Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bluebonnet books, tigers, and curriculum, oh my!!

Since I have started teaching, it has been a goal of mine to read ALL of the Bluebonnet books. For those of you non-Texans, these are 20 books chosen by committees from TLA (Texas Library Association) as outstanding books for elementary aged students 3rd-5th grade. Students in Texas can read 5 books of the 20 books and then vote on their favorite. Bluebonnet Books Website 

Yesterday, I finished reading all 20 for this year!! I know, such a nerdy thing to be excited about but it felt so awesome to have read all of them! When I was student teaching, there was a teacher who had all her students be eligible to vote which is NOT as easy as it sounds. I am really hoping that this is the year I can also do that. :) There is also a Lone Star list for teens and I have been reading some of those but I'm not sure if I will finish all of them.

Now onto the tigers part. Like I mentioned, Friday was Blake's birthday. Our niece and nephew called him to wish him a happy birthday. Kynleigh proceeded to sing "Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey, and you smell like one too!" Then Austin (3 years old) gets on the phone and yells "Happy birthday! You smell like a tiger!" :) So cute. I adore them and since they live 6 hours away, we don't get to see them as much as we would like. I would love it if someone would go ahead and create a teleportation system... 

Curriculum... so my coworker has been sick and she needed someone to fill in for her on the technology curriculum writing team tonight. She asked me to go for her and I was excited and also nervous. Curriculum is something that I am interested in (obviously since that is what I am getting my masters in) but didn't sign up for this team since I already have a lot on my plate.:) I really enjoyed getting to work on writing the curriculum and thinking about how we could write the lessons and assessments to not only help the students learn in the best way but also to help teachers. Teachers have SO much on their plate (pardon the repeated expression) and we need all the help we can get. For instance, I did not find out about the UT shooter until 7:30 tonight when I got home. I felt so dumb reading through all the Facebook posts and having no clue any of this was happening and some of my friends and family were in danger. I am glad everyone is ok but it is so weird to be so out of the loop for most of the day. I don't know how to change this but I guess it comes with the territory of being a teacher. 

Speaking of, I still have 2 more things to work on for work before I can go to bed. Better get back to it :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crazy Couple Weeks

Like I mentioned in the last post, these past two weeks have been CRAZY! I will start at the beginning (a good place to start) and but I won't promise my thoughts will always go in order. Speaking of, I heard that Oprah might have a Sound of Music reunion on her show sometime in October!!! I really hope it happens!!! (If you don't know how I made that jump, you really need to learn more about musicals)

So last Friday night (not this past weekend but the one before) we hung out with some friends downtown. Always fun but most Fridays I am exhausted and not always good company. Good thing my friends put up with me anyway. :) Blake and I ended up leaving early (around 10:30) because we get tired pretty early nowadays (sad, I know). 

As you can tell, I have really enjoyed working in my yard and trying to make it somewhat presentable. I got up earlish Saturday morning and ended up working in the yard from 8:30-11:30. Yes, I got a lot done (and battled with that last bush for an hour), but I also mangaged to give myself a migraine. :( Then we cleaned our house for Blake's birthday party but since I had a migraine, I wasn't a good hostess. Luckily, it was more of a guys' night so my friends Shelley and Katherine went to dinner without me and then we all watched a movie. I also got to play with Shelley's baby Jackson (3 months). :)

Sunday was 4 hours of errands and 8 hours of work stuff :(

Then like I mentioned, I came home sick from school Monday and Blake and I spent all afternoon/night in bed. I even had to call my mom to come take care of us because we did not have any 7up or saltine crackers in the house. This was the first time both of us were sick and we definitely learned our lesson. 

Tuesday was another 11 hours of work. Wednesday was our 5 year anniversary of being together so I already knew it was a special day. Little did I know my best friend Katherine would give birth to her daughter Isabelle that day! I was so excited to hear that baby and Momma were doing well and could not wait to meet her and congratulate her lucky parents.I had a training afterschool and my other best friend, Sarina, and I were trying to figure out if we could visit that night for a teeny bit since we both had Open House the next night. We never ended up hearing from them so being the presumptuous friends we are, we went over anyway. None of you will be surprised to hear that I started crying the second I saw both of them.This is the first of my close friends to have a baby and I have felt so honored to have been part of this important part of our friends' lives. We have been praying for Isabelle and thinking about her and her growth for the last 9 months and can't believe she is finally here. I am also so proud of Katherine and have a new admiration for all mothers. Of course, I haven't been able to see them since then because Isabelle is not even a week old but I look forward to playing with her and reading with her whether she wants to or not. Yes, I will be THAT mommy's friend. I already am THAT aunt to my niece and nephew and they still love me more than Blake :)

Thursday was Open House. So of course I wake up early and do my hair and put on nice clothes, and get a flat tire on the way to school. Luckily, I had passed a cop so I turned around and he was nice enough to help me. He made sure to teach me how to change my tire (fyi: I know how to, but I would prefer help if possible) and he made sure to tell me that normally he doesn't help change tires but since I was a teacher he would help me. I only ended up 20 minutes late to school and my awesome coworkers covered for me until I got there. Of course when I got there, I still had sweat dripping all over and grease on my face and hands. Open House went well and all the parents seemed to be happy, thank goodness.

Friday was Blake's birthday!!! Unfortunately, he was sick so we just went to dinner and watched Star Trek, which ended up being better than I thought.

Saturday morning, I worked in the yard again but made an effort to stay in the shade as much as possible and take lots of water breaks. 
I finished taking out all the little rocks and planted Mexican Petunias that my mom gave me around the edges of the trees.
 These next pictures are not of my garden but they are of what my Mexican Petunias will look like when they grow. :)
Not my yard but maybe one day!
See how pretty!!!
 Next weekend I hope to plant my daffodils (my favorite flower) in the middle of the flower bed.
It looks so much better without those little rocks!!
 After the daffodils, this is my next project.
Yuck, yuck, yuck!!!!

The rest of Saturday was resting because I again, ended up giving myself a headache. Hopefully with this cool front we had pass through today, I won't be getting anymore heat headaches. *fingers crossed*

On Sunday, I spent 7 hours grading papers. Yes, you read that correctly. 7 hours. Then 3 more hours on lesson plans and grad assignment. It was really hard to work because it was beautiful outside and this is my view as I work.

But at least the Cowboys won. :) I wore my Cowboys shirt to lunch with my family on Sunday and they made fun of me. Who is laughing now?!! (I really don't get into NFL football but I had to put that last part since they made fun of me) 

And Sunday was also my Mommy's birthday! I love my mom so much and am so glad she is my mom. I love the relationship we have now that I am not older and not such a brat. 
Mother's Day 2010
From the wedding :)

Whew! Hopefully these next few weeks will be calmer and I can post more often and more fun random stuff. Congratulations if you made it all the way to the end of this post.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Too Busy!!

So part of the reason I wanted to start this was to help me remember all the small things that happen in my life that make me smile. Then life gets in the way. :)

Last week was SUPER busy. It was a very stressful week but my students always find a way to make me smile and remind me that it is all worth it.

On Tuesday, I was in the drive thru at Whataburger thinking through lesson plans for the next day (what a surprise) when I see a silhouette in the car in front of me moving back and forth. It was one of my students waving at me! I know it is really random but I love seeing students outside of the classroom (most of the time, there are times when I see them when I am running errands with no makeup and look horrible, those times not so much)

Then was the first Curious! Last year, Blake and I began working with junior high students at our church, Faithbridge. I worked with 6th grade girls and Blake with 7th grade boys. This year, we both moved up with our students and I was SO excited to see them! My partner and I had 14 girls from our group show up!!! One of those good problems to have. One of the best parts was that one of my girls told me that she had to write a paper on someone who impacted them and she wrote about me! So flattering and a needed reminder that the time commitment is so worth it.

The weekend was NON stop which ended with me throwing up at school yesterday and Blake and I both having a stomach virus. But that story is for another blog post. BEDTIME!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Typical School Year Sunday

Today was my first "typical school year Sunday" which goes like this...

- sleep until I am pretty well rested and recovered (until 9sh)
- wake up (that takes about an hour)
- work on lesson plans
- grade papers
- laundry
- put grades in gradebook
- church
- grad work
- bed

Doesn't that sound fun?! If I'm lucky, my parents will call us and invite us to lunch (on them) but that doesn't happen to much anymore but I still enjoy it when it does (hint hint) :)

I'm now a football widow since the season started. Blake spends most of his Saturdays watching NCAA and Sundays watching NFL. I will say that he did go into work Saturday morning and still mows the lawn, etc. Don't want you to think he is a complete bum. :) P.S. He totally walked behind me twice while I was typing this and did not notice I was talking about him. :) :)

So yesterday I applied to be an official grad student :) So far I have been a "non-degree seeking student" because I missed the deadline for the application. I was able to apply to be a non-degree seeking student and take up to 12 hours. That is how I was able to take 9 hours over the summer (which was CRAZY) and 3 hours right now this fall. 

Yesterday, I also worked in the yard. 
This is the bane of my existence right now.   
Originally there were four of the bushes
Those plants end up really big with feathery things on top and I really really didn't like them. I managed to take three of them out and just have this last one to yank out of the ground. 

There were also all these little rocks all around the area.
 They are also really annoying! Grass and weeds would grow between them and I just think they look ugly. So I started taking them out and putting them in gallon bags. Why gallon bags? Because these rocks are HEAVY even in gallon bags. Several hours later, this is how far I've gotten.
See how much better it looks!!
 Now being the packrat/not wanting to waste anything person that I am, we now have tons of rocks. This is what the side of the garage looks like. Keep in mind I'm only about 1/5 of the way through since these rocks are ALL over our flowerbeds...
Does anyone need any rocks?
 Like I said before, there is still a ton of work left to be done but I'm pleasantly surprised to find how much I'm enjoying working on the yard. I just wish I had more time and the weather was cooler. :)

Ok, time to stop procrastinating and finish up my lesson plans. Even though it occurred to me today that I'm going to end up changing all of them the night before because it never goes as planned and so I have to change everything up. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rainy Days...

Rainy days are not fun, especially when you are a teacher. The kids are CRAZY because they can hear the rain outside and they have to stay indoor for recess. 

Today, I did have a bright spot though. So confession time, I am HORRIBLE at coming up with sentences for spelling pre-tests and tests. I try to make them funny but then the kids get distracted. The sentences end up being goofy and don't always flow smoothly. So one of the words on today's pre-test was "beautiful." Of course being myself, my sentence went something like this.. "You are allowed to describe me as beautiful." Later, one of my students decided to call me Mrs. Beautiful for the rest of the day instead of Mrs. Beaver. Definitely put a smile on my face. :)

Moral of the story, make sure to let someone in your life know that they are beautiful. It will give them a good memory out of an otherwise rainy, busy, tiring day.

Speaking of tiring, time to work on Tuesday Folders....:) 

Monday, September 6, 2010

We are making progress!

So Blake and I moved into our house a little over a year ago. We closed on the house the first Friday of school last year so needless to say, the progress has been slow going. I anticipated working on it more in the summer but then I decided to take 9 hours of grad school so again, not much got done. Now that I am in my 4th year of teaching, I have been able to manage my time a BIT better and am finding more time get our house the way we want it.

Our two big projects are our study  and our lawn. When we moved in, the study became the "catch all" for all the stuff we did not know where to put. Over the last year, it also became the room we shoved everything into whenever anyone would come over. :)

When we first moved in.
This is what it turned into by the end of the summer :(

Today, Blake worked really hard and we can finally see the floor!!! A lot of the papers and stuff were put into boxes that were put into the closet, but I can go through those later (maybe next summer).

Way to go Blake!
You do NOT want to see inside the closet ;)

Our yard has also been a big problem. We try to keep up with it but it is expensive to buy all the equipment and we have been slowly but surely acquiring them. I know we could hire a landscaper but we are really trying hard to avoid that and honestly, I don't mind working on the yard, I just wish I had more time.:)

One of the biggest problems is that Blake bought a "cheap" (not really that cheap though) edger and our yard is too big for it. Our HOA keeps sending us letters about our yard so Saturday (in an effort to avoid working) I went outside to work on the weeds. Our neighbor stopped by and offered to loan us his edger. We got talking and it turns out his daughter needs some help with school work so he offered to edge our lawn if I would work with his daughter. DONE! After 3 plus hours and 4 wasp stings, our front yard started looking decent. It still needs a LOT more work since I'm not really a fan of what the previous owners did with the landscaping, I'm working on taking out there stuff and figuring out what I want. 

Current status of the front yard. Blah!!

Well, I guess I should get back to my grad paper. I am taking Children's Literature and Literacy this semesters from one of my favorite undergrad profs. Our first assignment is to write a reading autobiography which is actually somewhat fun. It was interesting hearing from my parents about my early reading experiences. Apparently, when I started reading in Kindergarten, I expected my brother (who was 3 at the time) to be able to read also. I used to get mad at him for not reading and accused him of lying when he said he couldn't read. Anyone who knows me shouldn't be shocked by this revelation. :)