Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Current Events and Goats

Remember doing a current event assignment for school when you were young?  Apparently they start doing current event homeworks in the 3rd grade nowadays.  My daughter and I barely survived the first current event homework (see here).  This week she did much better.  Pretty soon she will be known as "the kid with the coolest current events in the class!"  We used www.dogonews.com again, and this time came up with an awesome article about these Moroccan goats that can climb trees.  Apparently they climb up there eat the berries that grow high in the trees.  But the interesting part was that the local people scoop up the poop from the goats, wash and press it, and use it to make cosmetics that cost a fortune!  Have you ever heard of Aragan oil?  Yup, it's poop- fabulous!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hippies and Pizza

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to eat at Mellow Mushroom.  If you have never been there, it is a pizza place with a Grateful Dead/Hippie theme.  
After our waiter came to take our order, my daughter asked me what a hippie is, and why everyone looks so, well, different there.  Wow!  How do you explain a hippie to your 8 year old kid?!  
By the way, Mellow Mushroom has THE best pizza.  Also, my parents were big time hippies back before I was born- they even saw Jimmy Hendrix and Iron Butterfly play!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


My daughter has an activity book that she keeps in the back of the car.  The book has questions to ask your friends, such as "what are your top 3 celebrities?", and "what is your favorite fruit?"  This morning when we were riding in the car, she was asking me a few questions out of the book, and then she asked me, "if you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?"  
My answers were:  1) more money   2) a wonderful husband and 3)  uh.. um..  hmm.. 
Surprisingly, I could not think of one other thing that I would wish for!  As I was driving along, I realized just how happy I am with my life.  Sure, it gets crazy busy sometimes, and sure my daughter sometimes acts up.  Sometimes things don't go right at work.  But at the end of the day, I have a pretty great life.  And I wouldn't trade it for even one wish!
Oh, and in case you were wondering what my daughter's wishes were, she wished for a dog, a hamster and a mansion!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

6 word Saturday

Don't know how she does it!
This week was so crazy busy!
I had my Parent Conference Night with 11 conferences, my daughter's Open House, Car pick up line in the rain, bible study, a trip to the costume store, finally made it for my allergy shots (3 weeks overdue), swimming practice and I still have to make it to a workshop this afternoon!

I'm exhausted just typing it all!

Can you describe your life in just 6 words?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video Games

Video games are so controversial nowadays.  Some parents feel that they are too violent, or too stimulating for their kids while some put a strict limit on their kids' "screen time".  I grew up playing video games, and remember having a lot of good times playing Nintendo with my brother trying to "beat the main boss" of a game, or playing Playstation with my dad, trying to "level up" our characters.  My mom would call us in for dinner and we would tell her that we couldn't come eat until we got to a "save point" in our game!  
I have not played video games for years, but I think that I am finally ready to share my habit passion with my daughter!  It will be a bit of a splurge, but I am thinking about getting a WII for my daughter and I for Christmas.  They look like a lot of fun and I like the fact that you are not just sitting there, but that you have to move around to play most of the games.  Are you a fan of video games?
My first video game system: Pong

Next came an Intellivision 2- played Intellivision and Atari games
My favorite Intellivision game!
Next came our Nintendo.  My brother and I spent one summer beating Mario Brothers 1, 2 and 3
My brother had one of these, but he had it in his room and played Sonic on it NONSTOP!
Still have my Gameboy to this day!

Finally we upgraded to a Playstation, and my dad and I spent hours playing the entire Final Fantasy series!
What was your favorite video game from back in the day?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Car Pick Up Line

What is the biggest complaint about the car pick up line?  That it takes too long!  I have directed traffic in our school's car pick up line for about 5 years now.  I am out there rain or shine, standing there waving my arm trying to get parents to please pull forward.  At our school we try to load about 10 cars at once, so the line moves along, but the parents don't want their kids to have to walk over to the car, and keep stopping and trying to pick them up one by one.  Teachers at our school are officially off, and standing there directing traffic for at least 5 or 10 minutes after we could have left school, but hey, it is better than cafeteria duty.  
You would not believe the things I have seen out there at the pick up line over the years!
I have seen parents flip the teachers off (hasn't happened for awhile!)
I have seen parents argue with the teachers (boy, they do not want to pull forward!)
I have seen parents flip each other off and yell at each other (do NOT cut in line!) 
I have seen people fall asleep in their car and hold up the whole line (happens quite often!)
I have seen cars break down and even helped jump-start one myself (while still directing traffic!)
I have seen cars that could have qualified as clown cars in the circus because they have so many people in them.
We had a kid who got picked up on a motorcycle (with helmet).
We had a dog bark out of a car window at us the entire time the car was in the line for a whole year.
I even had a car with someone's little sister in it who would give me high five me every day!

What is the strangest thing you have seen in the car pick-up line?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are You Angry?

On Sunday mornings at my church, I teach a middle school class.   Right now we are using "Talksheets" for our curriculum.  I really like them because once you do a little icebreaker game, they are just the right length of time to hold the attention of a middle schooler!  
Today our topic was anger, and there was about 4 of us adults, (one of which was a guest speaker) and about 9 kids in the class.  We started off with a little ice breaker game where the guest speaker described several situations, and asked if we would feel angry or not.  As she was reading through the situations, I realized that I am usually pretty easy-going unless someone is being hurt that cannot stand up for themselves.  
You see, I went into Sunday school angry this morning because my daughter's father was supposed to come get her at 10:30 and did not show up until 11:15 (typical), at which point she was crying and worried that he was not going to show up.  I get so angry because he doesn't realize how much he hurts my daughter and lets her down over and over and treats her like she isn't a priority.  So, is my daughter being hurt by someone she cannot stand up against?  Yes.  Am I good and mad? Yes.  Did I let him know it?  Yes.  Will he ever change?  Probably not.  
The other thing that the guest speaker at church said was that your words leave a imprint on someone's soul.  Emotional hurts are remembered far longer than it takes for physical hurts to heal.  I am sure all of us have had someone say something hurtful to us that we can still remember to this day.  Why do we forget all the good things we hear, and can't seem to forget those hateful little nuggets?
The speaker ended with the question: is it possible to control your temper?  I think you definitely can control your temper.  Is it an easy thing to do?  No!  I used to have a lot of anger- it is hard raising a child on your own, with no one around to help when you most need it.  I started reading my bible each night and really asking God to help me with my temper, and it has made a big difference.  I also can feel when I am already boiling up at around an 8 on a scale of 10 (usually around bedtime), and take a few moments to calm down before I do anything else.  The times when I do blow my top, I head straight to the bathroom or bedroom and shut the door until I am calmer.  
How do you handle your anger?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

fun teacher facts!

Hours most teachers spend working each week unpaid- 7-10 (trying to catch up on grading/lesson planning!)
Hours spent teaching students during a day- 7
Lunch time allotted for teachers- after walking class in a straight quiet line to lunch, and picking class up, standing in line for microwave and bathroom- 10-15 minutes
Planning time- 45 minutes daily- meant for conferences, lesson planning, parent phone calls, grading papers, bathroom break
Number of students middle school teachers have per class thanks to class size amendment requirements- 22 (before law passed- 28 to 30- one time even 38!)
Number of classes taught in middle and high school by each teacher- 6 classes per day
Number of different subjects taught per teacher (middle and high school)- maximum of 3
Total number of students- 125-130
Total number of e-mails per day in school e-mail inbox- 20- 10 notices from administration, 5 spams, 5 parent e-mails- usually regarding absent work.
If a teacher can grade 2 papers per minute, they can grade one assignment per hour. 
Percent raise this year  -%3 (now have to pay 3% into our retirement fund mandatory)
Cost of a teacher school lunch $3.50
Average number of restroom passes written per day- 6
Average number of nurse passes written per day- 1

 No wonder I am so exhausted! 

Can you describe your life in just 6 words???

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Survivor, My Bikini and a Magnifying Glass

 I am so excited that a new season of Survivor started tonight!  I have watched every single season of Survivor.  Which brings me to a few thoughts: 
first- I would be so awesome at Survivor!  I can open a coconut with a machete, start a fire with a magnifying glass and with flint, fish, and climb trees.  I love the outdoors.  I think I could play a pretty good social game too, with my experience teaching middle school.  (It's all mind games, lol)  My dad and I would have made the best father/daughter team!  
Second- Over the years they have added some changes to the game.  For example, what do you think about the whole "redemption island" twist they have added to the game?  Last season it didn't really change the outcome- it just seemed to prolong the agony of being sent home for a little longer.  And what do you think about them bringing back old players for a second or third chance?  (That really changed the game last time!)  I don't really think it is fair to the other players.  I would rather see all experienced players or all new players.  
Last- Do these people not know they are going to be on Survivor until they are dropped on the island, or what?!?  If I even had an inkling that I was going to be chosen for the show, I for sure would start wearing my bikini under my clothes every day.  I would die if I ended up on a desert island on the Survivor show in some droopy drawers and a ill fitting bra!

Monday, September 12, 2011

mix tapes

Remember back in the day when we made mix tapes?  I remember making one of all the rap songs that I loved in the 80's.  I was about 10 and it had the Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, the Fatboys, Sir Mixalot and DJ Jazzy Jeff.  We also used to break dance out front on pieces of cardboard, but that is another story.  (You can go ahead and laugh now.) I remember trying to make tapes from the radio when I heard a good song came on and trying not to get the DJ talking.  When I was in middle school, I made mix tapes with Stevie B, Def Leppard, NKOTB and Madonna.  In high school it was Violent Femmes, B52's, They Might Be Giants, Snoop Dogg and (still) the Beastie Boys.  In college I got more creative with the "summertime mix", "break-up mix" and "gotta dance mix".  Now that I am older, (36 today!) I miss my mix tapes!  I wonder if the kids in my class even know what a tape is???  If I could make a mix tape today, it would probably be an old school mix of all the stuff I used to love.  What would you put on a mix tape?
This is called a "cassette tape", used to record music before CD's and MP3's!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

6 Word Saturday!

Yummy dinner at nearby cooking school!

The other night I went along with some friends to the local culinary school's graduation dinner.  A guy who we work with was graduating and invited us to come check it out.  They cooked a Spanish themed five course dinner that was delicious!  We had yucca mofongos (fried yucca balls), shrimp ceviche, mexican chicken soup, steak rolleno (rolled up with rice and beans in the middle), and my favorite- a trio of sorbets that was so delicious! 
 This is a picture of our quatrain of desserts.  The one on the spoon was supposed to be sort of like a mojito.  We toasted and then all popped it into our mouths at the same time.  It was not what we expected- we definitely did not taste the mint in it!  It was cool to pretend we were Top Chef judges while we ate and we had a great time.  Most culinary schools have a night when they cook for the public.  Find one near you today! 

Can you describe your life in just 6 words???

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Lately I have become very interested in terrariums.  I saw one in Real Simple Magazine suggested as a hostess gift and thought how beautiful it was.  When I saw the price, my eyes practically popped out of my head- 75 bucks for some plants in a jar?!?  Then a few weeks ago, there was a book review in the local newspaper for the book, Terrarium Craft, Amy Bryant Aiello. I checked her book out from my local library and I just can't stop looking at it!  My favorite terrariums in her book are the desert terrariums!
My favorite terrarium from the book- love the sea fan!
If you know me by now, you can tell where this story is going... After oogling all the beautiful pictures in the terrarium book, I was inspired to make my own.  I chose two lovely glass containers from Michael's Arts and Crafts Store (they even give a teacher discount, yay!)  Then, I bought a bunch of cute little plants at Lowe's.  I also picked up some pebbles, coarse sand and a 50 pound bag of beach sand.  Moving the sand, I pulled some muscles in my back and have not been able to bend my back for two days!  
My first terrarium!

The second terrarium.  This one was much more difficult.  Every time I would try to put another plant in, the first one would move.  Now I know why there is usually just one or two plants in terrariums- the more plants, the harder they are hard to arrange!
 Do you think that my terrariums were worth the work???  
(I do!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Un Camping

 This weekend we went un-camping!  We had some friends who were camping at a campsite on the beach for the weekend, so we drove down to visit for the day.  We played on the beach all day- the water was great!  Then we headed back to the campsite and cooked dinner on the grill.  I made camping onions of course!  While dinner was cooking my daughter got to run around the campground playground with all the other kids.  Then we sat around the campfire, ate our dinner and hung out for awhile, and then headed home!  It was perfect- almost like camping out, only without having to pack a million things into my car and sleep in a tent in the heat! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

6 word Saturday

Exhausted!  Thanks sleepover!  Need some coffee!

Can you describe your life in just 6 words???

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