Sunday, September 29, 2013

When the monster was gone

To continue with how awesome school was on Friday, we had dropped the monster off at the vet to be spayed Friday morning.  So, I got to come home and take a nap without hearing her whining voice in the cage.  My husband and I were able to eat dinner without her stealing food from the countertops.  (Oh btw, she jumped all four paws on the kitchen table the other day.)  We were able to watch tv without having to get up a bazillion times to take remotes, shoes, decorations, and trash out of her mouth.  We were able to sleep in the next morning.  We were able to fold our laundry without her taking the folded clothes and dragging them around the house.  It was wonderful...and then we had to go and pick her back up from the vet.

End of Story.  She is completely back to normal, oblivious to the fact that she has stitches that she ripped open on Sunday while my parents were here because she was acting like a crazy idiot.  Currently she is climbing all over Anthony's dad.  She is a full time job.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The best day of School so far

The other day a friend from my old school asked me if I felt like I made a good decision leaving and going to a new school.  I had to think about it for a while.   Even though there are some good things (the students are smarter, the students behave in a social acceptable manner, I have parent involvement), there are also some negatives (more is expected of the students-we don't want just passing, we want commended, I have more parent involvement).  I miss my good, good friends at my old school.  My new team is nice, but I am not to the point where I can talk to them about whatever.  (Look out, Debbie and Kriston, the time is coming where you will soon hear of my bathroom habits!)  After a few days of mulling over the question and listening to a lot of feedback from different people at my old school, I decided that even though I am unsure about whether I love, love my new school, I know that I would not being doing well at my old school with the new principal, and the low, low students, and the obnoxious behavior problems, and the lack of support from administration.  I know that this would be my last year in the teaching profession if I had stayed there.  At least, at my new school, I feel a glimmer of hope that I might last a little longer.

But let me tell you about the best day of school so far.  I have had some rough ones; every day is not wonderful.  First off, I had scheduled my observation for PDAS for Thursday.  That's right, my new principal let me tell her when I wanted her to come and observe me.  What a pleasant surprise as opposed to in the past having to wait two weeks on pins and needles never knowing when I might be observed.  Now, it is done, and that makes me happy!  Secondly, it was pouring rain and cooler on Friday morning.  Hello fall weather!  I grabbed an iced hazelnut coffee from McDonald's on the way to work.  How could the morning get any better?

Well, beside the fact that it continued to be dark and gloomy the rest of the day, the students finally clicked with how I wanted math workshop to look.  Ideally, students are able to work interdependently on their investigations and math problems while I pull struggling students to meet with me.  All week, we had been working on talking and helping people at your table if they are struggling, so the confusion can be solved before they all come bombard me with questions.

This is a conversation I overheard from one table:
W was telling S (struggling student) how to solve a problem.  R butted in and told W to "make sure you tell him WHY he needs to do that."  Be still my heart!

Friday I also assigned some teacher helpers.  Students would check in with other students for specific problems.  The teacher helpers would give them a sticker if the problem was correct or send them away to go work on the problem some more.  I saw written in red pen on a student's paper, "please solve in another way."  Love it!

And then while we were discussing how math workshop went, my students told me how "efficient" and "beneficial" the teacher helpers were.  Need I continue?

Because I did not have to check in with students who had little stumbling blocks, my really confused kids were able to have some awesome ah ha moments!

Friday continued to be awesome because I had a parent come make copies and cut things out for next week.  Because my plans were already in, all I had to do after school was file my copies and head out.
School was awesome on Friday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wish we could do this in Texas...

I am reading all my posts from my relatives and friends who live in Michigan, and I am getting so jealous!  I have only been to one apple orchard in Michigan, but it was the best experience.  It was right in the middle of fall.  The leaves were brilliantly colored.  I remember walking through the orchard with my aunt, grandma and family kicking the leaves up with my feet.  There was an old, sticky building where we got to watch the apples been smooshed, and pressed, and juiced, coated with caramel, and whatever else they do.  Afterwards, we sat down in the cool air and munched on warm apple donuts and sipped apple cider.  Oh, what I would not give to be able to have that tradition down here in Texas.  (Sad face!)

I am definitely going to need to find a fall recipe this week to quench this need.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Can I get some queso with that?

I am not the biggest Mexican food fan.  I mean, I can eat fajitas or a quesadilla, but I don't crave the stuff.  I do have a particular weakness for queso.  Mmmm queso!

If you live around Denton, and love queso as much as I do, this post is for you:
Sidenote-I do not do spicy.

1. Mi Taza:  This is my new fav place to go!  It is right by the house, too!  Their queso is amazing.  There may be some peppers and whatnot in there, but it tastes like straight up cheese. 
2. Mazatlan:  Mmmm yum!  Great seasoning and consistency.  It is free at lunch time, too.
3. Chuy's:  I only go at happy hour to get the free nacho bar, so I am not knocking the free, BUT their queso ranks pretty low.  It is pretty runny and seems to get spicy each time I go.  I have to eat it with the beans, so I don't burn my throat.  (Again, spicy weeny)
4. Fuzzy's:  My old roommate, Candace, introduced me to their queso.  I get it without the pico de gallo on top.  It is a yummy white cheese queso, and their chips are amazing!
5. El Guapo:  The first time I went here, I really loved the queso.  The second time, it was definitely spicier.  Lame sauce.
6. El Fenix:  too generic
7. Mi Casita:  I used to stop here all the time on my way home from work.  Thank goodness we moved.  This has a great seasoning, so it is not just cheese, but it isn't spicy.  The best of both worlds.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Feeling like fall yet?

It is September!  That means that is the season for fall, right?  Even though it is hovering in the upper 90s-last week it was in the 100s-, I am anxious for fall to be here.  If you weren't with me last season, you can check out some of my obsession here or here.

I haven't pulled out my stuff just yet, but if you need a little pick me up before fall weather actually hits or before you get a chance to drag out your stuff, here are some quick ideas:

1. Candle or new Scentsy scent
2.  New Dish Towel
I always get a new one of these from my sweet mommy at the beginning of each season.  In fact, I just got my new fall one tonight!
3.  Add a scarf to your outfit
Even in hot weather, you can pair a scarf with short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt or dress.
4.  Stop by Starbucks for a Pumpkin drink

5.  Or make something pumpkin of your own.  Check out the recipe link at the top of this page or for pumpkin waffles.

6.  I saw some pumpkins at the grocery store.  How fast would that be to go grab one to get you in the festive mood?!?

These quick fixes might help put you in the fall mood and might convince the weather to do likewise!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Adult-Rated Bedroom

Right after signing all our papers
So a few months ago, we bought our first house!  We are learning to be do-it-yourselfers.  Here are some pictures of our progress
It has a mix of stone and brick on the facade.  There is a little area by the pillars where some old wooden rocking chairs
would look super nice to sit in when it is NOT 100 bazillion degrees. 

My pinterest inspiration.

Orange, orange, orange!  We repainted it gray.  
Anthony and I spray-painted our wooden furniture.  It looks really nice, but it is still a little sticky even months later.  We like the look but not the texture.
Ikea curtains--I love these.  They are so different, and they coordinate really well with our gray and yellow flowered quilt without being really matchy-matchy.
Our big window that faces the front.
I had to use my expert sewing skills to take the curtains up on the smaller window.  Such a ninja!

We are needing to find and purchase yellow lamps, but that may be another spray paint project because I cannot find them anywhere.  Eventually, I will get some more pictures of the rest of it.  We just finished up the master bath last week.  More to come later.