Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's 10:00pm, Do you know where your children are??

Listening.... to clicks, snores, purrs, and quiet. All the sounds of the night.

Loving.... the cool of the mornings around here. I do believe that fall has arrived. I know that some of my friends have had snow, but here we call it wonderful!! We are able to dine outside, enjoy evening walks again and actually wear a light sweater in the morning. Love it! I actually wore tights to church just for fun. Others crave wearing sandals all year and I crave wearing 'fall' clothes.

Thinking....Why am I up this late???? organized classroom and files for Christmas. I have put my request in to my husband. I do not want much...just his time to help me feel like I am in control! He has the 'organized' brain. I am the 'creative genius'! JK... But I would love his help to getting control of this problem. Any one else want to 'give' me their time and talent???

Needing....answers to some heartfelt prayers and pleas

Reading.... Unwind by Neal Shusterman and The Receptionist by Janet Groth

Favorite Things....cuddling sweet baby Tinsley, Bagel Nosh blueberry bagels, Grimaldi's pizza, date nights, football, Pinterest, folded laundry, aspen leaves, Sugar-free Werther candies and sleeping with the fan on. Mmmmm.

This Week....Book Group, Acuity testing, Halloween parade, Trick or treat! Dinner with family and a baby blessing for sweet baby Tinsley. I will be baking up a storm to help out. Also I get to take two of my favorite little bugs to see "Annie" for a special date! 
Why am I still awake?!?! This teacher needs more time for her beauty rest. Oh, I know....planning, grading and a tiny bit of Mr. Neal Shusterman are keeping this teacher from getting her beauty sleep!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini Reviews - Gone Girl and Wonder

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

I think I need a shower ...
 to get away from the two very sick people that twist and weave the story in the book titled,
Gone Girl.
And twist they did.  
(As a matter of fact, I had to keep looking at the photo of the author to make sure she wasn't some wacko-type. Nope, she looks quite normal. Maybe that scares me more!)

This story felt ripped right out of the headlines of today's papers -- but this was one of those stories that sound too unreal to be true - yet probably is....

On their 5th anniversary wife, Amy, goes missing and now husband, Nick, is the prime suspect. (This could be AnyTown, USA.)
 When Amy's diary appears, chock full of a clues pointing to problems in the marriage, Nick's future looks even grimmer. (Sound familiar?)
This was not a mystery but a psychological "thriller" and it just didn't "thrill" me.
Truly, by the end I was just pretty much bored with both the main characters and I just didn't really understand or care about their personal motivations.

But that's just me - I know there are plenty of bloggers who raved over this one. 
(I guess I'm often in the minority.) 

I will admit that I have thought a lot about this book, and maybe that's what the author wants have me thinking about things long after I've turned the page. I just wish I felt I was somehow a better person after I'd finished the book.
Instead, I need a shower.

by R.J. Palacio

Loved it!

I spend my time in school.
With 30+ kids. 
Every day. 
12 hours a day.
I know kids.
I live kids.
This author is spot on as she writes about kids.

Auggie is born with such severe deformities of the face that his life has been a series of operations and homeschooling for most of his elementary school years. Now, ready to start 5th grade, Auggie is heading off to school for the first time. But will he be accepted in the world of school? It's a place where all children make fun of 'different.'

I've had this student. The student with a 'wonky' eye, a face deformed, a smart wit hiding behind a mixed up 'front.' Although Auggie is physically lacking, many kids are lacking in other areas and this becomes their story as well.   

The author paced this so well. Each chapter narrated by a different character in Auggie's life. I felt pulled in quickly and cared about the character and his incredible family.
They were truly loving and caring. (I wanted to be adopted.)
Seriously, it was so cool to read about a family that was NOT dysfunctional. (I was in finishing up parent-teacher conferences though too so it was great to hear and read about a family that loved each other!)

I loved the chapter headings, the 'precepts' that the English teacher reads and espouses. I loved the growth, the messages and the characters. This book made me want to share it; to read it again.

One of my favorite passages was this:
"my head swirls on this , but then softer thoughts soothe, like a flatted third on a major chord. no, no, it's not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn't. it takes care of its most fragile creatures in ways we can't see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds."

Now I'm going to Unwind by Neil Shusterman. I was sucked in on page one!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scenes from a Week

Oh my, the scenes from the week are fun to look back on!
There are no photos of Parent - Teacher conferences, of baby Tinsley spitting up ALL over me, or of the computer chair where I spent more hours than I should have today. 
Too bad. 
They would be a good look at my reality.


What was I thinking...Kicking the scale in the bathroom is no way to act!! Seriously though, I hit it while carrying laundry and split my toenail. Ouch! Pick up your feet, my dear. Oh well, now I needed a "medicinal" pedicure to fix my owie! It's a tough life. (PS. My toes look great and my broken baby toe is healing!)

Favorite website...TeachersPayTeachers! Wow, so many creative teachers that put me to shame. (But it sure is addicting.)

Favorite product...Sugarfree Werthers candies. Yum.

I want to Remember that...Someone is ALWAYS watching (and listening!) Several experiences this week reminded me of that.

Library Log...We went down to Tucson to the Friends of the Library sale. I got two HUGE boxes of kids books for $3 EACH! 65 paperbacks and over 30 hardcovers. (That's a little over $.06 apiece!!) Of course Rich and I had to add our own choices as well. We had a blast and came home with a full trunk.

I Love this Quote... 
"Never try to lick someone when they're angry!"  
Hero Joy, age 4 

(Out of the mouths of babes...wouldn't she do well with an advice column??? Love that little grandbug!)

Best Memories of the week...
  • We went to my in-laws for dinner only to find out that they forgot we were coming!! We laughed and turned it into a dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant and had a great time! 
  • I loved picking up my little Jase after school. He was SO proud to have gotten 2 "0's" -- two Outstandings in a row! He came running to me almost bursting with excitement and pride. I wonder if my students need some more of that?!?!

My Weekly Checklist looks like this...
  • Plan for school.
  • Book Group - read faster!
  • Get-my-crafty-on and make headbands for baby Tinsley.
  • Patch and paint.Vacuum.Scrub. 
  • Grade papers.
  • Find time to read!! (seriously!)
  • Make hotel reservations for Thanksgiving. (It's right around the corner, I swear!)Don't go so fast, fall. You are my FAVORITE! 

What I know...Pumpkin bagels are delish. Date nights are still fun. My cat snores. My husband snores. I wonder if I snore. I hope not.        

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One dark Sunday night...

I am so behind in blogging! I haven't sat down at the computer all week. But I have....

  1. Prettied up the library!! I found the perfect relaxing giclee print, hung curtains and spruced things up some more.
  2. Shopped at Ikea.
  3. Gotten a haircut and color - thank the heavens!
  4. Read a smidge.
  5. Finished all of my report cards.
  6. Gone out to lunch.
  7. Hosted my mom and stepdad when they came to see our sweet baby Tinsley.
  8. Played almost daily with Jennie and the baby.
  9. Read another smidge.
  10. Planned Math Stations.
  11. Shopped.
  12. Bought.
  13. Read.
  14. Attended the Friends of the Library Sale in Tucson. Yippee.
  15. Snacked on Indian fry Bread and honey, "India"n samosas, roasted corn and chili, and Russian dumplings. Okay, that really doesn't sound like a snack....
  16. Attended my husband's __th High School reunion. Wow, were they old!! Just Kidding, honey!
  17. Finished 2 books. 
  18. Missed book group. Boo Hiss.
  19. Prepared a Sunday lesson.
  20. Played in the rain.
PS. I have eaten my weight in cookies and cookie dough tonight.
Can you spell tummy ache?!?!? It's a good thing I am going back to school. My pants won't fit if this keeps up ;)

It was a wonderful fall break. 
Now it's done.
I am SAD.
Parent teacher conferences here I come.
I did finally finish Gone Girl. I have thought and thought. Did I like it? Hate it? BOTH! I have stewed on it for more time than I should. Review to follow.
I did read Wonder. Review to follow. 
I did read Math Stretches. Review will NOT follow, but I WILL follow through and teach it.

On to Unwind & The Portrait of Dorian Grey! Bring on the October Book Group reads!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Break Sunday


Fall break    (noundefinition:  Having nothing to do and all day to do it in.

 It FINALLY arrived.
Fall Break.

What are your plans, Mrs. V? ---- Make curtains for the library, shop for Art for the walls, get my hair cut, go to Book Group, Bras for a Cause, & Ikea, play with new little Tinsley, help a friend do her report cards, meet up with my mom, sleep in and READ. That's just day one! (NOT...I do believe in pacing.)

What will you eat, Mrs V? ---- Ohhh, let's see, the State Fair starts this week so Indian Fry Bread is in order. I am craving a corn dog, a trip to The Cheesecake Factory for my dd birthday (she was busy having a baby on the real b'day!) I could also go for some Apple Cider, a pumpkin muffin and how about some movie theater popcorn? Sounds like Fall Break food to me.

What will you listen to, Mrs. V? ---- Well first of all I will enjoy some quiet...shhhhh. Hear that? It sounds nice. Then I will turn up the tunes, open the windows and welcome in fall. I've had my John Denver Pandora on this week and somehow it triggered all sorts of "fall" memories. Dreamweaver by Gary Wright, Styxx, Kansas, Cecilia and Kapono,'s like the way-back-machine just transported me to fall in the 70's!

What will you read, Mrs. V? ---- I will finish Gone Girl. I am embarrassed that it's taken this long to finish, but I only have 25 more pages, really. Then on to Coming Home Crazy by Bill Holm, Unwind by Neil Shusterman, Wonder by RJ Palacio and the lesson I have to teach on Sunday. 

How are you feeling about 7 days of Fall Break, Mrs. V? ---- Ecstatic! Relieved! Ready! Over-the-moon happy! Overjoyed! Delighted! Euphoric! Content! Blissful! Glad! Gleeful! Silly and on cloud nine!

And just because I can:  A little eye-candy before I go:

My grandson Jase got to meet his cousin, new little Tinsley! He is in love. Me too!