Thursday, October 27, 2011

Excuses, excuses...

I'm still here and I feel bad that I haven't been a good blogger lately.  I know that I have used the "I'm tired" excuse alot, but it is the only one I have.  And it's true.

I promise.

Things are going well, for the most part.  I am still beyond happy that I am back in the classroom and not in administration anymore.  I feel a little guilty that I am so happy because I know there are others that I work with that are going through a really, really rough time.  I try to assuage my guilt by reminding myself that they last couple of years have been horrific for me where work is concerned and that it is ok for me to be happy now.  I do my best to be supportive to those who are having a hard time this year and I try not to sound like I am rubbing it in by having a good year.

I wasn't at school yesterday because I had to go to a day-long "leadership team" meeting.  I can honestly say that, for the first time in a LONG time, I acutally missed being at work.  I missed my students a lot and thought about them several times over the day.  I was so happy to see them this morning and even happier when, as they came in to the room, their faces lit up and they ran over to hug me.  Almost all of them told me how much they missed me (except Speshul Snowflake, of course) and that made me feel good.

I still have a faction of parents who like to complain about the amount of homework the kids are getting.  The funny thing is, my partner teacher actually gives more homework than I do but none of her parents are complaining.  Most, if not all, of my students finish their homework at school, so I am not sure what the problem is.  I know the parents don't like that they have all the tests and quizzes that they have, but honestly, it isn't that much.  I usually just let the issues roll of my back and concentrate on the kids.  They are really funny and I love being with them.  Mostly.

Just not at 3:40.

I am so ready for them to leave at 3:40.  I am really ready to go home to a dog that doesn't talk at 3:40.  I am really glad to go home to a dog that doesn't talk and a quiet house at 3:40.  I am really glad...well, you get the picture.

Today we made pinecone birdfeeders in art.  The project was a tie-in with what we are studying in science.  here is a run down:

3 packages of disposable casserole dishes:   $6.00
2 bags of cinnamon scented pinecones:  $6.00
2 large containers of vegetable shortening:  $5.00
2 large containers of oats:  $5.00
1 large bag of birdseed:  $15.00  (Stupid Wal-Mart prices!!!)
1 box of gallon sized zip-top plastic bags:  $3.00

Total for pinecone birdfeeders:  $40.00

Listening to 19 4th graders talking about what they learned in science and having a good time:  PRICELESS*

*although I do say "A pox on Wal-Mart for charging FIFTEEN DOLLARS for a stupid bag of birdseed.  That's why I prefer Target!"

I got my hair cut on Saturday.  No, I don't have a picture.  It is my chin.  I got about 3 inches hacked off.  I like it like this (right now) because my hair is heavy and the longer it is the more it pulls out my natural curls.  Right now, though, I must say that it is getting on my nerves because I kind of feel like it looks like straw on a scarecrow. later.  Maybe.

Ok.  I am hoping that I will post again before another week goes by.  Hopefully over the weekend.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Because she is my BFF...

I will post not once, but TWICE today.  AND include pictures.  Because she asked so nicely.  And called me during class this morning....

So, this weekend I went to my favorite LYS, which is located roughly 20 minutes from my house.  Over the river and through the traffic.  I love walking around Old Town and had to snap a few pictures of the fall decorations/scenery:

I could totally envison this on my porch.  If only I was rich enough to afford it:
How cute is this pumpkin?!?!  I LOVE it!
For those of you who don't understand the concept of seasons (ie.: anyone who lives in El Paso, Texas), this is what happens in the FALL:

I meant to take pictures inside the LYS but alas, I forgot.  Mostly because I was too busy trying not to drool on everything.  Here is some of what I purchased.  (The last two pictures aren't from the LYS but from a chain craft store.  I had a coupon and I loved the colors.)

I also bought a drop spindle.  Right now I not only suck, I totally BLOW at spinning.  I am hoping that I will get better with practice.

I did buy another yarn at the LYS but I am saving that picture for tomorrow's Yarn Along post.  I actually have something to show tomorrow and don't want to get ahead of myself.

Work update:
     My kids took a history test today.  They totally rocked it!  Almost everyone passed.  I only had one student who didn't.  Yea them and yea me!  Thanks for the prayers!  Keep them coming because tomorrow they have a Science 9 weeks exam and an oral presentation.

There you go, BFF.  I  miss you too!  It has been WAY too long since I have seen you and me no likey that.  :(

I really am...

doing all I know how to do to help these children so why must their parents fight me on every little thing?

I'm either giving too much work or not enough.

I'm either testing/quizzing too much or not enough.

They either have too much play time or they don't.

It's at times like these that I think of Lincoln..."You can't please all of the people all of the time."  True dat, Lincoln.

I don't want to become only a weekend blogger but I am so tired during the week that, by the time I get all the housework done and all the school work done, I am tired.  I was in bed and asleep by 9:45 last night and I barely made it that long.

I did have a good weekend.  I went out to breakfast with a good friend of mine, hung out around the house the rest of the day Saturday, went to Alexandria and my favorite LYS on Sunday (why yes, of course, I bought more yarn!), and just generally enjoyed the beautiful weather over the whole weekend.  It really was very nice and relaxing.

Ok.  I have to go get ready for work now so this is all you get.  If you are the praying type, please pray for me today.  I love my students, I really do.  Please pray that I can find a way to help the ones that are struggling and a way to not yell at parents who think they should have no responsibility at all when it comes to their child's education.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vain, 4, and 40...

Right now, as I type this, I am sitting with a Target bag on my head, covering my lovely, ammonia scented hair.  For I am too vain to be gray.  Miss Clariol and I are solving that problem this evening.

School Picture Day is Thursday.

On the plus side:
  1. My hair will (hopefully) look lovely.
  2. I will not look like the weight of the world is on my shoulders thanks to not being the principal anymore.
On the no-plus (also known as negative) side:
  1. The camera adds 10 pounds.  I've already added far more than that.  I do not need extra addage.
  2. I loathe, despise, hate, dread, getting my picture taken.
  3. This will be my last school picture as a "30 something".
What?  Wait.  Did #3 throw you?  Yeah, me too.

Six months from today I will turn....40.

Guess who is not ready for this?

Yeah.  That would be me.

Holy crap!  How did 40 sneak up on me so fast?  And with nothing to show for it?  No husband, no kids.  Just me and a dog.


Today is my niece's birthday.  She is not 40.  She is now FOUR!  Holy crap, again!  Where did the time go??
Happy Birthday Princess D!!!!!!!! :)

(Have you noticed that I tend to bounce around in my posts?  Yeah, me too.)

Guess what I did this past weekend?

Here's a hint:
I went to a pumpkin farm to pick pumpkins!  We had lovely weather this weekend and I just had to take advantage of it!  Here are some more pictures:

And here, because my BFF always complains about the lack of pictures of me on my blog...This one is for you, BFF:
Hehehehehe!  Gotcha!  :)

I had today off, thank you Columbus, and I did not one single thing.

Wait.  That isn't totally true.  I did have plans but they changed last minute.  No problem, I thought.  I will bake.

Total.  Disaster.

I tried a new recipe and it was a FAIL.  I don't normally throw things out when I bake but this time....gag.  Hey, BFF, remember the "Cranberry Cake" disaster?  Yeah.  Gross like that.  Bleck.

I was really disappointed because these cookies had pumpkin in them.

I love pumpkin.  I hate baking failures.

Here is the best picture of the whole weekend:
House is (almost) on.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

When your bladder is the size of a walnut...

then you feel the need to wake mommy up at 3:45.  Right, miss raven?


If this was Friday it wouldn't be so bad. 


It isn't Friday.

It's Thursday.


At least I don't have to worry about any meetings today.  I don't think.

I do have to worry about a couple of parents, though.

I was kind of discouraged with my class yesterday.  Not their behaviour as they really, really are a good group of kids.  Most of them do very well academically, too; however, I have a few that are just going to struggle because they didn't get a good foundation.  I have a few that are going to struggle because they are (how shall I say this??)  more concerned with everything BUT school.

Yesterday my kids took an English test over commas, quotation marks, colons, underlining, contractions, and possessives.  Most of them did well.  Five of them didn't.  Now, three of the five are the kids that struggle with reading to begin with so I knew that they might not do well on the test.  The other two, though.  No excuse.  Sadly (for me) it is the parents of those two who will blame me for their child's bad grade.

Now, here's the thing.  I created the test.  I made it as easy as I could without being over-the-top, ridiculously easy.  I also sent a worksheet/study guide home the night before the test.  The worksheet had exercises that were similar to the ones that were going to be on the test.  I e-mailed the parents and told them about the homework and asked that they please go over it with their child to make sure that their angel understood.

With the exception of one of those five kids, it was abundantly clear that no parental help was given.  Those other four kids just threw something down on the paper to avoid getting into trouble for not having their homework done.  The ironic thing is, the two kids whose parents will give me a hard time are the kids whose parents tell me all the time how they are helping their angel at home and it is basically my fault that they don't get it.

Um.  Based on what I saw from their homework that is clearly not happening.

Why can't it be Friday?


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tonight's post is brought to you by the letters...

R.A.N.D.O. and M.

Strap in and try to keep up with the thoughts bouncing around in my cranial cavity...

  • Did I tell you I have a pen pal?  She is from England.  How super cool is that?  So far I know the following about her:  she is from England, she is an artist, she breeds butterflies, and some other stuff.  I owe her a letter and yet here I am, blogging.  You're welcome.
  • We went on a field trip a few Friday's ago.  We were supposed to go to an outdoor place but, alas, it was raining.  We ended up going into the city to a couple of museums.  All's well that end's well, though.  The kids had a great time.  My class was very obedient and amazed the museum staff with their good manners and their brilliance.  I was, of course, modest in my acceptance of the praise they received.  ;)
  • On the aforementioned field trip I had two parents who sat a few seats behind me on the bus.  The whole way into the city the talked about how much they disliked my school and how their children weren't learning anything.  I wanted to turn around and say, "Excuse me, I can hear you."  Nice, right?
  • Making up for those parents was the parent who gave me a FIFTY DOLLAR gift card to Michael's craft store so that I can purchase supplies for art.  I was surprised and thankful.  It has already been put to good use and I have a Christmas project/gift for their parents now.  Score!
  • Last night it was so cold that miss raven and I slept with a sheet, a duvet, and TWO crocheted blankets on top of us.  Neither of us wanted to get out of bed this morning.  I had to...she didn't.
  • My principal and I were supposed to have a meeting with the mother and grandmother of Speshul Snowflake.  Mom decided yesterday that she would go ahead and invite another parent to the meeting as well.  My principal told her in no uncertain terms that was unacceptable.  A few minutes ago I received an e-mail asking us to "re-schedule" the meeting due to a doctor's appointment.  Mm-hmmm.
  • I have also discovered that this mother is trying to stir the pot with my other parents.  Fortunately, the other parents have seemingly rallied around me.  Phew!
  • I'm drinking hot chocolate.  Not coffee.  No, nothing is wrong with me.
  • We just finished studying insects in science.  I found three caterpillars in my yard and brought them to school about two weeks ago.  Yesterday we discovered that one of the caterpillars had come out of it's chrysalis and emerged as a beautiful butterfly (don't worry--we let it go.)  AMAZING SCORE!  Guess who is getting the coolest teacher of the year award? ;)
  • I baked and frosted 48 cupcakes over the weekend.  And didn't eat any batter or icing.  Yes, I am proud of me.
  • I participated in another Coffee, Chocolate, and Fiber swap on Ravelry.  Here is what I got:
          I know that some of it is hard to see, so let me explain my booty...well, you know what I mean.
               --1 knitted pumpkin tape measure
               --1 handmade bar of lavender soap
               --2 bars of chocolate, 1 with coconut and 1 with raspberries
               --1 bag of chocolate cappuccino coffee
               --1 hank of gorgeous blue-green yarn
  • The Cowboys suck again this year.  The Eagles seemingly suck worse.  The Redskins seem to not suck.  It's backwards world in the NFL.
  • My niece will be 4 soon.  She has discovered Hello Kitty.  Guess what she is getting for her birthday?  Let's just say I took a little trip to Build A Bear on Sunday.  Oh yes,  please pause and admire me for my amazing brilliance.  ;)
  • I need some crochet time before bed.
  • Goodnight from me and her: