Saturday, March 16, 2013

Getting to know me

Here are some random things about me 

What is your dream job?  Teaching

When have you seen Karma at work in your life?  Anytime I have done something snarky, or mean.

What was the first thing you learned to cook?  My great- grandmothers coffee cake

What book can you read over and over again?  I love To Kill a Mockingbird

What makes you feel young?  Plastic surgery?

Did you ever work at an on campus job? What was it?  I tutored Math in college, which is why I became a math teacher

What was your first paying job?  Babysitting, but my first regular job was at Bonanza family restaurant.

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

What in your life is more important than money?  Most things, we are comfortable, and can fix the car if it breaks down.  Good enough for me.

Then I got tired of these questions.  Currently, I am really into Owls, cadbury Mini eggs, cinnamon candies, most baked goods.  (Mostly food it seems!)  I love cooking, baking and teaching my kids to cook. 

This is all I can think of for now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is February Over Yet?

Our house in being referred to as a factory of sickness, by our friends, so that is pretty much February.  I got the flu at the end of January, but it rolled on into February.  Then Ellie broke out in a wretched looking rash that the doctor thought was scabies, but was in fact really bad eczema.  Then she parlayed that into strep, with a strep rash.  So she was pretty scabby and rashy for a bit, which really helped her 3 year old behavior.  ( honestly, why do they give teenagers a stupid egg to take care of, give them a 3 year old, they will never have sex again)  Owen got sent home from school on Tuesday, missed Wednesday which was a field trip, and Thursday which was Valentine's Day.  I can only assume Maddie will get sick next week to really set the tone for the month.

On the plus side, my dad is visiting, which is fun.  He was also willing to stay home with a sick kid, saving us from having to get a substitute.  He brought many jars of homemade jam, and our Christmas meat.  Which sounds strange, but every year he gets a cow and pig butchered and splits it between my family and my brother's family.  Which saves us a lot of money, and gives our children the impression that fine T-bone steaks happen on the regular.  I envision them at college asking "what is this ramen you speak of, can't we have a pork shoulder?".  Side note, Bud got a smoker for his birthday so we are pretty much smoking all the meats.

Lest you be jealous, we did have a lot of water leaking from our walls a few weeks ago. We had to have a bunch of ceiling and wall cut out to fix the leak and replace all the dry wall.  Turns out the builder of our house put a nail through some water line and it finally rusted enough to leak.  The builder also went out of business, so we can't even complain to them.

So February is a mixed bag of water, meat and sickness.  Well, that is some imagery right there!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Norman Rockwell Day

This has been a crap school year so far*.  I feel like a first year teacher.  But today I got an email that I had a package at the front office.  It is from the host family for a foreign exchange students, and it was awesome.  They got me an entire box of paper, and a whole bag of fun stuff, like highlighters, and pens and hand sanitizer, and kleenex (name brand even!).  It was like a surprise CDP.  So awesome.  They did this for each one of his teachers, I can't imagine how much it cost.  I guess they did it last week for their own son's teachers.  The mom had been complaining to the teachers that it is BS that we have to buy so much stuff on our own.  As you all know it isn't the stuff, just that she thought of us.  I really needed it this week.

And then as if that wasn't enough, 2 of the 3 children ate a ton of dinner.  I made Chow Mein Casserole, and Owen loved the meat, Maddie loved the noodles so they joyfully SHARED with each other.  After dinner they all played nicely together and made each other laugh.  I could cry it was all so nice.  (ok, maybe my period is due soon, whatev)  Oh, and the cleaning lady came today so the house is actually clean for a few hours.  Seriously, perfect storm of awesome.

* Over the summer an incoming freshman found out she had cancer and died the week before school started.  Five days before school started a student went missing, many others were looking for him and two day later was found dead.  (not putting circumstances to avoid google finding me, but not foul play)  Then a week into the school year a student was kidnapped from her home. (found safe, thank all the deities you want)  For reals this is the craziest thing ever.  We assume this means the school was cursed in some fashion, hopefully it is over.

Monday, October 1, 2012


We have noticed a weird thing with Ellie's eyes lately.  They don't always... point the same direction.  Sometimes it is very subtle, other times pretty noticeable.  So we talked to her pediatrician at her 3 year well visit.  He suggested a pediatric ophthalmologist.  We haven't gone yet for a few reasons.  1) I have to call them 2) we only have one listed for our insurance so 3) does it have to be pediatric or could it be any ophthalmologist? I also am sure that we will take her and they won't see anything weird and once we are in the car she will do it again.

I also worry they will make her wear an eye patch.  Which I am fine with in theory, except she won't do it, and I will have to fight all the time with her about it.  On the plus side, she could be a pirate for Halloween.  Why can't I just send them an email, rather than call them for an appointment?  Or why can't the stay open later so I have time for a fortifying margarita before I call?

On another medical note.  I have a lot of migraines, and headaches blah blah.  Acupuncture?  Should I try it?

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Back in April (?) I participated in the CDP exchange thanks to Doing My Best.  It was so fun, I loved picking things out for my person.  It is so exciting, hoping the stuff you liked will be something to bring a smile to someone else.  I loved the stuff in my package, sadly there are no pictures because I ate all the candy, and was too excited about the lip gloss to go get my camera.  There were so many little fun things to open, I am a huge fan of lots of little gifts.  I also found new things I hadn't tried before like cinnamon gummy bears, yummy, I just bought more yesterday.

One of these little gifts gave me an idea, it was a package of cute pens, which I love.  Teachers universally love school supplies. At the beginning of the year, we cruise other classrooms to see what other folks bought over the summer.  Cool post-it notes, magnets, and pens are fun.  Then I put it all together!  Teacher gifts are a nightmare for everyone, even teachers.  Why not make a CDP a teacher gift?  I know it is early for this but hear me out.  By Christmas all of our new supplies are either lost or have run out.  To get a box of fun school supplies that are all fresh and new smelling would be awesome.  Right now all that stuff will be on sale dirt cheap.  You can get a ruler for a penny at some places!  Think of all the random stuff you can buy super cheap, and you probably have more time for it right now than you will in November (or December 17th ish if you are me).  One of the best gifts I ever got from a kid (well his mom) was a huge package of post-its, they are multicolored and I have been using them for 2 years and still have a bunch left. 

I have already purchased little lip balms at Bath and Body Works, and will keep my eye out for other fun things as I shop for the kids school supplies.  I can even buy some of the things in bulk and divide them between the different teachers (and me).  I can imagine the teachers in January, having a bad day, pulling out a little gift and opening something fun to cheer them up.

Editing to add suggestions.  The teachers I know love: binder clips, various colors of dry erase markers, magnets, thumbtacks, stickers.  Elementary teachers seem to need "junk" for the treasure box in their class room.  If you have suggestions leave them in the comments, or if you have seen a great deal on something spread the word.  Remember, some things can be divided, buy a bunch of thumbtacks and put them in a few different containers for different teachers or save some for next year.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Just the two of us

Bud and the two older kids are away for a week.  Which leaves just me and Ellie, I am using this time to potty train her.  The other two kids were very easy, we just left them alone and around three they just started asking to use the toilet.  Ellie is not as easy.  So I finally resorted to a combination of sticker chart, chocolate and pretty panties as a reward.  Still no luck, but then we did exchanging stickers from the chart for nail painting.  And bada bing, that was the key.  So far in the last 24 hours, one accident and seven successful potty excursions.  So there ya go, every kid is a freak, you just need to figure out what kind of freak.  Although we have now painted everything, so we will see.  At least it is a start.

It is weird having the two of us here.  I should be enjoying it, but I can't sleep when Bud isn't here.  I go to bed at midnight and lay there for awhile, then wake up every hour or so.  I will be glad to see him and hopefully sleep well.  They are having a blast up in Montana.  It started as a trip for Owen to go see my dad and run around waving sticks.  Maddie was disappointed, so Owen went up then 5 days later Bud and Maddie went.  I think it is good for the kids to get to run around and get dirty without me nagging them about not ruining their clothes or getting hurt.  You need to get away from mom sometimes. 

Well, time to hit the potty again! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I took a variety of classes when becoming a teacher, math classes, pedagogy classes, classes about classroom management, as well as a semester of student teaching.  It doesn't take long to see that there are many things we don't learn in the classroom.  They never prepared me for the emotional toll of teaching.

This year has been especially hard.  We have many students suffering from financial hardships lately.  We have a designated room with donated clothes, food, personal hygiene items to help out families.  Staff members have contacts with different resources, and are able to refer families whenever needed. We expect these things during an economic crisis. 

What you don't expect is to see a former student's obituary in the paper.  It is the third student I have lost in 14 years.  He had two small children.

You don't expect to have a 16 year old who lost her father five years ago to cancer, find out that her mom has cancer...again.  I watch her floundering, because her older sister has gone to college, and she has very little support system. 

You don't expect a girl to get a text in your class telling her that her mother, who she thought was recovering, is dying. 

You don't expect to find that another students parents have spent his entire college fund... on cancer treatment for his mom.  Which didn't work, so now, no college and also mom is dying.  And his little brother is friends with Owen.

You don't expect your colleague to come to you because one of her students isn't returning after spring break because he is in a coma.

I feel so powerless, I can't fix things for these kids.  I have spent so much time crying for these kids, it breaks my heart.  I don't think people understand how emotionally draining teaching can be, both for the good and bad.

I have a student that I first had as a freshman, he is just a great kid.  He isn't the top kid in class, but he is sweet and funny and kind.  I have him now as a senior, I know he isn't 4 year college material, so  I was overjoyed to find out  two weeks ago that he has a great opportunity playing sports in a different country.  He will get paid, and his housing is paid and he will get 2 years of vocational training.  I am so happy for him.  Then Friday he came to me crying because his family had 5 days to move out of their home.  He is now homeless.  He will be staying with friends, and the rest of his family will scatter to stay with various people.  He still has to buy his plane ticket, and is hoping he can get some money from his dad to buy it. 

For a change this is something tangible that can be fixed.  An assistant principal, another teacher and I are going to buy the ticket for him.  I can't keep people from dying but I can throw a few hundred in to help a kid.  I wish I could do more, but I am happy that I work with people who will go out of their way to help kids out.

This is why teachers need summer vacation.  By the end of the year you are emotionally raw, when the next year starts I will have scabs and scars, only to start the whole thing over again.