2012 in Review

I've been surfing the blogosphere and enjoying seeing everyone reflect on 2012, through their favore blogs post, favorite outfits, favorite events, or favorite pictures. I decided to go ahead and compile my own review of 2012 as well!

January. I  went skydiving for the big "3-0!" I was my first time and you know I had to get pictures to prove it. 16 of my friends joined me!

February. I actually turned 30. My hubby and I went to the prom. LOL. Our church hosted a prom remix as a couples event for Valentine's Day!
March. I finally bought an iPad! Me and this thing are connected at the hip.

April. After being named a 2012 Intel School of Distinction finalist for achievements in mathematics, some superintendents in the DFW area decided to visit our classrooms and experience the "flipped classroom."

May. I was on the news! Last school year, my friend Trista found the concept of a "flipped classroom." We ran with the idea. Our kids enjoyed it and they were succeeding.  Educators visited our classrooms to see "the flip" in action.

I also interviewed for a position as a Math Master Teacher and accepted it the same day. That's why I was all dressed up on the news. I definitely don't put that much effort into my look when going to work.

May was a busy month! I also went on a couples retreat with three other couples. We rented a house in Granbury, TX for Memorial Day Weekend. It was a great time of learning and encouragement. Looking forward to our 2013 trip to San Antonio! (Thanks or the great collage you put together, Angela! All off my pictures were from the scavenger hunt.)

June. Went to Chicago with Trista for the National Flipped Classroom Conference. (Side Note: For some reason, I have no pictures of myself and Trista together. We need to fix that.) I also celebrated 10 years as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. by getting together with some of my line sisters for a weekend trip to San Antonio. 

July. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I would say it was the craziest roller coaster of emotions and testing of my faith. My mom has been in high spirits though and only has two more chemo treatments. I also completed my favorite Pinterest project thus far. I was home visiting my parents and told my dad I needed a saw to cut some pencils and he breaks out a big 'ole band saw! We made these pencil monograms for all the math teachers on my team. My dad thinks we should go into business making them!

August. I started volunteering with AWANA at my church. I had taken a break from ministry at church and finally found a place that I love. It's so encouraging to work with the kids as they learn God's Word!

September. I can't find anything in my calendar or pictures from September. I was probably working too hard at my new job to do anything else.

October. I got to go to Virginia for a Differentiated Instruction Symposium held by Dr. Carol Tomlinson. While there, we got to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. I'm no history buff, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

November. Two years loc'd...I began my locs back in November of 2010 and haven't looked back. I wish I had of started locking my hair earlier. I also started blogging again! You can read about my past blogging experiences here!

December. We celebrated my hubby's birthday in style! You can read about it here! And, I got to spend much needed time with my family for the holidays!

I would say that 2012 was a good year! I'm looking forward to what God has in store for 2013!

{Recipe} Bacon-Cheddar Crescent Pinwheels

I talk to my parents pretty regularly. My dad has been raving about the newest recipe he discovered. So, of course, while I was home for the holidays, I insisted that he make them.

1 Crescent Seamless Dough Sheet
Ranch Dressing (we used half a ranch packet with sour cream)
Crumbled Bacon
Chopped Green Onions
Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese

1. Roll Crescent Roll Dough out on a sheet of wax paper. (If using Crescent Dinner Rolls, firmly press perforations to seal)

2. Spread a layer of ranch dressing over dough, followed by a layer of crumbled bacon, a layer of chopped green onions, and finally a layer of cheese.
3. Roll the sheet of dough into a log. Pinch the ends together. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. Remove from refrigerator and slice across log to make pinwheels about 3/8 inch wide.
5. Place pinwheels on cookie sheet covered with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
I definitely plan to put this recipe in rotation in my own home! They were delicious! Enjoy!

Independence Bowl

I have to say that I definitely did not check the weather before planning my trip home to Shreveport and was not prepared for the weather. The outfit I threw together is below, inspired by Audrey of Putting Me Together and her love for the lace tee. I wish I had my skinny leopard belt to add to this outfit!
Cardigan: Target (here | last worn here)
Lace Shirt: Banana Republic Outlet (last worn here | similar here)
Skinnies: New York & Co. (old)
Marc Fisher Boots: Macy's (here)
Necklace: Sam Moon

Side Note: I looked for a similar necklace to include in the post and I just found out that Sam Moon has a website and you can order online! I think that may have just changed my life! Woot! Woot!

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled was cold today! So cold that we had to bundle up. So, although you got to see my outfit, no one at the game did. My line sister, Felicia and I got to enjoy some college spirit and cold weather. It started misting in the third quarter and our team was losing miserably, so we left early. But, here are a few pics from while we were there!
Our team didn't play near as well as they have all season, but we had a good time. I especially enjoyed Ohio University's half time show. They played Gangnam Style by Psy. If you haven't heard of the South Korean Youtube mega sensation Psy, click here. If you have, enjoy this clip of Ohio University's rendition!

Wasn't that an awesome performance?!
By the way, I don't think I mentioned that I finished 2nd place  in my fantasy football league! Pow!
I can't believe it's only Friday!Enjoy your weekend!    

Linking up with Two Thirty-Five Designs.

Time to Change this Number...

Wow! I can't believe I just posted my weight (and my feet) for all to see. It's not that number so much that bothers me, though; it's this one (or should I say these)...
And again, I guess it's still really not the number, but the fact that as I continue to shop and buy clothes, I'm starting to get to the point where the highest of these numbers will not do anymore. I'm at the point where I can't comfortably wear clothes that are in my closet anymore.

I've usually maintained around 145 - 150, without much effort. Over the pass three years, that number has slowly increased. I was okay as long as I could fit my clothes though. I  guess I've been doing too much of this...
Other than the clothes, there's this one other husband and I are considering kids in the near future. (Did I just write that? Woah!) Anyway, I think the average woman gains about 30 pounds during pregnancy. I would much rather add that 30 to a lower weight than the weight I'm at right now. I also imagine that if I get in a healthy habit now, it will be easier to lose the weight after pregnancy.

So, what am I going to do about it is the question...

1. Set a goal! My goal is to lose at least 5 pounds each month for the next five months. That's 25 pounds total by the end of the school year...Done!
2. Accountability...Done! I just posted my weight for the world to see. I hope to continue to update my blog with my progress...maybe join a weekly blog hop. Another measure of accountability will be the DietBet that my co-workers have decided to join. You can read more about DietBet here. My co-wrkers and I plan to start our first DietBet on January 8th. Click this link if you'd like to join us! The more who join, the bigger the pot! (Angie, I hope you're ready! No more excuses!) I also joined a Dietbet with Desirae over a Going with the Flow since I found about Dietbet from following her blog.

3. Work Hard! I'll have to work hard to eat healthier and to exercise more. I don't think I'll be joining any fancy diet programs or exercise regimens. Actually, I need to cancel my membership to Weight Watchers while I'm thinking about it. I know what works for me:
  • In the past, I've followed Michael Thurmond's Six Week Body Makeover. It worked for me and both my parents. The results were amazing. There wasn't anything new or amazingly different...just healthy, small meals throughout the day, cooking without salt, and drinking plenty of water (The picture above was a result of this eating plan.)
  • I already have a gym membership (which has hardly been used in the past six months). Recently I ran across Les Mills Pump on I remember doing this as a class at Gold's Gym for years. I used to love it and saw great results. The gym I'm currently a member of does not offer the class, so I'm considering buying it for my toning and sticking to doing my cardio at the gym. This low weight, high repetition toning workout, paired with cardio has worked for me in the past. I don't know for sure that I'll invest in this, but I do know that I need to do toning as well as cardio to get results.
So, instead of looking for some silver bullet or diet pill, I think I'll just stick to what I know has worked for me in the past. I hope blogging about it will help keep me accountable and constantly remind me of my weight loss goals.

Linking up:
               Let Them Eat Cake

I Love CHRISTmas!

I love the holidays...I love giving gifts...I love reflecting on the gift God has given me in Jesus Christ...and I love spending time with family!
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  ~ Luke 2:11
I have not been in the mood for Christmas carols this year for some reason...but I absolutely love this song this season!

Christmas was just time spent with family for us. My mom was set on getting some family photos. Unfortunately, the weather was lots and lots of rain in Shreveport, so we didn't get to go outside as planned. Here was our attempt at indoor picture and using the timer on the camera.

After the eating and gift giving was done, my hubby had to head back to Dallas in order to work today. My brother and his family had one more stop, so I hung out with them for the rest of the evening.

I love these times together...makes me want to move back home...but I'm sure Willie wouldn't be hearing that discussion!


All I Want for Christmas

The hubby and I decided to forgo Christmas gifts this year. Instead, we invested in the photography business and bought gifts for a family in our neighborhood who has fallen on hard times. So, no one asked what I wanted for Christmas, but if they had, here is what I would have told them:
All I Want for Christmas

1. Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer Sunglasses / My co-worker, Kim has a pair of these and let me try them out this summer. I was instantly in love with the functionality and compact design of the sunglasses.
2. Michael Kors Watch, Women's Chronograph Madison Tortoise Acetate and Rose Gold Tone Bracelet / I've been eyeing a tortoise watch and a rose gold watch. This is a perfect combination of the two!
3. Les Mills Pump / I think I'm ready to commit to shaping up (post about that coming soon). I used to attend a BodyPump class at Gold's Gym and now Beachbody has the program on DVDs.
4. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Autofocus Lens / This is the lens my husband feels like would be perfect for my style of photography.
5. Dillard's Gift Card / My mom started the tradition of us shopping at Dillard's on New Year's Day! If you haven't checked out this sale, you should definitely indulge yourself!
6. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2 8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras / This lens would probably be more fo the hubby. He rents it very often for family photo sessions I i would love for him to have on of his own.
7. Dyson DC41 Animal Vacuum / Finally, the Dyson...we need a new that will get all Maci's dog hair off the floor, but will also be usuable on hardwood floors when we're ready to make that investment.

Games & Gag Gifts

Friday night, I got to spend some time with some co-workers from my previous school. I was introduced to game called Wits and Wagers. It's a trivia game where all the answers are numbers. Each team submits and answer and all answers are placed in order from greatest to least. You then get to bet on the answer you think is closest to being correct without going over. You don't necessarily have to be good at trivia to win!

Now, imagine that game being played by a bunch of math teachers. We had a blast! Willie and I usually bring our favorite party game, Pit, but Wits and Wagers may need to be added to the rotation.

Game time was followed by a white elephant gift exchange. There were a combination of great gifts and gag gifts. By far the best gag gift I've ever seen was the live lobster...yes, you read right. One of our friends put I live lobster in a gift box, taped it up, and placed it under the Christmas tree. When Ashley opened the box, she immediately dropped it. Roger was waiting in the wings to steal the lobster from Ashley. I wonder if they're having lobster for dinner tonight?!
We all had a great time and I just had to share with you my new favorite board game and the absolute best gag gift I've ever seen at a white elephant gift exchange!

Fisher of Men

"And Jesus said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men'." ~ Matthew 4:19 (NASB)

The Story: In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, I have found myself wondering if the victims are saved. Will they be spending eternity with God? I often meet people (at Target, the grocery store, the gas station, etc.) and struck up a conversation with no problem, but for some reason, I am reluctant to transition to proclaiming the Gospel or asking if they're saved or have a church home. I feel God telling me to ask, but I end the conversation without following what God is telling me to do.

The Application: In the beginning of the Book of Mark, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, and then after John’s incarceration, believers follow Jesus as they had once followed John the Baptist. “As He [Jesus] was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ Immediately, they left their nets and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:18-20).

The Reflection: God has given us skills and gifts to do anything we please that aligns with His plan. Simon and Andrew were skilled fishermen, but when they chose to follow Jesus, they became “fishers of men,” rather than fishers of fish. One of our purposes as Christians is to be the feet and hands of Jesus Christ, evangelizing to the lost. This was the primary purpose that Jesus called the apostles, and this remains the main mission of followers of Christ. What gifts, skills, and talents has God given you that can be used to grow His Kingdom? Are you following Jesus, and using those gifts to grow His Kingdom?

The Prayer: God, help me to follow you and be a bold professor of the Gospel in order to grow Your Kingdom. Thank you for leading someone to “fish for me,” and allow me to be a “fisher of men” for Your Kingdom. Amen.

Linking up:

The Diet Bet

Kim:  Have you heard of it?

You:  No.

Kim:  Well, let me share!

For those of you who aren't able to watch the video, it's basically 'social dieting.' A group of people join a bet...putting money in a pot. Players then have 4 weeks to lose 4% of their weight. Everyone who meets their goal splits the pot! How cool? This may be the answer to the upcoming absence of Fantasy Football and my 'need' to lose weight.

I stumbled across this site when reading Desirae @ Going with the Flow's blog. She has started a Diet Bet group and the pot is currently at $80...only a $10 buy-in. I am seriously considering joining or starting my own DietBet group. What are your thoughts? Do you want to join? Here's the link for Desirae's New Year New You Diet Bet, which begins Jan 2nd.

What a Weekend?!

My weekend began with work....yuck! But, it actually wasn't that bad. We had Saturday School, which is completely voluntary. Students can get some proactive tutoring lessons to prepare for their semester exams. We had 156 students turn out! That's about 1/4 of our school. I was so encouraged by their willingness to come to school when it wasn't mandatory.

I spent the afternoon shopping for baby shower gifts and Christmas gifts for my team of teachers at work!

The result was a cart filled with all of this...

Read more about the Christmas gifts I made here. I am very happy with the end result!
I then proceeded to my friend Jill's baby shower! Jill and I taught together and have continued to keep in touch, even though I've moved on to a different school.

Our whole gang was there! Even, our girl Shayna, who recently moved back home to Lubbock to be with family!
We call our little book club "50 Shades of Cray!" We didn't read the book you're thinking of'd have to ask Thanh for a story behind the name. Anyway, it was so cool celebrating the parents-to-be and to get our whole gang together!

Sunday started out with a great church service, followed by celebrating my hubby's birthday! He was totally caught off guard when I told him his ride had arrived...when he looked out side, he was greeted by a limo! And, when the door was opened for him, some of his closest friends were already inside!

Read more about his birthday experience here.

With all the men out spending time together, I got so spend some much-needed time with my dear friend, Angela! We didn't take any pictures, but we did do a little shopping! Can't wait to share some of the steals I found...including a skirt from the LOFT on final sale for $4.88! Woot! Woot! Or in Angela's words, POW!

And to top it all off...I won my fantasy football game this week! I'll be playing in the championship game next week! Woot! Woot! That means I'm guaranteed to end the season at least in second place! I'm super excited!

Hope you guys had a great weekend! I'm so excited that there's only one more week before winter break! So excited to visit my family soon!

Linking up:
Covered in Grace     stillbeingmolly