Thanksgiving

Today was Thanksgiving for my immediate family and me. We gathered at my parents’ house and had turkey, stuffing, and all the goodies that go with it. My brother is in town from IL, my sister and her family came, and my hubby and I were there. It was wonderful. Of course because we were at Mom and Dad’s we got to see our Rose. She was pretty good with the little nephews… only one real bark at them. She is overly nervous with all that energy bundled up in two small bodies, so she doesn’t really know how to behave. We kept her harness on her the whole time so she was easy to grab and redirect if needed. We also had her lie on her pillow for quite a while (especially while we were eating dinner). Overall it was a good day and I am absolutely exhausted.

Here are the 3 great things about today:

1. Being together with my family. Lots of laughing and having a great time!

2. Took B for a walk/run. I still don’t know what to do about his skittishness and how unsure he is when we are on a walk. I am hoping that the more often we walk, the more confident he will become.

3. Turkey. I love turkey and am pretty sure I would eat it more often if it were offered. It was the best dinner and I am definitely being effected by it… time for bed 🙂

I hope you all had a great day! Back to work for 1 day tomorrow and then it will be Thanksgiving Break for 5 days!

Weekend

It’s been a great weekend so far, and it’s not over yet 🙂 I am taking tomorrow off because my family is celebrating our Thanksgiving tomorrow. My brother is in town and my sister and her family will be celebrating as well.

Here is a quick recap of this weekend:

Saturday: Ben and I went to my parents’ house for Rose Saturday. We were there by 11 and Mom and I went to a couple places in downtown Leavenworth. After that, we got some yummy Starbucks, and went grocery shopping at Wal-mart.
My sister had tried a new anti-pull harness on her dog, so we picked one up for Rose. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! It is by the brand Yuppie Puppy and it is the Anti-Pull Mesh Harness. Rose’s harness is completely black and she was able to fit in the Medium size. I used it with her for just moments when I took her to go potty and I was amazed. I talked to Mom today and she took Rose for a walk with the harness on and said it was the best walk they have ever had. In the past, we had just used a prong collar on her, but apparently this is 100x better.
We had dinner together and then Ben and I headed home with Bandit. I finished reading It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages by Mrs. Mimi. It was one of the funniest teacher books I have ever read. Mrs. Mimi has her own blog too! I would definitely recommend stopping on by and enjoying some fun posts by her.
Overall, yesterday was a very relaxing day.

Sunday: Today was more productive (after about 1 pm). Before 1 pm, I bummed around in my jammies and snuggled with my Bandit. I watched some worthless TV and enjoyed every moment of it! Around noon I fell asleep on the couch and had a nightmare, so I decided to get up and get going with my day. I went to Wal-mart again and got groceries and picked up a harness for Bandit. His is red and black like in the picture. For the most part, I stayed on budget for groceries. If I wouldn’t have bought the harness (only $10!) and paper towels, I would have been fine.

Anyway, I came home, filled up both cars, put some washer fluid in Ben’s car, and unloaded groceries. Once things were put up and cleaned I took Mr. Bandit on a walk with his new harness. He did great! He is a very skittish dog and does not have much self-esteem. We did well at the beginning, but there were a lot of people outside and a lot of noise, so he was pretty jumpy and constantly looking around. He didn’t really pull much, though, because of his new harness. We got home and he ran straight into the bedroom, jumped on the bed where Ben was sleeping and fell asleep for at least a half hour straight. He was worn out… maybe that is a sign that we should take more walks.

I finally woke Ben up and made dinner. I grilled out at about 6 pm and I don’t know about your house, but it is pretty dark at 6 around here. I had to take a flashlight outside with me to make sure our food was ready. Dinner was good and we settled in for the evening. We watched the AMAs and be still my heart, Michael Buble won an award! So excited! He’s so dreamy 🙂 Now, I am catching up on blogging with a passed-out dog next to me and am thinking about what book I want to start next. Once I figure it out, I will let you know 🙂

Here are my positives for the weekend– 3 for each day:

Saturday:
1. Rose Saturday! Always a great day when we get to see our baby!

2. Spending quality time with Mom. I have always treasured spending time with my mom. She is one of my best friends and I love getting to go out with her and spend time together.

3. (Technically this one is from Friday, but I forgot to post): My wonderful husband gave me the most amazing back massage. You know how I was complaining about hauling those heavy math journals around? Yeah, he gave me a shoulder and back massage and I felt so much better afterward. He is the best!!

Sunday:
1. Getting groceries for the week. I hate the process of getting groceries, but I am happy that I have the money to buy groceries for my husband and I. Sometimes I lose sight of that and take it for granted. I am blessed with a job in this economy and so is my husband. We are very lucky to have the money for things like rent and groceries, as well as the occasional wants.

2. Taking B for a walk. I need to do this more often, but I am lazy. I love walking with him. I feel so much better about myself when I take a walk and I know it is good for him. It needs to become a habit.

3. Grades are all put in! I was able to put in all my grades so my midterm grade cards can be printed out and sent home tomorrow. So thankful for my wonderful co-workers who will take care of printing and sending them home… They are the best 🙂

I hope to post tomorrow, but if I don’t it’s because I am having too much fun with my family 🙂

What are you thankful for today?

Grading

So, I have wanted to become a teacher since I was in 4th grade. My 4th grade teacher was a 1st year teacher and was a lot of fun. (Let’s not focus on the fact that her first year was her only year, though). It was then that I thought teaching would be so much fun. I think part of it also stems from the fact that I am the youngest child. I never had younger siblings to follow me around or to whom I could teach things. Now, I have many young children who follow me around and to whom I teach (or try to teach) things.

One of the things I always thought would be great about teaching would be the grading. Boy, was I wrong! I feel like I am drowning in papers and red pens (which apparently I should not be using, but I digress). Since we have departmentalized I am now in charge of math journals for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I am also in charge of science stuff as well. My fellow wonderful co-worker is in charge of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Language Arts grading. This would include spelling, reading worksheets, grammar, etc. Basically, it averages out to way too many things to grade per child. The one thing that my wonderful co-worker has as an advantage is that her grading is on paper. Now, let me explain… Her pages are mainly worksheet type pages. They are great and wonderful and she is doing an excellent job. The reason this is an advantage is simply because of weight. Now, if each student (there are about 40) has 3 things to do in her class, she ends up having about 120 papers to take home and grade. That’s a lot of stuff, but doesn’t weigh much. I, on the other hand, whether I assign 1 page or 3 per child, get the joy of hauling home math journals (think workbooks). 1 per child.. for the non-math people, that would be 40 workbooks. Basically, what I am trying to say is that my shoulders hurt, my back hurts, and I am about ready to throw away every math journal in the world because I am tired of looking at them. Grading is not as cool as my 4th grade self thought.

Anyway, enough with the complaining for the day. Here are some positives:

1. Along the lines of grading, I am caught up!! (Or as caught up as I can be). There are always those children who choose to work at a snail’s pace or who are constantly distracted by imaginary things and therefore do not get their work done. Those kids, I am not caught up on their grading (but they are not caught up on their math either). Everyone else, I am done grading the math journals (until tomorrow when I assign a new page) and the best part is that the grades have been entered into powerschool… think online grade book. Woo-hoo! Now, if I could figure out how to teach math without ever having them practice and then I wouldn’t have any grading. 🙂

2. BOGO- You know what that means… Buy One, Get One. Starbucks is running this great promotion starting today and ending Sunday. From 2-5 pm, you can buy one and get one free of their holiday drinks. My wonderful co-worker (the one from above) and I made a pit-stop and picked us up some yummy Starbucks on the way home. I tried the Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha and it was delicious! I definitely recommend it.

3. My apartment is relatively clean! Now, the fact that it is clean is a positive. The fact that I was the one who had to clean it up was not a positive. But, I am definitely happy that it is done. I can see my kitchen countertops without dishes covering them. My stove is nice and scrubbed (yes, scrubbed… I cleaned drip pans and everything). The living room area is clean. The only thing I didn’t do was vacuum and it was very hard not to, but the hubster was sleeping. I LOVE vacuuming! More important: I LOVE my vacuum! We have the Dyson Ball: Animal and besides the fact that it is yucky K-State purple, it is the most amazing thing in the world! It was a wedding present to myself 🙂 Maybe tomorrow I will get to realize the true joy that vacuum brings me.

I guess you will have to come back tomorrow to find out… Oh my life is one of danger and excitement, let me tell you.

Exhausted

After coming home from school (work) at 2:00 yesterday and sleeping for 2 hours, it should be no surprise that I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I was up at 11:00 and ended up curling up with Bandit and watching one of my DVRed shows. Even after that, I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours. Needless to say, I am exhausted!

I just spent the past hour grading math journals and I am no where near being done. I got through 3rd grade, but did not even look at 4th or 5th grade. I did grade 3rd grade math tests from today and there were 2 that really depressed me. One of the students has an excuse for why she did not perform well, but I am completely stumped about the other one. I feel like I am failing this child and am not able to really reach her. I know that you are told from Day 1 in the school of ed that you will not be able to reach 100% of the children you teach. I can hear that every day of my life, but it doesn’t change the fact that I want to reach 100% of the children I teach. I know this is impossible, but I feel that if I just accept this as fact, I am failing as a teacher. I feel that I have tried one thing after another and am completely out of ideas for this child. She just doesn’t get it and it kills me! I so want to share my passion of math with her and show her that it can be fun, but I don’t know if I will ever be able to. This is how my evening ended, so I am not feeling very positive at all.

… But, I need to stick to my resolution.

Here are my 3 positive things about today:

1. Duty-free lunch! That meant I didn’t have to do lunch duty today (even though I have every Wednesday off). But the best thing about duty-free lunch is that none of the other teachers have lunch duty either which means we get to be social for 25 minutes! Yay! I love my teacher friends and enjoy the social time we get together.

2. We have been working on a tessellation project with the 5th graders and they are looking fantastic! I think they are really having fun learning about tessellations and I am enjoying teaching them about them 🙂

3. It was chilly enough that Bandit got to wear his argyle sweater to my mom and dad’s house. To make a long story short (and if you want the long story, send me your e-mail and I will rehash it with ya), we have visitation rights with our dog on every Saturday and Wednesday (and honestly any day we want). She is living with my parents until we can find a place that is big-dog friendly. Since today is a Rose Wednesday, we loaded up, drove 25 minutes, and spent time with my parents and our doggy Rose. (Get used to Rose Wednesdays and Saturdays showing up often on my positive lists… I love them!) 🙂

Ok, it’s late and I think my new resolution needs to be getting in bed before 9:30 on work nights. Hopefully I fall asleep more easily than last night.

It’s Been a While…

And I mean a LONG while since I have posted. I have trouble keeping up with blogging, although I really love the idea of it. I guess it’s one of those resolutions I need to actually keep.

Today I actually accomplished something that I have been meaning to for quite some time. I completed our budget! I have to admit that I hate looking at the banking online b/c there is never as much money in there as I would like. But today, I took the leap! I completed the budget for the rest of November, as well as all of the budgets for December-February. They definitely aren’t pretty, but if we stick to them we will have over $2500 in our savings at the end of February! This is very exciting for us because we have not stuck closely to a budget and our savings is pretty ugly right now. The fact that we can save that much in just 3 months will hopefully give us the boost we need to keep on the saving path. I think once we get about $5000 in savings we will start putting more and more towards our debt and hopefully be debt-free sooner than expected! Woo-hoo!!

I have not made any real resolutions for the end of November besides sticking closely to our budget. I would like to go up to school on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving and put in a large chunk of time just organizing my room and getting planned for a good chunk of time. Ben will be working that weekend and Mom and Dad will be out of town, so I think I will get to have some quiet time at school that weekend. 🙂

I do have a resolution to stay positive during these winter months. It seems that my body doesn’t seem to deal well with the shortened days and it likes to get moody. To help me stay positive, I would like to close each blogging session with a list of 3 things that made my day. (Hopefully if I become a more regular blogger I will be thinking of 3 positive things daily).

In no particular order here are my 3 for today:
1. One of the boys in my class who has autism seems to be able to make me smile each and every day. Today he had to speak in front of a group and he did such a great job! It made me beam with pride.

2. My wonderful co-worker, who is always there for me, let me go home early today because I was feeling pretty miserable. She covers my class when I need her and I do the same for her. I don’t know where I would be without this wonderful person.

3. Watching Bandit curled up asleep on the bed. He is currently curled in a little ball and has been this way for quite a bit this evening. He is so cute! I love him! 🙂

Hopefully I will be back tomorrow 🙂