Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Two posts in two days - how did you get so lucky?

In fifth grade, my kids learn about author purpose and how to shape their writing based on their target audience. Jay, for example, writes his blog for an exclusively odd group of people who understand and appreciate his ramblings. (Which only includes me a small portion of the time).

I've always felt the purpose of my blog was shaped around informing my family and friends the happenings of my life. I think of it as a way to connect with many people without telling the same story over and over again. Those happenings don't change based on who my readers are, however, the examples I use and the stories I tell might differ based on who I know I'm connecting with.

I got an email today from my husband that said, "(Nameless coworker of his) thought your blog about me was hilarious!" (Surprise, surprise - Jay thinks something about himself is funny!)

"Oh really?" I responded, "I didn't know he read my blog."

This is not the first time in recent history this has happened to me. Over Christmas break, I got together with a group of old friends, many of whom, unbeknownst to me, read my blog! I didn't even know they knew my blog existed!!!

Does my family even read my blog? My mom does, but I only know that because she's told me so on the phone. Anyone else? Who knows. What about my friends? Apparently more do than I realized.

On one hand, I would be naive to think that no one is reading this. We live in an age where information on our friends and family is so easily accessible. I've got my blog address posted on my Facebook page, Jay has it linked to his blog, etc. So naturally, I assume people will run into it and occasionally read it.

On the other hand, I think it would be kind of nice to know who those people are! I admittedly really enjoy reading the comments people leave after they've read a post. It's always great to get feedback on anything you do - positive or negative - and sometimes it sparks ideas for future posts.

So readers and writers out there in blogworld - I want your opinion. Even if you've never left a comment on a blog before - it's not scary, take a chance and leave a message!

I SO don't know if this will work...BUT for my curiosity's sake...

Do you like to know who reads your blog or do you enjoy the mystery of the "public" domain?

Do you leave comments on the blogs you frequent or are you an illusive reader of rants?

And finally, if you are only a reader - do you know how to leave a comment even if you don't have a blogger profile? <- That's actually a trick question, because if you respond, you obviously know how. Hee hee hee.

That's all for now peeps. Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Progress Reports

It's report card time! And it comes but thrice a year. I get overly stressed out about how each student in my class is performing or not performing, and put way too many hours into my job.

I've filled all the cards with M's, P's, and N's (Meets Expectations, Progressing, Needs Improvement). I've started to write the paragraph-long comments sections that have to but can't possibly sum up all we've accomplished in 60 days. So I feel I've gotten a good jump on things.

Currently, however, I'm procrastinating. I seem to work better under pressure, and since they're not due until Thursday, I've yet to feel pressure.

Sooooo...I decided to take the behavior/work habits section of our report card and fill it out for my dearest husband. The reason? He told me to not procrastinate and get my work done early for once. Nah, I think I'll write a blog instead.

The Report Card for:
Jay Vernum Michael Schmitz

Displays Trustworthiness - M - I can always trust that when given the choice, Jay would choose to eat a taco.

Follows Directions - M - If given a detailed list, yes.

Uses Time Effectively - M - Jay is an amazing multitasker. He can listen to a movie, write a blog, read a book, burn music, and watch an episode of something all at the same time.

Respects Others - P - Jay respects your opinion, unless he disagrees with it. Then he'll respectfully listen, then tear your argument to shreds with made up facts and all-around falsehoods.

Cooperates With Others - M - Jay and Dottie get along quite well. He cooperates when she wakes him (and only him) up in the middle of the night to pretend like she has to go outside. He even cooperates when she then steals his spot on the bed and hogs the covers. What a trooper.

Follows Rules - P - I have a very strict "don't hit the driver" rule while Jay is in the car with his brother. Although Dallas does many things that admitedly one would want to pummel him for... Jay has a very difficult time abiding by it - he needs to practice more self-control.

Demonstrates Fairness - N - I don't think Jay demonstrates fairness when he made the rule that we have to listen to his music and go by his temperature when we are in his car. We always drive his car, I'm cold, and I'm tired of Led Zeppelin.

Demonstrates Organizational Skills - M - Jay is WAY more organized than I am. Everything is alphabetized, excel spreadsheeted, and sorted. My slobbyness drives him nuts.

Resolves Conflicts Effictively - P - Jay is a peacemaker and doesn't like to fight. His strategy for resolving conflict however, often involves him forcing me to hug him until I "feel better about it".

Works for Quality and Accuracy - N - I'm pretty sure Jay's job title has something to do with "Quality in Packaging". How can you have accuracy and quality when you literally know nothing about packaging? Did you secretly study cardboard in college?

Accepts Responsibility - P - Once when we were watching TV, Jay accidentally farted and blamed the dog.

Good job on your report card, Jay! You are doing quite well this trimester. I love you lots and thanks for letting me pick on you. Although I have no previous marriage experience to compare it to, I think you're my favorite husband of 6 months I've ever had! You make me one happy girl! : )

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dottie and I are cuddling inside today because school was canceled!! Yippee!

And guess what? We're going to leave the shoveling up to Jay when he gets home from work.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


My purpose for this post is twofold. The title, however, is appropriate on both accounts.

#1 - Overall, my enthusiasm for winter weather has EXPIRED. Today the windchill was -21, and anyone who is reading this in Iowa knows this isn't the first time we've seen it this year. The kiddos can't go outside for recess and they are all cooped up and stir-crazy indoors. All whining aside, Dottie and I shoveled another few inches of snow today after work and had a little fun despite the frigid temperatures. We play our shoveling game, and Dottie thinks it's about as much fun as she's ever had.
Our game works very simply:
- Kelsey scoops up snow in the shovel
- Dottie sneaks up on the shovel and sniffs it
- Kelsey and Dottie exchange sneaky glances
- Kelsey throws the snow up in the air
- Dottie runs away from the "scary" snow
-Repeat : )
I'm doing my best to stay active and think positively during his FREEZING weather!! : ) Think warm thoughts!

# 2 - Yesterday, Jay cleaned out our cupboards and refrigerator and gave me a lesson on expiration dates. In the six months we've been married he's never really done a dig-through of the cupboards in my err...our house. And, well, turns out we had some expired products in them. For anyone who has seen my 8 ft. by 8 ft. kitchen, you now must be wondering how many expired food products could I possibly acquire in such a teeny space?This much. (Darned photographer caught me not looking)

This chore worked very simply as well:
- Jay digs in cupboard and pulls out food product
- Kelsey says, "That's ___!! That doesn't expire! That's still good!"
- Kelsey and Jay exchange mischievous glances
- Jay announces expiration date
- Jay throws the product in garbage sack
- Kelsey groans and goes into a giggle fit, "That was fine, I swear!"
-Repeat : )

This chore went on for nearly a half an hour until we had rid ourselves of all expired products, laughed until we cried, and realized my high hopes of being a master in the kitchen are nowhere in my future.

Who knew things like Crisco, rice, vegetable oil, chocolate chips, marshmallows, jello, salad toppers, taco shells, nuts, and even karo syrup expires? Okay, probably most people, but not me.

The oldest food item? Those "autumn" sprinkles right there in my hand. Expiration date? September 2006. Yep, those babies have been with me since college.

Here's the deal though, I have been EATING THIS FOOD. Eating it pretty consistently and NOT getting ill or dying. Yah, yah, Jay made me throw away all my expired food, but I think it's a bunch of mumbo jumbo. This exercise has literally taught me nothing. If anything, I now think that this is all a conspiracy created by the grocery stores to get you to buy more products before you actually need them. Also, I'm pretty positive that sprinkles don't expire, EVER. But whatever. Have it your way. Lol.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to School

Well, it's been a great Christmas break filled with lots of relaxation, time with friends and family, and some good food, too.

I'm looking forward to an eventful 2009 and I guess it's time to go back to these goofballs tomorrow.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thanks for the rolling pin!

When Jay and I got married, like any normal couple, we registered for many kitchen-related items. I think we both hoped that if I started cooking with my new pots and pans, we'd discover that with a little E-V-O-O, a spoonula of this, and a dash of that, I'd be the next Rachel Ray. Yummo! Meals in under 30 minutes. So far, the only delicious food that has come to our house in under 30 minutes is take-out.

I've alluded to my lack of kitchen experience in previous blogs. I've not yet picked up on the art of cooking or baking that by all accounts I should have inherited by my super-talented mom. I may be partial to her cooking - but I swear she's never made a bad meal. I made my first attempt at a not-Stouffer's lasagna the day after Christmas for my parents and my in-laws. It was actually really fun to make and the end result was edible. Maybe I'll try more cooking in the future.

Today, however, I used one of my new kitchen utensils for the first time. I'm not sure this was the purpose the gift-giver (who I'm pretty sure was my grandma) had in mind when they gifted this to me. But seriously, what a great tool! : )

Thanks Grandma! :) It's getting plenty of use.

We finally decided to do something with our DISGUSTING back steps. They have been driving me nuts practically since I moved into my house. Here is a sneak peak at the progress. I'll post official befores-and-afters when the project is finished.

This is the landing - we usually have a rug on it to hide the hideousness of it.

Unfortunately, the reason I am posting a blog right now and not working on my project is that Miss Slippery fingers had a little run-in with the utility knife while cutting a tile.

Here I am in pain and angry that I am not going to be able to finish this project today.

A gruesome shot of my thumb. No, that's not ketchup on the paper towel.

(Sidenote: If anyone was super observant, you would notice that when I was working with my rolling pin earlier, my left thumb was protected by a safety glove. Rolling pins can be rather dangerous, you know. That means that this genius took the glove off and then picked up a razor blade and cut.her.thumb.apart.)

Where's Jay? Playing video games and taking my picture. Love ya hubby. ; )