Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh boy, a 3-day weekend

The first week of school has come and gone...a 3 day weekend is here!

First I have to say, my class consists of 32 sweethearts! Like Max... Max is a dream...he has an all-boy personality and there's something about him I just adore. I could say this about so many of my students, but I had this photo of Max so I decided to talk about him!

But now it's time to rest for three days. Our neighbor, we call him "The Farmer", is having an estate sale. His wife's mother died so they are selling a lot of her stuff. Look what I bought for $5.I was excited to find this! It's going to go in Lindsey's room - as soon as I repaint it and had a new handle. But I love the look of it...just what I was looking for! (Actually, I haven't been looking at all, but I was planning on looking.)Here's where the nightstand will go. I also want to change the bedspread and hang some pictures, but I don't know which pictures! More decisions.

This new nightstand now leaves me with some decisions... what color to paint it...do I give it a distressed look... what kind of lamp should I get for it? Oh well, at least I have accomplished the first step in just getting the thing!

Another plan for this 3-day weekend is hanging pictures. It seems that once the house was finished, life went into a whirlwind - a fun whirlwind - and all activity on the house ceased. I have some areas I just can't decide what I want to do with. For example:This is the corner you first see when you walk in the front door and turn left into the new room. You can see a mirror and a painting, but I need ... well, a piece of furniture or something. I found a curio cabinet at a local store... um? Maybe I should go shopping on this 3-day weekend.This was Mimi's corner shelf... I have always loved it. I need to get my guy to hang it in this corner this weekend.This is the upstairs hallway. You can see I at least have the pictures I want my guy to hang leaning against the wall. I'll have to vacuum away the indentions in the carpet after they're hung since they've been sitting there for so long.

Let's see, what else do I want to do? Work-out (Ron's already left for the gym and I'm suppose to join him, except my work-out pants are in the dryer - good excuse for continuing to blog!), paint - I have 2 paintings I'm working on, and one I think I could about finish in the weekend - make a blueberry pie, or something with all the fresh blueberries that I also need to pick! Have my buddy Bob and his first wife, Helen, over for dinner and to see the house, have Marvin over, deadhead the flowers, read, watch the rest of Season 1 of Lost, ...

Maybe I should prioritize?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This is not exactly what my guy had in mind for the weekend


The meter reader opened our meter....

He then left us a note saying our 'consumption' had more than doubled since last month.

Um? We haven't been watering????? My guy knew that could only mean one thing...

A leak...
can you see that water down there?What a mess for my guy...digging it all out, and then to the hardware store and back - several times for parts.Just in case I couldn't see 'the problem', my guy pointed it out to me.This fuschia bush has absolutely nothing to do with the leak. But I thought I'd throw something in pretty amidst (ooh, "amidst", how do you like that word? Sounds rather...sophisticated...do you think?) ... amidst all the mud.

Like a good neighbor... Pete (and Ozzy) came to help out. I think he helped Ron 'bleed' the pipes? Does that sound correct?

Here's our hydrangea bush... minus any blooms. It's a late bloomer...but isn't it huge? My guy cuts it ALL the way back every year, and then every summer, it just grows like crazy!
Ahhh... here you can see the fuschia all nestled in there.

Good thing my guy fixed the water so we could water those bushes...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Weekend Before School Starts...

I can hardly believe it...

summer is over...

it's time for a new school year to begin.

I LOVE my job, I LOVE teaching, I LOVE kids...

I also LOVE to paint, read, exercise, cook, visit with my family and friends... I can still do all that, but not at a leisurely pace. So - to school.

The room is ready...Actually, in this picture, the room is NOT ready...

for all 32 students... that's right. 32 4th graders will walk into Room 8 on
Monday. I bought a little 4-cup coffeemaker to help me through the afternoons after school... although I need to take it back since it's tasting 'metallicy'...

I have to stop and remind myself all that I love about teaching...

*the kids - 4th graders are magical...they are - for the most part - sweethearts. They still love school, they don't mind homework, they don't see their teacher as 'mom' anymore, they're trying to figure out their pecking order and it's usually fun to watch this happen. The learning... oh, they learn so many new things in 4th grade!

*my school - I teach in a remarkable school. That certainly is a big +. Our staff is awesome, we have a great principal, we're all friends, willing to share anything.

*curriculum - I love the 4th grade curriculum. Social studies is all about California and Native Americans. Math... oh, that's my passion! These little guys are bombarded with so many new concepts...and they are like sponges...taking it all in, and doing it so well!

*comraderie - my buddy, Pam. I will be lost when she retires in two years. She and I have taught the same grade level together (4th & 6th grade) for ... I think this is our 17th year. We plan together every week... discuss curriculum all the time... and two heads are definitely better than one. It's definitely a plus to have team-players on staff!*devotion - our staff is a devoted staff. Even those who are retiring after this year, still give it their all. Two of these, are piloting a new math program this year - a lot of work - just to help their grade levels after they have retired!

*excitement - even though everyone, I think, enjoys summer, you can sense the excitement within the halls of the school.

*learning - Part of teaching is learning new things myself. Sure, I know the curriculum, but I'm constantly reading and looking for new things to add. Plus, I learn all the new methods and ideas from my student teachers. They keep me thinking about why I do what I do.

So, it's good-bye to summer... and hello to a brand new school year.

I think I'm ready....

I think I'll walk to the gym now, do a little exercising, and then come home and paint.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who needs all these fancy, expensive glasses?

I went to the eye doctor last week.

Of course, my prescription needs to be stronger...which translates to new glasses. That's fun, seriously...because glasses can be like a new fashion- a new look. The eye technician was telling me about some new-fangled glasses that COULD make you see up to 20% better. Something about how light hits your eye and scatters to the back of your eye. With these new-fangled glasses, they adjust the lenses (the very expensive lenses) so that it takes into account this scattering of light. Well, with my insurance, these glasses cost me about $500 and if I just get the same kind of glasses I have now - which are wonderful! - it only costs $212 with insurance.

So, I considered, I debated, and then I thought of my friend, Terry.
Shoot, she doesn't need any NEW-FANGLED glasses! So, I don't either.

Thanks for the advice, Terry!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A lunch date with Jack

The phone rang...

"Hello," I answered.

This sweet little voice was jabbering away ... I wasn't sure who it was.

I kept saying, "Excuse me, but who is this?"




Finally, there was an exasperated sigh.














I could hear the frustration in this little voice. Finally, I heard what I now know, was his sweet mama in the background saying, "Just tell her your name...just tell her it's Jack."

Being a mom myself, I tried to help. "Is this Jack?"













Then I could hear that happy little voice. We talked awhile...he asked me about my summer, I asked him about his. I asked him how his mama was doing. "Well," he said, "she's doing pretty good." So then I asked about his papa...and how life was going for him. Jack was real quiet for a second....Then I heard the excitement in his voice as he told me how his papa had a job at the hospital. I could tell Jack was proud of his parents! I could hear his mama in the background ... "jabbering away". (Jack's terminology, not mine) "Oh, I just wish she'd let me talk!" Jack whispered in the phone.

I could tell he was enjoying himself... chit chatting on the phone. Finally, Jack wanted to know if I wanted to go get some Mexican food.

"Of course!" I said... "I'll be right over."

Well, Jack had some new things to show me. He wanted me to know how grown up he is now that he's OVER 10 MONTHS OLD! Geez, I can hardly believe it! He's mastered drinking out of his cup.

When I made a big 'to-do' over it, he just looked at me like, "what's the big deal?" "Piece of cake..." he answered. His mama tried to help him with the cup..but he wanted no part of that! "I can do it MYSELF," Jack told his mama.

"Fine, Jack, just do it yourself."

Actually, I think it was at this point that he threw the cup on the floor. He spied the burrito across the table and decided to go for it.
Again, his mama tried to do it for him, but nope, Jack is over 10 MONTHS OLD. He wanted to feed himself, thankyouverymuch!He did just fine."Um, I think this could use a little more salt," Jack told us.

He's becoming a connoisseur of Mexican food!

We strolled back to Jack and his mama & papa's house to play a little longer. He wanted to show me his new flip-flop. His mama told me Jack had a 'shoe fetish.' Jack agreed. After we talked about shoes, flip-flops to be more precise, his papa came in from work. Jack was excited... his papa was excited... and I thought this would be a good time for a family shot.
Here's Jack with his mama and papa...

Thanks for calling, Jack. I enjoyed our afternoon!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Turning 54

54... I'm getting close to that double digit when dinners cost less ... commonly known as the 'senior discount.' Yep, that number is getting closer. This time next year, I'll be there.

However, this year on my birthday, we were visiting with Joshua, Erica, and Thalia. We had two free tickets left from the Southwest Airlines escapade, and they were close to expiring...so we took advantage and flew down to see the kids for the weekend...an extended weekend.

I love just hanging out with them, seeing what they do day to day. So one thing I did was take Thalia and her friend, Brittany, down to the community center pool. What fun they had...and what a great time I had just watching them - and of course, taking a few photos here and there.Then, of course, there is Blu. Blu, the passive dog (except when Ron is the aggressive one and Blu finally has ENOUGH and gives him a nip on the arm) who lets Thalia dress him up.On the morning of my birthday, I was trying to wake up downstairs...and here they came, singing Happy Birthday...with cards and gifts... I so love and adore my family!We ate out a few times... yum! I think I had the best barbeque I've ever had. That's saying a lot considering I grew up in the south - eating southern barbeque...and I've eaten Memphis barbeque... well, Lucille's was exceptional!

We visited Mission San Luis Rey... my choice... seeing as that's something I teach! I don't think it was a highlight for Joshua..but he was a good sport.

Ripsticking was practiced by everyone but me. I didn't want to take a chance on not making it to 55 in one piece. Ron...well, he gave it his best shot. I couldn't believe how good Josh had gotten on one, and Erica...well, she has her own now.
You may notice that my guy has THE LOOK... long shorts, plaid long shorts, that look of determination you only see on Olympic athletes... ok, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration.
Erica has style on her ripstick... video
Look at my baby boy... I was beaming with pride. When I watch Michael Phelp's mom beaming with pride as her baby boy does something well in the 'cube' in Beijing, I know JUST what she's feeling. (ok, another slight exaggeration)
Don't worry, Josh was just showing his Pops the stance NOT to use on the ripstick.

Now, another thing I loved, was seeing the neighborhood where Joshua, Erica, and Thalia live. What is so wonderful is the fact that everyone on their block is in their late 20's and 30's. Translate: LOTS of kids! One day, a neighbor pulled out this blow up slide, and turned the water on, and before you knew it, their place was filled with kids.... kids having a great time. Look at this group! What a fun way to spend the summer!

Yep, it was a great weekend...