddie is relatively low maintenance, she's super duper cute, and she loves ice cream almost as much as I do. We have a lot of shared interests, at least as far as sweets go. But mostly I was fine being a loner because our time in San Antonio is probably a temporary season in our lives and it was soooo hard to leave our amazing friends in San Diego that I stubbornly didn't want to make anymore friends here because that would make leaving Santonio that much harder when it's time to say goodbye. Thankfully, God had other plans. {I realize now that it was foolish of me to think that I didn't need friends, because they've become the best part of living here.}

Enter Craigslist.

Since I had zero friends, plenty of time on my hands, and an apartment to decorate, I took to old reliable CL for furniture options. I must say, S.A.'s Craigslist is the best thing ever. Probably has something to do with it being a military town where people have to peace out quickly and leave treasures behind. Who knows? Whatever the reason is, I find the best stuff every. single. time.
One particular August afternoon, I was on the hunt for an armchair to complete my living room and found one I thought would work so we checked it out. It was nice and comfy, but a little too big for our space so we had to pass on it.  However, that's the day we met Ryan and Carrie.

Enter San Antonio friends.
Ryan and Carrie... welcomed a baby girl in June :)

Ryan and Carrie are the sweetest things since rocky road ice cream :)  It helps that Carrie's got the southern bell mississippi accent, so everything she says sounds sweet!  After chit chatting for a bit about how we ended up in Texas, we discovered that we were both substitute teaching in the same school district. Small world!  Anyway, long story short we passed on the chair, but Carrie invited us to attend their Thursday night dinner weekly potluck with friends from church. That's when all that junk I said about not needing friends and not wanting to get too attached to life in San Antonio went right out the window.  I immediately understood what they mean by southern hospitality and was so excited to have these new friends!  So it didn't work out for us to go to Thursday dinners that fall semester because Andrew had evening class and I got hopelessly lost when venturing out on these silly loop freeways on my own. But we've been going since January and seeing our Texas friends every Thursday is the highlight of our week (plus all the yummy food helps too!) A huge thank you to M&M Johnson for opening their beautiful home to us every week, Williams, Ellisons, Ganos, Oneals, Carpenters, Dixons, and Townleys, we love you guys!!!

The best friends we could hope for
 the problem is we had to move to Texas to find them!

I told you I find the best stuff on Craigslist!!!
And now off to Thursday night dinner :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Something Adventurous

For our first edition of Something Adventurous in San Antonio, we asked our friends about something outdoorsy to do and they mentioned Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.  I immediately giggled and said "we have a Bass Outlet in Pismo Beach and it's not that impressive" which earned me a number of horrified glances. Apparently this place is like Disneyland for hunters and fisherman and unfortunately has very little to do with shoes. Not the kind I wear anyway :)  But this place is freakin' awesome nonetheless. Where else can you get your hunting license, a fishing boat, and some chocolate fudge?! Seriously!!!

This game was super fun. And no animals were harmed, just our egos.
Arriving at Outdoor World

I am totally inspired to redecorate my house with this woodsy antler motif.

On to the shootin' range

Let's just say it's a good thing we didn't apply for a hunting license!

"Save the Animals   (for hunting season)"

They even had a popcorn machine!!!

In conclusion, we LOVE Outdoor World... maybe next time we'll get our hunting license. That would really be something adventurous!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Caramel Apple Time

We're bringing in the Fall season with a long time favorite treat... caramel apples!!! Though it still doesn't feel like fall in Texas (reminds me of the joke about the devil ditching the lonestar state because it was too hot for him), but the heat was convenient because the caramel bits practically melted themselves cutting prep time in half.

Even Maddie agrees that caramel apples are the best part of fall.
She went so crazy over the caramel that I had to distract her with a new outfit.

Doesn't Mademoiselle look positively fetching in her gingham dress?
Unfortunately, she could care less about the dress
and is still hovering over the caramel apples.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, I'm in love

SO happy it's Friday!  Rebecca Black almost ruined it for me, but I've trained my mind to immediately hum THIS SONG by the Cure whenever I start to hear her obnoxious voice in my head.  Just so we're clear, that's Robert Smith: 1, Rebecca B: 0.
In order to properly celebrate this fabulous Friday, the end of my subbing job, and Andrew working so hard on his Fulbright application (more on that here), we are going out for a night on the town.  Actually, my sweet hubbs let me pick tonight's activities so we'll be spending quality time at Northstar Mall. And also probably La Cantera and Rim (also shopping malls.)  Don't feel too bad for hoagie bear, he gets to pick the restaurant for dinner and has a great big gift card for Williams Sonoma burning a hole in his pocket.
FYI: W S has the BEST cookbooks and cupcake decorating assortment.
I'm sure Andrew shares my afinity for cupcake kits.
Northstar Mall with it's iconic boots

La Cantera where I bump into all the wives of the spurs players

RIM with TJ Maxx Home Goods my fav!

I realize not everyone shares in my love of shopping, but let me make my case.  San Antonio is something like the 7th largest city in the US. {San Diego is 8th to put it in perspective, so I guess we're movin' on up!}  *clarification:  by largest city, I mean population wise... let's be honest though, the people are probably the largest too. But hey, what else is there to do but down gallons of ice cream when it's 100 degrees out everyday? Oh that was my case for eating ice cream round the clock. My case for shopping is this: Even though S.A. is ginormous, there really isn't that much to do but shop and eat around here. And when in Rome, or even Texas which is quite possibly the furthest thing from Rome, do as the Romans do. And the Romans like to shop. I've been to Caesar's Palace, I know what it's about.  Seriously though, I pride myself on being somewhat of a thrill seeker ~ I mean I white water rafted the Grand Canyon for crying out loud! (Highly recommend!) So without interfering with my strict shopping schedule, I think I'm going to set a new goal to do Something Adventurous in San Antonio each week. 

[This obviously will have to start tomorrow as I already have a shopping spree in the works for tonight.]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mrs. Bing's Last Day

I reminded the students that tomorrow is my last day as their teacher.
I pointed at Friday and said "read it and weep" and some of them nearly did!

Tomorrow is the last day of my long term subbing job teaching 8th grade algebra. Everything went great but I'm kind of relieved it's over. I'll miss the kids for sure, but I won't miss the algebraic equations and dang-fangled curriculum I've had to learn. It is actually quite ironic that all 4 of the long term teaching positions I’ve had have all been middle school math. It’s ironic because I was so terrible at algebra I took it 3 years in a row. Due to some mix up I was always placed in the advanced math class. {I might have cheated and copied the smart kid next to me’s answers on the placement test and gotten put in the advanced math class. Thanks a lot Shannon Fissori.  Just kidding, I only copied her social studies test answers HA!} Anyway, it really is true what they say about cheaters. They never prosper and bla bla bla, but more importantly, they will forever be stuck teaching the terrible math class they habitually flunked out of.
This is a picture of my 8th grade algebra teacher, Mr. Forenza. He was a nice guy, but sheesh, I wonder what he did that was so awful that he had to teach math for so many years! He must have cheated on his taxes.

Anyway, being surrounded by smelly pre-pubescent, yet adorably naïve middle schoolers has really made me reminisce about my time in junior high.

stephen, ?, kevin, anthony, lacey, sarah, chantell, carrie ? ? devan shannon me
The year was 1997 and yo-yos were all the rage. So was corduroy, at least apparently I thought so. Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, and Alanis Morissette played everyday on sly 96 fm. My friends and I would walk to the beach after school or dare each other to do really stupid stuff on the bus. Oh, our poor bus driver Delores. I’m pretty sure if she could see me now picking up trash and gum off my classroom floor she’d be thinking “paybacks are hell!“ Mrs. Meyers was so sweet and let us hang out in the band room bouncing off the walls. Literally… we had contests to see who could jump from the brass section to the bottom step. That game often didn’t end well. We had academic decathlons, 8th grade promotion, and trips to Camelot Park. We also had this really ridiculous dress code, that, looking back on my fashion choices, still would have been better than what I wore. It turns out that middle school is just this incredibly awkward and awesome time in your life that provides endless hours of entertainment and giggles when stumbling upon old photos. Too many memories!!!
ashley shannon and me at catherine's 13th bday party

steve doss and me 8th grade dance

ashley catherine me reesha jennifer 8th grade dance

rachel premer ashley jew alex gagliano me shannon fissori cori weatherby

I suppose it’s pretty cool to get to be part of these kids middle school experience afterall.
And now back to grading papers…

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Boxee Box

This little contraption, brought to our awareness by the awesome M Johnson, has completely revolutionized our lives! Or at least our cable bill and the way we watch tv and movies. :-)

I lovingly refer to it as the magic box because I have no idea how it works, but all of my favorite shows magically appear whenever I want to watch them. And bonus: no commercials! I am very aware of my technological inferiority, but after all my hating on sewing machines and modern garment construction in this post, I wanted to give a shout out to a perfectly practical device that is worth having.  Hmm, maybe my sewing room should be converted to a media room. ***Andrew cheering in background***

Friday, September 16, 2011

Suzie Homemaker Fail

Sewing Project
Sewing Project gone awry

In an effort for some semblance of organization,
I decided to tackle one of the piles of clothes
that has been laying on the floor
folded neatly in my closet all week.
**Thanks mama for cleaning my room :)** 
Impractically, I decided to start
with the alterations pile.
{BIG mistake!}
Hemming pants and raising straps is nothing new to a midget like myself, but I usually just complete these tasks the old fashioned way... needle and thread in hand [with bandaids close by] while watching Real Housewives of wherever and throwing the clothes in a pile folding my projects neatly when I get bored of it [usually by commercial time.] There is nothing intimidating about a needle and thread, and the thread color is easy to switch out.  FYI: Not so on a sewing machine.

But for some reason, I was feeling particularly domestic and thought it a good idea to break out my handy dandy (a little groovy with the floral motif) sewing machine.
It was all downhill from there.

Side note and random fact #1 : Every woman in my family is incredibly gifted when it comes to house-wife things like sewing and crafting and cooking and cleaning and all that other stuff I haven't yet mastered... See the wedding dress I'm wearing in the background picture? Yeah, Grama Charlene altered that from a size 10 to a 4 and brought the hemline up about 3 feet all in one afternoon. And I can't even tell you how many wedding dresses and cakes she made from scratch! She's I want to be just like her when I grow up, except for the birthing 10 kids thing, that's just insane!
One of my wedding dresses. Yeah, there were a couple. A girl's gotta have options!
Grama and Grampa with the first 5 kiddos ...
Grama is probably younger than me in this picture,
and she probably made all their swimsuits too :)
And my mom is an awesome seamstress as well. Check out the costumes she made for my little sisters!

This is one of the best pictures ever! We're convinced Missy is a narcoleptic!
Then there's me.
To say I'm not craft-capable is an understatement.
To call me "crafti-capped" is more accurate.
I once super-glued my fingers together while attempting to apply acrylic nails. Do you see where this is going?

Yes, my fingers were superglued together.
Not sure why the picture is sideways, but just goes to show
my lack of skills extends to computers as well.

Side note and random fact #2 : I LOVE clothes, I love playing dress up, and I love shopping. So when I transferred to Point Loma with a limited background in civil engineering and no direction, I was positively giddy to discover they had a fashion merchandising major and signed up for every. single. class.  And I got straight A's in all of them. All except for fundamentals of flat pattern making and garment construction. I got a B and that was very merciful on Dr. Murray's part! ----Let's just say I "cut corners" in class... substituting velcro in place of zippers, overly relying on my seam-ripper, using belts and ribbons to improve ease of fit instead of darts, and I did not press a single seam,
whatever that means!---- 

You'd think with all those mad seamstress skills I would have had an easy go at it. Wrong. Though I never forgot how to thread the needle and switch the thread in the bobbin in under a minute - I earned my A on that task!  I knew sewing night was over after that dumb machine broke not 1, but 2 needles, sufficiently tangled the thing-a-ma bobbin thread in the metal sharp thing that I couldn't screw back into the lower compartment, and when I pushed the pedal it made a clunky metal sound and poked holes in the hemline of my jeans.

I surrendered at that point.

But this whole mess is still sitting in my sewing room which by the way, is going to quickly be converted to an anti-sewing room and that machine is going back in the miserable box it came from. And rolled up jeans are going to be all the rage this season.
Says the girl with the 1/2 hemmed Hudsons and a needle and thread in pin cushion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Siebdawgs in San Antonio

So, my mom and dad came out to visit us last week and we were SOOOO happy to see them! Especially this girl :)
We all know they were just as happy to see the puppy as they were to see the humans
We did all the best things there are to do in Texas...
eat, shop and, well, eat some more.

Z Tejas - We ordered 4 of everything :)

- Mom and Dad at Natural Bridge Caverns -
see the cool natural bridge over their heads

Dad and Mom at Salt Lick BBQ in the Hill Country of Austin
basically George W.'s backyard :)

At the Capitol Building in Austin

Food Trucks on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.

Max Lucado at Oak Hills Church

LuLu's Bakery and Cafe. YUMMMMMMY

Sadly, we were unable to complete our cinnamon roll mission.
We only ate 3/4 of it. :(
Visiting our friends that make living in Texas so much more fabulous!


Riverboat tour

We toured the Alamo

Daddy and Andrew touring the grounds of the Alamo
 or whatever that place is called
Andrew and my dad are history buffs, so they much enjoyed sharing random facts about the history of this sacred ground. {The only tidbit I remembered was that Ozzy Osbourne drunkenly took a whiz on one of the walls at the Alamo and is no longer permitted to play concerts in the Lonestar state.} **PS, they don't tell you that in the tour guidebook**

Meanwhile, while the boys were chatting about history, me and my mom were busy doing our classic jumpshot photos.
jumping at the alamo

We jumped all over the place!
The Mall

The Capitol

At the other mall

In Austin

At our picnic
I don't remember when our love for jump photos started.
Reviewing the archives, I think it was here...
New Orleans, January 2004

No, Andrew would probably tell you it was here:
Jordan and Andrew at Hendricks' wedding in March 2007
Either way, we'll probably keep jump-photo-ing forever!

Mom and dad,

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for coming to visit us!  We miss you everyday and will always remember all the fun we had while you were here! (I've especially been remembering it every morning when I can't button my clothes because I ate waaaayyy too much!)
Throw on your terrific Texas Tees and come back and see us Y'all!!!