Thursday, January 28, 2010

Smart Cookies

My students are smart cookies. That's what I say at least 5 times each day.  Yesterday was no exception. This week's unit is "Neighborhoods" and we were talking about what kinds of places are in our neighborhood.  Here was one of the exchanges:
"Mrs. Aragon, we have factories in our neighborhood." 
Not being able to think of any factories close by, I asked for more information. 
"We saw one on the way to our field trip.  A factory.  A CLOUD factory!" 
"Really,"  I said.  "How did you know what kind of factory it was?"
"Mrs. Aragon," he said disappointing. "I knew it was a cloud factory because I could see the clouds coming out the top.  Its what they make there."

Cute, huh?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

For Better or For Worse

I've been married to the delectable TJ Aragon for some time now.  7 years, 2 months, and 2 days to be exact.  I have know my husband since before he could drive, when he still had a bowl cut, before he had chest hair, for heaven's sake.  He does have chest hair now, and I completely hate it.  Yuck-ola! And most days, we are kind, caring, and loving to one another.  We really like each other.  But sometimes, there are the "for worse" days.  Those days when, well, one of us isn't exactly at our best.  And you just have to love the other "for better or for worse."
I have been on a "for worse" stint for quite some time now.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you've seen the rumblings that occured over the weekend.  And last night, I was finished.  Finished, put a fork in me, done.  Families, friends, work,  but also frusturated because I couldn't pinpoint an exact thing that was making me feel that way to "fix." So I asked my fix-it man what to do.  I'm sure he thought it was one of those "does this make me look fat" trick questions, so he didn't divulge much information.
When we went to bed, I broke down.  Crying the "make your face ugly" cry.  I was so stressed and I knew that today TJ was going to be at work and I wouldn't get the chance to get it all out, get a hug and a kiss from him.  TJ tried to make me feel better by saying kind, inspirational kind of things.  Then he did it....  I was laying there waiting for him to say something wonderful and...... SNORE!  He was snoring!  Fell smack dab asleep in the middle of my breakdown.  How dare he?  I was astonished, shocked, and outraged, people!  So outraged I just rolled right over and went to sleep myself.  I thought about waking him up with a good ole fashioned kick hug, but I figure if he can love me through my "for worse" week, I'll cut him some slack.
Just don't make a habit out of it, sir.  Or you will pay dearly.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Guys, I'm laying it out on the line for you wonderful people.  Here's the real deal, for better or worse.  The only way it could get more real is if I gave you my weight.  And I will never, not ever, EVER say that number aloud to anyone. (Except Nellie.)

1. Invite someone over to the house, at least once a month. This may seem silly, but a huge step for me.
UPDATE: We had Emma over last week for pizza.  And she brought us cheese from her vacation.  And I love her for it. 

2. Start playing guitar again.
UPDATE: Nada.  Where does the time go?

3. Lose weight. I'm not saying how much, don't let your mind wander too much, though.
UPDATE: 4 pounds.  Not enough, but better than 1 or 2.

4. Start a blog.
UPDATE: Last week was slow, I was sick.

5. Get a camera that doesn't make me cuss everytime I pick it up. (Maybe stop cussing should be in here somewhere. Just kidding, I'm an angel.)
UPDATE:  Before I buy a new one, I thought about begging someone to give me a quick lesson on mine if they can figure it out.  I H.A.T.E. spending money.

6. Complete lesson plans weekly. Its really a necessity, really.
UPDATE: It's going.

7. Grow a garden. Ya know, veggies for the fam?
UPDATE: Starting with an herb garden.  Printed off some materials from the Cleveland County Extension about what grows best here.

8. Be consistent with getting my hair did. It makes me feel better, and dangit, I'm worth it.
UPDATE: Nada.  Hafta wait til payday.

9. More water, less Happy Hour DDP.
UPDATE: My ounce for ounce plan is going so great!  I've actually been gulping about 32 oz. right before bed time and plan to start doing it right when I get up too.  Once my drink is gone at work, I start on the water bottle.  I'm proud of myself, y'all.

10. Decorate our bedroom. Its supposed to be cozy and romantic, right? Right now there isn't a dang thing on the walls and its a downer. And we all know how I hate downers.
UPDATE: I have a few options in mind, but I lack the ability to decide.  (I see a future post in order.)

So there you have it, folks.  Resolution check.

Friday, January 15, 2010


My heart is so heavy.  Last night I was bawling watching the news about Haiti.  My heart is breaking for the Haitians.  They are already at their breaking point on a daily basis.  The poverty in that country is the worst in our hemisphere.  The orphans... there are so many.  My and TJ's desire is to someday adopt a little one from there so you can imagine how you would feel if every child whose parent died in the earthquake you feel could someday potentially be your own.  There will be so many orphans, and maybe worse so many little ones die because of the lack of help for their needs.  You may or may not know this, but we have family friends who have an adoption home in Port au Paix, Haiti.  Thankfully their adoption home and school were structurally unharmed since they weren't at the epicenter of the earthquake.  They are now trying to minister to the influx of refugees that are hungry/tired/injured and are leaving Port au Prince. 
If you haven't given to the aid effort, PLEASE DO!  If you are worried about it going to the right place, I was too.  You can go to Globe International ( and specify the Lashbrook Family Ministry and then the earthquake relief when prompted.  You can trust each penny will be used to minister to people's physical needs. 
And please, please pray for Keith and Cindy Lashbrook and the wonderful team at Lashbrook Family Ministries- Pastor Andy and his wife, Solange, the children at the children's homes who will see so much devastation.  They are going to need lifted up constantly as they pour themselves out to others.

Much love,

The Party's Over, People

(I've been sick.  All week.  Yuck. Posts haven't been on my short list of things to do.)

Wednesdays are hectic at our house.  TJ may be home, he may be at the station, I have faculty meeting after school and D-Group in the evening.  That all equals out to about 2 hours with Faith (and TJ if he's there) to cook dinner, give her kisses, and a bath.  D-Group is usually one of those things you love to go to, but getting there is just torture. 
My D-Group is 5 girls that I go to church with.  We get together, hash out issues, prayer for each other, etc.  I love it so much because I can ALWAYS expect the absolute truth from the ladies.  That goes for everyone at our housechurch too.  Its so refreshing because truth wasn't something that was necessarily abundant at the church we came from.  So last time we met we were talking about where we felt we were with Jesus.  Honestly, I've felt closer.  Being a youth pastor meant people were dependant on you doing your part, and honestly, it felt good to know people valued and trusted what you said.  Since early February 09 I have definitely lacked that discipline.  The thing is I always give myself this huge guilt trip.  I look at the wonderful people we go to church with and think if only I had the gift so and so has, if only, if only, blah blah blah.  So I laid it all on the line to my girlfriends.  One of the ladies spoke up about how she'd gone through that and how she trudged through.  I can't remember alot of what she said because God chimed right in.  He let me know that what I was doing was more of a pity party than a guilt trip.  And that the pity party really needed to stop.  God lovingly told me the reason those people were given those gifts wasn't because they got to a point where they acheived them.  It was because he freely gave them.  And that they weren't any more worthy that me.  No one is worthy.    Holy cow it was freeing!  It was one of those time when things you've learned and know take on meaning to you.  God meant them for you at that time. 
So guys, I just wanna put this out there.  God loves you.  He wants to give you so much.  And don't worry that you don't deserve it- take the gift. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Resolution #5- The Dreaded Camera

When I use my camera I feel like Kate Gosselin back in the day.  Remember before things got crazy and she had that weird camera she hated?  If you don't remember, well, I just don't know how we can be friends.  No matter what you say, I'll always love that show.  So there.
The sole problem with getting another camera is that I CHOSE the camera I have no now.  I begged for that camera, and the lens I got with it.  Granted  I knew, and know, NOTHING about cameras and it was just the best one in my price range that went with the camera dock I have.  It may be an okay camera- I know little about the settings it has although I've had it for three or four years.  All I DO know is by the time it takes the dern picture Faith is long gone.  And it irks me, people, it irks me good.  And I don't have time to be irked.  I'm a busy lady, you know.
I don't have a jillionty dollars to spend on a camera.  If I did I'd go to photography school and beg HolliB* to hire me as a servant girl, but I would save for one if I knew I wouldn't have to buy another one for a long while.  Any suggestions?
*  She's marvelous.  She's talented.  She's marvelous and talented.  Look her up...  you'll love her.  If you don't, I'll give you a jillionty dollars.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So I married an axe murderer, I mean, angel!

Wednesday is TJ's birthday!  He'll be at the firestation, but I'm going to take him brownies because I love him.  And because apparently its embarassing when your wife brings something for your birthday and I want to embarass him oh so badly.  I really do like him.  I just have a funny way of showing it. 
If you're around anyone in TJ's family for more than 5 minutes you'll hear someone say "TJ's just special."  Honestly, somedays TJ's sister and I just look at each other and roll our eyes and then somedays I think Yep, and he's all mine, sucka!  Let me be mushy for a second and tell you this super-sweet story about why "TJ's just special." 
My little nephew had spent the night with us Dec. 23 and was spending all of Christmas Eve with us until his moma got off work.  We spent the entire day making cookies for Santa and watching Christmas movies.  As the afternoon approached and we realized that my sister wouldn't be able to pick him up because of the crazy weather, we started to panic.  After we talked to her and she said no one was coming to relieve her from work we really started to panic.   How would he get home for Christmas?  No presents.  No stocking.  Honestly, I was freaking out a little.  TJ and I both knew that TJ was going to have to drive him home.  In a blizzard.  On Christmas Eve.  So we prayed together, packed up the truck with blankets and my nephew's cookies for Santa and sent them on their way.  I had resolved just to pray the entire time until TJ got back.  Faith was playing in the floor and I honestly was just praying outloud that God would keep TJ and my nephew safe.  Then God gave me this picture of his love and care over us.  God showed me TJ's truck and two hands on either side of it.  The truck would slip and slide a little, but the hands would always keep it steady.  I was immediately comforted.  So comforted that I felt like God was just like "Amanda, you watch Faith and I'll watch TJ."  Just like that I was relieved and went on about the evening. 
TJ got my nephew to the store my sister's boyfriend manages to find an elderly man we used to go to church with stranded.  The man had gotten off of work at 10 o'clock that morning from Wal-Mart and still wasn't home at 6pm that night.  A 20 minute trip that turned into 8 hours!  He asked TJ to take him home.  TJ said he thought, I got here on a prayer anyway, why wouldn't I? and loaded up the man in the truck with his groceries.   When TJ got about a quarter mile from the man's house he couldn't go any further in the truck.  So he walked the man to his front door carrying his groceries.  In snow up past TJ's knees.  When he got to the family's house the wife opened the door and starting praising God for bringing him home on Christmas Eve safely.  She had had no idea where he had been.  She, without knowing it was him, grabbed TJ's face and just started kissing him all over the face.  She stopped long enough to pull off his hood and hat TJ told her who it was and and then just started crying and praising God more for "sending an angel" to bring her husband home safely.
I know my husband's not really an angel, but I am so thankful he listens so intently to God.  On Dec. 23rd we bought new tires for the truck.  It was absolutely unplanned.  We talked about it for about 5 minutes and were on our way there.  Usually that would NEVER happen in the Aragon house.  We contemplate, mull over, do the math, and argue for weeks before we do anything.  Now we know that was God preparing TJ for that dangerous drive.  (God's provision is so good and kind.)  TJ didn't think twice when I asked him to risk life and limb so my nephew could be home for Christmas.  And when he had already gone the extra mile, he went another when a sweet, sweet man needed a ride home.
Guys, I love him.  He's good stuff.  And he's all mine, sucka!
Happy Birthday! I love you 8!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the Real World

Going back to work was hard.  Really hard.  Can't sleep hard.  In tears hard.  Harder that going back after maternity leave hard.  Of course, I still like my job, its just that I REALLY love this little girl that throws food over her high chair and tries to kiss the dog.  Now she, she's really something else.  So I drug my butt out of bed this morning and high-tailed it to school.  And it wasn't that bad, it was actually good;  but it also wasn't the little girl that lives with me. 
#3- I joined "The Biggest Loser" today at work.  And ya know what, by looking at the weight chart, I am almost the actual biggest loser.  Sucks.
#4- Blog is going well. 
#6- The lesson plans are in the works- I created a new template today during plan time that I think will be better.
#9- It would just be so much easier if Diet Dr. Pepper wasn't so dang heavenly.  I love the stuff.  So for now, I've decided to work on the more water part.  For every oz. of DDP I drink, I have to drink that much water.  It must be working because last night TJ threw a toy at my stomach and it sounded like it hit a water balloon.  Don't judge me.
#10- The bedroom debacle- we're working on it.  I just refuse to buy almost anything full price.  I like to save money- I'm just crazy like that.  We'll see what the future holds. 

In other news, the little one is officially a walker.  She still crawls, but is walking ALOT.  Also, we brought O'Ryan back to our house after an extended stay with TJ's parents.  We didn't have a fence when we moved in (we still don't by the way) but we wanted him back so badly.  The little one loves him.  She tries to kiss him and hug him just about every time she can catch.   Luckily he's a pretty quick mini schnauzer so the two don't actually meet that often. 

Eventually I'm going to talk TJ into posting pictures... he's gotta bend at some point!

Happy Dday~ Amanda

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year of Firsts, Again

Last year was a year of firsts in the Aragon house. We had a baby, left a church we thought we'd love forever, found a new church we love for completely different reasons, and bought a house, just name a few. I'd also like to toot my own horn and say I breastfed a baby last year, which is still unbelievable to me. Too crazy.
This year, I'm starting off with another first- making resolutions. I've NEVER made a single resolution- never, ever, ever! I just feel compelled to this year. Honestly, I think part of it has to do with alot of retrospection I'd done and seeing flaws in myself I'd like to change. And since this is the first time I've made resolutions, I'm gonna make tons of them. That way, at least when 2011 rolls around there will be at least one that I've been successful at. Here they go, y'all, in no particular order:

1. Invite someone over to the house, at least once a month. This may seem silly, but a huge step for me.
2. Start playing guitar again.
3. Lose weight. I'm not saying how much, don't let your mind wander too much, though.
4. Start a blog.
5. Get a camera that doesn't make me cuss everytime I pick it up. (Maybe stop cussing should be in here somewhere. Just kidding, I'm an angel.)
6. Complete lesson plans weekly. Its really a necessity, really.
7. Grow a garden. Ya know, veggies for the fam?
8. Be consistent with getting my hair did. It makes me feel better, and dangit, I'm worth it.
9. More water, less Happy Hour DDP.
10. Decorate our bedroom. Its supposed to be cozy and romantic, right? Right now there isn't a dang thing on the walls and its a downer. And we all know how I hate downers.

So there you have it. My 10 for 2010. I'm well on my way, you know. Look at #4. Looks like I'm a success already.