Sunday, December 14, 2008

Habitat for Gingermanity

My dad has warned me about the dangers of buying a pre-fabricated house. He said that quality is sacrificed for convenience in the construction of the home.

Back up, you know the kinds I'm talking about, right? Those are the ones where all of the pieces get shipped to you from some magical house factory in some mystical land where only homes are made. After you receive a few simple shipments, POOF your home is built in weeks! How idyllic.

Not really. Tonight I partook in a project Jay happily dubbed "Habitat for Gingermanity." In just a few short hours I built a home with my own two hands out of prefabricated materials for a gingerbread family in need. I'm not kidding you, it was something that could have qualified for Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Here's how it all went down:

Step 1: Since I have only home-constructing ability and no cookie-constructing ability, lay out store-bought gingerbread making materials.

Step 2: Every home begins with a good foundation. This one looked pretty solid.

Step 3: Put together the walls. Yes, they were leaning.

Step 4: Prepare the framing of the house for roof. See any potential problems coming my way?

Step 5: Oh, crap.

(face blurred to protect a look too embarrassing for the internet)

Let's try Step 5 again: Reinforce the frame of the house with a LOT more frosting. Secure roof. Nothing could knock this baby down.

Step 6: Beautification. (The designer looks a little worried...)

Step 7: "MOVE THAT BUS!!!" Look how thrilled the happy couple is to see their new home!

Step 8: An up-close look at the design of this one-of-a-kind home.

The front door...first impressions are everything.

Unique architecture on the roof. (Trying to make the Schrages proud)

Quality landscaping.

Leaves you with a smile. :)

Meet the people who made this all possible:

And their little dog, too.

Wow, what an exhausting, but gratifying couple of hours. For any of you out there looking for a good cause to support this holiday season, consider Habitat for Gingermanity. It will change your life.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Cheer!

We got a package in the mail today!!! I LOVE getting things in the mail that aren't bills, junk mail, or fliers to buy things that I don't want to buy or vote for. So you might guess that the holiday season totally excites me.

I have a love-hate relationship with the mail. Because, the fact of the matter is, most of the time the only things that come in the mail are bills, junk, or fliers for things I don't want to buy or vote for.

But today, when I got home from a super long day at school, a cardboard parcel of holiday heaven was waiting for me!!

Anyways, inside the package was this fabulous Christmas decoration from my aunt Mindy. The little tree inside rotates and plays music. The picture doesn't do it justice, it has some really neat details.

Thanks so much, Mindy! It's beautiful, and it's proudly displayed in our living room. I'll think of you every year when I use it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Traditions

I'm not usually one for getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I'm all for enjoying one holiday before preparing for the next. But the calendar this year is a busy one, and I found myself in the Christmas spirit a little earlier than usual!
(Don't you love our stockings? They were a shower gift from my mom. The matching tree skirt has our name on it, too. I think they are super cool.)

This week, Jay and I will celebrating our first holiday (other than the one we were married on) as a married couple. We've been fortunate in the past to have agreed to go our separate ways with each of our families and that's been okay with both of us. This Thanksgiving has been the first time we've had to decide what to do and where to go. I have to admit, it's kind of stressful. We'll do Thanksgiving with my parents on Thursday, and his family on Saturday. Double turkey for us - yay!

Other than doing our best to maintain old traditions, we've decided to start creating a few new ones of our own. One of my favorites so far, includes our Christmas tree. The past couple of years we have each picked out a new ornament to add to the tree. It started more out of necessity than sentiment, but has developed into a meaningful part of our tree decorating. I decided we'll add the date somewhere on the ornament so in future years we can remember our choices.

This year, I chose this fish:
He reminded me of the awesomely gorgeous fish we saw snorkeling in Aruba. Snorkeling has by far been my favorite thing I've done this year. (Other than getting married - hee hee...)

And Jay picked out this John Deere tractor:
His reason had something to do with the fact that he now works for John Deere and our lives would have been different if he didn't. He said I wouldn't have married him if he still worked at Target. He liked the irony that he bought a John Deere ornament at Target.

So a night of many blessings at our household for all the little elves and Santa's little helper dogs. We had some good food, good family time, and continued some good traditions.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Gobble, gobble!

(Seems odd to say in a Christmas themed blog, but that's my own fault for decorating too early.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


(I posted this yesterday, and then it disappeared....)

I attempted to go to work today. When I arrived, I put on my best "I can do this" face and walked in the building to face the day. The first person I ran into in the hallway asked me if I was feeling alright and I burst into tears.

Who was I kidding? I felt like crap.

So I shuffled together my sub plans and called it a day.

I've been sick since the moment I woke up Sunday morning. I have not been able to eat or drink anything besides delicious Hi-C juiceboxes and water.

Sidebar: Why are 90 calories of Orange Lavaburst goodness so satisfying when I'm sick?

So anyways, on my way out the door a friend of mine said, "Try to feel better, Death-Warmed-Over". Did I really look that bad? I had to find out, so I took this picture when I got home.

Apparently, yes. Yes, I did.

Oh, sick days.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Confessions of a Non-Cash Counter

First confession of the night: I must admit, I've never been one to watch my checkbook too closely. I've always been given a hard time about this from many people, claiming that my father probably has lost countless hours of sleep at night worrying that I haven't calculated my expenses and income to the nearest cent.

I've never overdrawn an account. I don't have loans or car payments. I own only 2 credit cards. I've never even had an outstanding debt to my name, unless you count my home mortgage. (Which I see as an investment, not as a debt.) I feel like I've done a pretty good job for myself. Because of these reasons, I could justify my oblivion. Life without a budget keeps me worry free, I am happier not knowing how much I have or don't have. I'm a teacher, how good could it really be?

This philosophy didn't fly for the ole' hubby. After 4 months of marriage he had had enough. Tonight we....(cue dramatic music) duh, duh duh....created a budget.

Second confession of the night: I totally liked it. Who knew that creating a budget could be so fun? Certainly not I! I know that finances can be an area of tension for a lot of married couples. I know that somewhere out there, there is a statistic about all the fights it causes between husbands and wives, yadda yadda. But after tonight, my optimist self can't help but think we won't be one of those couples!

I can honestly say that after 24 years of being on a non-budget, my one hour of being on a budget seems more enjoyable already. I feel secure that if I have an emergency or major expense, I know exactly where that money will come from. It thrills me to think we're establishing savings for things we enjoy like vacations and houses and computers.

So I'm thinking that my dad knew all along that all he could do was lead by example, teach me what he knew, and hope I caught on. I think he knew that eventually I'd catch on to the whole "budget" business and realize it was a good thing. I think he also knew me well enough that I needed to do it for myself, or it wouldn't mean a thing. You smarty pants, you.

So whether my sheer excitement over a budget makes me a total geek or not, I really don't care. Dad, you can rest easy tonight, I've finally seen the wisdom of your ways.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Bumblebee!

Dottie loves Halloween!!

Last year she was the hit of our costume party when she showed up as a dinosaur with a caveman on her back. She coordinated perfectly with our Fred and Wilma costumes.

She also helped me last year pass out candy to all of the trick-or-treaters. As wimpy as she is about most things, she was surprisingly not scared by the hundreds of children dressed in scary costumes.

Because of my conferences this week and my trip to Houston, we didn't know if she would dress up this year or not. But after a trip to the clearance rack at Target tonight, we decided she had better bust out another adorable costume. So she'll help Jay pass out candy tomorrow night while I'm at conferences.

Yes, many people think it's crazy that I will dress my dog. But seriously, you've gotta admit she's pretty cute - right?

Happy Halloween everyone!!
P.S. Friday I'll be flying to Houston to visit Barb. This is a picture I took outside of school for her because leaves don't turn pretty fall colors there. Can't wait, Boobra!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I'm happy to say I'm finally finished with my report cards! Woo hoo!!!

(I'm doing a little celebration dance...)

I've been spending most of my time the past couple of weeks knee-deep in papers, preparing for upcoming conferences. It's amazing to me that our district believes that giving us 4 hours some afternoon for "prep time" will truly prepare us for this event! (Oh well, that's how it goes.) Although it's a stressful part of my job, I enjoy taking the time to reflect on the progress the kids have made thus far. It's amazing how far they can come in a few short months.

Next week brings some long days and nights, but I'm really looking forward to meeting with their parents. Sometimes 20 minutes with a students parents can create some huge "aha" moments. The apple doesn't usually fall too far from the tree!

Monday, October 20, 2008


So...I haven't posted much lately. I think about blogging, I really do, but then I get stuck on what to write. I have ideas to post about, and I can't pick one. I always feel like my blog needs more of a purpose.

For example, I have this friend who has this super amazing blog. (No Jay, I'm not talking about you.) Even though she is fairly new to the blogging world, she seems to have completely mastered the art of it. She posts these stunning pictures, and tells cute stories about the everyday happenings of her life. Her photography, is, in a word: fabulous. I check her blog every day in hopes she has posted something! I'm so jealous.

I realized my blog needs more of a purpose, some direction. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2 Dozen 10 year olds

A couple of weeks ago, my class participated in a school-wide walk-a-thon fundraiser. Each grade level was represented by a color (ours was yellow) and to promote sun safety, everyone wore hats. The kids walked for a half an hour and afterward I got a few goofy class shots.

As you can see, these kids were not enjoying themselves, at all.

Are they thinking about passing their basic math facts? No. Upcoming ITBS testing? No. They are just having fun and being silly.

Some of my favorite moments as a teacher come when I get opportunities to take a small step or two outside of the classroom and appreciate my students in their true form.

I hope I never lose sight of the simple fact that the moment we stop having fun together is the moment I stop reaching them as learners.

I also hope I never get too old to find joy in traipsing around a track on a sunny day wearing a yellow t-shirt and a funny hat with a group of 10 year-olds.

PS - This blog is dedicated to Vicelroy Fizzlebottom, who wholeheartedly believes I have more interesting things to write about than my husband! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Great American Movie Sale

My husband is a movie fanatic. Anyone who has met him or seen "the man room" knows this to be true. His movie taste is not limited to a specific genre, actors/actresses, or even a certain era. Jay's movie collection varies from the AFI top 100 list, to old westerns, to Glitter. (Yes, the one with Mariah Carey). He has enough movies that he on more than one occasion created a rental "system" for friends to borrow his DVDs. Yes, it's a sickness.

About a year ago, Jay proclaimed one night that he decided he should sell the movie collection. But as anyone who knows Jay also knows, he often makes bold statements that he will not follow through on.

...Until this week. Jay has decided to sell the collection, for the most part, in it's entirety.

"So what?" you say. "He's got a few movies."

18 blu-ray, 134 TV show sets, and 548 regular movies for sale to be exact. (This doesn't include the lucky few he decided to keep.) "A lot" doesn't quite do it justice.

But that's not the point of this blog. The purpose for my post is that when Jay came to this decision and shared it with his friends, family, and coworkers they all blamed me! Here are just a few examples of the comments I've heard:

What did Kelsey do to convince you to sell your movies?

Just because you're married doesn't mean you have to sell your soul.

You love her more than your movies?

Is she threatening divorce?


I love my husband. I love him with or without all 700+ of his movies. Do you think that we dated for 8 years and I didn't know what I was getting myself into? Give me a little credit!

So maybe he has a little obsessiveness for movies... Big deal. I would never ask him to get rid of that. It's a part of the package - a bonus feature. (Jay just cringed at my lame joke)

Maybe when we said "In sickness and health" they didn't quite mean the kind of sickness where one acquires many many movies, but I think if you look closely, it was heavily implied.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

“If One’s good, Two’s Better”

So far I'm not very good at this blogging thing. I haven't felt there has been anything all that eventful enough for me to write about in blog form. Until Monday.

My grandma has always lived by the philosophy,"If one's good, two's better." Jay and I got the crazy inkling that we'd like to test this theory with...dogs.

Yes, most think we are absolutely insane. Others find it perfectly logical. I have to admit I think there are more votes in the first category at this point.

Winnie, a 7 week old cocker spaniel, wandered into our lives Monday night. Okay, it really wasn't that fateful...

I have had the puppy itch lately. Usually my itch can be scratched by simply making a trip to Teske's (the local pet store) or the humane society. Well, after 2 consecutive weekends dragging Jay around the humane society/pet store circuit (5 locations in all), I still wasn't feeling satisfied.

I went to the online QC Times classified ads and saw the cutest face I've seen...since Dottie.

A few phone calls later and a trip to Andalusia, IL (who knows where that is anyway?) and Jay and I are driving home with a puppy in tow.

Yes, we might be crazy, but who could resist this face?

Monday, September 1, 2008

The First Post

“Why, Schmeebs, are you here to bother me today? Why do you deserve a little slice of public internet domain in which to share your freedom of speech on a regular or not so regular basis? And why would anyone choose to read it? Please state your purpose.”

So… I’ve got this husband. (Hmm, that doesn’t quite explain it.)

I’ve got this husband who has a blog. (And?)

I’ve got this husband who has a blog and takes any random event in our life (or thought in his head) and fictionalizes, dramatizes, or hyperbolizes it to the point where someone else might be interested in hearing about it. (Getting there...)

Here enlies my problem, oh great Wizard of Blogz: While the general public would agree that this husband’s blog borders on interesting, who’s to know what’s real and what’s not? Who can tell which tales are fact and which are fiction?

Someone needs to set the record straight. This wasn’t a problem before. This guy was just a boyfriend and then just a fiancĂ©. I could claim him when I wanted to and pretend he wasn’t mine when he did something ridiculous. But now, he’s my husband and I’m legally bound to him “until death do us part.” I can’t allow him to drag my name through the fictional mud any longer.

So there you have it, my blog’s about bringing the truth to my readers. This will not be the best blog ever. It’s a way for me keep in contact with a handful of family and friends who are bored enough to read something I write or look at a picture I post. It’s about telling the world there is some good Schmitz out there. They need to know that not all of us have shiny foreheads.

“Permission granted, and Godspeed, newlywed.”

Today marks the first day of my journey into the wonderful world of blogz.