Monday, September 29, 2008

Gettin' better

Ahhhh Monday morning. Nothing like it. Large coffee to go instead of a medium one, laundry list of things to do when I get to school, a mailbox of memos and reminders to sort through, lesson plans to turn in, projects to plan swirling in my head, papers to grade still from the weekend...

This is my typical Monday morning. My copilot called and said she needed an extra 30 this morning, so I decided to blog!!

I am feeling better, almost 100%. It wasn't a sinus infection, a toss between a cold or allergies, I'm leaning toward the allergies at this point. Seriously though, it doesn't matter. I was sick, still am a teeny bit, but I rested up this weekend and hopefully after work today I won't be down on the couch at 5pm. Keep your fingers crossed!

I went shopping last night in the small town where the family lakehouse is before leaving to come home. I just have to comment on the wonderful shopping experience it was. I had lots of room in the aisles to move around, no one was nasty, no one was snotty, and best of all, there wasn't a 40 minute wait in the checkout lane. I waited for NO ONE. Can you believe it? I love small towns. I miss small towns. Maybe that will be our excuse every weekend to go back to the lakehouse, even when it's winter, just so that I can have a pleasant grocery shopping experience!

Happy Monday!! Happy Fall! I'm so glad it's here!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Funny

This is the student that I always talk about...the one that has funny funnies to say. I went over how to answer this question with the kids before I turned them loose to answer it on their own. This is what she came up with. Can you tell she's the drama queen of my class? I asked her if she was classroom pet. You know she had some long, drawn out answer, and the result was, of course, "Yes, I'm a pet. I'm my mom's pet."
I'm currently fighting off a cold, and hopefully nothing more. My students came to school the first day of the year coughing, sneezing, and snotting all over. It hasn't stopped yet, so I knew it was only a matter of time till I got sick. Two more days till the weekend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Finally Fall

This weekend was AWESOME. Saturday Kenny & I packed a quick bag and went to the family lakehouse. The weather was perfect, warm but not hot and then very cool at night. PERFECT fall weather. We trudged through the woods to find some trees for his tree stand when he starts hunting, rode the 4-wheeler, I got to read my book on the deck for hours, slept in Sunday morning (a rarity these days), Kenny popped in the water with the canoe, visited with his parents, and overall, just relaxed.
It was such a nice getaway. On Sunday we visited the same farm we went to last year and picked our own pumpkins from the vine, along with other fall decor stuff for our porch. The dog had a blast and wasn't such a pain this year. She only chased SOME of the farm animals, whereas last year she terrorized all of them because she was still a baby puppy. This time, she thought she was tough stuff walking up on a peacock, until the thing unleashed it's feathers and then, I hate to admit it, our puppy turned into the biggest wuss. She hid from the peacock! Go to my flickr to see all the pictures.

Back to reality today. It was so hard to get up and go to work this morning, it really was. But I did, and it turned out to be the best day at work yet! I have an awesome class!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why I love Quiet Mornings

Awww Saturday morning. I feel like I can sit still for a minute. It's quiet, the dog is outside, Kenny is still sleeping, I just cleaned the kitchen (taking a break until I move onto the next room), and a minute to think to myself. This school year I'm trying something different. I've always struggled with how to properly "correct" student work and what to do with it then. Normally I just put a check on the page and put it in the kids' mailboxes, they take it home, and probably it goes right into the trash. I seriously doubt parents looks at it, so it's kind of a big waste.....of paper, of time, of everything. I have advanced kids, my WHOLE class is advanced. I have first and second graders, all pretty much working at their own advanced pace, which is why I have a smaller class, so I can actually work one-on-one with them every single day. This is only my third year teaching multi-age (7th year overall), so there are still things I'm changing and trying and getting rid of. Here's how I've changed so far this year....when students are done with their work, they come to me. I look at what they have done and if something is wrong, it's addresses immediatly, fixed, discussed, worked out, and then turned into THEIR MAILBOXES. I'm sure parents still aren't going to look at the work, but at least it's not sitting in the try for me to have to put a check on it later when I don't even remember what it was and the kids aren't looking at it a week later thinking, what did I do wrong? They won't even remember? The problem with this method is that I am constantly talking/instructing ALL DAY LONG. From the second the kids get into the room, I have one or two right there at the table with me, working on things. I know that's my job, and believe me, I love my job, but this method allows me ZERO time to STOP teaching/talking. It's one child after another. If all the kids were "on the same page" with their assignments, I would have 5 or 10 minutes here or there to walk around the room or sit down for a second, just to recoup my mind. But with these smarty pants kiddos I have (and love dearly), I don't get that minute to unwind. Despite all that, the kids are learning better and more effectively from me this year than in the past. Even though they are constantly checking in with me, things are progressing much better for them. I have to say that I am more exhausted at the end of the day than I have ever been though. I can feel it every single day when I get home. Man, am I tired. As October begins, I think I am going to give them more independence with turning work in. Not go back to the way I used to do it before, but just to balance it out a little, because I know that I'll get burnt out this way real fast, and they will too. But I do feel good about the way they are progressing already this year. Advanced kids are so great to work with. I can introduce a concept to them (for example, borrowing) and in two days they get it and are ready to move onto the next concept. Just like that. And another thing I love about advanced multi-age is that the older kids can help the younger ones....they can explain things in their own "kid" words and sometimes the younger ones understand it more coming from another kid versus me. It's so cool how my classroom works. But this is why my brain is fried on Fridays. Or everyday. That's why finding this much needed peace and quiet at home is important. It won't last forever, in a minute Kenny will be awake and talking my ear off and trying to get me to go here and there with him. The dog will want to play and the phone will start ringing. But right now, it's still quiet, I'm still in my PJs and there's no one sitting in front of me needing an explanation as to why they have to put the "one" here and subtract. I love it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I called in sick already. Can you believe it? Week three and I called in! I had a doozy of a headache yesterday and it was persistant, so when I woke up this morning, and it was still there, I know there was no way I could function in charge of 20 kids. So I called in. I felt SO GUILTY. Seriously, I still feel guilty. But I had to do it. My main concern was that all day yesterday I was experiencing dizzy spells, more than the normal get-up-too-quickly kind. I thought maybe it was a hormonal issue, because it's just about that time, but I wasn't sure, and it was happening a lot. So that and the headache had me worried. I do get headaches frequently, but not with dizziness. So Kenny took me to the ER at 5am. When did ERs get flat screens in every room? And I do mean ROOM as in a square foot room with 4 real walls and a real closing door, and PRIVACY?? Oh yeah, when a state of the art hospital is built. Talk about royalty. Kenny asked me if we could go back to the ER every time I get a headache. I find humor in that now, but at the time, it wasn't fully. So after mumbo jumbo of the ER, I had a clean CT scan (duh people, just a headache) and no clear reason for the dizziness, I got a shot (you know where and it hurt LIKE HELL) and the headache was gone in 15 minutes. We are thinking the dizziness if from either allergy or sinus junk or from PMS, not really sure, just keeping an eye on it. Kenny was sad to leave. He was having a great time with the remote while I slept in the ER bed. He's so goofy. I came home and slept some more. The shot I got knocked me out for about 6 hours. I woke up groggy and happy. End of story!

If you get an extra minute or two, hop over to Lori's blog and send her some love. She needs it right about now. And then visit Steff's too, she needs it!

TT sent me this MEME in an email, so I made a post out of it. It's been a while since I did a MEME. It was time. Here ya go. I tag anyone else who wants to do it!

1. What is your occupation right now? Elementary teacher
2. What color are your socks right now? None on! I love my bare feet at home!
3. What are you listening to right now? Dishwasher and the hamster in his wheel
4. What was the last thing that you ate? Green grapes
5. Can you drive a stick shift? YES! My first car was a stick shift, had it for 5 years! I learned to drive on a stick shift, so it was actually WORK to think about not using my left foot when I drove an automatic!
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Niki
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Of course! Love ya Tana!
8. How old are you today? 29. Gulp. For real.
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Hockey or baseball
10. What is your favorite drink? Diet coke
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes
12. Favorite food? Mexican
13. What is the last movie you watched? The Bucket List. Very sad.
14. Favorite holiday of the year? I love them all!!!
15. How do you vent anger? Cry mostly, if it's at Kenny, I yell (I know, BAD ME), sometimes stomp around
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? I loved my Barbies, My Little Ponies, and my dolls
17. What is your favorite season? Fall/Autumn.
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail (post on their blog) you back? Only if they want to!
20. Who is the most likely to respond? You know who you are.
21. Who is least likely to respond? You know who you are.
22. Living arrangements? 3 bedroom ranch with the hubs, a hamster, and a one year old black lab who is very smoiled.
23. When was the last time you cried? Today...I had a headache AND pms. Not a pretty sight.
24. What is on the floor of your closet? NOTHING! I cleaned it out this summer and it's still clean. My shoes are ON A RACK! Can you handle that?
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? You know who you are!
26. What did you do last night? Went to bed early with a headache
27. What are you most afraid of? Too many to name!
28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese!
29. Favorite dog breed? Well, I'm biased because I have one, but LAB at the moment!
30. Favorite day of the week? Thursday, it's the promise of Friday and the weekend!
31. How many states have you lived in? 1
32. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds!
33. What is your favorite flower? It was roses, now I'm not sure. I love violets and hydrangeas too, but really, flowers at anytime are wonderful, so I love them all!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Catch Up

I did it again....I let so many days go by without posting! I promise it's not from lack of things to write about. It's the time thing!

The second week of school was pretty good. My students continue to be mostly well behaved every day, which I LOVE. I'm really feeling the time crunch with things that bog down the beginning of the school year.....lesson plans, extra meetings, new routines, adjusting to less sleep...the list goes on.

One of my BFFs joined our gym and has inspired me to take some classes. Kenny & I have been members for almost 5 years and I've always been too intimidated to take the classes. I always thought "what if I can't make it the 60 minutes?" She told me I was ridiculus and we took our first class together last week called STRIKE. It's like taebo, only better, and you use weighted gloves and a big stick and it's awesome! And the best part was the 60 minutes FLEW by and it was high impact so I was feeling it the whole time, more so than when I just jog. We liked that instructor even though she was slightly crazy, so we took another class that she taught, cardio ballet. You can stop laughing now....we really took it. It was awful, but a good workout, but never again! So this past week we went to STRIKE again, and when we got there, there was a different instructor who said there was a change in schedule and that it was cardio kickboxing, not STRIKE, that the only difference was that there were no gloves or bars needed. So we thought, no biggie, we'll take it anyway! IT KICKED OUR ASSES. This guy (the instructor) was military style, and he was mean. If you even looked at the door with thoughts of bailing, it's like he sensed it and moved over to where you were. It was so hard, the hardest, most intensive workout I've had since high school softball. To make things worse for me, my BFF got paged about halfway through the hour because her son was crying in daycare and wouldn't stop, so she got to leave early and go downstairs and get him. I SO BADLY wanted to leave with her, but the instructor would have kicked my butt, so I toughed it out and kept going, all the while knowing I wasn't going to be walking the next day. I think I kissed the ground when it was over and done with. That was Thursday, and we both wanted to take another class on Saturday, so we opted to take WATER aerobics, which is still cardio, but a low impact version. Which was about all we could handle because of how sore we were from Thursday. The instructor for the water class was awesome, and he teaches his own cardio kickboxing class, which, after having survived it on Thursday, I have to say that I'm proud of myself and we decided we will take it again on Tuesday with the good instructor. He promised to not be so hard on us. We'll see:)

A word of caution to ladies who carry purses....

The same BFF that I suffer through aerobic classes with was grocery shopping yesterday. She opened the egg cooler to grab a dozen eggs, saw that one was cracked, and grabbed another dozen, turned around and set it in her cart and her purse was gone. It was taken in the time it took her to pick up two egg cartons. So be VERY CAREFUL when you put your purses in shopping carts. I'm guilty of it too, so just be careful! It only takes seconds!

Now I have a question to all the mommas out there. As a teacher, I am required to assign my students nightly homework. I send home the homework packet every Monday along with a reading log, and it's due on Friday. The packet includes one page of spelling word activities, and three pages of math practice. It's never work that is new that week, it's always a review of the week before's lessons. Do you think that's too much? Do you think first and second graders should or should not have 20-30 minutes of homework and reading a night? Leave a comment, even if you aren't a parent, leave a comment. I really want some opinions!!

Now that school is in full swing, we have full length lesson plans due. So I will be spending the next three hours working on them!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wow it's been 5 days since I posted! Not good!

The first week of school was busy as usual. My class is pretty good so far. The kids are very funny, and I have enjoyed them all four days. I was VERY thankful for the weekend though. This coming week is going to be even more busy. We have meetings, open house, a cupcake fundraiser where teachers are required to make cupcakes, as well as all the normal teaching routines. I'm tired just thinking about what I have to accomplish this week.

This weekend I really took advantage of being home. I cleaned and did all that house stuff that never seems to go away, but really, I just LOVED being home with Kenny. I already miss that from vacation.

Today we went to a couple estate sales in our city and then to an outdoor craft show/flea market. The weather today was really nice for this time of year, which tends to be very hot and humid. It was sunny and warm with a breeze, perfect September weather. Although, I'm ready for it to be cooler because I practically melt everyday in my classroom without AC and so do the kids, so cool weather is welcomed to come anytime! We took the dog with us to the flea market on her choker leash (it's not mean, I swear!!) and she was so good. The leash helps out, and let me tell you, I've tried EVERY leash out there to find the one that doesn't allow her to rip my arm out of its socket. I finally found it, just a plain old choker leash, the kind where when she tries to pull on me, it pulls the leash around her neck and is uncomfortable, so she won't pull too much. I had her on a normal leash for a while, and she did okay with it, put I had to hold it so tight that it wasn't enjoyable to walk her, so I quit until I found the choker one. Thank goodness because even though she has an entire fenced yard to herself every day, she loves going for walks on a leash.

I'm off to bed early, or at least to watch TV and then bed, but it's still way earlier than I normally go to bed.....I need every extra minute this week!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The kids survived the first day with me as their teacher! Or, should I say, I survived the first day with them as my students. Remember how they are advanced? Yeah, well, this year's group seems to be SUPER advanced. And funny. Here's what happened during the first round of show-and-tell (minus the's just tell in my classroom).

TEACHER: So, H, how was your summer?
STUDENT: It was good. My cat puked 6 times in one day.
TEACHER: H, let's try to talk about things that aren't nasty, okay?
STUDENT: (laughing) Okay. Well, I got a whoopin' one day from my mom because I......
TEACHER: H, that's not a fun thing to talk about. Remember, you are supposed to tell us about things that were fun for you on vacation.
STUDENT: Um, well, I went swimming with my friends and my bathingsuit came.....
TEACHER: Okay, thanks for sharing H! Next!
STUDENT: But I wasn't done with that part of my story!
TEACHER: Yes, you were. You will get show and tell again next week.

This is one of the same students I had last year, and she's super funny. She always has off the wall comments and talks about goofy things. I promise there will be more funnies coming from her this year!

My day was a great first day. The kids were great, they were happy and excited. I did have one crier, but he eventually stopped when his mom left mid-morning, and he was just fine from that point on. I let him eat lunch with me and all was good.

Kenny was STILL cleaning out the garage when I got home. It's looking a little better, there isn't a fleamarket going on in our backyard at least, today anyway. That's what it looked like yesterday. I'm NOT kidding either. I really wanted to take pictures, but then I felt bad because he's been working very hard to clean it all out and get rid of stuff. Just trust me when I say the garbage pickers in this town are going to have a field day when our garbage day rolls around this week. It'll be like Christmas for them. I'm proud of Kenny for parting with so much stuff. He has issues when it comes to parting with "stuff."

His funny moment of the day was when I got home and was checking my email in the computer room. He was watching TV and out of nowhere he says, "Do you think I look more like Trace Adkins or Matthew MCconaughey." I think I fell out of the computer chair when he said that!

I'm going to bed early. Today kicked my butt. I need more rest to go back and do it again tomorrow!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Real Last Day of Vacay


Lindsay over at Splat Designs is having a on the box to find out details!

Today is my last day of sane-ness before the kids arrive in my classroom tomorrow. I am in shock! I am meeting one of my best friends (since first grade) at the gym this morning for a good workout and hopefully some pool time too. I'm so excited that she and her family signed up at our gym! I've been waiting for about 5 years for someone I know to be there! It makes it so much more fun to workout.

Kenny started cleaning the garage last night. He hasn't finished because it's going to be a multi-day project and I'm concerned because of his ADD tendencies. I woke up to about 15 things spread across the backyard, including, but not limited to: lawnmower, 4wheeler, snowblower, several other lawn items, tubs, a bike rack (where did that come from???), a new freezer we just purchased (that's what prompted the cleanout), I could go on and on and on. I'll spare you the details, but there's a lot of stuff out there. He was up late working on it. He will be out there working on it today, I hope:)

I got some clothes for school yesterday. That always makes me a little more excited...I think (THINK!!!) I'm wearing a dress on the first day.....OMG that hasn't happened in a long time! If I do, there will be pics to prove it! I do wear dresses, especially in the spring and summer time, just not to school. Maybe I'll make a change this year.

I will leave you with this picture Kenny took of the dog. She was laying in the chair with me, sleeping. I know, I know, how spoiled is she. I can't help it though. She's just so cute!