Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful for a nice relaxing weekend

Bobby worked overtime on Saturday and his regular day today, so the girls and I were on our own this weekend. We did pretty much nothing--cleaned up around the house, decorated for Christmas, and just chilled. They had friends over last night and I graded papers. Today we went to church (I got to hold a 3-week-baby for 1.5 hours in the nursery! Ahhh for a my baby fix!), I took a nap, and we hung out. They didn't hardly fight at all. It was a great weekend with nothing pressing so we could hang out. I'm so thankful for time with my two girls!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for the trip to MN!

Long overdue pictures from Kaylin's trip to Minnesota!

With her wings from her very first flight. After the flight attendant handed them to her, she said, "Oh. I thought they would be pieces of the actual wing." Oh, Kaylin. You crack me up.

Me and Kaylin overlooking the falls on the Mississippi River. During the summer you can do rafting trips on it. How cool would that be????
My newspaper kids and Kaylin, before we started riding the rides.
They had 2 of these gigantic trees inside the Mall of America. Can you spot Kaylin? She's pretty small compared to the tree!
I couldn't ride this one with her--it was like a giant seesaw, and those circles on the surfboard turned. Barf city for me, much excitement for Kaylin. She rode it about 6 times in a row.
And this roller coaster...can you tell from the picture it goes STRAIGHT UP? Yeah, it does. Then flips upside down over and over. I rode this with her a couple times, then my head couldn't take it anymore. Anyone remember how the old Orient Express at Worlds of Fun would bang your head around? That's what this one did. She rode it 15 times probably total, and EIGHT in a row. Sheesh.

She has been begging for fake glasses, so I finally caved and bought her some.
Me and Kaylin in front of that giant tree.
Our first trip to IKEA!
Kaylin and her buddy Savana; poor Savana. I owe her some special for putting up with Kaylin the whole trip. All I've heard since we've been home is "I miss Savana!" They are in one of the skywalks that Minnesota has--love those things! You can see the snow on the ground.

Saturday we had to go to the awards ceremony. It was over 2 hours long, and she sat perfectly still playing on her DS for over 2 hours. Love it!
Mary Tyler Moore statue, with snow coming down. We had to explain to the kids who Mary Tyler Moore was!
On the way home, the pilot let her sit in the cockpit!! So cool!
It was a fun trip and I'm very thankful I was able to take her with me. That said, I'm also very thankful that both girls have been on journalism trips with me and that I don't have to take them anymore.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm thankful for a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. Bobby was working, my sister's in-laws were in town, and my brother's family was in Atlanta. Mom cooked like the whole family was still there, and the girls and I had a great time hanging out with Mom and Dad. Mom and Macy washed dishes, and she instructed Macy on the different parts of the turkey. (Side note--My crazy daughter now has a ziplock bag in the freezer with a turkey tail, neck, innards, and a heart.) Dad and Kaylin played basketball in the driveway for a bit, then planted a little tree in a pot. I took a nap and Mom took the girls to the park. It was a beautiful day! Thankful for time with my Mom and Dad!

Now...only 4 hours until we depart for Black Friday craziness!! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for 3 days off!

One of my favorite things about teaching are the days off. Like three days at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, a week off for spring break, and the glorious summer off. I LOVE teaching, love inspiring students, love being there for them, but ohhhhh are the three days off worth it.

Three days of rest, three days of time with family, three days of sleeping in.... can't wait!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for an awesome work environment.

Tonight I'm thankful for some amazing co-workers. Oh, sure, we have our fair share of bad ones, but who doesn't? They don't count. Since we are a relatively small school, we have a small staff. That makes it easier to get to know one another, and makes it easier to get to know one another. I work with some amazing teachers, who try really hard for their students. That makes for a wonderful teaching environment. I also work with about 5 or 6 teachers on a committee whose sole purpose is to bring fun and positive vibes to the faculty and staff. We are currently planning some Random Acts of Kindness for the month of December, and it's been fun to plan together. When you work with fun people, it just makes the day so much better. It's also great when they have your back and are there for you when you need them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful for home

Tonight I'm thankful for a safe flight home, a great trip with great students, and the peace that comes with being at home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful for a soft hotel bed

Thankful for a soft hotel bed,  a dark room, and a sweet 7-year-old snuggled up against me for a good night's sleep. Yesterday and today were long days...lots of time at Mall of America, then took 3 girls to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn, then presented a session this morning, plus another one tomorrow. Having fun in Minneapolis, but boy, am I thankful for this soft hotel bed, a dark room, and my sweet 7-year-old

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for brave kids

Spent a great day at the Mall of America. Day started with a lockdown drill--are we at school still????-- then shopped, rode rides, ate lunch, went to the aquarium, rode more rides, came back to hotel. I've seen about 1/8 of the Mall of America, and that's generous. Tomorrow night we're going back for some "serious shopping," according to the girls. Wonder what that will look like, since what they were doing today looked pretty serious to me.

Today, I'm thankful that my KK (and Macy too, but I'm talking about KK here) is not afraid of things. She rocks on the light rail, then did not think twice about any of the rides. There were some pretty extreme one, and she didn't bat an eye. One roller coaster went STRAIGHT UP, flipped up over and over and over and over, and she rode it EIGHT times in row. Ran straight from exit to entrance to ride again. She also can make friends with a brick wall, and started talking to a little girl. They rode a bunch of times together.

I'm so thankful that KK is not afraid of much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tonight I am thankful for:
  • a safe flight
  • 13 miles of skyway to avoid walking in the cold
  • Uggs to keep my feet warm
  • free hot chocolate in the hotel
  • awesome high school students to travel with
  • free wireless internet at the hotel
  • being able to text Macy at home

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful for trips

As I take a break from packing to update this, I am thankful for the opportunity to travel. In case you didn't know, I love-love-love to go-go-go. Rare is a night when we stay home--we are always going somewhere. And I love to get away for the weekend! We can't afford to travel as much as I would like, but that's okay.  That's one reason I love my job--2 times a year I get to take high school students on fun trips--a mixture of journalism convention and sight-seeing. Tonight, I am thankful for the opportunity to take Kaylin on this trip to Minneapolis with me.

I am thankful that 2 years ago, I took Macy to Washington D.C. with me. I had her keep track of our adventures in a journal, and tonight I pulled it out to read some. Here are my excerpts--not edited by me, keep in mind she's 7 at the time.

"We went on a tooer of the capatl and it was boring. Then we got to see the wight hous! We saw the lencin mumorel. The stachu is hewmongs! We saw the reflecshin pool. It is longer than I thot."

"We went to teh Washington Munumant. It was cool because I tuched it!"

" We saw the toom of the on knowed sulger."

So thankful for that trip with Macy, the memories we made, and the memories forever captured in her journal. Hopeful the trip with Kaylin is just as great!

Back to packing...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful for my momma

Today I'm thankful for my mom. She's always there to help me--whether that's to sew something (because I can't), patch my daughter's jeans (because I can't), tell me exactly where in Walmart some cooking item is (because I can't find it), pick up my kids because I'm sick/busy/out of town/working, drive my kids somewhere because I'm sick/busy/out of town/working, or fix me something special (just because I'm hungry), she's always there for me.  She raised me to care about others, to be honest, kind and caring, and to love Jesus. Especially when working with high school kids whose mothers are less than stellar, I'm thankful my childhood was "normal" and that my mom raised me right.

On another note, we had a "real" fire situation at school--nothing ended up happening--but we were outside for a while. My newspaper kids were taking pictures of the fire trucks arriving and tweeting it out. Love those kids!

We're watching Kali and Giselle tonight--it's been a while since my kids were that little, and it's funny how quickly you forget what it's like to have little ones. And I love watching Macy and Kaylin with the little ones. They are so good with them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful for church

Today, I am thankful for an awesome church community. I love that I WANT to go to church, not HAVE to go to church. I love our small (but growing!) Sunday School class. I know if we needed anything, they'd be there for us. I love having a class to go to every Sunday morning. Our church is big, and I for sure don't know everyone, but that's okay. I love that the girls have a place where we fit in--they do church choir on Sunday evenings, GA (Girls in Action) on Wednesday nights, and numerous other fun activities where they are able to be with their friends while strengthening their faith at the same time. We just hired a new youth pastor, and I can't wait to see him develop the youth group even more.  I love feeling refreshed when I leave church, like water on a parched soul, and I am thankful for time to spend studying God's word.

Countdown to Minneapolis--3 days. We leave Wednesday morning. So, so, so excited.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful for provisions

Today I'm thankful for a house that keeps us protected, two cars that allow us to drive to work and drive our kids around, that we can provide food for our family, and that we have love.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful for many things

Tonight I'm just going to make a list.

I'm thankful for all the veterans who have served our country in the past or are currently.
I'm thankful my dad is finally feeling better. It was so nice to see him laughing and horsing around with the girls tonight.
I'm thankful I have great students. A few bad apples in the bunch, but mostly good kids.
I'm thankful my newspaper kids have embraced writing for the web and are doing awesome at updating our website every day.
I'm thankful for finding 2 neat dresses that Macy actually likes.
I'm thankful I was able to take Macy to D.C. two years ago, and Kaylin to Minneapolis this year.
I'm thankful selling Girl Scout cookies has been easier this year.

Today, we were in 4th hour at 11:11. We stopped what we were doing, and all made a wish. Some of the kids took it pretty seriously...looked like they were praying with their eyes closed and heads bowed. I was glad I took the time to stop...this was such a once in a lifetime opportunity, and they will always remember that we stopped to wish, even after they have forgotten my name.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for opportunities

Tonight I am thankful for opportunities. The girls have had amazing opportunities to be involved in so many things--both are in Girl Scouts, both have done dance and soccer, and both are involved in GA's (church group for girls) and church choir. Macy has done basketball for 5 years, played volleyball this year, and is involved in Drama Club and is a Library Assistant, and took guitar lessons. Kaylin has done cheerleading and karate, and is playing basketball this year. I am thankful not only that we can afford to do this for them, but also thankful that their community, school and church offer these opportunities. The girls are forging life long friendships with girls in their community, developing social skills, increasing their self esteem, and having fun at the same time. Both are discovering what they like and are good at, and that will help them as they get older.  I'm thankful they will look back at their childhood and realize we let them try lots of different things, instead of limiting them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful for friends and good technology

Tonight (and last night and today during the day) I spent an insane amount of hours trying to jailbreak and unlock an iPhone for a good friend of mine. This friend does a lot for me, is always there if I need her, always helping out with my kids, and I  am very thankful for that. She needed help, and I was willing to help. I'm so thankful for great friends.

I managed to get her iPhone jailbroken (able to add renegade apps, etc.) but couldn't get it unlocked (hacked so she can use TMobile instead of AT&T). I was proud of myself for getting it jailbroken--wasn't easy to do. Wish I had been able to get unlocked for her. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty good with technology and am able to do a lot of things others can't. Some of that comes with teaching high school, some of that comes with just being good with computers. Either way, I'm thankful I can be the one people turn to when they need help, and that I can help. I'm thankful I'm able to keep up to date with technology and not confused by it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful through frustrations

Here it is again, almost 10:00 pm and my eyes are tired and I realize I haven't done a thankful post or a daily post. I start racking my brain for what I'm thankful for....things should come to my mind easier than they do. I know there are a million things I am thankful for, should be thankful for, but once I start typing, all of them fly right out of my head and all I can think about is the blank computer screen.

Tonight I'm aggravated that our school vote didn't pass. Failed by 280 votes. Now I'm stuck in my stupid temporary room where things don't work right, I don't get to move into my new journalism room, and freshman won't be at the high school, solving some major curriculum problems. We will continue to play Jewell an ungodly amount of money to play football. Classes will become overcrowded. As I sit here and fume about the vote failing, I remember...

I am thankful for the right to vote and express our opinions, even when those opinions differ from mine.
I am thankful for a great job in a fantastic school district, regardless of overcrowding and silly room arrangements.
I am thankful for wonderful students, even if I have significantly more in my class from now on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for rain

Thankful for the rain God has sent. While I HATE being cold and wet out in the rain, it is much needed. Nothing better than listening to the rain hitting the windows, creating a great sleeping environment and taking care of the drought.

Now, off to sleep to enjoy the gentle rain!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful for my dogs

I know it sounds silly, and that there are more important things to be thankful for, but hey, I still have 24 more days!

Kobe is our sweet black lab we got in April 2000, before we had kids. So she's coming up on 12 years...and it's showing. She's losing weight, her spine is sticking out, her legs aren't sturdy, she has sores and bumps on her body. We've started calling her "old lady." Yesterday she slipped on the hard wood floor and couldn't get her footing. She sleeps a lot. But I'm very thankful for her...she was the first dog I ever had. I taught her all sorts of tricks when she was a puppy, and she will still (begrudgingly) do them. When I was put on bed rest with Macy (for a MONTH) I laid in bed and read, and she would lay next to me. I talked to her, and she kept sane while I was slowly going crazy from laying on my left side for a MONTH. She's a sweet, sweet dog and I'm thankful for her company.

Gabe is our hyper American Eskimo we got a few years ago. It was just after Bobby had started at the fire station, and him being gone at night was causing me stress. I couldn't sleep. Enter Gabe: the barking dog. I knew if anyone tried to get in our house, that dog would bark his head and let me know. He brought me piece of mind, and I'm thankful for that. He follows me around, and is never far from me. One of my favorite things to do is leave a room and go downstairs with Gabe following, then go right back in that room, just to make him follow me. I'm thankful for the piece of mind he has given me.

I'm also thankful for the joy these two dogs have brought the girls. Watching the girls interact with my two other babies is a joy. 

You non-dog people won't understand the above post, and that's okay. You dog-people will. And I have 24 more thankful days to talk about the deep stuff.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful for extra sleep

Tonight I'm thankful for the extra hour of sleep I will get. Seems like I can't get caught up on sleep, can't take naps during the middle of the day, so I'm looking forward to this extra hour. The girls had friends over last night, so they stayed up late and woke up early.

Good night! Enjoy your extra hour of sleep!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful for health

Tonight, as I listen to the girls and their friends run, scream, jump, laugh, fake barf and fake seizures, I am so thankful they are healthy. They rarely get sick (I just tempted fate, didn't I?) and if they do, rebound quickly. I believe very strongly this because we are not germaphobes. They are healthy, strong, well-cared for and I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful for my sweet Macy

As Macy gets older, her bedtime is getting later. Gone are the days when I could send them to bed at 8 and watch TV/grade papers/have computer time. Kaylin will fall asleep relatively quickly, but Macy struggles. On the nights Bobby is at the fire station, she will sometimes stay up with me until 10 or 11. I'll take my computer or papers upstairs, and she'll lay in bed with me and read.

I'm so thankful for the special time I have with her--sometimes I have to remind myself not to get antsy and get mad at her for staying up late, but to be thankful that she wants to be with me and wants to talk. She can be snotty, but those tender moments at night when it's just me and her, with her feet pushed up against mine, she'll let me know what is bothering her, what happened at school, what she's looking forward to, or just read to me funny parts from her book.Not a snotty word out of her mouth when it's just me and her like this.  One of these days she won't want to do that anymore, so I'm relishing the time I have with her, and am thankful for those precious stolen moments.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful for caring students

In addition to blogging every day to get myself out of this blogging rut, I'll be posting something I am thankful for. It's killing two birds with one stone, and I'm all about doing two things at one time to save time. And I'm all about old vague aphorisms like "killing two birds with one stone" and "the early bird gets the worm" and such.

Today was my birthday, It was nice day. Bobby sent me roses, several co-workers gave me treats, and we had dinner together as a family. I'm thankful for that.  I'm also thankful for the wonderful students I have. One reason I enjoy teaching is the close connection I get with the students. While most people can't stand teenagers, I (for the most part) get along really well with them and have a lot of fun together. Today they really made my day special.

A student texted me at 6:01 am to say she was going to QT before school and would bring me a Coke for my birthday.

My newspaper kids had a surprise party for me, complete with cookies, brownies, a chocolate sheet cake, a homemade card they all signed, and a gift certificate for $70 to Dick's Sporting Goods.

I received tons of emails, cards, and tweets from them, and all day anytime a current or former student saw me, they told me happy birthday, complete with yelling it down the hallway in front of everyone.

7th hour sang to me about 4 times, loudly, off key, and more of a round than a normal song.

I'm thankful for such wonderful, caring students who care about an old teacher like me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Here's my Black-Eyed Pea and Hermonine, Halloween 2011.

And here's the crew that went trick or treating together. It was awesome having such a big group--kids got to be with their friends, it was easier to keep track of the kids, and parents had someone to talk to. I LOVE that we have so many kids in our neighborhood about the same age--there were many that weren't in this picture.
Happy Halloween!