I honor of that, I told my readers they could ask anything of me. And ask you did. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for me to answer. If you think of more, don't be afraid to ask. I can do another post like this later too.
Without further ado....
1. What is your favorite family/holiday tradition? - Jana
As a kid there are a few traditions I loved. One was driving around to look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. We usually did it after the service at church. It was fun to look and see the fun lights and laugh and enjoy each other's company in the car.
A tradition that's carried over from when I was a kid it exchanging Christmas gifts with my sisters on Christmas Eve. We were always impatient and begged to open just one gift on Christmas Eve. I believe our parents gave us one thing to open for a while. Then when we started buying gifts for each other, we decided to exchange them then instead. No one could stop us anyway. ;) We still do this. We all gather at our parents' house on Christmas Eve, so us girls sneak away at some point and exchange our gifts in front of the Christmas tree. It's just become a fun tradition that we love. I'm sure we'll always do it.
For our family now (Matt & Zachariah) we haven't started too many traditions. Plus we usually travel to our family for the holidays. But we always take the time to open gifts here with Zachariah. It's easier than dragging everything along, and he gets spoiled with many gifts Christmas day from our families. So we chose a day when we have time in the mornings (usually a weekend) before Christmas. Then we open all our gifts together then. It's fun to get some early gifts, plus then we've been able to give Zachariah his first gifts.
2. What other names did you consider for your son? - Jana
Just so you know, Zachariah was not my first choice when he was born. I went into the hospital with 3 top contenders. I had one favorite that my heart was set on, but I still wanted to wait until he was born before naming him. I wanted to see him and make sure that it suited him.
Somewhere...somewhere on my blog I go into a little more detail, but I cannot find it. Oh well. We knew we were having a boy. The top 3 names were Jamin/Jaymin, Zachariah, and Ryan. And in for me they were in that order. We knew his middle name would be Matthew, and all the names went nicely with that for us.
When our hefty 9lb 11oz baby boy came out, Jamin/Jaymin did not fit him at all. One of the nurses said "This big boy needs a strong, sturdy name." I knew that Zachariah would be the perfect fit. And I still believe it is.
Our top girl name was Layla Nicole, but once we found out we were expecting a boy I obviously no longer looked at girls' names. So I'm not sure I would have settled on that. Matt, however, still loves Layla, so it could be a future contender. (I still really like it too...there are just other names I like also.) And Nicole was for an old friend of mine who tragically died in a car accident when we were seniors in high school.
3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? (not that you need to change a thing!) - Jana
I am obese. I need to lose a lot of weight. I would/could change that. I have tried but never stuck with anything. I'm working on the motivation currently. I need to figure it out and stick to it.
4. If you could have a week long vacation anywhere at all (money is no object) where would you go? - Shelly
I'm not sure I could choose only one. My first instinct was to say the North Carolina coast. We've been to Atlantic Beach & Emerald Isle (same island) and the Outer Banks before. I love it there. Spending a week on the beach is divine.
Then when I read the part of your post about "money being no object" my mind went straight to Paris. Paris, France that is. I visited there for about a week with my family while I was in college. It was the summer before Matt and I got married (a few months before we were engaged). It was so lovely and an experience of a lifetime. I would love to spend time there with Matt & Zachariah. But I think I'd also like to see some other places in Europe first.
5. What is your favorite guilty pleasure food? - Shelly
Oh geesh! Food is such a weakness for me (obviously, see #3 above). I love chocolate. I must have it at least a few times a week. And I'm not even sure I have a favorite kind.
6. What was your favorite book as a child? - Shelly
Whew! You're good with these questions. They are hard to answer. I really have to think about this.
I've always loved to read. I was reading books (by myself) when I was 4 years old. I've always devoured books. I would spend hours and hours in my room reading.
My favorite college class was Children's Literature too. I think what I liked most about it is that I got to go back and reread some books from my childhood.
That said the books I really looked forward to reading then was the Little House on the Prairie Series. Before I was old enough to read those books myself, my mom read them to me. Then I read them and reread them myself so many many times.
I also adore the Chronicles of Narnia books. I reread those last year at Christmastime. It was so much fun. I almost want to read them again.
I don't read as much as I used to. Too many other things going on, I guess. But I still always have a book or two that I'm involved in. Sometimes I read them faster (in a few days), and other times I take a month to read one book.
7. Are you a cuddly sleeper or need your own space kind of girl? How many pillows do you sleep with? - Shelly
I guess I'm more on the side of "need my own space". Matt and I tend to roll to opposite sides of the bed. When we get too close in the middle, (which happens quite often) we have been known to "beat" each other up in our sleep. But I'm not so much of a "my own space" sleeper that I need my own blankets...like my sister, Mary, and her husband do.
I have 2 pillows. I use them both for a while, laying to watch TV or read, then I usually end up tossing one to the ground when I roll over to sleep. Oh, I also sleep with a body pillow (that I try to keep on my "side" of the bed so it doesn't bug Matt), so I guess that's 3 pillows.
8. You may have posted about this already and I missed it, but do you remember the first time you met Matt? - Pam
I have written about it, but it's been a while. You can read the long story here.
The short story is we officially met in junior high through mutual friends, became friends in high school, started dating in high school, got engaged in college, got married in college shortly after. We've now been together for 15 years (on Dec. 14th actually) and married for over 9 years.
9. I would like to know what you are licensed to teach and what you taught and how long you taught before deciding to stay home. - Fran
Hmm, I'm not sure I'd talked about this much before. I have a degree in Elementary Education. I graduated the year they changed the program here in Ohio. So most of my classmates are licensed either PreK-3rd grade, 4th grade- 8th grade, or 7th-12th. I was "grandfathered" into the old program (along with my friend), so I was licensed to teach grades 1-8. (My license is now expired.)
My concentration area is Math. I could also have concentrated in Language Arts. In the newer program (see above) I started college working towards the Middle Childhood (4-8) with a concentration (they have two areas) in Math and Language Arts. When I switched to the old program my junior year, I was able to skip the rest of my LA classes though I had enough to concentrate in that too. So, I took a lot of Math in college. I've done a lot of Math tutoring over the years.
I never taught full time. I subbed for 2 years (split up) before getting pregnant. I did not work much when I was pregnant, because I couldn't drive (another story for another time). But by then I was working at my tutoring job. I did that for 4 1/2 years before we closed this summer.
In my tutoring job I worked with all school-aged kids. My focus was literacy, but I was always the go-to person for math help.
My favorite to teach is 5th grade and 4th grade. I did my student teaching and other service things for school in 5th grade. I always enjoyed that age of kids. But I haven't taught in years in the school systems. I don't know when/if I'll go back.
10. You've been talking about your house frustrations. Where/what is your dream house? - Sarah/No Whey, Mama
I have no idea! How's that for an answer?
I think I'd like to be located closer to where I grew up at some point. We've never thought we'd stay here. All our family is still near "home". We've at times felt left out. It's tough when we're both very close to our families. But there are so many things here (our church, shopping, etc) that we've become accustomed to and would give up to move back home.
As for a house, I don't really know. I would love a 2 story house with complete basement. Something new (or at least newish). I like houses that aren't just cookie-cutter houses and have some character or old charm (looking) to them.
I do have a "list" of must haves for a future home too. I think after you own at least once you know what you must have the next time. There are major things that we're missing in this house.
11. How many kids did you used to imagine yourself having? Has your actual, current dream number gone DOWN quite a bit, like mine? And it so, what are the reasons- fertility issues (that's a bit one for me, obv), the idea of being pregnant over and over again, money/space issues, or even just the realization of how exhausting kids really are? Or has your number stayed the same or gone up, even? - Sarah/Semi-desperate Housewife
Sarah, I've been wanting to post about this anyway. I'm going to save it. I promise I'll get up the courage to write about it very soon. I'm just afraid I'll go on and on about it (I know I will), so I'll use it another time. Great question, BTW! Thanks for asking!