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A Pocketful of Presents

This semester is finally done for me! I submitted my final test last night from the comfort of my home in my jammies… that is one of the great benefits of the Pathways program and classes online. I also finished creating a Fontbonne lesson plan this week and creating a reading plan for a student for another class. It is a gift in itself to have everything completed by this weekend.

When I think in terms of presents or gifts this Christmas season, I certainly can say that I have already received some, and it is not even my birthday or Christmas. So, with the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas humming in my head here is my list of 12 great gifts that Fontbonne has given to me :

The first would be the long awaited answer to a prayer that I was admitted into Fontbonne through the Pathways program.

The second gift would be Kathleen Schwarting, Andra Gwydir, and Carole Prince who have been patient with me as I went through the enrollment process. They have answered the questions that I have had periodically over the past year and a half. They have also been understanding and gracious to me with any concerns that I had, whether it be personal or with school.

The third gift would be the Campus Ministry at Fontbonne. One word for it- Outstanding. I am thankful for Sarah Boul, who sends out all those emails that keep me connected to prayer concerns for others and who has heard my prayer concerns as well.

The fourth gift would be the patience that I felt from Joesph Paitz who is my financial aid advisor. He has been kind to explain the process to me and help answer any of my questions.

The fifth gift is the Technology department. They have been there to answer my calls and look into my account so I have access to my classes online.

The sixth gift would be the professors that I’ve had. All of them have been able to answer my questions and clarify any problems that I’ve had within a class.

The seventh gift would be the professors that I have this semester, which has been hard on me in my personal life. My mom has been diagnosed with brain cancer and I have been trying to manage not only that, but my family and school. They have been understanding and encouraging.

The eighth gift would be that the professors are not only willing to answer my emails but have called me personally and walked me through things I need clarification about.

The ninth gift would be the ability this semester to juggle buying all my textbooks and still being able to pay our bills.

The tenth gift would be that the textbooks this semester came in on time for my classes and before assignments were due.

The eleventh gift is that I have been admitted into an honor society at Fontbonne. I am so honored that I was considered to be a part of the society. It gives me the ambition to keep going in my classes even when the concepts are hard or things are rough in my personal life.

The twelfth gift will come in a year or so when I graduate. But the idea of graduating and being able to teach is near and dear to my heart. I feel like it is more than just a dream or prayer — it is going to be a reality.

For all these gifts I am so thankful to Fontbonne for. While working my through the Pathways program I have discovered that I am smart enough, capable enough and can make it through to receive the ultimate gift, a college degree in education.


Every year I look forward to Christmas. Why wouldn’t I?! It’s the best time of the year!

But this year I am looking forward to it so much more! With my new job I have more money to “spare” and can afford to get my 3 siblings and my parents better presents than ever! For the first time ever this year, I actually waited in a line… outside… in the cold… for a Black Friday sale. Crazy right?! I agree. But my best friend, Katie, and I waited outside of Target for two hours Thanksgiving night before they opened at midnight. My goal was to get my mom a Kindle. Thank goodness this was a success or else I am sure Katie would have been a bit peeved she sat out in the cold with me. I am very glad I got her that because she deserves to get a nice gift for everything she does for us. She loves to read and has wanted one ever since they first came out, but with 3 children in college and bills to pay, she is not usually concerned with buying things for herself. I also got my godson a Cars pillow pet, and slippers 🙂 I am very excited to give him those!

As for my siblings: My oldest brother (24 years old) is a pain in the butt to shop for because he has a good paying full time job so he buys himself everything already, so I am still coming up with ideas for him. For my second older brother (23 years old), I got some World Series memorabilia that I think he will like. Third is my older sister (21, 22 in January), and I ordered her her first pair of TOMs shoes. I have two pairs and she loves to steal them, but she has rent to pay, so shoes are not on her shopping list, so I am glad to buy her a pair of those… especially since the pair I got her have a small mustache on them because we love to say “I mustache you a question, but I shall shave it for later” or “I mustache you a question, but eyebrows Goggle for the answer.” Last year in my ceramics class, I made her a mug that had a mustache on it so that when she drinks out of it it looks like she has one. We are pretty odd at times, but I love it!

So that leaves my Dad. He is the most difficult person to shop for because he never wants anything… except “4 good children” I told him that was a success in 1992 when I was born, and he needs to get a new idea, but he never wants us to buy him anything!

So I have him and my brother to shop for… worse comes to worst, I get them both gift cards to Home Depot or something manly like that.

Moral of this story: Christmas is about the giving, not the receiving, and I am very glad that I have the opportunity to give this year! My family also adopted a family this year, I always love giving to those who need it most this time of year. I thought that going into college I would have less money to spend on Christmas gifts, but I got lucky a new frozen yogurt shop, Orange Leaf, opened right up the street from campus. I am looking forward to the month long break Fontbonne gives us; it is a well deserved break and will make me very excited to return for the second semester!

Good luck to everyone on finals, and I hope everyone’s Christmas is as good as mine is shaping up to be!


Alumni Posts

Bring it on Buffalo

by Alumni Posts on November 28, 2011

in Extracurricular

I’ve been praying about what I could gift you all with this holiday season considering most of you were born when I was graduating from high school or trying college the first time around (it is just as painful for me to write that as it is for you to read it). I mean what could you need or want from such an old gal as myself?

So, I pondered words of wisdom… hmm, nope. What about sending you each a check or a gift card… that could work, but I’m a broke college student too. Oh, I know what I could gift you — the gift of a home cooked meal each week. But I’m not there… I’m in the Kansas City area. I can do the next best thing, however, which is to write out directions for a crockpot recipe each week so you can get together with your friends, pool your resources (money, food, kitchen gadgets) and have a great meal. Heck, my circle of friends is still doing this every week, and it really is fun.

So, without further ado, I bring you the recipe of the week. It has something for everyone — the football lover, the spicy foodie, and those who love hanging with their friends. It is called Buffalo Chicken Lasagna. I originally saw this on Good Morning America and it has become a hit when we have friends over to play games, watch movies or of course football.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
–uncooked traditional lasagna noodles (I use one whole box)
–4 already cooked chicken breast halves (instead of this I bought two bags of the Tyson boneless Buffalo chicken wings)
–jar of prepared pasta sauce (I use the canned stuff…it is cheaper and still pretty good…my kiddos like the Four Cheese Hunt’s brand that runs about a buck a can)
–1 cup buffalo wing sauce
–3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (if you have an Aldi’s store near I would suggest going there their prices are low on produce )
–tub of ricotta cheese (15 oz)- again, we are cheap so I use cottage cheese which is similar to the ricotta cheese in texture
–2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar blend)
–1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
–1/4 cup of water (add at very end)

The Directions.

Use at least a 5 qt. crockpot, or cut back on the amount of ingredients.

In a large glass bowl, combine cooked and chopped chicken breast/Tyson boneless wings, the pasta sauce, and 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce.

Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your crockpot. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. You’ll have to break them to get a proper fit.

Add a smear of ricotta cheese/ cottage cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of chopped bell pepper. Sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese.

Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.

Add the bleu cheese crumbles, if desired. Put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. When cooking time is complete, unplug and take off the lid of the crock. Let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into. Or it will fall apart. Even if it does fall apart it is still yummy.

Hope this finds you well fed and with friends this week.

Blessings – Sherry


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.