Friday, September 26, 2008


So today is Friday . . . .
I think it was just yesterday that it was Monday . . . .
How is it that the week goes by so quickly, yet I seem to have accomplished NOTHING???!!

Today was one of my student's birthday. He brought in 3 BOXES of Dunkin Donuts to share with the class!!!!!!!! (I only ate one, though) It was soo yummy!! If I had to pick one weakness of mine -- it would definitely be donuts! (especially if it is a chocolate-iced, cream-filled donut -- yum!) Not that I necessarily need it right now . . . .

I really don't have a lot of time right now (I seem to say that a lot). Fridays are tougher since we have to post grades online and our assignment sheets are done differently through the website. It's really better for the parents, but a little frustrating for me. I don't know how some of the other teachers do this AND have a family. At least when I'm at school until 7 or 8 at night, I don't come home to a hungry, worried family!! (though I do forget the fish sometimes -- I'm such a bad "mother"!)

P.S. -- if you want to post a comment -- don't worry about the comment moderation thing -- I just did that so I'd get an e-mail when someone comments!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's FALL!!!

I love fall!!!! I'm so excited!!!! (not just because my birthday is in the fall . . . really . . . ) I just HAD to change my background!! I don't have a lot of time. I'm still at school and I need to go home, eat, change, and go to my tax course by 6 and it's YIKES!! 5:30!! Like I said, I need to quit playing around with my background and hit the road. I just wanted to share my excitement of the fall with you!! Have a great fall!!!! (it officially started yesterday!!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A note for the teacher

Last week, I noticed that "we" are having trouble staying quiet when "we" are passing in papers. I finally had enough and said, "Unless you can write down a GOOD reason why you should be allowed to talk and I agree with it, you may not talk to each other when passing in papers."

I figured this would result in one of two things:

1 - They would stop talking long enough to actually write something.
2 - They would realize the error of their ways and obediently quiet down for the rest of the year.

While I am TOTALLY for option #2, it was option #1 that won more. I think it actually resulted in more talking as they now found it ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to share with the rest of the class what they had written. Some of them said they should be allowed to talk, "because it's fun", "because we like to talk", or "sometimes people aren't paying attention when I'm passing them their paper". While I can see the validity of that last one, I don't think that would need a chaotic rumble of noise.

One response stood out. Here is his first reason for why they should be allowed to talk when passing in papers, followed by the second letter he gave me. Words in parentheses are my interpretation of what he meant to spell - remember this is just the first four weeks of third grade!!

"Becasec (because) we are childerin we ned (need) to talk we no that we shood just for about four weeks please and the other weeks we will Be good I promis."

"I no I just set (sent) a note But This is in pontin (important) Becase we need to talk. Becase a year seen (seems) to long so long dot you think __________. (I think he inserted this for my response) we just need to talk Becase wind you was a child did you wanted to talk in school I bet you did wanted to talk in school I bet you talk to yor friends you probly Got in troble once or twis I don't no just plesea we need to talk you need to talk you need to talk to rite rite I think you think you think you will get in troble with your Boss But if you do I will hallp you I promisie just ten weeke you no wiy I sed four weeks I was scarid you wood say no but I not (knowed :-) you need to say no But we need to talk beacas we are chalderin I no you probaey didn't did think of this probly thot of this often you probly ast (asked) the teacher and she sed no, and you probly ast agn (again) and agn but and I think if thas troo I think your just foloeing (fooling-- or following -- I'm not sure) your teacher But I is not true are a awsome teacher but some people mite not think your awsome But I think your awsome in my would (world--pronounced wuuuld)

Monday, September 15, 2008

I DID IT!!!!

For about the past 10 months, I've been semi-planning a trip to Chile again over Thanksgiving to go to my friend's wedding. After being frustrated over rising ticket prices and not liking some of the itineraries, I finally bit the bullet and bought the ticket. It cost me almost $1200, but God is already providing a way for me to pay it off. I've been planning to go to her wedding in Chile long before she even met her fiance, but I've just procrastinated since I don't have the money right now. This is tough for me as I'm not one to let credit card accumulate! I'm very sad that I won't be able to pay it off each month, but I know this is what I need to do. Please pray for peace that this was the right decision.

(I did get my camera back, but it's 6:00 and I'm still at school -- I need to go home!!)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just a quick note

I'm currently in Lynchburg attending the e-women's conference at Liberty University. I heard Chonda Pierce and Richie something or other who used to sing for Lonestar but now sings Christian music (the rest of his name will come to me eventually. Tomorrow we will hear Carol Kent, Angela Thomas, Karen Kingsbury, and hear a concert by Mandisa!! I'm so excited!! This is my 3rd year attending and it's definately going to be a regular event for me!

Just one quick note about a cute saying from one of my students. I've been having a problem with my students sharpening their pencils a little too often. I've been giving them permission to sharpen them while others are working, but this is a distraction and I only have 2 pencil sharpeners (hand-crank) for 24 students! Apparently, not everyone knows how to use them, either, because they start with a new pencil, but end up with one about 3 inches long! I've told them not to push their pencil in quite so hard, but they're just not getting it right now. My solution was to sharpen a basket of pencils and allow them to exchange a broken or dull pencil for a sharp one. When they ask to sharpen one, I've been saying, "you may exchange one". This seems to be working pretty well for now, but if anyone has any other suggestions or techniques you have used, that would be great! Anyway, they've started asking "May I exchange a pencil?" instead of "May I sharpen my pencil?"

Now we get to the cute saying! One of my students, instead of asking to exchange a pencil asked:

"May I rearrange my pencil??" :-)

Monday, September 8, 2008

The weekend !!!!! (I guess it's over )

Over the weekend I had some time to relax a little, sleep a little, and . . . o.k. I did grading and school stuff most of the time. I did have one great highlight, though! I was grading journal entrys -- we did one on our monthly character trait. Each month, the elementary principal teaches the students in chapel about a specific character trait and they work on developing it throughout the month and the remainder of the year. They journal by writing the definition (this month was orderliness), and the Bible verse that goes with it (I Corinthians 14:40 -- Let all things be done decently and in order). They then give some examples of how to they can show orderliness. As I was grading these, I was looking at some older journal entries so I could comment on them. One student had written about his summer. He went to Hershey Park with his friend and their family. He said they "rode the Super-Duper Looper and we really Duped our loops!!" I just started cracking up right there. That's one good point about living by yourself -- you can laugh out loud as loud as you want and no one gets annoyed with you!!! I said something to him today, and he just grinned! I have a great class this year!! I'm still a little worried, though. Last year I had an even number -- 12 girls and 12 boys. This year, I have 14 boys and 10 girls. That's a lot of boy!!!!! I guess that just means I'll have more . . . . interesting stories to tell!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A summary of my life

First I need to apologize for not posting for so long. Life at this time of year is . . . crazy.

So the last time I posted, I had just finished tearing apart my boxspring. (Wow, that seems like forever ago!) Here is a run-down of what I've been doing over the past several weeks:

After the monster truck jam, I went to my parents house for a couple of weeks. I consider this my "very low budget" vacation of the year. My cousin got married (congratulations, Ben and Jenny!!) on Saturday, then I stayed in "the valley" for the next couple of days helping my mom get ready for the yard sale I had convinced her was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY that we have (more on that in a little bit! :-) After a couple days at my parents, I went to visit my brother in Lynchburg for a couple of days. This is where the "very low budget" reached its ultimate low. We spent the entire time I was visiting him either watching movies, putting together puzzles, or talking (*note: these are listed in the order of time spent from longest time to shortest time) We decided that of the . . . ahem . . . .let's see . . . .4 maybe 5 (or 6) movies we watched over those 2 1/2 days, only 2 of them were actually watching again: Stardust and The Dark Knight. If you haven't seen either of these movies, I DEFINITELY recommend them (especially the latter of the two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

So, anyway, after leaving my brother, I headed back to my parent's house to help their/my church with their soccer camp. I spent the next 5 days with 1st and 2nd grades helping them with soccer and just hangin' out with them and letting them know that someone cares. I had helped out last year and didn't want to miss out on it. I think I've helped with their VBS/Soccer camp every year since I couldn't be in it anymore -- that's 15 years!! (Wow! I feel really old!)

We spent the evenings getting stuff together for the yard sale, then had the yard sale on Friday and Saturday of that week. It really didn't go as well as we had hoped, but at least we got rid of some stuff!! It rained on Saturday, so that really didn't help things either. Maybe next time will go better, right, Mom???? :-)

I stayed an extra day and returned "home" on Sunday. I was going to go to school on Monday and start working, but I just needed a day. My friend Karen had been making sure my fishies didn't die while I was gone, and she and a friend of hers had left a "surprise" at my apartment. They left a scavenger hunt with sticky notes all over the place, along with some other cute notes that just made me smile. I took pictures of them, but I accidentally left my camera at my parent's house, so I can't post those (or any pictures) just yet :-(

I started the next day on my classroom. I was there just about every day for the next week and a half. In the middle of this, my sister and her family came in for a visit to my parent's. Of course, this meant I HAD to go see my little nephews!!!! (oh, and Karen and Bryan too, of course!) I was poised and ready to leave and mom called and said that 2 of the 3 boys were sick. This was especially sad since we were planning to go to Six Flags the next day!! Fortunately, Carter and Wyatt were feeling better by Saturday, so we got to go anyway (minus Keilah who had to go back to school). In the meantime, Hayden got some very special extra attention from 2 aunts and one uncle!!! HE LOVED IT!!! We went to Six Flags on Saturday and had a great time. Speaking of batman stuff (the movie earlier, remember?) We got to ride on the Batwing ---AWESOME RIDE!! You ride FACE DOWN!! My comment after it was "just make sure you mow the grass first!" It dipped pretty low to the ground at some points! I wouldn't recommend it when you have a headache, either -- the blood all rushed to your face!! If it wasn't for waiting almost an hour to ride it, I would have gone on it again!

I returned back to my place on Monday for our teacher work week. I had a very "exciting" 4 days of meetings and room preparation. Then, on Friday, my friend Karen and I started what was SUPPOSED to be an 8 hour drive to Indiana. TWELVE hours later, we arrived at Elkhart for our friend's wedding the next day. The wedding was beautiful!! We were supposed to stay for clean-up, so I was a little worried about needing to start the trip back home, but she was very wise in her decorating choices, so there wasn't much to do. I got to see some other friends from college and were treated to dinner when we stopped for the night (thanks Ray and Tiff!!!) We stayed in Toledo, OH for one night with Miki and a friend of hers. We set out the next morning for an equally long trip back to home. This was Sunday afternoon (I know, I know, we skipped church. ) I would have tried to stay a little longer, but school started that Monday. It was a crazy weekend, but I'm really glad I went!

So . . . bright and early last Monday (8/25) morning, I started my second year as a third grade teacher. It was really eye-opening. I remember getting so much more academic work done last year. I don't know how I ever explained how I wanted things done -- I guess that's why last year was so rough behavior-wise with my kids. Then Monday night, I went 45 minutes away to meet my Dad, Mom, Karen, and her boys at Cracker Barrel for supper. It was really good to see them one last time before they headed back home. (Bryan had left to help his brother with something or other) Since this was the end of the first day of school, it was all I could do to leave by the time I said I would be there! I finally got on my way, then got stuck at a railroad track. I waited there for a couple of minutes, but when the train was moving slower than molasses, then backed up until it was almost clear of the road, then started going forward again, I decided to turn around and try another route. I finally (after weeding through 5 o'clock traffic) made it on my way. As I was going down 81, I saw that the northbound lane had traffic backed up. I decided to take note and not go back that way, but take another road when I went home. Of course, by the time I made my way home, I decided that the wreck MUST be cleared off the interstate by that time!! right?? WRONG!!! Traffic was so slow that at one point I actually turned off my car for FIVE MINUTES and sat on the INTERSTATE! After I got through that, I saw more construction on the way home, so exited a little early -- only to be caught at the train track again (82 cars on the train -- just in case you were wondering) I didn't get home until almost midnight(which is great on a school night!).

The next night (since I'm a glutton for punishment) I went to our weekly volleyball game (just for fun at the church). As I was playing, I went to set a serve. You read that right I SET a SERVE!! The person serving whacks it pretty hard, too. So I hit it and managed to bend my left thumb backwards pretty hard. It was still hurting the next day, so after school I went to the urgent care place and they sent me to the hospital to have it X-rayed since their tech had left for the day. I got to choir practice about 20-30 minutes late and didn't confirm until 2 days later that it wasn't broken.

This past weekend, I opted to stay indoors and attempt to avoid any other major catastrophes. So far it's working.

Today was great, though. One of my "kids" gave me a letter. For those of you who have endured this update, here's what he wrote:

"this is my second year being at this school, and your one of the best teachers ever. I may be way back here (he sits near the back of the room) but every time i do my work I look at you, because . . . It helps me focus on my work."

He had everyone in the class sign it too! I think this is going to be a great year!!!