Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week in Review and a little Halloween Madness

My week in review........MEETINGS, classes, workshops, Book Group, Halloween parties and costume-making, Halloween Parades and LOADS of work! Yep, that's a glimpse. Of course I'm leaving out the details of the day I left my plan book at home and had to go back. Or the day I left my.... No. I'll save you the gory details. Instead I'll share a few photos. (I promise NOT to include photos of multiple meetings, workshops or me worrying!)

Twitter and her Mobile Hotspot!!
(note Darth Vader watching....)

Yep, those are feathers on her eyelashes!!

Jase is impressed that she is a BIRD!!
(I don't think he understands Twitter - neither do I!)

Halloween Parades are a tradition at my new school.
They last forever and are miles long. Parents and little
ones lined the streets to wave and take photos.
We held it first thing in the morning so
we had SOME learning time!

Trying to inspire the kiddos I am
"Totally Rad, College Grad"
Yep, I AM a SUPER-Hero!

Halloween Parade Day 2011

Favorite photo of the week....
Happy-meal size and Super-size!!

In the midst of all this madness I decided to be a bit creative for
my Boo-Buddy at work.
Stop the madness...

Outside my window: It's a gorgeous Sunday morning. The temperature is supposed to be around 90 today but it will be in the 80s the rest of the week. I think they call this Indian Summer.....we call it Arizona fall!

I am listening to: The Star Wars theme. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Darth Vader is getting his inspiration this morning.

Favorite Things of the Week: Book Group laughter.

I am thinking: about a million things!! I have a TON of planning to do for the upcoming week. I am trying not to get overwhelmed, but I can feel it approaching the back of my throat. Yikes.

I am grateful for: Reaching my goal weight!! Yippee!! It's gone - 37 pounds! Take that, Halloween candy! Now, on to the next goal.

I am reading: Still tackling A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and tiptoeing into An American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

I am listing: Lesson plans. Observation plans. Meeting notes. Holiday Plans. Plans....

I am creating: Plans. See a trend here???

Some of my favorite things: Football. Fall. Popcorn.

Plans for the week: Too many to continue worrying about. Halloween will be celebrated on our front driveway with the burn barrel and family. Jase is more excited to dress up and stay and hand out goodies to all the other spooks and goblins. We'll have a BBQ and enjoy the cool night. After that, let the week bring what it may!

Plans for now....... a shower!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend in a Blink@

Outside my window: It's dark and delightful. Of course that could be because it's almost MIDNIGHT!! Go to bed already!

I am listening to: Silence. It's been a full day. It feels like a full-belly....

Favorite Things of the Week: Vacationing. Finding my own bed. Conferencing. (I know it's surprising, but I love meeting the parents of my students. I was tired but it was exciting.)

I am thinking: about organization. I was NOT in that line when we were given gifts for this life in Heaven. I wish I was the kind of person who was inherently organized. It is my goal!

I am grateful for: My job. I am falling in love with teaching all over again. I am grateful for apples. I had an apple this week that was bigger than a baby's head!!! It was incredible AND delicious!

I am reading: A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and The Phantom Tollbooth for my 4th graders.

I am listing: Lesson plans. Projects. Costume ideas - for ME!

I am creating: A Halloween thank you gift for a friend who translated 7 of my conferences and she was great. Putting together a little something for her has satisfied that urge to create that rears it's head around this time of year.

Some of my favorite things: Bracelets. Coke Zero.

Plans for the week: Church with a few of my kiddos tomorrow. Teach Science. Prepare a Halloween Costume for ME!! At my new school it seems like Halloween is a National Holiday. I have to think of something clever for the parade on Friday. I am thinking of going as the Paper Bag Princess (Jennie did it this week and said that it was fun and clever AND key word - EASY!!

Plans for NOW : SLEEP!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Quick Update

I'm in the middle of a LONG week of Parent -Teacher conferences.
13 hour days ....
33 students ..... lots of parents!
It's fun to 'connect-the-dots" when I meet everyone.
It's been a hectic week, but it's sure going fast AND making me realize how great Fall Break was. So what am I doing up so late?!?!?
Ahhh, yes, I wanted to show-off a little of where we've been and what we've been doing.

Just a short glimpse back at a few photos from our trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama!! You can't see it well, but we had Gator on the menu at the Seafood Market a block away from our son's house! I was a "chicken" that day and opted for something a bit tamer....
(I did try Sushi later that night and loved it!!! I'm such an adventurer.)

Two tired men after paddling in the Gulf for an hour!!
They look cocky but they were worn out!!

The beach was beautiful and always uncrowded. You'd think they were all in school or at work or something! Hurricane Katrina wreaked such havoc in the coastal cities of Biloxi and Gulfport. It's apparent everywhere. All that green in the background used to be hotels and restaurants. Now there are miles of abandoned homes or vacant lots. The Air Force Base, however, was rebuilt and is beautiful. That's one real benefit for our Airman and his wife!

We ended our week-long stay in the south by returning to New Orleans. Our fun journeys took us through the French Quarter and to this bookstore, Faulkner House Books, where William Faulkner lived and wrote. We explored several old and used bookstores in the Quarter and seemed to run into the same people as we tramped from place to place. It was great fun. We drove through the Garden District and explored the Riverwalk and decided that vacations are great things.

I loved it that one of my students made ME a reading log for the break. I took great advantage of it and finally finished a book. Of course I came home with an extra suitcase full as well....oops!

And here's my book companion for the trip.

"Lauren Belfer's panoramic new novel is a love story wrapped around a spy story with a pivotal medical breakthrough at its center. ( I love that sentence!!) A Fierce Radiance begins days after the attack on Pearl Harbor propels the United States into World War II. Claire Shipley, a savvy Life magazine photographer, has been assigned a photo essay on a young father whose life might be saved by the new miracle antibiotic, penicillin. The divorced Claire has a particular interest in the case, both because she is still mourning the death of her 3-year-old daughter from blood poisoning, which the drug might have cured, and because she is drawn to James Stanton, the doctor overseeing its clinical trials." (

This was a chunskter at over 500 pages, but it read like a breeze. I swear I learned something new on every page and I never wanted to put it down. I thought I was reading Historical fiction when all of the sudden, on page 250, it turned into a mystery! Wow, I didn't see that coming. The plot shifted and my take on the book had to change. I was totally invested in this book and loved most everything about it EXCEPT.... the ending!! Thanks to Jenn for passing along this addicting read.

Yep, Fall Break is over, bring on Halloween!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Out from Under a Rock....

It's hard, but I think I can say that I've finally
crawled out from under these rocks and can see the sky again!!
Life has been more than hectic...

I LOVE Fall Break.
I've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting....

Report cards are done and put to bed. Parent-Teacher conferences await.
I have officially survived the first 9 weeks at my new school, in my new grade
so have the students!

NOW, it's off to New Orleans and Mississippi.

One of my students made a Reading Log for me so I'm taking it on the trip.
First up:

A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer
(So far it's fantastic!)


When She Woke by Hillary Jordan


Whatever takes my fancy!
I intend to visit bookstores in New Orleans and get my type of souvenir!!

In the meantime....

Outside my window: It's dark and cool. I think this is Arizona's version of Fall! We have actually worn long sleeves and sweaters in the mornings. Be still my heart.

I am listening to: Silence. The clock is ticking, but everything else is asleep. It feels peaceful tonight. Ahhh...

Favorite Things of the Week: Discovering Charming Charlies. Shopping with Jenn. Instructional Rounds at work. Differentiated class. Hearing my students whisper, "She has the nicest clothes!" "She always matches!" They made me smile all day.

I am thinking: About all of the things that need to get done tomorrow. It's not stressful, I am on vacation, yet I still want to make sure I cover all the bases before we leave. I can sleep in and take my time. Doesn't that sound wonderful?!?! I think so.

I am grateful for: Family. They are the best. I'm excited that I got to talk to #1 son in England, that #2 son got hired on with a permanent job, that I got to see #3 son at Keesler AFB this week, that #4 son is working so much and doing so well in school, that darling-daughter, otherwise known as #5, is a wonderful auntie and is a great example for me. I feel blessed to have darling grandbabes and an amazing DIL who is a kid-whisperer!! I try to be like her! How lucky I am that my kiddos are healthy, happy, and married to wonderful people that I adore. AND last but not least I just am still so in love with my handsome hubby. Our vacations together are a blast. This will be a fun week.

I am reading: A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer. Science Journals, Brain Based Research books, and Teaching Math by Marilyn Burns.

I am listing: Things to pack, do and plan....

I am creating: Organized notebooks for my classroom. I've collected lots of great ideas, now to organize them so they can be right at my fingertips. I hope it works. I organized some things in my new classroom at the first of the year and I STILL can't find them.

Some of my favorite things: Cool mornings. Thunderstorms. Sweaters. New clothes. Half-Priced Books Teacher Days! Clouds. 1/2 Days at school. Date nights. Fall Break!!!!!!!!

Plans for the week: Vacation in New Orleans and Mississippi!!!! Hug my Airman and his wife, stroll the beach, read and just have fun.

I know the rocks will pull me under a bit when I return, but my calendar looks wonderful this week. So until then.....