We have a problem, a big, orange problem.

I have been asked to play in a faculty / staff basketball game.
*insert music: dum, dadumdum duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum

I, the shortest teacher on my hall...
I, the once-athletic girl who WISHED with all her might that she could successfully dribble a basketball down-court without pinging it off of her foot...
I, the girl who consistently fouled out of CHURCH basketball in the second quarter because she couldn't remember not to shoulder charge her opponent (in her defense, she was playing indoor soccer at the same time)...
I, the clutz who preferred to run sprints barefooted in soccer on the rainy days when we would practice in the junior high gym (not sure why we did that anyway) because I would trip over my tennis shoes...
I, the moron who did indeed score a basket (woop, two points!) ONCE for my FBCC basketball team, only to realize it was for the other team (this is for real, I would never bring this type of false embarrassment to myself)...
I, the cool teacher who will never again be considered cool after air-balling my jump shot...

have been asked to put all of these things on display in front of over 300 ninth graders.

Kids are mean.

I am doomed.


Feels like home to me

Well, after several faces, I have decided to keep this lovely "stitch" as my blog face. I tried others, but they weren't me. Too professional. Too sterile.

I like this. I feel that it is a nice mixture of color and calm.

I hope your eyes enjoy. :)

What's in that?

My health insurance company sends out a monthly email newsletter. This is one of the few email newsletters that I actually read. It is usually full of interesting facts about being healthy (something I am always trying to work on), new recipes, ways to save money (strange topic for health insurance, but I think they link it to stress management), and various other things.
Like I said, I read the newsletter every time it appears in my Gmail box.

This week there was an article entitled "Are Plastic Food Containers Safe?" Well, I sure hope so! I use them all the time. Right now, in my lunch box there is a plastic container of cereal and a smaller one of raisins (healthy!). Everyday for the past year and a half I have taken my PLASTIC water bottle to school so that I am not tempted to buy something from the drink machine (healthy AND saving money! I should write for those newsletter guys!). We store leftovers, cookies, cupcakes (er, not so healthy), and other food items in them at home all the time!
Now I'm worried.

I like to pretend that I am one of those "organic, green" people who cares about the environment and doesn't eat things with random pesticides or other products squirted over them in the growing process, but I must confess....it's a facade. I WANT to be that, but I'll just as soon drive to the convenient store which is less than half a mile to buy a product encased in a non-recyclable Styrofoam container without thinking twice about it. Plus, it's EXPENSIVE to be so picky about things, and right now, as you know, Mr. Ramsey is the master of our finances...I digress.

The article pointed out one major chemical that is found in plastic containers: Bisphenol A, also referred to as BPA. This chemical is in some plastic baby bottles and “sippy” cups, transparent water bottles, harder plastic containers and the lining of canned foods The article suggests looking the the recycling code that contains a number which can be found on most plastic products. It states, "The number that you don’t want is 7, which tends to appear on BPA-containing plastics." So, as I take a swig from my good 'old Nalgene water bottle that proudly adorns the stickers I collected from the Bishop Family cross country National Lampoon Style vacation in the summer of 2007 (I'll have to tell that story soon.) I start a mental list of items to check:
1. Glad ware containers we use for sandwich meat
2. Ziplock bags (I don't even know if this qualifies, but I'm checking!)
3. Water bottles-including beloved Nalgene water bottle (btw, it took me forever on the trip to pick out this water bottle, mostly because I am super obsessive and wanted it to be "perfect." How in heaven's name can a water bottle be perfect? I don't know, but this one is.

Since I'm at school, I have that Nalgene bottle with me. Here's how the rest plays out:

Hmmm, what else do I have that is hard plastic? Oh, my trusty Nalgene bottle here...
Oh, wow, I can hardly read that recycling code...what is that, Z? What kind of code is that? Oh, not Z...7 seven s-e-v-e-n

Well, crap. I'm gonna get the itis*.

I'm doing further research, because I do want to be healthy. If you, too, are interested, here's what I've found so far:
BPA Summary at EcoPage
BPA Free Portal

*Steve refers to all sorts of "illness" as the itis. Not know how to explain it, I entrusted my knowledge to Google search.
itis- a form of any random disease as deemed by one, Steve Taylor; a "food coma;" or according to www.urbandictionary.com, an STD.
I may not be using this term any longer. I fear that my beloved husband has lead my vocabulary astray.


HTML is the devil.

I am frustrated with this stuff! I wanted a nice, functional blog, but I am getting bogged down in the HTML coding. I found a few that I like, but every time I attempt to upload and save, blogger refuses to accept my changes. It is giving me some strange letter/number combination that it expects me to translate into human language.

Oh well...

It's Movie Monday, so I am giving up for now.


And on the eighth day...

God created the digital converter box and TV antennas.

We have TV!

Steve and I spent most of the day lying on the couch watching food shows that were paying tribute to Mardi Gras (a phenomenon I will never understand).
We also caught an episode of Bob Ross. May he rest in peace.

A perfect, lazy Saturday.


As if her blogging weren't already a indication of laziness

Erin is too tired--or in my opinion, lazy--to write her own post this afternoon. So, I'm typing as she dictates. "Um . . . oh crap, I just lost it. No no no." (unintelligible moaning and mumbling). "haaah! Those are so giggles. Erase that. Should I write about how hungry I am or what I'm reading? What's that band that sings 'eeeeeyeeeee meeeeees yoooooooo'? What's that band?" After a long pause, "The title should be 'Steve says.' Wait, no, that's misleading. 'Captain Steve at your service.'" Then she giggles to herself again. "I'm taking a nap."


So later we can live like noone else.

Dave Ramsey is a genius. Not really, but sometimes it takes some loud, bald guy shouting common sense things into a radio microphone for it to sink in.
Dave Ramsey believes in being DEBT FREE. Holy crap. I know. No credit card? Nope, no sir-re, not at all. I am proud to say that I have NEVER owned a credit card. Steve, well, ahem, hmmm.
Before we started dating Steve worried me to death about making a budget. He told me that buying my brand new car was stupid. He told me that I should pay extra on my student loans when it came time to start paying them off. I thought he was weird. He'd come visit me while I conducted study hall for the MC women's soccer team-I was the grad assistant at the time and Coach thought the girls needed to study more. Why he left me to do that, Lord only knows. I was working at Hal & Mal's and did not have a steady/consistent income of any sort, so that made budgeting difficult for me, at least that was my excuse. Looking back now, I probably could have done a much better job with it, but I did. not. care. I just liked that Steve would come and spend time fussing over me...those lips and all. hehe
After getting a "real job" I started working my baby steps. First I paid off my car early. Now, I could have done this more quickly, but I went on a few trips, bought some clothes, went to Wal-Mart, you know, crap. I was mildly focused. When Steve and I became engaged last April, I had been working for months on my stinking Sallie Mae student loans. It was hard to decide how to save money for the wedding and still work diligently on the debt. I probably didn't do a good job on this. Plus Steve and I spent the summer living in Austin, Texas with our friends Katie and Nick. We didn't work. At all. We just played. It was fun....but a little expensive.
Well, now we are married. Steve and I are devoted bugdeteers. I hear many newly weds complain about a budget, with this tone that makes my stomach churn a little.
I l-o-v-e, LOVE making our monthly budget! It's a challenge to see just how much money we can put on the Sallie Mae fund each month. It makes me so excited. I am proud to say that by the time we have been married ONE YEAR we, Steve & Erin Taylor will be DEBT FREE! I wonder if we'll call in to the Dave Ramsey radio show and shout, WE'RE DEBT FREE! with Braveheart shout FREEDOM in the background behind us...what a sweet sound.

Since this idea of living debt free is not beyond us, Steve and I have enrolled in FPU-Financial Peace University at a local church. We go every Wednesday from 6-8 and learn exciting new things about what we will and should be doing with all of this mulah we will have after we are debt free.
I think that you should take a look at his stuff. It's not unreasonable, really. It's painful, sure. Not buying shoes for a year sends me into a slight depression. It's hard, of course. It's a SACRIFICE. Steve occasionally has to go weeks without eating at The Hat. This is sad for him, and for me too. Although, when we are out of debt, we will be spending every Wednesday with Saul, Simon, and the other friendly gentlemen who refer to my husband as "tortuga" and ask him if he is borracho every time we go in there.
I've decided that I am going to make a list of other things we will do or buy when we are DEBT FREE. Until I learn to make a lovely side page, I will periodically just list here those items.

I will start with a few:
1. A new washing machine
This is a must because the one we have now often floods the kitchen.I'd like to dream big and hope for one of the lovely front-loading, energy-saving ones, in either turquoise or tangerine orange.
2. A new dryer
Like I was going to get a new washer without it's dryer mate. Geez.
3. A NEW BED! And a HUGE one at that. The bed Steve and I share is as old as dirt, and we are ready for a new one!
I love shoes. Love them. Love them. I have agreed not to purchase any shoes (or any clothing for that matter) for the duration of our debt snowball. I plan on getting a lovely pair of boots for Christmas next year!

Now, go cut up your credit card!

Inflection means everything

You have to listen for the what?


Today's Big Thing is quite the source of enjoyment for Steve and me. You should check some of the backdated posts such as Laughing Gas Kid, Kittens Riding a Roomba, Mr. Jones, and Kitten Killed by Pretend Gun .


I should have been a cowboy...pretending it's Monday

Last night (Sunday really, but we're pretending it's Monday) I went to the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson with my family.
And I mean FAMILY.
All of them. (well, minus Cole, Tia, Uncle Bobby, and the Sevin sisters)

My cousin Lindsey is Miss Dixie National.
This is Lindsey with my sister. I bet you can guess which is which.

She is amazing. She knows more about horses and livestock than I will ever know, and she's only 17. Sooooo, the entire Bishop clan gathers together to support her. We watch and cheer our butts off as she rides in gracefully on her horse, sparkly shirt and all. She waves and beams a smile that will knock you on your seat, truly. Now, I have ridden a horse before, several times actually. At one point in my life I actually knew how to saddle one myself (there is more to it than you think). However, I never could manage feel steady on those animals at a higher rate of speed than a walk. Once the horse would start that bouncy trot thing, I was flopping all over the place like grandma arm fat. (Sorry, had to. One of my little cousins used to do this to Nanny. She'd come up and jiggle the fatty part of the arm and laugh so hard. Ah the memories...)

I love the rodeo. I like the smells, the sounds, and the glory of a good 'ole American cowboy. I want to live out West, on the prairie with miles and miles of grass, cows, horses, and sunset. I love it. The idea of this gives me a sense of peace. Fresh air and the the thought of being away from the busyness makes my heart smile.
I've been reading a blog called Pioneer Woman. I love her. I want to be her. Or at least live with her. She has this kind of "cowboy" life of which I dream. She is moving from way before sunup to I'm sure way after sundown, but her life is so glamorous to me. She cooks in an extraordinary kitchen, home schools her children, and takes AMAZING photographs of her glorious surroundings.
Since neither the husband nor I are especially knowledgeable of oh, I don't know, horses, ranching, cattle, or gardening, this life is pretty much out of the picture for me.

Gosh how I love it though!

In honor of my dreams of being a cowboy or at least prairie woman, I decided to make some Mexican Casserole. This recipe came from a sweet lady who often feeds a slew of real-life cowboys on a regular basis. It's easy and delicious! I served it with corn, and if you are like me and like crunchy food, grab a bag of salty corn chips too (not Fritos though, yuck!).

Mexican Casserole
2 pounds of hamburger meat
1 chopped onion1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Enchilada sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 pound of Velveeta cheese (sliced)
1 can ranch style beans
flour tortillas

1. Brown meat and onion (drain)
2. In a separate bowl, mix beans, soups, and enchilada sauce
3. Mix in onion and meat.
4. Layer tortillas and sliced cheese in a casserole dish.
5. Pour 1/2 of meat mixture on top.
6. Place another layer of tortillas and cheese on the meat mixture.
7. Pour remaining meat mixture on top.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.



so sad

The Intertron is on the fritz at the casa de Taylor, but I'm working on a good one! Look for cowboys, cooking, and sheer joy in the next episode!


'Cause we're all in the mood for a melody

I listen to bad music. Usually.
Steve complains about it, refuses to share his presence with my tunes of choice.
Some of my favorites include (but are not limited to):

Beyonce (you know how much white girls love to dance)
Miley Cyrus (shut up)
NSync's Christmas album (never mind the time of year)
Mamma Mia (here I go again...)
John Denver
Steven Curtis Chapman
and so on...

I l-o-v-e it. The louder and cheesier, the better.
However, occasionally I connect with one of those "oldies but goodies" in light of my musical preference condition.

Steve will at times randomly burst into song. This drives me crazy, especially if I am in quiet mode and he cranks the volume to sing as loudly as possible. The other night he starts in on "We Didn't Start the Fire." After several failed attempts at my guessing ANY of the correct lyrics, he sings most of the song. This, by the way, amazes me because I:

#1-have no idea who wrote or sings this song nor what the guy is saying in it
#2-cannot remember the last time I heard it
#3-somehow think this is something we studied in 6th grade ACCENT, but neither Steven nor I can say for sure, AND how can he remember ALL those words?

I go into inquisitor mode--who wrote this? who sings this? what does this mean? what does that mean?

YouTube and iTunes come to the rescue here.

And I fall deeply in love. I think it's the synthesizer at the beginning. Seriously.

Harry Truman.
Doris Day.
Red China.
Johnny Ray.
South Pacific.
Walter Wentzel.
Joe DiMaggio.

(That was just to prove to Steve that I knew some of the words.)
I only listened to it a dozen times while cleaning my house last night.

This song has merely been my gateway drug into his world. How I never even noticed him is beyond me. His voice is amazing. You should definitely check out "The Downeaster, Alexa" and revisit "Uptown Girl," "For the Longest Time," and "She's Got a Way."

If there's a fan club, sign me up!

I'm posting this video from teachertube (shut up again) because I really like it. I plan on using it in my classroom one day soon.

Keep on fighting!

so true...

This is just too funny!


Makeover and a half

Oh Lord...
I've created a monster here. I can't decided on a template or background. Everything is too colorful. It makes me dizzy.

I'm bummed. Any suggestions?


Holding my breath.

I just watched the newest episode of Heroes.


freshman frenzied

Teaching ninth graders is quite an experience.
I love my job. One year ago (when I taught third graders) I'm not sure if I would have said that.
Changing jobs has truly been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done for myself. I had no idea that teaching high school kids could be so much fun. Everyday is a joy.
That's not to say that we don't have bad days. Today, for example, one of my students decided to flip her you-know-what in first period. And, if one gets going, they ALL chime in. Some on the side of the student who is feeling the need to pitch a fourteen-year-old fit; some on the side of poor Mrs. Bishop (they still can't get that right).
A bad attitude is the one thing that I cannot handle, from anyone. Never has been. I hate hate hate a bad attitude. Today that kid got me. I have a temper. Some people are surprised to hear me say this, but I feel this is true. I often have a good hold on my emotions (in public at least) and can keep my thoughts/actions/feelings hidden. Not today.
I felt my face flush.
My breath shortened.
Every muscle in my body tensed up.

Somehow, someway instead of yelling at this girl, which, let's be honest here, is REALLY what I wanted to do, I kept silent. I wanted to give her one of those good movie moment teacher-gets-in-a-student's face and goes off scenerios, but I knew that would blow my credibility as the laid back teacher that I've worked so hard to build over last few months. Whew...it was close though. Really close.

I did manage, through clenched teeth, to order the class to read Romeo and Juliet silently to themselves. As if they were actually going to do that and get anything out of it.

This lasted for about 5 minutes.

After Mrs. Bishop Taylor regained her composure, we proceeded to hurl Shakespearean insults at one another.

Thou purpled onion-eyed rabbit sucker!

Such fun.