Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day success

The first day was a success. The new little 3rd graders were so small compared to my almost 4th graders from last year. I just want to pick them up and give them a huge hug. I saw some of my old kids and really wanted to sit with them and talk with them but I have a new class now and I need to embrace them. It's like new friends and old friends or like when you've moved on from a group that is staying together. It's not the same if you go back but there's still that desire to. Hard feeling to explain. But I loved seeing them and look forward to seeing them throughout the year and in to 5th grade.

My kids today were so well behaved. They followed directions and laughed when I was silly and got into the book I read and did their work so well. I'm so excited about this group of kids. I'm praying for love for them and trying to get to know them best I can. One of the funniest thing is that they always ask "How old are you?" and I love to let them guess first. Today I got a 34, then a 23, then some in between and then finally a 24 to which I said BINGO! But last year someone actually guessed 68. Can you believe it? I think actually the girl was mad at me and somehow knew even as a 3rd grader that its insulting to a woman to be guessed too much older than she actually is. Haha I wasn't phased though. I'm secure in the fact that I look no where close to 68. I hope everyone else had a good first day of school!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Round 3

Can you say new sharpened pencils :)! Round 3 (year 3!) of teaching begins. Each year is like a new adventure. New kids, new teachers, new issues, new lessons, new everything if I want. I'm nervous but the least nervous I've been so far. These kids don't know me. I can be whoever I want to be to them - very strict or very loose. They (for the most part) have no real pre-conceived ideas about me. It's nice because the mistakes I made last year in discipline or planning or classroom procedures are gone and I get to start new. Can I just tell you I'm so excited to get these 14 new children. I already love them! I met about 12 of them last Thursday at meet the teacher.

There's one little boy who is new to the school. As we were talking about the books I had in my classroom, he asked if I had any about Lamberguines (sp??). Sadly, I don't have any although I'm on the lookout now. But he said that in his old school there was this great book about Lamberguines but it was a 3rd grade book. He's been looking forward to being able to read it...and then he changed schools! They're just so precious. I'm going to just do an almost complete overhall of my classroom, plans, procedures etc. I'm going to try a lot of new stuff and keep the stuff that worked from last year.

I have a wonderful team this year. 7 of us...6 girls and one guy. Some are my age, some a little older. I've got 3 years of experience, we've got 2 first years, and then the rest a mix of levels. But they are so fun and so sweet. We've had so much fun getting to know each other and laughing and getting ready for the year. They are going to be a huge encouragement and help this year. The Lord is so gracious. I have prayed that He hand pick the children to go into my classroom so I am estatic to find out who He put there. I will be exausted this week so if you see me, just excuse the glazed over, dead look in my eyes...I will come back to life in a few days once I'm back in the routine of school. Yippeee!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last day of Summer

No, I know its not the official seasonal last day of summer (When is that anyways??), but its my last day of summer defined as no work. Last week, I went into school and set up my classroom (see photos below) and I even went in yesterday but today, my last day, I said NO, no school stuff! I have thoroughly enjoyed my day. I woke up, drank coffee and watched the Today show which was all about the Olympics I watched last night. Then I continued scrapbooking our honeymoon making a complete mess of the living room. There's piles of paper, stickers, scissors of different designs, and double sided tape surrounding an empty circle in the living room where I sit and scrapbook. I need some sort of rolling table that I can move in and out of the living room. KatyISD teachers go back tomorrow for convocation, staff development, and then some work days at the end. As much as I love the summer, I actually am happy to get back to being a productive part of society, getting up early, and going to work. It was a much needed break but it must come to an end. Early morning alarms, delicious strong coffee waking me up, traffic, sweet children, lesson plans, going to bed early, routine, and more all walk back into my life tomorrow. I have loved you summer!

Here are some pics of my room...teachers if you have any suggestions or ideas, I'd love them!

Below is a picture from the door - it my desk area with school supplies, and the "Wild Wild West" word wall. Our school's theme this year is Western.

(Above) This is my reading corner with all my books and some fun "book nooks" to relax in and read.

Also, this weekend, my sweet friend Jamie came down from Dallas for the weekend. We did all the girly things that could possibly be fit in one weekend: 2 girl movies, shopping, a pedicure, yummy food, and good talking.

We introduced Jamie to Rock Band. She had never played before but she still played fabulously!

On our way to church


Friday, August 8, 2008

Questions I have

Hello all. I need you. Now, I know a wealth of knowledge is available to me out there. On the Internet and in books and magazines, but the knowledge most valuable to me is what YOU have! I value personal experience over any book or magazine or review or article. So, that leads me to my question...

So, I've been cooking for a year now. My husband is patient and content and hungry. He's content to eat most anything I set in front of him to satisfy his hunger...whether it be the best meal ever or just ok. Usually, if a meal isn't good that I've cooked, I'm the one to speak up and say, "Man I don't wanna keep eating - this is just gross." If I didn't say anything, he'd prolly just kept eating. Sweet thang. Well, anyways, I want to beef up my cooking (heehee get it?!). I usually stick to chicken because its the easiest. It stays frozen in the freezer until I need it and I can always cook it without thawing it or making any preparations ahead of time. It goes with veggies, pasta, soup, and more probably. I occasionally throw in a ground beef dish - usually no more exciting than spaghetti or tacos. Fish and pork are few and far between and I need more of them. Now, I'm not saying I think I'm a bad cook, I just need some new life into my cooking. I've gotten bored with it and have stopped trying new things as much. So, I need to branch out and I need some inspiration...

That's where you and your valuable personal experience come in! I find things in magazines or books or online and try them sometimes but it's such a shot in the dark. Sometimes good, sometimes tasteless. Also, it just kills me to buy all those random ingredients, spend more time than normal cooking and then it turn out I just don't try it. I want to cook new styles of food (more than chx and veggies stir fry) and different meats. So, any advice you have? Any good recipes? Any good tried and true cook books or sites or secret ingredients you always use? Now, any and all of you that have helped me with cooking thus far, THANK YOU! Your advice has been invaluable and has gotten me to where I am today. I just need more! Thank you in advance. :)
One more quick question. Why does my feed of people's blogs sometimes show a list of names and sometimes shows the feed with their last post and its title? It's been acting up and only appearing occasionally. I can't figure it out. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Caymans

A week ago (or so) Ben and I went to the Cayman Islands for vacation for fun and to celebrate our anniversary. We've been married a year (as I said earlier)! I am a little late on telling about trip because we came back home and got right back in the swing of things. It was beautiful and a nice temperature. My sister, her husband, their 3 boys, and their nephew were there the first 3 days we were there so we got to spend time with them. With three boys all under 12, they run full speed going 10 million miles an hour. There's always something going on. I love it! Family gatherings with everything going crazy around me is one of my favorite things. Anyways...they went back home and we spent the rest of the time just relaxing, touring the island, and eating yummy island food. Here are some pics from the trip...

A beautiful spikey flower.

Fortunately, this was at the end of our trip but we got a little bit of the tropical storm.

Ahh! There's an iguana under the bench!

Ben relaxing at sea.

Ben playing golf with a view of the ocean! Man look at that swing. Just like a pro.

An unlikely friend met along the way. He actually let me get this close without running away. Aparently, since the hurricane in 2004, they have been all over the island including the golf course. He looks kinda friendly don't ya think?

The signs a little hard to see but it says "Crocodile Hole." Yikes! We actually did not see any crocodiles.

About to board the submarine. The Caymans had the most beautiful blue water I have ever seen.

A storm was blowin in!

We loved the trip and we say thank you to my sweet sister for inviting us there! Happy last week of summer (for all you teachers out there, or at least it is for me)!