Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back-to-School Goals - Update

So two weeks into the school year, I wrote a post mentioning a few back to school goals. Here were the goals:


1.) Love first. Teach second.

2.) Stay on top of filing.

3.) Respond to emails ASAP instead of putting them off.

4.) Grade and record papers ASAP so they don't pile up on me.

5.) Make better use of my planning time. (this is when I am going to try and make most of my copies, since the line can be bad in the mornings and afternoons)

6.) Umm, it seems like I had so many more than just these five... oh well!


Needless to say, I am not doing too well. 


#1 is obviously the most important goal to me, but some days I struggle with it. I know it may sound easy, but it can actually be kind of difficult. You can get so caught up in what you have to get done and what the kids have to know and be able to do, that you have to remind yourself that they are real kids. More than math, they need love. That is the most important thing and that is what is going to make them see Jesus in me more than anything else. The more difficult kids are often the ones that are the hardest to love and they are the ones that need it the most! This is a goal that I have to work on everyday and will probably need to work on everyday until retirement.


#'s 2-5 are all goals that just have to do with time management and organization. I do think that I am making better use of my planning periods, which helps with the other goals, but I still have a long way to go! I don't always answer my emails right away and yes, papers always seem to pile up on me. And filing? Well, I am no better at that than I was last year. It really is a weakness.


Here are some things I am going to do to help me meet these goals:

  • Write them down. Then post them in a place where I will see them everyday, like the bulletin board by my desk.
  • Clean off my desk every afternoon before I leave. This will help me get off to a good start in the morning. You will not believe the mess that accumulates on my desk during the school day!
  • Make a schedule for all of the things I have to do each week, like planning, grading, newsletters, emails, etc. Maybe this will help me get it all done instead of saving it to the last minute. Kind of like a to-do list for each planning period of the week. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Going Bananas

Confession time...

I love bananas. But I especially love bananas when they are at that perfect stage where they are not mushy, but they are not too hard either. You know, right before they start to get a little too ripe. And bananas are really good for you too. A great source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, not to mention good calories for energy and loads of potassium. The potassium is especially good for mommas-to-be since muscle cramps, especially those awful charlie horses, can be a real problem! 

Anyway, here is what drives me bananas. I am really working hard on only grocery shopping once a week. If you want to eat a banana everyday, this is next to impossible! Monday I went to the store and only bought three bananas because I knew they wouldn't last more than three days. I even bought three that looked a little greenish. Tuesday's banana was okay, but not great. Today's, Wednesday's, is already looking spotted and feeling too mushy. I don't even want to think about Thursday's. I may just eat it tonight to keep from having to suffer through a bad banana. 

So what I  want to know is, has anyone discovered a way to keep bananas fresh? Do any of those baggy thingys really work? Any tips at all?? I know this is a silly post, but I'm desperate over here! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blubber by Judy Blume

  • Good Book
  • Everyone can relate to one of the characters - bully, bullied, bystander...
  • Some of the bullying seemed a little extreme to me. I guess it happens though.
  • Teachers are portrayed as lazy and uncaring. Never know what is happening. Disinterested. Sadly though, I guess some teachers are like this. 
  • Some language that is not suitable for younger or immature students. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cardiologist = Pleasant Surprise!

As I mentioned before here, my OB wanted me to see a cardiologist just to have some tests run. This is only because I have had a pre-existing condition, not because I am having problems or because she thinks I will have them. More of a better-be-safe-than-sorry kind of thing.

So last week I went to see a cardiologist here in town to have an EKG and and a Cardio-Echo done. The EKG is no big deal - you just lay on a table and have a bunch of sticky things with metal pieces put on your chest, arms, and ankles. Then they connect the metal pieces to a machine using big plier-looking things. Once you're all hooked up the test only takes about 30 seconds. They just monitor your heart rate and print out a piece of paper that looks like you just took a lie detector test.

The Cardio-Echo is basically just an ultrasound of your heart. They use really cold jelly and rub a wand over your skin over the area they want to see. But unlike some ultrasounds, the Cardio-Echo can actually be a little painful. They have to push really hard to see through some of the tissue and they sometimes have to jab really hard at your ribs. Zero fun. 

Anyway, as the man was looking up at the bottom of my heart via under my ribs, I warned him that if he got any lower we would be able to see my baby on that screen. He laughed and told me we would do that next. It's a good thing I was in a cardiologist's office, because I just about had a heart attack on the spot! Seriously, my heart started beating so fast that he had to stop the test and let me calm down a bit. I was just so shocked! I had no idea when I woke up that morning that I would have the chance to see my baby. Talk about a pleasant surprise!

I wasn't able to see a whole lot because that is not really what the equipment was designed for. And since I was only 16 weeks, he couldn't really tell the gender. But I'm almost glad for that since Jeff wasn't even with me. That was the worst part. It was amazing to see our baby, but I really wanted the daddy there with me to see it too. It was an awesome thing to see, though. I enjoy seeing other people's ultrasound pictures, but let's be honest, they all look alike to me. Not this one. I know you may argue that it had to look just like everyone else's, but no. The baby I saw on the screen was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my life. I cannot wait until I get to see it again in a few weeks, when Jeff gets to see it for the first time. And I definitely cannot wait until I can hold it in my arms! At the risk of becoming sickeningly sappy, I will stop here. I'm already crying in anticipation anyway! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No More Jeep Payments!!

Have I ever mentioned before how much I really HATE debt?? If you know me personally, you know this is true. I just can't stand the thought of so much of my money going out every month to pay for things that I purchased forever ago! It is so stupid and I hate it and I wish that I had never borrowed money for anything in my life. But, I did and now I'm paying the Stupid Tax for it. Every month. 

But, things around here are changing. Although we are not perfect with our money, we do have a plan. A written budget each month that tells every dollar where to go. A debt-snowball, designed to help us pay off our debts in the fastest way possible. Yes, some months we really stink at it, but most months we do okay. I can definitely tell we are making progress. Thank you, Dave Ramsey!

We made some big progress this week when we paid off our jeep. It's exciting to have that weight off of our shoulders and to have an extra 200-something a month - even if we don't really have it in a way that lets us spend it, but in a way that lets us pile it towards more debt. It's a good feeling that makes you want to keep going. If it feels so nice just having that extra a month, imagine what we will feel like when we are DEBT FREE and get to keep a lot more of our money! (Even though most days it feels like that time is very, very far away.) It's also a nice enough feeling to make me never want to borrow money for a car ever again. Monthly car payments don't have to be something that I have to live with. : ) 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Books Read 2010

I needed somewhere to keep up with all of the books that I have read/will read this year. I don't really have a personal goal since I have no idea what to expect out of this year. After all, I will have a newborn in six months! But I figured here is a good a place as any. And maybe I will even have some accountability if I post the list for others to see.

At a Glance Totals:
Nancy Drew - 5
Memoir - 3
YA/JuvFic - 24
Adult Mystery - 1
Adult Misc - 2
NonFic Family - 3
NonFic Faith - 1
Teaching - 1
Total* - 34
*Some books fit into more than one category.
Jan - 6
Feb - 6
Mar - 7
Apr - 7
May - 3
June - 1
July - 0
August - 1
September - 2
October - 1

January- Thanks to all of the snow days, I have been able to start the year off with a lot of reading!

1.) Nancy Drew 1 - The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene (01/03)

2.) Nancy Drew 2 - The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene (01/06)

3.) American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson (01/11)

4.) Blubber by Judy Blume (01/16) -audiobook

5.) How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else by Michael Gates Gill (01/22) - audiobook

6.) The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (01/29)

February - more snow days for reading - good now, not so good in June : ) also, my husband had his gallbladder removed. this meant an entire day spent waiting in the hospital and many more quiet days to follow while he recoops at home.

7.) On Becoming BabyWise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam (02/01)

8.) Nancy Drew 3 - The Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene (02/02)

9.) Snowed In by Rachel Hawthorne (02/05)

10.) Front of the Class: How Tourette's Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had by Brad Cohen (02/08)

11.) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (02/15)

12.) Nancy Drew 9 - The Sign of the Twisted Candles by Carolyn Keene (02/16)

March - When the weather starts to get warmer, I start to read a little less. That is, until it gets too hot to do anything outside! Then my reading usually picks back up again. But until then, I will just use all those rainy days to get some reading done : )

13.) Julia and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell (03/06)

14.) How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (03/10)

15.) The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis (03/25)

16.) Nancy Drew 5 - The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene (03/28)

17.) Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (03/30)

18.) Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (03/31)

19.) A Journey to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (03/31)

April - Spring Break!! However, I do have big plans to do a lot of cleaning and school work, so I may or may not get any more reading done than usual : /

20.) Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood by Jenny McCarthy (04/04)

21.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (04/08)

22.) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (04/13)

23.) Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore (04/15)

24.) Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (04/15)

25.) Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (04/22)

26.) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (04/30)

May - The end of the school year is always crazy and leaves very little time to read!

27.) The Titan's Curse by Rick Riorday (05/09)

28.) The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (05/18)

29.) The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (05/28)

June - Um, I did have a baby this month. All spare time was spent sleeping!

30.) The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp (06/07)

July - See June : )

August - I am finally starting to feel human again! School has started and it actually feels good to be back in the swing of things again!

31.) The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (08/19)


32.) Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins

33.) Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar


34.) The Alchemist: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel by Michael Scott (10/30)



35.) On Becoming Babywise: Book II Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam (12/30)