Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Geography, Oceans and The Smarty Pants Kid

I have a student in my class who should probably be the one teaching instead of me.  
Let me explain.  I have been teaching science and math for 13 years.  All of a sudden, I have this geography class on my schedule this year.  I have only taught geography once and I co-taught, which means that the other teacher covered for my sorry butt since I know nothing about geography.  

First, I tried to talk my way out of it, tried to get another math or science prep instead.  When that didn't work out, I cried.  A lot.
So, I have spent this year trying to be a good geography teacher (Google is my BFF!!!).  Along with the book and the internet, I have come up with some good lessons and activities, and we have (slowly) made our way around the world- me learning right along with them most of the time.  

We have watched a lot of travel videos because we want to see what these places really look like, not just read about it.  Our favorite ones are the Globe Trekker series.  Be careful though, one time we saw a butt!

Anyway, with the end of the school year coming around, I handed out the exam review which was a foldable where the kids had to list the continents and oceans, 20 countries and capitols, 15 bodies of water, 3 deserts, 5 mountain ranges, etc.  
This brings me to The Smarty Pants Kid.  He comes up to me and says, "Miss, how many oceans are there?" all innocent and sweet-like.  I should have known I was walking right into a trap.  "4", I say.  "Nope," he said, "there are 5, I bet you a dollar that there is a new one called the Southern Ocean".  I had never heard such hooey in my life, so I give him a look and call up Google.  He starts laughing and walks over to the computer.  Sure enough, I owed the kid a dollar!  Why am I always the last to know everything?!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mystery Monday- Disney Edition

 My Mystery Monday topic today is about Disney.
It is a mystery to me why everything is so much better there.  
Disney is able to mysteriously take anything and make it fun!

Let's take the ice cream bars for instance:


Look at that ice cream!  It tastes so delicious.  I would stand in line for 15 minutes to get one.  Especially today since it was so hot.  Anyway, I am sure it is just like a dove bar, but it tastes waaaay better at Disney World, doesn't it?!

Another mysterious thing that I noticed today is the sandbox.  Even their sandbox is better than any other sandbox I have ever been in.  Just look:


It is filled with teeny tiny pebbles instead of sand and there are plenty of shovels and buckets for all of the kids!  They had fans with misters and if you dig deep enough, you uncover dinosaur bones!  Awesome!

You name it, Disney can mysteriously make it better:
Standing in line

Getting from your car to the entrance

Medicine
  Now, if I can just get them to come home with me and work their mysterious magic on my life, things would be great!

Mystery Monday is now a blog hop!  Click on the link below and tell me what you find mysterious today!  The only rule is that you must be a follower to link up!  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

6 Word Saturday- My Life

Describe your life in 6 words:


Unexpected:








Beautiful:














Adventure:














Enjoy Every Moment:







Friday, May 27, 2011

Sleepovers

Tonight I am excited to be hosting my first sleepover for my daughter.  This is the invitation that she gave to her best friend:
I hope her poor friend remembered underwear, because it wasn't on the list!
I wanted my daughter's first sleepover to be really fun for her, so when I picked them up, we went to the store to get french bread and the fixin's for to make french bread pizzas.  We also got ice cream and toppings so they can make sundaes for dessert.  My daughter did some planning too!

Here is the agenda that she made for the night:
So far they have swam, watched tv, looked at the fish and made pizzas.  I hope that they have a great time!  I also hope that they actually go to sleep!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

its a moostache!

 You always hear the funniest things from middle school kids.  They are seriously capable of keeping a person laughing all day long.  Today I only had a few kids working on a lab together and they were chatting about facial hair.  They were saying that one of the boys in our class started getting a mustache last year in elementary school and had to start shaving.  Just that much was enough to get me giggling because I just can't picture this kid standing in the mirror with a razor shaving his mustache.  Next, they proceeded to discuss who all the boys with mustaches in the 6th grade were.  Then, one girl blurted out, "Ew, kissing someone with a mustache would be like having a street sweeper sweep your face!"  I swear, I almost fell out of my chair right then and shouted, "I am with you, sister!"  So, which would you prefer, a street sweeper or a big mustachy kiss!
A funny kids book about mustaches!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the beautiful bed

I feel like my bedroom should be my sanctuary. I looked high and low for the perfect bed and spent hours looking for the perfect bedding.  It is a beautiful wood and metal 4 poster bed.  I have about 3 different bedding sets, but could easily have more if I could fit it into the budget.  I just bought a new mattress called Steel and Sky.  One half is soft and the other half is even softer, and it is so fluffy that I practically need a running start to get up in it!  There is nothing like spending a lazy afternoon laying in my bed under the ceiling fan reading a book.


I did the same for my daughter's room, again looking high and low for the perfect bed and spending hours choosing perfect bedding.  She has a captain's bed, which is perfect since our house is tiny and any extra storage space is more than welcome.  Over her bed, I hung a mesh drape and attached butterflies to it.  Her bedroom would have been a dream bedroom for me when I was her age!  

So, guess where my daughter has been sleeping at night!  


Yes.  On the floor.  What is wrong with her?!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Mystery Monday!


It's Mystery Monday!
There is only one more Monday for the kids this school year!  Can you believe it?  It is a mystery to me how fast the school year passes by!  It seems like one minute I am setting up my classroom and having an open house and the next minute I am taking down all the posters and counting textbooks!  It is a mystery how at the beginning of the year my little 6th graders are so scared and small and by the end of the year, they are confident and taller than me!  How can they change so much in just one year?! 
 From now on, Mystery Monday will be a blog hop!  Tell me what is mystifying you today.   Leave your mysterious thoughts as a comment, or click the linky to add your blog post!  Please spread the word and let's have some fun!  *The only rule is, to post your link, you must be a follower of this blog* 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

my workouts are not working out

In less than a month I will be in Arizona attempting my first hike!  In the Grand Canyon! 

My brother claims that he is going to walk circles around me, so I have been trying to prepare.  I really don't want to be the one who is dragging behind and whining, so I am really trying to train, but something always seems to get in my way!  For example, one day last week, I got to the gym and as I was running in to change, I spotted my daughter standing in the corner of the daycare with her back pressed to the wall.  I waved to her and she ran past me in tears and into the changing room.  Turned out she had split her pants.  No workout that day.  Had to put my workout shorts on my poor kid and take her home.  Oh, and nothing like, conference night, open house, band concerts, dances and field trips to set me back as well. 

Another obstacle I'm facing is that in Florida is flat, so walking around a track is probably not good preparation for walking up a mountain.  I have been trying to get to the gym to walk on an incline for as long as I can, but I simply don't have time in my life for this working out thing! The largest chunk of time I have been able to walk for so far has been one hour and ten minutes.  I would have walked longer that time, but there was an old man on the treadmill next to me who kept trying to run really fast and then would jump to the sides and pant for awhile like he was going to die, and then do it again.  I just knew he was going to fly off or have a heart attack (or both), so I had to leave.  Oh well, at least I wasn't running next to this guy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

no where to run to

I would like to kick whoever designed our school.  
Hard.  
In the shins.  A lot.
Seriously, whoever designed the "smart school" building plans that are so popular lately, clearly did not expect teachers to be working there in the school OR actual children to be learning in it.  
First of all, if the school was really smart, they would have put hand dryers in the bathrooms instead of paper towels.  This way the students would not be able to wet them and stick them to the ceiling or stuff them into the sinks or toilets to overflow them. 
 If the designers of "smart schools" were really smart they would have been able to do the geometry required to figure out that kids on both sides of the hallway at lockers stacked 3 deep does not equal any room left for other students to walk through that hallway.  What it DOES equal is one giant mosh pit. 

Our smart school has a telephone in each room.  Do you know where it calls?  The office and other classrooms.  That is it.  Do you think it would have been that difficult to make it call out?  The nearest phone is in the office on the secretary's desk if I want to call a parent.  UGH!
Most importantly, the designers of our smart school have so lovingly remembered us teachers.  The only place to poop in the entire school is A) in the back of the library where children are checking out books  B) in the bathroom with the kids fighting for the big stall and a moment of privacy C) directly outside of my boss's office.  Well guess what smart designers- I would rather choose D) run out and poop in the woods over ANY of those choices.  Which option would you choose?  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

trapped in a musical

In high school, I took musical theater classes and loved it.  Have you ever watched a musical?  I just love how one minute the people are talking and the next they are singing!  I showed a musical, Disney's Anastasia, to one of my classes earlier this year. At one point they were threatening to scream if she sang another song, and they were only halfway through it.  
 Last year the kids in my class watched a lot of ICarly where they do something called "Random Dancing".  Every once in a while, the kids would just do random dancing out of nowhere, then sit back down and do their work!  I think everyone should random dance now and then!
 This morning, though, one of the kids in my morning class sang a few lines from a song.  You know, the catchy one that goes, "Today I don't feel like doing anything".  Before I knew it, the class had all joined in singing, including me (I couldn't resist, and like I said, the song IS catchy!), and they even all joined arms and started dancing as they sang the entire song together.  I felt like I was trapped in a real life musical! I am really going to miss these kids at the end of the year.  They sure do lift my spirits, not to mention making me giggle!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mystery Monday- Driving

Driving around in Florida, it is a mystery I make it anywhere alive.  I mean, if there is an old person who should have stopped driving 5 years ago, a lost person, a person who can't manage to use their cell phone and drive at the same time, a bus- city or school, or a garbage truck anywhere around, I am sure to get behind them.  Especially if I have a hot pizza in the car and want to get home to eat it.  What is mysterious to you today?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

playing games

Kids love to play games.  Playing games with your kid is the easiest way to bond with them.  You don't have to dress and undress barbie dolls and try to get an imagination that does not imagine so well anymore to come up with something.  Many families even have a family game night.  I think this would be an extremely good idea, especially with teenagers.  
Last weekend I went to some yard sales and we found a bunch of new games.  Here are a few of our favorites:
I am not sure why my daughter likes the game of LIFE so much, I am not a fan.

This one is simple to play and great for active kids like mine!

This is a discovery toys game.  Very easy and quick to play.  Requires a little strategy!

This one is actually our favorite because it is only 2 players and goes very quickly!  Does your person wear earrings?!
This one is a great game to play with a group of people, be sure to get the family version if you have children playing!

We also have some great games that we like to take with us when we go camping.  We will all sit around the campfire and pass the game around.  So much fun!
Bop It and Brain Warp
So, grab some games, sit down with your kid and have some fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

grief

Grief.  It is such a funny word. 










Good grief!  What an oxymoron that is!

The kids are giving me grief !  Getting closer...

I think that it even sounds the way it makes me feel.  Grief.
It is strange emotion.  One that I have never really felt before now.
It is exhausting trying to avoid feeling it.  And then it catches you, and you end up crying in front of 20 teenagers over an episode of MTV's Exiled show.  "Quick, someone give her a hug", I hear them whispering.  One or two cry along with me.  They know what I am going through and try their best to keep me laughing, God bless them.  
That is why that darn grief is such a tricky feeling.  One minute you are laughing and dancing the "dougie", and the next minute your heart feels like it will bust and you need a tissue.  
I wonder how long it takes to get through grief?  People who come up and talk to me, well meaning people, tell me that you never really get through it.  That scares me more than anything.  I don't want to be bursting into tears in front of people for the rest of my life.  It is one thing to sit and have a sad moment, but for it to just sneak attack you whenever it wants to like this, is pretty awful. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

beautiful

As I was running in to use the girl's restroom in between classes this morning (gotta beat the kids to the big stall!), I noticed one of the girls standing at the mirror primping.  When I went into the stall I could hear her say "I just feel beautiful today!"  And I thought to myself wow, when was the last time I looked into the mirror and thought that?  Instead I tend to focus on the extra fat around my stomach or the fact that I am over due for a haircut and color.  Why?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  And what can we do to change it?  Next time, I want to peer into the mirror with the little girl and say, "why, yes you do honey, and I do too!" 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mystery Monday- Getting Personal


It's Mystery Monday and this week I have been wondering about some mysterious things that always seem to happen only to me.

Like how I can take a shower and forget to wash the conditioner out of my hair.  I mean, what exactly was I doing in there?!  It's not like the routine changes each time I shower: wash hair, apply conditioner, shave legs, rinse conditioner, wash with poof! 

Or like how one hour after I showered, the bottoms of my feet can be so dirty.  I am not running around through my garden or anything, maybe just out to the garage, but my feet, ugh!
I'm embarrassed to admit that this has happened on more than one occasion, but have you ever worn your underwear inside out and then not realized it until half the day is gone?  Nope?  I knew I must be the only one!
Finally, how come I always have to be the one who somehow forgets to zip my pants after using the bathroom?  And it is also a mystery how I can have 6 classes of 20 kids staring at me all day, and not one of them brave enough to let me know my zipper is down.  Would it be too much to ask that someone at least slip me a little note?

What mysteries are you pondering in your life today? 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Mother's Day Extravaganza!

My daughter was so excited about Mother's Day this year.  She was planning my Mother's Day surprises all week, and even enlisted the help of my lovely neighbors!  She started by waking up at 6 o'clock (6 o'clock!) and trying to sneak out of the house to go next door.  I woke up in time to catch her and send her back to bed.  I told her that she could not go waking the neighbors up until at least 8.  She waiting patiently.  Until 6:55.  (I'm sorry C and DK!)  I was told to "go blog or something, but don't go downstairs yet!"  Finally, I was allowed to come downstairs and boy did she out-do herself!  She had signs taped to the wall:

She had home made cards spread on the table.
She (with the help of my lovely neighbors) got flowers and an adorable card.   And my neighbors had helped her to make me the most fabulous breakfast:
Bacon, cheesy eggs, bananas with strawberry sauce, cinnamon buns, Starbucks coffee, and fizzy grape juice (grape juice and sprite)!
Cheers
Finally, we topped the extravaganza off by having my mom and brother and sister in law over for a big crab feast!  We had fresh corn, toasted cuban bread and some beautiful tomatoes along with 2 dozen blue crabs!
This has truly been the best Mother's Day ever!  I hope that yours was just as perfect!

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