Saturday, August 21, 2010

Location, Location, Location

Early in the summer I got to see a bunch of my fantastic extended family at Grandma and Grandpa's 60th anniversary party.

That day, my Uncle Kerm (my great-uncle, actually) said to me, "So I hear that the one-cent tax increase I'm going to be paying has saved your job."

"Yep," I wittily replied.

"Well, then I'll pay it proudly."

I am touched. (I almost cried right then and there.)

So thanks to Uncle Kerm. And thank you to everyone who is happily or proudly paying the extra sales tax, whether you've noticed it or not. And thank you to those of you who are paying it reluctantly or in frustration or angrily. I've only known them for a couple days, but if these kids aren't worth a little bit more in line at the store, then I don't know who or what is. If you want to come meet them, I'd love to have you visit my classroom sometime. For real. I love my job and "my" kids and my coworkers. I am so grateful to be back in the same school, even with a few major changes.

This is where I belong.

(Obviously I need a few more white Christmas lights. Anyone have some to spare? They're kind of hard to find in August.)

afternoons... (This classroom is "home." It always will be; it was my first job ever, and a pretty darn great one at that. And, hopefully, someday soon, it will be my only again. But until that day comes, I'm working on getting used to the other.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

grad school?

oh, yeah. that starts today.

it's weird to "start class" without actually going to class.

i'm pretty sure i just completed my first two assignments. pretty sure. i'll have to double-check, though.

i've been nervous, but this comment in the "welcome" from one of my professors makes me feel a lot better:

"I want you to "get started here" by giving yourself permission to relax and enjoy this learning experience. We have a responsibility to each other to do what we can have fun and learn a great deal."

thank. goodness.

(i don't know what's up with my "no-caps" mood this week. oh well.)

Monday, August 16, 2010


***disclaimer: in no way is this post sarcastic. it is real. it is honest. but not sarcastic. life is not always peachy keen, but i have to admit that my life is pretty darn good.

i am choosing my attitude. some days will be hard. this year will be different, but i am excited to see how i tackle these challenges. nervous. scared. but really excited.

day 1.

(of inservice, that is)

i made it.

there were a few surprises along the way.

but life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

right, darrel?

(i'm not saying i buy into that 100% of the time, but it's working for me right now.)

i made it.

health insurance went up? no problem.

(i have health insurance.)

sure, i'll try co-teaching.

in three days, with someone i've not yet met.

(it sounds like a fun challenge. intimidating, but rewarding.)

of course i can wait until thursday for my computer at ams to be functional.

(as long as i have one at central.)

i made it.

and i will make it tomorrow and the next day and even the day after that.

and so on and so forth.

i made it.

my classrooms are coming together.

plans (and copies for them) are under control.

i have fantastic co-workers.

i love my job.

it's the best job in the whole world.

some kids from last year have come to visit me. they still love me. and i still remember their names.

and i can't wait to meet my kids.

i love to see them on the first day of school, nervous and eager, both at once. the newness of a fresh school  year before them.



i made it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Here we go

This picture is from Friday night, when the clouds passed us by, but it's finally raining here!

 Last night we celebrated Brad's grandpa's birthday. Dale's only 70...

The grandkids minus Jordan and Tyler. Justin, Dawson, Brad, Leah, Maddie.

I just realized that I might not be able to complete one of my 25 items. Tami, I know I told you last night that the Wingnuts play until September, but apparently I made that one up. There is maybe one day we can make it to... oops. :(

I love a nice, clean car, inside and out. It's almost as good, I suppose, as a nice, clean car with an operational radio. 

My master's classes start in three days. I suppose I should get on blackboard and glance at the syllabi. I have no idea what to expect. And I have not ordered any books yet (which is not as crazy as it seems - a friend is in the same program, just two semesters ahead of me, so I'm waiting to see if she has books I can borrow). I really don't want to order any books... they are expensive.

Tomorrow I officially start school, but I've already put in a few days. I'm excited to meet my kids (which doesn't happen until Thursday for 6th graders and Friday for 7th graders), but I am nervous about how all the changes will work out.

My actual job this year is:
1st-4th hours: 7th grade language arts at AMS (two blocks)
5th hour: travel (2 miles) and lunch
6th-8th hours: 6th grade language arts at ACMS (one block) and plan time

My rooms are almost ready. Myself, on the other hand...

I guess at this point in time I have no choice but to jump in with two feet.

So, here we go...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's been a while...

I guess it's only been a few days. When you're busy, it seems like so much more. I feel like I have so much to tell you. And show you. But we're on our way out the door, so the yellow rose will have to do... for now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Last Hurrah

We came back from vacation. My mom's parents have a cabin. On Beaver Lake. It is amazing. We drove down last week for our one last hurrah before school starts.

I didn't really want to leave. This year's trip was especially great. I love it there. 

We came back from great food and quality time with the family (but we really missed Hannah and Jason).

We left reading on the dock and jumping in the water when it go too hot and skiing and reading in the hammock.

We left it.... and came back to a truck in dire need of four new tires and a car with a dead radio and the stress of getting ready to start school again in a completely new way. (Yesterday was a bit stressful, but today things are looking up.)

I really do love my "real" life. But sometimes it's nice to have a little break from reality. Right, Brad?!

Monday, August 9, 2010

not yet

weeks run into
indistinct in sameness.
sun blazes dawn
to dusk.
swelter through each 
lazy day
consumed by 
obligations absent.
summer held loosely 
slips through open fingers.
breathe deeply now.
it's not yet gone.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 tbs. margarine, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Mix ingredients until well blended. Shape into 24 balls. Set aside.

1 1/2 c. sugar
8 tbs. margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
2 tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 c. flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix sour cream, milk, and vanilla; set aside. Beat sugar and margarine until blended. Add eggs; beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream mixture. Beat just until ingredients are combined.

Spoon one heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin-tin cup. Drop one peanut butter ball in center of each cup and top with another heaping tablespoon of batter. Bake cupcakes 20 minutes in 350 degree oven. Cool completely.

Yield: 24 cupcakes

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbs. margarine, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. cool whip
Beat butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter until smooth and blended. Add powdered sugar slowly. Add cool whip and beat until smooth and creamy. Frosts lots of cupcakes. (I had a lot of frosting left over, but I think I added too much cool whip.)

Disclaimer: this is my version of the recipe. The one I found was a little bit confusing.... Also, I almost never mix together the dry ingredients before adding. I just add one or two at a time (I leave the flour for last, and add it one cup at a time.), making sure that any salt, baking soda, or baking powder is in my first "add" so that they are mixed in well. It works for me. And the cupcakes taste pretty darn good.