Thursday, December 19, 2013

tis the season to give

I can be so ridiculous. When I get inspired to make something, I can't stop. And usually one craft project turns into another. And another.

So yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby, my favorite store. Looking for a Christmas gift for me? Ahem... maybe a gift card? haha!
Anyway, I digress.

I was wandering around, trying to figure out what to make for my little class of 13 students for Christmas.

Toward the beginning of the school year I realized I needed some pencil cups at school, so I took two soup cans and made these.

And the kids LOVED them. We want one!!, they all begged. Okay, maybe in all my free time, I'll make some for our classroom that you can use to hold your pencils.

I began collecting cans.

And then I walked into HL and the wheels began a' turnin'. And before I knew it, these "free" gifts had turned into not-so-free and quite-time-consuming little cups! At least the cans were free!

So here they are:

The boys have mustaches and the girls have a little crown charm and their big fat bows.

Here's what I bought to make them:

I just took off the can label, cut paper to fit (about 4x8 inches) , glued one end down with Tacky Glue and then wrapped it. On the other end I cut tape to fit the height of the can and reinforced it that way, so the end wouldn't be sticking out and possibly get caught on something and rip.

Then I tied a ribbon around the can and slipped on the mustache or charm and made a bow.

I used three different types of crown charms because they didn't have 7 of any one kind. One type had to be attached like this:

Then they were ready to add the fuzzy red and green pencils I found at Michaels. Voila!

I love how they turned out and the kids did, too. :)
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

my inner grinch


It's my favorite time of year. But this year, I've been a little "ba humbug." Maybe it's that I felt like the season snuck up on me. Maybe it's that I'm tired of all my decor. Maybe I'm just tired of pulling it all out, just to put it all back up in 3 weeks.

I did all I could do this year, with about half my regular decorations. I normally have 5 trees. Don't make fun. I love a good tree. Silver, white, regular old green. They each serve a specific purpose and I love them all. But this year all I could muster was the big tree and the kids trees. I let them decorate their own.

I'm going to show you some of my favorite things to stare at three weeks a year.

These sweet angels. They remind me of my childhood. And they hold taper candles in their heads.

My mantle changes every year, depending on my mood. This was the quickest and easiest mantle I could pull off this year without opening another box from the attic. It's not amazing, but I don't care. Ba humbug.

And then there's this little ditty I picked up over at jane(dot)com. Have you been there? Oh you MUST. Fun deals abound. I'm only slightly embarrassed to say that I frequent this site daily. Because you have to.

And anyway, then my attitude toward Christmas started changing. I wandered into a local store we have called Two Hip Chicks and found these:

Dar.Ling. snowflakes. A pair! And I hung them in my living room windows. Then a little feeling of Christmas began to bubble up inside me.

And the snow started falling. And I grabbed the Braum's eggnog and the Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and headed for my favorite chair by the fire.

Of course I sprinkled in a little nutmeg.

And now it's official. Bring on the Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Route 66. In the books.

Man, I suck at blogging! I leave you hanging on a regular basis. I'm sorry. All one of you out there. You should post at the bottom so I know who you are that's reading this. Ha!

OK, I'm sort of deceiving you. I can see how many people look at my blog and what countries they are looking from. I will admit to being curious at who is reading my lowly old blog in Russia and China. Do they even speak English? I mean YOU. Do you speak English or are you here for all the crappy pictures of me in all my sweaty running glory? Oh well, either way, I'm glad you've dropped by.

So here's how my last race went down.

Me, PRE-FROZEN, SWEATY, STINKY self, secretly hoping I won't die or go to the hospital the next day.

Tulsa, Oklahoma. November 24, 2013. The forecasters are predicting a winter storm. Ice! Snow! Stay at home! And for Pete's sake, don't be out running! So what did this girl do? I put my big girl panties on, laced up my shoes, and hit the freezing road, hoping I wouldn't get stuck in Tulsa for 2 days sitting in a hotel room.

The morning of the race, I wore 2 pairs of pants, a long sleeve dri fit shirt, short sleeve dri fit, and a dri fit hoodie. I had on an ear band and a warm hat. I wore a scarf. And of course, my shoes (one pair of socks. btw.).

Here we are: me, Shawn, and Terri getting ready to freeze our butts off. We have no idea how cold it will turn out to be. I call it Blissfully Ignorant.

We lined up in our corrals and that's when it hit me. I HAVE TO PEE!! So I did what I had to do. I jumped out of the moving chaos and ran for a porta potty. THANK YOU JESUS that I did. On a side note: ironically, I didn't pee again until 2 pm that day. Can you say dehydrated?

Then I hit the open road. I paced myself pretty well in the beginning, which says something for me. I usually begin at a 10:15 pace and peter out until I cross the finish line. But I stayed closer to 10:45 and was happy with that. The race was hilly, but nothing compared to that 10 mile training run I had recently done.

Have I mentioned how cold it was when the race began? Around 28 degrees. Holy crap is right. It was insanely cold, but I actually warmed up pretty easily within about 2 miles. I shed the cute leopard scarf about 2.5 miles in and was even removing my gloves sporadically because of how warm I was.

But then something happened. We got onto Riverside and started passing runners coming from the other way. Uh-oh. How far ahead of me are they?! When suddenly, we duck into a neighborhood. This "quick neighborhood jaunt" took us 2 miles off the path and back onto Riverside, facing the opposite direction. OK, now I'm at mile 9. But something happened. The temperature dropped significantly as I made my way back onto Riverside. Like now we're at 18 degrees? And then my legs began to freeze up.

I started feeling pains in my legs, feet, back, and anywhere else pain can be found. My left thigh started cramping. And let me tell you, that's a special kind of pain. So from there on out, I created a new mantra: FINISH. I don't care if I cross that line on my hands and knees. I WILL FINISH.

This is the 100 yard or so stretch where we ACTUALLY run on Route 66. Don't blink. You'll miss it.

That's about how I felt by the time I got my medal. Beat up, worn out, frozen, and cramped. I couldn't even run downhill by the end. I was only able to run on flat surfaces.

And that, my dear reader, is when the real cold began. It was obviously located in my extremities at that point, as it had been since practically the beginning. But when I began shivering from the inside out, I knew this was bad. And the two bus rides to take me to my hotel were not helpful in the warming matter. I was thanking God for my friend Terri because I was huddled next to her on that bus, snuggling up for some warmth. Literally. You've gotta love a friend you can snuggle up to when you stink.

So that's it! I went. I saw. I laced up. I conquered. And I've got the wrongly dated medal to prove it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

reflections from a wannabe Kenyan

As I near my race date (6 days, people), I find myself pondering.

Why do I run? Am I crazy?

And I find that the answer is... Kind of. I'm only half crazy for now. And yet, I'm still hitting the pavement 4 days a week.

A year ago, I was done. I had hit the wall. I was literally burned out on running. And here I sit, a year later, fully excited for my coming race. I'm nervous, excited, and panicked. Can I really run 13 miles?! Of course I can. I've done it before. I'm fully trained. I can do this. But each time, I wonder at my own ability.

If you had asked me a decade ago, when I turned 30 if I'd be running half marathons when I turned 40, I would have laughed at you! And yet, today, I find that laughter is the best medicine.

I've had this theory for some time now: When running still brings you joy, you keep running. When you've lost the fun, you'll quit. So I give you this photo. My gift to you, dear reader. If you can't laugh like this on a race, no matter how long or short, you may have lost your joy. And if you've never found it, TRUST ME, it's out there. Waiting for you on the road to no where.

Lace up, my friend.

Monday, November 4, 2013

he won at losing.

I'm about to toot a shameless horn about my son. So if you're annoyed by proud parents, now's your time to check out. It's okay, I won't be offended.

Yesterday my son finished his first tackle football season. If you don't know much about my last born, he is our athlete. He loves any game that involves a ball and competition. He gets that from The Man. Remember, I'm not competitive (see last blog post).

This game was not only the last game, it was THE BIG GAME. They were one of two teams left, playing for the city title as champs. The only problem with this game was that many of the players on the opposing team were some of his favorite friends. See, G plays competitive baseball and basketball with a team of boys chosen from different schools. And consequently, several of these boys are on the football team we were playing.

I learned a valuable life lesson from my ten year old son yesterday.

G plays both offense and defense on his team. He can throw a ball like a rock star. Seriously, it sails through the air to ridiculous lengths with a beautiful and tight spiral. He can also run fast. He makes some great plays, with the help of his teammates.

But yesterday, the odds were not ever in their favor (a little reference to The Hunger Games if you're wondering). They lost the game. They were shut down.

And do you know how my son reacted? He ran over to his buddies on the opposing team and he smiled with them and laughed with them. He took pictures with them. He told them, "Good Game!!"

He was the picture of good sportsmanship.

It hasn't always been this way. He has had plenty a loss with tears. But yesterday he told me, "Mom, I was sad at first when we lost. But then Ethan made me laugh, and I realized that I wasn't that upset! I mean, we got beat by a GREAT TEAM! It's not like we lost to a bad team! Plus, they're all my friends! I'm happy for them!"

I could not be more proud. Thank you God, that we're doing something right.

This "number 1" and "number 2" thing was his idea, by the way. That's a humble heart, friends. A heart I love.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

a little bitty teeny tiny running mishap

I'm going to let you in on a little secret about runners.

They are hard core.

I'm not hard core about pretty much anything. But I surprise myself every once in a while. And it almost always has to do with running.

So let me set the scene. Today. 5:15 am. I'm running with my trusty little B when we get to a long stretch of empty road. We're heading to our hill that we run up and down every week. And I make a critical mistake. Instead of running in the road (not so safe), I lead us up onto the sidewalk (should be much safer). We're under a canopy of trees and there are no street lights anywhere nearby.

Side note: Recently I asked The Man to get me a head lamp for running in the dark. He laughed at me and told me how ridiculous that was. What a goofball I would look like with it on. Mmmmmm Hmmmmm.

Anywho, back to the story.

I'm running blind. And Brenda and I are having a great conversation about a book we're reading. We're talking about Jesus and having fun when WWWOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

I realize I've tripped. I'm wobbling. My arms fly out. I'm catching myself. But I'm still in a solid forward motion.

And that's when it happens. I hit ANOTHER lip in the sidewalk. And now I'm realizing: You will not recover from this, Kim. You're going DOWN. I wonder how much this will hurt?

And then, there I was. Flying face first onto the dark sidewalk. I'm thinking I should fall to the grass! Fall to the grass! But it's over to my right and I can't change my projected path mid air! So I hit the ground with my left knee (ouch!) and fall hard on my right thigh (Ouch!). But before I can stop this conundrum of physics, I land on my right BOOB (OUCH!!!). And then I realize that I've attempted to break the fall with my right elbow as well.

As I lay there feeling pain all over my old body, I moan and roll over. I start feeling nauseous. Which I do any time I feel pain or even perceive pain. And right about now, sweet little B starts rubbing all over me. She's telling me I'll be fine. It looked bad. She wished she could have grabbed my arm and caught me (how many times have I caught her before she hit the ground?). And all I can think is: you're so sweet, but stop touching me. I'm going to puke! Of course, because she's being so nice, I'm not saying a word. I'm just moaning. And I'm in a cold sweat. And I realize I have no phone on me. I can't get a ride home. How can I even walk there?

Brenda sits down on the sidewalk next to me. At least she's stopped pawing at me, thank goodness. And then she utters the words every runner wants to hear when they've fallen...

Do you want me to stop your Garmin?

excuse me for a minute while I laugh outloud for a moment.

ahem. OK. I'm better. Back to the story.

I weakly say yes and hand her my arm. And as the color comes back into my face, I realize: where is my phone when I need it?! This is going on the blog for sure and I won't even have a picture of my sorry self.

Now I try to lift my head and I feel leaves and grass under it. Do I have leaves in my hair?, I ask B. Ummmm, yes? she replies. But don't worry. I got all the bugs off of you.


Yah! Did you not feel me touching you? I was picking off all these bugs that were on you!

Well aren't I a piece of work?

And that is when I picked my hard core tail up off the ground and kept running.

Oh yes, I did.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Highlight Run of the Season

You know my friend, Brenda? The small but mighty running partner I have? Yah, recently we gave her a new label under the friendship category. Personal Running Bully.

Let me tell you about my personality. I am recovering type A. And although I can be laid back about many things, I am also a driver in personality. Realtors hate it when I walk in a house, because I leave the tour, assess things quickly, and can know if I am interested in a home in the first 30 seconds. I can walk in and out in 2 minutes, if I don't check myself before being rude. I have a tendency to say things before I think about them. And I'm strong willed. None of these traits make me a bad person. But I have to remind myself sometimes to be quiet. Or still. Or listen.

So to think there's a friend out there that can tell me what to do and I just do it? Seems impossible. I'm the boss! Usually.

So this weekend I had 10 miles to run in my training. And "little B" as our friend Glen calls her, says to me:
Kim! I can't run with you that weekend. I'm running a full. But since you already have 10 miles, you should run the half!! Just think of it as a training run! Run your ten miles and then walk in the last three!

I hemhawed around but the more she said it, the more I bought in. And just like that, I was signed up to run a half, IN TRAINING FOR MY UPCOMING HALF. Am I crazy?!?!

So what did I do?? I enlisted my friend Shawn to come with me!! So here we were, in the dark of morning, freezing our tails off, getting ready to run our "training run" at the HITS half marathon yesterday.

Well, it went well. When I was about 3 miles in I started to actually FEAR, for the first time ever, that I had NO ONE left behind me in this race. Thank God, when I asked a policewoman I passed if there was anyone back there, she laughed and said yes.

So anyway, I felt strong for 6 miles, when my Garmin started to DIE. And it even went well for 9 miles. But once I hit this:

I was mentally OUT. I knew I was done! I had finished 10 miles in 1:54. I was on a good pace. But I'm still in the midst of training and I wasn't prepared to run the last 3 miles ahead of me. So I did what any good runner would do, unless they are an elite athlete or one of my running friends: Brenda, Glen, or Kenny. I popped a Gu. I knew I wasn't running, but I also knew I was out of gas. Mentally and physically.

I made it two more miles before I hit the last water station. There, the sweet high school boy who handed me water said, "It's all down hill from here! Really! You're almost done!"

OK, by now, I've already cried (at mile 9 1/2), and begged Jesus to carry my legs, meanwhile closing my windpipe and almost being unable to breathe. Which almost sent me into a panic attack.

So when I heard his words, I was delirious. I took him literally and could not have been more thankful because the hills on this course were BRUTAL at the beginning. I crested the road ahead of me and looked out to see this:


So I did what any self respecting person would do at this point, when their legs are shot and their mind is on the edge of sanity. I LAUGHED. It started small but it grew. And I couldn't stop myself. I was belly laughing all alone on this street! And I'm pretty sure if the first aid station had been in earshot they would have come running to get me, the crazy lady, off the course: FAST.

But alas, by now, I'm pretty sure THERE WAS NOBODY LEFT ON THE COURSE BUT ME.

So I walked it in. No more running. I gave up the hope and I walked. Until I was about 2/10th of a mile from the finish, and then I got up on my running legs and ran. Just so I didn't look like a LOSER walking across the finish line.

And then I heard my name on the loud speaker and my friend Shawn was there yelling for me.

I got my medal, and took my frozen butt home. To thaw out and rest my weary body. Thank you Brenda, for your splendid idea. ;)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

the offending tree branch revisited

Do you remember the tree branch I encountered in the dark of morning recently? Yah, I saw it on my walk home from the gym this afternoon.

Now, you tell me if you would have seen this in the dark.

I obviously can't get over this.

Your chicken questions answered!

Sweet Beaker. This is what she looked like til about a week ago when she began molting. But now?


Bless. Her. Heart.

But in her defense, she is working on making some new feathers for the winter. Beware, this is a strange sight to see. Don't look if you're squeemish. It kind of grosses ME out and I love these birds like they're my own. Oh wait. They are.

This is one of her bare spots. See those tubes? Those are her new feathers, making their way out. Icky and cool all at the same time, huh?

So now you know. What does it mean for chickens to molt and what does it look like? Besides a bunch of feathers all over Kim's yard.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1995. I'm Sooner born and Sooner bred. And in the 18 years since I finished college, I've had a very eclectic resume. I taught in public school for 3 years, followed by 2 years at a private Catholic school (I'm not Catholic, incidentally). Then I stayed home with my babies for 7 years and when the economy took a nose dive, so did my husband's job. We downsized our home, lived on savings for a year, and mama went back to what she knew best: teaching. It didn't pay the bills, but it helped offset the money hemorrhaging out of our savings account.

Our family goal was for me to never work again after our babies were born. But God had other plans to bless our family. And although I am admittedly the WORST full time working mom on the planet, I am an excellent part time working mom. So last year, after 4 years back in the classroom, I quit my teaching job to stay home and focus on my family. When yet again, God sent me back to the classroom this year.

For the first time in my teaching career, I'm in it for the fun! I work two days a week and it's not for the income, but for the joy of doing what I know and love best.

I've often looked back at my last 4 years and wondered why I was teaching at my sweet little Title 1 school. Was it for the friendships forged with other teachers? For the children I met and loved? Was my testimony on display? Or did I fail at sharing Jesus in a public school forum?

Today I was reminded of one reason I ended up living through that season of my life. It was a boy. Who is now growing into a young man. I can't explain why he was so special. But God pressed him firmly on my heart the minute he entered my classroom. I grew to love seeing this boy each day and trying to pull a smile onto his lips.

His life is not ideal. His parents have made some poor decisions. He was born into poverty. And his story is probably just like the stories of kids all over our nation. But He still resides in my heart. And when he disappeared for 2 months with no word on where he went, I prayed. I got on my knees and asked God to spare him from grief. I prayed safety and protection over this child that I had no idea if I would ever see again. I shed tears over this boy.

And then one day, there he was! He walked back into my classroom like he had never been gone. And I put my public school job on the line. I walked over to him and looked him in the eye. I told him that I was elated that he was back and that I had prayed for his protection while he was gone. I told him that I loved him. And he stared me straight in the eye and said thank you, with the sincerity of all his nine years.

A few weeks later we had some guests come into the building who were volunteering. They were young college kids and the minute they saw this boy, they lit up! As I looked at him smiling and waving back, it hit me. These were people who knew him while he was away. I approached the young man and asked him how he knew this boy. He had been his tutor in the shelter where he was staying for 2 months. And then I did it again. I took hold of this man's arm and I looked him in the eye. "I prayed for you! I prayed that wherever this child was that he was being interacted with by people who would love him and take care of him! That's YOU!" I said. He blushed and got flustered, muttering thank you, as he walked away.


So you can imagine my joy when I ran into him at the local city football league games today. I hugged him. He hugged me back. And I was the first to let go.

He looks good. Healthy. I'm not really sure HOW he is, because he has always been one of few words. I'm not sure who he lives with. But you can bet that my prayers have never ended for that child. And they never will. I just hope the next time I see him that I'm the last to let go.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

clumsy smurf is my cousin

Have you ever read the sidebar description of me? It says I'm clumsy.

All day I've been trying to remember to blog about something that happened to me this morning but it wasn't until I almost tripped on my own feet just now that I remembered.

Let's start at the very beginning. I've been getting up very early to run lately. I wake up at 4:51 am (that is not a typo) and meet my trusty little sidekick, Brenda, to run 3 miles, three times a week. I was really tired this morning. But let's be honest, sometimes I yawn while I run that early. And almost every day I'm exhausted, but I get up and do it anyway.

Well we were about 2.5 miles into our run, literally coming down the home stretch. Have I mentioned how DARK it is during the 5:00 hour? It's DARK. And when cars pass us, we get blinded.

We were running on a sidewalk that normally trips us up, literally. It's got parts that jut up and trip you in the light. Which is no bueno in the dark. But I was confident. We were almost home, I had a good pace, I felt great. I even thought I should pick my feet up a little so in case I hit a snare, I'd be high above and un-trippable. (Is that a word? My computer is saying no.)

I could see our turn coming up, with a big street lamp illuminating the way. Yes, we were almost done. The path was clear and life was good.

And then this flowering tree branch jumped out and smacked me in the face. I swear to you, there was not one low lying tree ahead. There was nothing in the path of my 5'10" frame. EXCEPT that SINGLE flowering branch slithering out in the dark.

How do I know it was a flowering branch? Well, when my eye hit it at full running speed while it was WIDE OPEN, I caught a little flower in my eye. YES. I DID.

I was blinded! It stung! And worse yet, I was still wearing yesterday's makeup, so the watery day-old mascara was starting to do it's own magic on my offended eye. OUCH!! OUCH!! I can't see, Brenda!!

So what do you think I did? Like a true runner, I picked back up and started running. ONE EYED. Oh yes, I did. I ran in the dark, with one eye closed, for a half mile.

I was feeling pretty confident close to her house. So confident that I turned down her street, wondering why she wasn't following. OH, that would be because I HAD NO DEPTH PERCEPTION NOW AND I WAS ONE STREET TOO SOON FROM HER HOUSE.

Oh yes. I'm an amazing one eyed runner.

THIS was my highlight run of the week, folks.

Monday, September 16, 2013

my feathered flock

I haven't talked about the girls lately, have I?

Well let me tell you, those birds are still one of my joys! When I come outside, they come running! They gather around me and peck lightly at my toes. They coo. And they love.

They've been giving me about 26-28 eggs a week all summer, even in the heat! So you can imagine my surprise last week when I went out to check for eggs and I found..... none. Not one! Hmmm, I pondered. And my mind raced to all the reasons that could be.

Maybe there's a snake who has finally found their coop and is eating their eggs before I got there? Maybe they have all gone broody? Maybe it's just an off day.

I follow several blogs on urban and rural farming of chickens, and I've been reading lately about it being the season to "molt." I knew they lay less, if any during this time. But I hadn't seen any signs of molting besides a lack of eggs. And then two days ago I looked out on my backyard. Had it snowed last night? Surely not, since we live in Oklahoma and it's September.

Holy moly, the girls are molting.

Do ya SEE all the feathers in my yard?? Check out the one at the top of this story. Are you seeing the feathers now?? Yah. They are there. WE are there. Looks like I may have to buy some eggs from Dodson's soon. But hopefully it won't last long.


It's time for my highlight run from last week. Except this time I have no good story, no great picture, and no glory to share. But I'll have it known that I ran 8 miles on Saturday. And then I went to the OU game and walked another mile + to and from the stadium. And I walked up those AWFUL stadium steps to get to our seats in the sky. And all of that is worth something, right?

My legs sure felt it. Good thing we had amazing weather.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

tracking the miles

It's that time again, boys and girls! Time for Kim's Highlight Run of the Week. This week has no picture of the road.

If anything, it should have been a picture of my sweaty head. Seriously. My hair looked like I had just taken a shower. I was dripping with sweat.

But I am a sweater. I sweat when it's slightly warm. I sweat when I'm nervous. I even sweat when I PERCEIVE that I SHOULD BE nervous. It's kooky. Like me. Whatever.

I do have a picture though. It's my daily mile page. If you run and you don't use daily mile, you're cutting yourself short. I use it as a place to record all my miles. And it gives me great stats like how many donuts I ran off and how many tv's I powered with all my miles. And at the end of the year they send you a cool report with all your miles calculated and more silly facts. I love it. But I'm a numbers nerd.

I have a disclaimer here. Daily mile is also a social network of sorts. You can look up your friends and and link to them. But I am only on there for me. So if you get on, don't ask me to be your friend. I only do my own business on there. I have facebook for seeing friends. And in fact I used to go by Kim Irunforqueso. But not anymore, I go by my actual name. :)

So get on there and start tracking your exercise! And watch the miles grow. It's awesome.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

where did sassy sawdust go?

I looked at the title of my blog and pondered. Sassy Sawdust? What have I done lately that involved sawdust? Nothing. Have I made anything sassy? Nope. Maybe it's time to change the blog name... again.

It's not that I've given up on my little side business of sawing, sanding, and painting adorable door decorations. It's just that with the heat in Oklahoma and my inability to stand sweating unless it involves some sort of exercise, I've been MIA. HOWEVER, I have a plan. One that involves footballs and OU and cooler temps.

So don't give up on me yet. I'll be doing less classes this fall because I'm currently in the business of loving on 13 little 2nd graders two days a week. But I have a plan. Don't give up on me yet. :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

my nemesis, my friend

Kim's Highlight Run of the Week:

The Hill.

This hill. This one? I hate it. It kills me. It hurts. I never conquer it the first run up. But give me 2 shots up this hill? OR 3 or 4? And I OWN this hill. It takes a warm up first-go-around for me to feel good, but after I make it up? I'm thankful for it.

Hills are a free gym, I've heard it said. And it's truth. You can feel the hills in your legs. And when it hurts bad, you know you're building muscle.

So come every Thursday from now until November 21st, you will see me on this hill. Because THIS HILL is nothing compared to the hills in Tulsa that I'll be running just before Thanksgiving. God help me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Have I told you how much I LOVE my new job?? I. AM. IN. LOVE. I love the kids (cutest kids EVER.), the staff, my teammate, my boss, the job itself. I love it!

I love how after I've worked a day, I get a day off afterwards. Or four!

I love how we pray at the beginning of the day. We pray before lunch. We pray in bible class. And I love that at the end of the day when I'm physically tired, I'm emotionally charged. I love that God gives me everything I need to get through each day.

And do you know what else I love? I love that my family still gets the best of me. I love that I'm working, but I'm not spent. I have emotional energy left every afternoon to give to my own children. And that is worth it's weight in gold.

I love that I have a reason to get dressed and wear makeup four days a week now (between school, BSF, and church). And I love that there are downtimes when I can wear my jammies and clean my house all day.

But mostly I LOVE that I have a God who has gone before me. He knew He wanted me in this school before I knew I wanted to teach part time. And I love that He loved me so much that He placed each and every child into my class for a purpose.

I'm imperfect. I make mistakes. And I'm a piece of work. But God loves me in spite of myself. And there is nothing like the feeling that you are EXACTLY where you were created to be in life. Right smack dab in the middle of God's will for ME.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kim's Highlight Run of the Week part 3

I like to keep it real here on my blog. So are you ready to see my highlight run of the week? It was right here:

Oh wait. What? Did I run on my couch? NO, you silly goose! That's me NOT sitting on my couch!

Here's the actual view I had with the sun rising and a cool breeze in the shade:

You see, sometimes keeping it real is being honest that you were lucky to get off the couch that day. Today was that day. However, in equal honesty, there was a lotta walkin' today. I made a rookie mistake. I ate a salad for dinner last night and nothing before I went out this morning. So I was having a great run up until about 3.5 miles. And then there was a lotta walkin'. I also neglected to plant water on my route. AND I headed out on a stretch of road that I know, good and well, does not have a single place to get a drink. Rookie mistake. I had to wait til I was a half mile from home before I could sneak into CVS and drink from their refreshingly freezing water fountain.

So there it is... the good, the bad, and the ugly about my run today. My highlight? Doing it at all! 6 miles... check.

Friday, August 23, 2013

middle school problems

My daughter is in middle school. A "sevie" as she likes to call it. For the old people like me out there, that translates to "seventh grade." She's having a blast and is happy for summer to be over so she can see her friends again every day!

Today as we are rushing to get her out the door, she throws a stack of papers at me. "Sign these!" she says.

I'm a rule follower. So I grab a pen and start signing. Do I know what I'm signing? NO! Of course not. But I do remember reading these closely last year and learning that these are the syllabuses for each of her classes. They state the policies and procedures for each subject. I'm instructed to sign that I saw them and return.

After I've signed the last one and grabbed my purse to head out the door she laughs. "Mom! Did you know you have a homework assignment?"


"No. What is it?"

"That English paper you signed asked you to write an essay about me in 500 words or less!"

And then this happened....

OOPS. I guess reading something before you sign it IS a good idea.

Off to type an essay. Because I can't be THAT mom.

Monday, August 19, 2013

a little running story

A week ago I was running 4 miles. I was staying with some friends at their lake house and I needed to get in a run for my training. I'm planning to run the Route 66 Half Marathon in November and training has already started.

While I was running, I was amazed at God's creation around me. I was passing little streams that led to the lake. I heard birds chirping, saw people sitting on their patios enjoying their coffee, and had amazing views over the water as the sun rose. It was an awesome run and one that I don't normally have. It's good to switch up your view sometimes!

It came to me as I was running that I needed to start something new. Kim's Highlight Run of the Week was born! That day I got on facebook, explained what I was doing, and posted a picture of my view.

This week I went back to work. I ran early in the morning before I got ready and really had nothing spectacular to say except that I love running with my small but mighty friend, Brenda. But Saturday night I ran a race (a 5K) in Moore, OK. I dragged the family along, much to their chagrin. And on the drive up, I realized that I had it! My highlight run of the week! I asked The Man to take my pic as I crossed the finish line and I set out on the path.

I had heard there was a local newscaster that was going to be running and I saw him before the race. This race went around Earlywine park, a 1.5 mile loop that we were to run (or walk) twice. It wasn't until I had hit mile 2 that I saw him up ahead.

If you're a runner, you know that you are always looking for the person ahead to "catch." If I can just speed up enough to beat THAT one, I'll be happy. So I set my sights, and hoped for the best.

It took about a half mile, but as I passed him I said "Go Lance!" and a gave him a weak "woohoo!" He turned and smiled and said "How are you!" I kept running. And then about a 3 minutes later, he came up beside me. He said something but my headphones were turned up loud (we all have our coping mechanisms). As I ripped my headphones out to hear him, I said "Oh no! Now I can't let you beat me! My husband will make fun of me!" And that's when he dropped off and said, "I think I'm going to have to let you win then!" with a good hearted smile. I laughed, turned back to him and said, "I'm 40! I'm a WOMAN!" (If you need to know the humor in that, you're probably not from Oklahoma.) To which he yelled up toward me: "I'm 50!" and off I went again.

Slow and steady wins the race, people.

Now, about the time I took the turn to run into the finish line, here he comes again. This time on my left. "I can't let you beat me now," he says. To which I laugh, as I kick it up into high gear. We cross the finish line together, with me a split second before as I lunged in. Apparently I actually DO have a small competitive streak. :)

Afterward I asked him to take a picture with me. And he turned to me after we snapped it. "Thanks for the motivation!" said Lance.

Me and Lance West of Newschannel 4

Everyone needs a little, don't we? It was all in fun, but truthfully, I had already misplaced the girl I was trying to catch. I needed something to drive me in. Running is all about the journey with a few races thrown in. I don't care what trail you're on, you need something to bring you in. Maybe it's the hot shower to warm you up in a winter run. Or maybe it's the coffee you know is waiting. It's even been the nap I plan to take after showering that has done it for me before. But we always need something or someONE to help us finish the journey.

Do you have a running partner? I love mine. Get one and take to the road, folks! If this old and slow lady can run, ANYONE CAN.

Monday, August 5, 2013

woot woot!

This is silly. So silly. Especially since I am a 40 year old woman. But today I got a laptop. The FIRST computer I have EVER owned that belonged only to me! ME!!! Yippee! You're going to be hearing a lot more from this mama now... I can't wait to share the adventures that ensue in my new 2nd grade classical education classroom!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Her mouth speaks from that which fills her heart...

Luke 6:45

This has been a fun summer. It's been full of sleepovers, sleeping late, staying inside when it's hot, and heading to the pool to keep cool. I've gotten a great tan, slept to my heart's content, and played a lot. But there have been some important things happen this summer, too. BIG CHANGES. And if God has taught me anything in my life, it's been to never say never.

Drumroll, please? This mama is going back to work. Part time! But working. I'm excited, hopeful, and at this point I don't even know what I don't know. But let me tell you, I've got the perfect job. PERFECT! It's two days a week, doing what I love. TEACHING! No tests to prepare for, no paperwork to bog me down, no meetings to talk about more paperwork. Just teaching.

And the best part is: I can talk about Jesus! In fact, I MUST talk about Jesus! You have no idea how exciting this is for me. Impressing the little brains of second graders and sharing my faith with them every Tuesday and Thursday. I'm blessed.

But let's move on to Change #2. Once upon a time The Man had a partner in his commercial cleaning business. This partner was awesome. This partner was a Christian. He worked hard. He was easy to get along with. He was a like-minded thinker for The Man. He was the perfect partner. And then life happened.

This amazing business partner had an opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream to be a football coach. And who can stand in the way of a man and his dream? Not us. So for now, we're relying on God to provide the perfect new manager for HIS Janitorial. I have no doubt we will find one.

And as for Change #3, that would be my daughter's scoliosis. It has gotten worse. It hurts her day and night now. And I'm more concerned than ever. But I'm confident that God has gone before my daughter and knows the plans He has for her. So I will not fear.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I'm baaaaack! Have you missed me? I've been here. Just too busy to post.

Let's see, let me recap May 2013. I turned 40, witnessed tornadoes forming in the sky, got my kids finished up in their respective school years, celebrated Mother's Day, and my mom's 70th birthday. But not in that order.

June has been full as well: more tornado cleanup, my children going to theatre camp, football camp, and me wishing I had a "camp" to attend. We've done VBX at church, I've been running and reading and racing. I've been facebooking and thinking about more new Sassy Sawdust projects. I've been collecting 4-5 eggs a day from the coop here at the farm and I've pull a ton of weeds from my backyard and yet only covered about 1/4 of the space.

I've been living. And being thankful for my life and my house and my family. Thankful that the roof over my head is intact. Thankful that I have 4 walls and air conditioning. Thankful that my third grader is alive today.

I've spent a lot of time in prayer over the last few weeks because people I know have no homes now. They've lost pets. They are living in hotels. And here I sit, with survivor's guilt, wishing I could do more than buy a t-shirt or a necklace to raise money for tornado victims. Wishing that there were a magic wand that could sweep through Moore, Oklahoma and clean it all up at once.

But I've also been blessed. With the gift of time to volunteer. With the ability to give abundantly. And with special moments along the way. Like the surreal moment I reached into the rubble I was shoving along with a shovel. I saw something shiny and when I picked it up, it was a heart shaped silver charm. Engraved on the front was this: TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I felt like the world around me paused. The wind stopped blowing and all I could do was stare. Amen!, I thought. Yes! Together, this team from my church is here to make a difference... one homeowner at a time.

Yes. BLESSED. That I could contribute a small part to a big job. And make a difference, no matter how small and inconsequential it seemed.

p.s. I wanted so badly to take a picture of this charm in my work glove. It seemed such a poignant photo to take. But in the midst of someone else's tragedy, it felt unholy to photograph something that wasn't mine to share. So, instead, I keep that picture here in my heart. I hope you can see it, too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

coming soon!

I made this cupcake on the spur of the moment before my big birthday party last weekend. But guess what?! It can be yours too very soon!!

I will be making this for classes here at my house, or as a private class if you want to host! :)

This is a sign on a stake (for the ground or flower pots), but it can also be a door hanger. It has a chalkboard circle so you can change the birthday number for any member of your family! So keep your eyes open for a signup genius listing coming soon with Sassy Sawdust!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This is 40.

It's no secret I'd been dreading the big 4-0 for weeks. I spent a lot of time wondering about it, too. Why do I care? Why is this worse than 30? Am I really upset or am I creating a bad attitude?

The answers came slowly. And they were a combination of many factors.

1. When I envisioned my life as a teenager, I always looked forward to skipping ahead to my 30's. Being married, having kids, living the dream. NEVER ONCE did I imagine myself in my 40's. Never once. So here I was, passing on the decade that spoke to my childhood dreams. So then what? What's to come of my life in my 40's? Hopefully the best yet.

2. It dawned on me a few weeks ago that it has been a decade since I bore a child from my womb. If that doesn't make you feel old, I don't know what could.

3. And this should probably have been #1: My sister, who I had famously surprised in the middle of the night on her 40th birthday, half a country away in California, was not coming. My bigger, older, wiser sister, who is my biffle, had her husband's 50th birthday this year, along with her first born graduating, and then a 20th anniversary with previously mentioned 50 year old hubby. There was no way she could come. It just wasn't possible with all they had going on. Sniff sniff.

And then the most amazing thing happened...

There she was! In my house! On my couch! And I did the ugly cry. The kind you don't want on film, but they took it anyway. And suddenly 40 didn't seem so bad. In fact, 40 seemed pretty amazing.

So here I am. 40 years and 1 day. Livin' the dream.

I'll show you the party soon. It was awesome.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Flo's gone broody

This girl got a haircut. You can't tell? Hmmm, well look closely and you'll see her feathers on the sides are a little shorter now.

KIM, why on earth would you give a chicken a haircut? And why are we calling it a haircut anyway? How about a feather trim?

Well, call it what you want, this silly bird had it comin'. BECAUSE FLO HAS GONE BROODY!

It seems that Flo left the yard unattended two days ago. She FLEW over our fence and began laying her eggs in a pile of leaves under our kitchen window. IN OUR FRONT YARD!

Yesterday The Man and G were out on the driveway playing basketball. Suddenly The Man comes running inside. KIM! KIM! There's a chicken in the front yard!!

We wrestle her out from behind the bushes and plop her back in the backyard. Meanwhile, I've looked down and seen a green egg nestled in the leaves. And it's cold! Uh-oh. This one has been here for a day! How did she get out here long enough to lay an egg yesterday and return undetected??

I headed back inside the house. And it only took a few minutes for her to escape... again! Wrestle the chicken, place her in the yard. Different verse, same as the first.

The boys finished up playing and headed inside. And I went back out one more time to ensure that she's NOT in the front yard. But lo and behold, she was square in place on top of the perceived day old egg and getting ready to lay a new one. Sisters. However, this mama has other ideas, like the fact that THERE IS NO ROOSTER TO MAKE THOSE EGGS INTO CHICKIES, YOU DUMB BIRD!

So I let her do her business and placed her back in the backyard.

This morning I got up and read my favorite Go-To book: A Chicken in Every Yard. And I found out that if I want to stop the yard hopping, I must clip her wings. So clip, I did. It's just like a haircut, so don't worry: there were no animals injured in the writing of this blog. And now she can't get run over crossing the road, either, since she'll be laying her eggs where they belong now. I just hope she didn't give the other girls any great ideas with her escapade.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

becoming productive

Well, I think I'm done for now. I still don't understand things like why I can't see the same look for my blog on my phone or ipad that I see on the computer. So I guess if you want to know what this blog really looks like, you should read me online. :))

Anywho! Back to BREAKING NEWS at the Frakes Family Farm! Today I went out to the coop to collect Dot's egg and found THREE EGGS!! Two large, and her one (still small) egg. This farm is on it's way to productivity! Yippee!

In addition, I've been adding some pretties to the coop. Like a sign I found at TARGET no less! And a chandelier. Oh yahhhh.

I thought I'd share some pics of the girls from last week. I know you'll wonder how I can tell them apart, but just like a mama of twins, I've got each one of them pegged. They are my babies, you know.





And now for a little giggle through video, if you haven't seen this on my facebook page. Farmer G takes the girls out for some exercise.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

changes abound

Well, as you can see, there's a new look here at Sassy Sawdust. I bore eaily. Can you tell? Sorry, once I started messing with it, the whole design went to the crapper. I'm not REAL happy with how it looks right now, but kind of like my chicken coop, it's functioning and ugly. And soon, very soon, I'll get back to making it pretty.

Speaking of that coop... I got on pinterest the other night. And I got SO inspired to sass up my coop! Shabby paint and chandeliers, and decor... oh my! If you follow me on pinterest, check out my "bawk bawk chicken" board. You'll see where I'm coming from and straight where I'm headed. As soon as all the other crap in my life slows down. Think chippy white paint, chandelier (oh yes, I AM), and cuteness abounding. Yep, that's the plan.

But first, I have to finish my daughter's room. I stripped her walls bare almost 2 months ago, in preparation for a big room redo. I filled all the holes, and prepped the room. And then life happened. One night I got the wild hair to paint one of those walls black chalkboard. It's awesome. Or it will be... once I finish painting the ceiling, cutting in the edges, and painting the baseboards. All before I tear out her nasty carpet and put in some hardwoods, prooooobably by myself. And that should be fun. GREAT. FUN.

So, I'd like it if you could cut me some slack. I'm doing well to keep everyone around here alive, including the dog and 5 chickens. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

chicken talk

Oh, you know... just trying to lay an egg here if you would give me some privacy.

It's cool, Dot! We're just wondering when you're gonna be done so we can play again!

ahhhhhh.... much better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

happy birthday sweet abby (a shameless plug for my favorite daughter)

April 11, 2013

Dear Abby,

Do you know the first thing I thought when I laid eyes on you? Among many including:
*She's tiny!
*THAT just came out of ME?!
*What's wrong with her head?
*Is this what love at first sight is all about??

One stuck out above the rest: She's perfect!

Yes, I saw a precious baby with all her appendages, with tiny fingers and toes, and the most adorable nose. What I didn't see was a failing pyloris in your abdomen. I didn't see "failure to thrive" on a future doctor's chart. I didn't know you would need glasses for imperfect eye sight in second grade. And I NEVER saw coming a diagnosis of scoliosis in your future.

All I saw was beauty. God's abundant blessing in a 6 lb. 11 oz. package. I saw a baby girl who loved her mama. One who popped off my nursing breast at 10 months old and looked into my eyes to pronounce the sweetest word I had ever heard: "mama!" as she smiled.

It was 12 years ago in the wee hours of the morning when you woke me from sleep to send me racing to a hospital in northwest Oklahoma City in a thunderstorm. (too many prepositions in that sentence? Oh well.) I remember thinking that if we made it to the hospital without hydroplaning and being killed, the pain was surely going to crush me. I had expected labor to have some pain, just NOT the level I was experiencing. And frankly, since you were due to be induced 2 days later, I thought I would get drugs. I was dying.... surely.

I remember getting settled into the bed and being checked for dilation: 5 cm. Perfect! Bring on the epidural! But as we waited a few minutes I told the nurse I needed to poop, could I run to the bathroom?

WHAT? she said. There's no way! So she reached inside and yelled to everyone in the room: Oh my gosh! She's at a 10!! Get the doctor!! FAST!

And then after some hard pushing, realizing you were flipped upside down and twisting you over (oh yeah, that's a special kind of hell right there), out you came. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes from start to finish. You were 10 days early. And you were perfect.

What I want you to know, sweet thing, is life is NOT perfect. In fact, God warns us that life is hard. As you enter these important years of your life I offer you some advise. Some of it is cliche, but it's good advice.

1. Choose your friends wisely. Peer pressure can be positive OR negative.

2. Your family and your home are your safe place. Always.

3. Boys will come and go but your friends will always be there. Don't ignore them over a boy.

4. Stay true to your own personality. Any friend you have to change for is not really your friend.

5. There is nothing you could ever do to make me love you less.

6. Be strong. Be a leader among your peers.

7. You were made for greatness. I will always help you get there!

8. Jesus loves you, this I know. Keep your eyes on Him!

I love you sister. You're my favorite first born child and the best daughter a mama could ask for. I will always love you most.