Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2009

I'm actually quite shocked at how much I blogged over the past year. With grad school and all, I'm surprised I found the time. On average, I posted about 1.5 times per week.

It's very entertaining and fascinating to look over the posts from the last year. Looking back on the changes in life is important to remember to do. My absolute favorite post of the year is People Watching: A Social Experiment (#7). That day was so funny! Here are a few of my other personal favorites that failed to make the list: Got Pain?, Kid Quote: What Others Think, Kid Quote: The Cat and the RaccoonThe SORRY Steps, and Crappy Parenting (Jen's first post).

According to the number of pageviews, here are the top ten most popular posts from Riedlblog in 2009:

1) My Tattoo (This is mainly because it is linked with I Have Poland Syndrome, which is quite popular)
2) Dirty Microwave From The Office
3) Glendoveer Fitness Trail
4) Kid Quote: Fortune Teller
5) Kid Quote: Broken Spirit
6) The Portland Plan
7) People Watching: A Social Experiment (A must-see!)
8) Joseph Wood Hill Park (Rocky Butte)
9) I Love Jen.
10) Work Affecting Marriage

Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you are excited to see more tasty treats in 2010! I sure am. Yum. :-)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


So...I hate blogging. I feel a little bad, since Aaron loves it so much. But, we have made a compromise. I will post, but I don't have to write anything. :) From now on, I will take pictures of things that I cook or bake (since I like that hobby better than blogging) and then I will post them here. Sounds good to me! Here are some pictures to get started:

Strawberry Shortcake 5/20/09

Strawberry Jam 6/14/09

Apple Pie 10/24/09

Applesauce 10/27/09

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie 11/26/09

Christmas Eve Pumpkin Cheesecake 12/24/09

Christmas Dinner for Two! 12/25/09

I hope this makes you feel better honey! This is how much I love you! XOXO

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Gifts

Last year I remember a kid telling me that he got two Xbox360's for for his Dad's house and one for his Mom's house. Ugh.

This country is dripping with consumerism. Spending too much on gifts that we will forget by next year is all too common. What ever happened to baby Jesus? All this shopping stress at Christmastime makes baby Jesus cry.

This year we decided to spend less on gifts. With the money that we saved on gifts, we are donating to an organization called Living Water International. We take our tap water for granted so often. There are so many people in countries all over the world who do not have clean water. They have to drink muddy, stagnant, parasitic water that they find in the nearest river or lake. Water-related diseases are one of the biggest killers in the world today. Living Water International takes the money donated and builds wells for people in those types of communities. It is so awesome to watch videos about people who are so excited about receiving clean water.

I think Jesus would be pleased with these gifts. After all, it's His birthday, isn't it? Shouldn't we be giving gifts to Him? I think the gifts that He would want is to see the people He loves serving one another.

Related post: DIY Fair!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coursework Complete

Fall semester wrapped up a couple weeks ago, so I am all done with my coursework at Concordia! From now on, I will be in my practicum and student teaching classrooms full-time.

It is nice to know that I can devote my full attention now to the classroom that I have been placed in. Right now for practicum, I am teaching 8th graders at a NE Portland K-8 school. It is tough, but I am learning a lot from my cooperating teacher, my supervisor, and the students. I am glad to have a tough class for my first teaching experience. It teaches me to be humble and not think I'm the best teacher in the world. I have a lot to work on and it only comes with experience.

I have one more month with the 8th graders, which includes lots of lesson planning and a work sample for the unit I am teaching. Then, in February, I will be off to teach a 5th grade class in a SE Portland K-5 school. Wow, that will be such a huge change.

The biggest thing I am trying to wrap my mind around is adjusting from being a student to becoming the teacher. I have been in school for 18 years of my life as a student, but practically zero time spent as the one in charge. This will be quite a journey.

Image from here.

I recently discovered this site and immediately loved it. We often ignore homelessness and turn our heads when we pass by the people standing with signs at the busy intersections. This site puts faces and stories with those people. Stories that we don't know about because we don't stop to chat with them.

Carol lost her waitressing job due to the economy and is now living with her injured husband under a tent in the woods.

Dale spent 14 years serving our country in the military and is now confined to a wheelchair because of his serious health issues.

It is important to remember that these are real people. They are not trash or junk. Jesus loves everyone the same and we ought to start treating everyone the same. This site helps me with that.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Portland Plan

This morning I got a chance to go to a Portland Plan workshop at Mt. Scott Community Center in SE Portland. It was awesome. Unfortunately, there were mostly white middle- to upper-class citizens there, which didn't accurately represent the diversity of the city, but there were still great comments and opinions shared.

Mayor Sam Adams led the event by taking us through a PowerPoint regarding the city. The Portland Plan is a city-wide plan to think about the city's future and where we want to be 25 years from now. There is actually no draft plan as of now. The workshops are just to build awareness and invite opinions and feedback from the citizens to let the city planners to know what to focus on before writing the plan.

There was a good amount of discussion among table groups at the workshop. In our particular group, we talked a lot about education, transportation (biking specifically), and housing issues. I brought up the fact that in my neighborhood, in East Portland, there is a large population of poor and uneducated communities that lack the basic skills to thrive. Basic education is one of many topics mentioned at the workshop that the Portland Plan needs to spend time reviewing. And not just educating our youth, but adults as well.

Overall, it was a great time to meet people from other parts of the city and talk about something that we all have common ground on: where we live. Nobody disagrees with the fact that we want our city to be the best that it can be, so it is a great way to find unity and cooperation together.

I'm planning on attending our neighborhood association's monthly meetings and possibly contributing my thoughts on the board meetings. Would be a great way to contribute to the city and make a difference!

More information:
Portland Plan website:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mom's Empty Chair

My mother actually sent me this story :-) and I thought it was a great image of what prayer is. I thought I would share with all of you.

Mom's Empty Chair

A woman's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her mother. When the minister arrived, he found the woman lying in bed with her head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside her bed. The minister assumed that the woman had been informed of his visit.

"I guess you were expecting me," he said.

"No, who are you?" said the mother.

The minister told her his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up."

"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden woman. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the woman. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old woman continued, "Until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, 'Prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest: Sit down in a chair, place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, "I will be with you always." Then, just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now.' So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old woman to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her mama had died that afternoon. "Did she die in peace?" he asked.

"Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, she called me over to her bedside, told me she loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found her. But there was something strange about her death. Apparently, just before Mom died, she leaned over and rested her head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

Image from here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Pez Dispenser That Came To Life

Here is the final product! For my authentic writing project, we were instructed to create anything that we wanted that had to do with writing. So, I wrote a story about a Pez dispenser that started blinking and exploring. The original story was pretty boring, so I thought that stop motion animation would really spice it up. And about a week of frustration with Windows Movie Maker (it froze up on me about a million times) and many, many hours of editing later, I am very pleased with the result.

Hopefully I can use stop motion animation in my classroom when I get hired as a teacher. It is a lot of fun and I know a handful of kids already that would be interested. Maybe I can use it to teach them the procedures of the class and demonstrate to them what I expect of them. I was also thinking about turning it into a picture book. The possibilities are endless!!!!!

Enjoy the video...