Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Let me tell you, you haven't truly experienced Halloween until you are an elementary school teacher. And the kids are allowed to wear costumes on Halloween.

Now, they are supposed to be storybook characters. Did you know that Hannah Montana is a storybook character? And also Ironman, Superman, Robin...

It really wasn't too bad. I had the entire day planned with pumpkin activities...we graphed pumpkins and estimated seeds and measured and found medians and modes and did repeated addition with seeds...the list could go on. I stopped short of any candy activities because I figured the kids will get enough candy later on today!

In other news, this is my 100th post! That is kinda crazy. I didn't know I had so much to say :)

Ok I'm off to enjoy a peaceful evening. Sorry trick-or-treaters, no candy at this house. This teacher is pooped.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fifth sentence?

Laura from Catholic Teacher Musings instructs me to find the nearest book.

Okay, its Experiencing the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado. (My new Bible study with the girls from work! We just started it Thursday and so far I love it.)

Laura then instructs me to find page 56.

Okay. I found it.

Laura next instructs me to find the 5th sentence and type it here:

We all need Jesus, because we've all sinned and fallen short of God's standard of perfection (Romans 3:23).

Wow, I couldn't have found a better sentence to type!

Then, Laura challenged me to find a way to relate the sentence to my life right now. Well, that's easy! I need Jesus EVERYDAY! I can't do it without Him. And the best part is He asks us to rely on Him (Matthew 11:28) and He will provide us with the help we need.

Thanks for tagging me Laura!

I'm a softy

Oh dear, I'm just not cut out to be tough.

In my classroom I have colors that represent your behavior. And at the end of each day, I mark the color on each student's homework sheet so parents can know how the day went. Kids also get rewards if they have 5 "blue" days (great days).

So, on Thursday, I had to give M a pink. That is one level below the blue. He had "talked back" to me during the day, and kids know that if they talk back to a teacher, they can't get a blue at the end of the day. I talked about M on this post, and how he is my number 1 temptation to lose it! Now, this had been his third pink day in a row.

When he got his folder, I saw big tears begin to form. Then he started to sob.

Oh my heart.

So I pulled him to the side to talk to him. He said, "my momma said if I get another pink today I get the belt" in between sobs.

So I took about 1 minute to think about it and changed his color.

I just couldn't stand the thought of this little child getting "the belt" because of one little incident.

My friends at work teased me unmercifully about this! Oh, Katie, he is manipulating you! He is working you! He knows you are too nice!

So be it! I did what I thought was right for the moment.

** This is not to say that I'm against spanking! Who knows, I may choose to discipline my kids this way when I have kids. And I know plenty of times when it does work...I just felt like this mom didn't understand that a pink isn't necessarily cause for serious punishment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

Yucky smells come from my vacuum. So I googled it and found that if you sprinkle some baking soda on the floor and vacuum it up, it will remove the odor.

So I performed a very scientific experiment and vacuumed my room first, with no baking soda. Smelly. Then I vacuumed my living room with lots of baking soda on the floor. The smell was gone. Very complicated procedure.

(Why do I find myself writing about things I wouldn't even talk about on Works for Me Wednesday?? Like how I shave my legs or navigating phone trees? )

Go to Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby steps, baby steps

On Saturday I clicked on this link from Shannon's weekend link list. And boy, did it resonate. Its about yelling at your children, or rather, not yelling at them. The writer explained how, in the past, she yelled at her children to get their attention. She didn't like that about herself, and so she began to work on it. At this point, she says she's not yelling at all.

Well, I don't have kids. But I have 20 students. And everyone on my hall would laugh at me if they knew I was writing this, because I'm not a yeller. I've actually had parents say that they request me because they know I don't yell.

But the fact is, I'm not perfect. I raise my voice at times (yes, I know that's called yelling!) And there are certain kids that just don't seem to hear me the first 4 times I say, "Get your math book out." So, I say it louder. Then I say it louder. And before I know it, I'm yelling.

I feel so ashamed afterward. Twenty pairs of eyes look at me with confusion, as if to say, "what happened to my nice teacher?" And, yelling seems to imply that I'm out of control, which is the last impression I want to create in my classroom.

So...I started working on it as suggested on Dana's blog. The first thing I did was pray. (Ok, its only been 2 days, but still!) I asked God to help me and give me unending patience for these little ones. And then I told my kids about my goal.

Today went so well! There was a couple of times when I had given directions and everyone started, except for one. I went over to him, got down in front of him, and told him, calmly, again. OK-he still didn't do it, but at least I didn't yell!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bitter sweet

Saturday was bitter sweet, because the fam got together to say bye to Kelly, my little sister who is going away for a couple of months for her residency. I am SO proud of her. She is truly saving lives every day! We will miss her. I happened to catch this beautiful sunset. And my extremely cute sister and her boyfriend. :)

Don't worry about Yoshi the frog, Kelly! He will be taken care of by me and 20 7 year-olds. Wait, maybe you should worry...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another before and after

You may recall that I absolutely love being outdoors. And I love working in my yard.


Just the opposite, I put off yard work until the last feasible moment.

Sometimes I go past that moment, and allow a jungle to grow in my flower bed, as evidenced by this picture.
It was so bad, that my neighbor who lives on the other side of the fence actually trimmed the top of the tree. (I knew this because then they put the branches over the fence and into my yard.)

So I thought about working on it for a few months. It takes a few months to really figure out how to tackle a thing like this. Really it does.

And then I asked my grandpa for help. I was his assistant. We had to dig up those canna lilies, pull out the landscaping timbers, and dig out that tree. Well, I say we but he did most of the work. My grandma and I did pull that tree out of the ground by sheer force while my grandpa went to ask a neighbor for an ax. (Like I always say, we don't need no ax!)

After we hauled it to the road it stayed there for a while because the trash men don't take stuff over four feet. The nerve.
But Frank came to the rescue and cut it up with his saw, and thankfully its gone now.

The next step is to add sod. It will probably take a couple of months of thinking about it first.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My lack of blogging...

I've kinda disappeared off the blog radar lately. My life just hasn't been very blog-worthy. Its been ho-hum, blah and pretty much work, eat, sleep, repeat. And then when blog-worthy things happen, but I'm just blah so I don't write about them.

Maybe its because its 90 degrees in October.

Maybe its because there's a full moon and my students are living up to the theories about full moons.

Maybe its because my dog won't. stop. barking.

Maybe its because I discovered the fourth season of Beverly Hills 90210 online.

Maybe its because God is dealing with me about some things that I'm not ready to blog about yet...

I promise I'll get on the ball soon and post some more updates. Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Great movie


Can I just say, I've had so many negative experiences lately with going to the movies? And this was such a welcome change.

This movie has something for everyone, from romance to action to some pretty funny parts. I loved it!

I think the real mark of a good movie is if it makes you think about it after you leave the theater. This one definitely does.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, which I had no idea about until I received and ingenious email from my smart, thoughtful and fun friend Jill (see, I'm trying to butter her up because I'm sharing HER idea!)

Jill sent an email to a bunch of church members with a calendar on it. Each day had a different person's (or couple's) name on it. You are supposed to do something special for our pastor on your day.

Awesome Jill also sent a list of ideas of things you can do for our pastor and his family. You could make a meal, invite them over, bake cookies, etc. And the best part is that he has no idea that this calendar went out! But by now, the 8th of the month, he may be starting to get an idea that he's getting something special everyday!

I just think this is the best idea. There is no way to truly say thank you to our pastor for all he does for us, but this is such a creative way to show our appreciation.

As for me, I am going to use one of my cards that I made, and I stopped today and got a couple of gift cards for restaurants in our area. I hope our pastor and his family will enjoy a night out!

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.

PS Thank you Jill for the great idea! I hope you don't mind me sharing it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What is it about shoes?

And jewelry? They just make my heart go pitter pat.

I haven't always been this way. Its a new kind of happiness that I find when I see a pair of cute shoes. And I've always been a bit frugal, but ever since Melanie posted her last Fashion Friday post my frugality just flew out of the window.

I just got these in the mail:

And now? I can't stop. I found these tonight. Should I or should I not?

Easy Peasy

I hate to admit this, but I haven't voted since the last presidential election. And since then, I've moved (just a few miles down the road). So, something on my to-do list has been to register for my new county.

Today I found out that you can do it online (except for one part that you print and mail in). Its very easy... just make sure that when it says to disable your pop-up blocker that you actually do it. Unlike me who ignored it and then had to fill the form out twice.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

What do you do when you don't have all of your ingredients?

Like the other day, I really wanted to bake (this is a strange occurrence). I wanted to make some sort of cookie, but I didn't have eggs. Well, I went on AllRecipes and clicked on their Ingredient Search button. You can type in the ingredients that you do have and the ones you don't. So I typed in milk, peanut butter, sugar, flour and then I typed in eggs in the other column. You wouldn't beleive how many cookies there were to choose from!

This is a great tool for when you don't want to run to the store!

Go to Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.

PS: I ended up making this recipe. It was okay, but definitely not as good as the real thing with all the ingredients!