Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Comments for Myspace

Eat lots of candy and be silly!! It's Halloween, it's a must!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's so chilly...

...that my poor son has to climb in the dryer to keep warm...

...and then huddle in the warm clean clothes that just came out of it!!

DON'T CALL CPS!! We're not those whackjobs who justify putting their child in the dryer because "he was cold". He just happened to climb in there after I had pulled out some laundry, and then a different day (today), he climbed into the warm laundry after I pulled it out. And actually, it was up to 70 degrees here today! But aren't they cute pictures??

Sometimes the kids still surprise me

I don't think my kids were as surprised by my unexpected appearance at school Friday, as I was surprised by them, later in the day. Friday was Fantastic Friday, which we have the last Friday of the month. It's where the classes are shortened and the last hour of the day is spent with your team and there are reward activities for those students who got good grades and didn't act up too much. This time around, we made cards and crafts to send to the troops in Iraq (I adopted a platoon through last Spring). Honestly, because these kids are so separated from the war and from the military (the nearest base is a two hour drive away and I doubt any of my kids know anyone there), I didn't expect them to be that into the activity. I mean, I suppose I assumed most of them would grudgingly make some crap-tastic card just to please us, but I really thought quite a few of them would roll their eyes and just sit there, saying something like, "I don't wanna do this," or "This is dumb," or something along those lines. But they surprised me. As soon as I started sending tables of kids at a time to the table with the supplies, they were at work. They made some pretty darn creative cards and letters, if I do say so myself. No one complained or asked if they had to do this. They just did it. And they did it without getting out of control or whiny. Some of the cards really made me smile too, because they said things like, "You rock!" and "Come home and don't die" and "I bet you're sad to be there" and "Have you seen any camel spiders?" (if you've never heard of them, Google it, they're pretty scary!)

As I was cleaning up the stickers, markers, crayons, construction paper, scissors, pens, paper and glue sticks, I was smiling the whole time. It just makes me happy when the kids do something unselfish and sweet without asking if they're gonna get a grade or extra credit for it. There should be more moments like this. I like it when the kids surprise me. Or at least most of the time.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Just kidding!!!!

I was supposed to go to a training with some fellow 8th grade Language Arts teachers today. We were gonna drive two hours south (into the heat and traffic), and sit through a seminar on "101 Literature Ideas for Grades 6-12". I had planned for a sub. I had told (which means threatened and bribed) my kids about having a sub today. Then yesterday during 7th period, one of the other 8th grade teachers that was attending asked how set I was on going. There were only 3 of us going and one was sick. And I guess the teacher who came by my room thought that the information might not be that helpful and it might be a bit of a waste to drive down there and lose an entire day. I agreed. Besides, today is Fantastic Friday and so the schedule is crazy and thus the kids are crazy. And I later found out there wasn't a sub assigned, so it would have just been teachers covering during their Planning. No good.

So, it was fun when my 1st hour kids walked in this morning and saw my bright, shining face. "What are you doing here?" is their automatic reaction. Gee, thanks. I told them I was sorry to disappoint them, but there's no sub. I'm here. I'm sure some groaned to themselves and wished there had been a sub, because sometimes they luck out with a sub, and get someone who would rather tell the kids their life story and joke around with them than do the planned assignments. Ha! Ha! Joke's on them! I was here and they had to take their Vocab. Quiz. So sad for them. :)

But since I wasn't planning on being here, I am a day ahead with the plans and stuff that I prepare for next week. That's why I'm actually sitting in my classroom at the moment, writing this. It's my Planning time, and it's really quiet in here. Ahhh...This is actually the easiest time I've had writing my blog, because I don't have Mason at my feet or trying to climb into the chair or getting into everything on the desk; and I'm not writing it at 10 o'clock at night in a sleepy stupor; and I don't have the rushed feeling that Mason's going to wake from his nap at any moment. It feels a little strange to be doing this here, though, like I'm going to get in trouble. But this is certainly not illegal. I'm not downloading porn on the school computers, like some teacher in a nearby district attempted to do last year...

Another reason I'm glad I didn't end up going to the training is because my hubby and I are going to a couple's date night thing at the church. We're watching a movie and it's a cheesecake potluck! Like I'm not fat enough, people! Anyways, so if I had attending that training, I would have been cutting it close with getting back in time. God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?

Well, I suppose I should actually do something productive. Besides, I have another class of kids to surprise in 20 minutes. Ta ta.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I took this personality quiz regarding which Sesame Street character you most relate to, and here's my results. This is dedicated to my Elmo-obssessed Mason monkey!!

You Are Elmo
Sweet and innocent, you expect everyone to adore you. And they usually do! You are usually feeling: Talkative. You've got tons of stories to tell. And when you aren't talking, you're laughing. You are famous for: Being popular, though no one knows why. Middle aged women especially like you. How you live your life: with an open heart. "Elmo loves you!"

Saturday, October 21, 2006

It answers a lot of questions

We had Parent/Teacher Conferences on Wednesday and Thursday (which meant Wed-Fri we had Early Release!) and it was exhausting, but somewhat informative. Unfortunately, I didn't see most of my 8th graders, because the teachers on their teams had the kids fill out student-led conference forms, that had to be discussed with parents and signed before the day of conferences. This eliminated a lot of the "Why did YOU GIVE my son an F?" questions. They had the answers right there. Each of their teachers had to fill out a comment for them, regarding their academic performance and their behavior in class. When the forms came around to me, there were some I didn't even have to think twice about. They were the ones that I either wrote, "Doing great! Keep it up!" or the opposite, "He/she has potential, but doesn't do his/her work and doesn't apply him/herself."

But the ones that did come to conferences answered a lot of questions for me--good and bad. I would say 95% of the parents I saw have a child that is passing (and really, passing with flying colors) in my class. Those are the easy ones. "Hey, he's doing great. I have no complaints. He does his work and tests well." The end. Quick and painless. In fact, I didn't have a SINGLE PARENT come that was for a child that's failing my class. That's kinda sad. Don't they care? I know there's a lot of factors and explanations of why the parent might not come to conferences, but I still find it sad. I just couldn't see not coming to see my child's teacher if my child was having trouble. Especially the first quarter, when there's still time to do something about it! Especially when they're in 8th grade. Only one more year until they get into high school.

I believe there's a direct corrolation between the amount a child's parent (or guardian or whoever) is involved in their academic life and how well the child succeeds. Now, I'm not saying there isn't a chance that a child won't struggle if their parents are active in their school life, but I think there's a less likelihood, when there is someone around who cares. I can't be that person for them. I can't go home with them and make sure they're doing their homework and getting a good dinner and breakfast and not watching 6 hours of television and not playing video games like Grand Theft Auto and aren't sitting around on MySpace writing in explitives about who they want to get with and who's hot to their friends instead of studying. I care about my kids, I really do. Even the ones who make me absolutely crazy at times. I want them to do well. I want them to pass. I want them to learn. And I want them to care about themselves and their education. But if I'm the only one who's an advocate for them, what happens after 3:30? Apparently nothing in some cases.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Change is scary

The week before Fall Break, I was informed by my principal that I was one of the classrooms that would be getting new carpet. Yippee!! I actually had the original carpet in my classroom, from over 20 years ago! Awesome! So, I was happy and pleased that I was one of THE CHOSEN ONES. But then she informs me that all my furniture will be in the hallways and that I should pack and lock away anything I am afraid might grow legs and disappear. Fun. So, the Friday before break, I was clearing off my desk of framed pictures and knick knacks and whatnots, so that they would still be around in a week. Most of Fall Break I didn't even think about it. Then, this weekend came and I started worrying about what my room was going to look like when I returned. So, I got to work an hour and a half early this morning, and I had mixed emotions. The carpet is brand-spanking new, but now my room smells like paint mixed with flatulence. My desks were in rows but not where they are supposed to be. Nothing was stolen (oh wait, I am missing some red duct tape that I used to mark where the desks go), but it was all kinds of fun to find everything again and try to get it back the way my room was before. I have a lot of crap! The bookshelves were on opposite walls from where they belonged. I elected help from my Homeroom class, to unload the bookshelves (textbooks, dictionaries, etc.) and they helped me move the shelves where they go. It was so much easier than me doing the whole thing. Thank goodness for middle schoolers eager to help. I let the 6 that actually volunteered to help be excused from their Journal, as they were working when everyone else was writing. It only seemed fair.

Anyways, my room is basically the way it was before. And I think having some of my kids carrying textbooks and dragging shelves across the room, that I snatched some of that excess energy left over from Fall Break right out of them! Back to work as usual, kids!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It can't be time to go back to school

I can't believe Fall Break is over. I mean, I had a nice, long, relaxing week with Mason and I got a lot of time to read and just spend quality time at home, but it still doesn't seem like a week has passed. I've gotten kind of comfortable with being at home all day. We ran lots of errands, I got cleaning done, we played outside a lot, I read, among other enjoyable things. I know I have to go back to work some time, but it was sure a week well enjoyed and well deserved.

Oh yeah, and here's some pictures from yesterday's party. As you can see, Mason had himself an awfully good time with all his friends and the wagon and the bubbles...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Aloha, party!

Isn't it true that "Aloha" is the Hawaiian word for "Hello" and "Goodbye?" I don't know. Anyways, the party was good fun. Most of the people who said they were coming came. I took lots of pictures and will get some emailed and posted on here probably tomorrow, after The In-Laws leave. We ate lots of food (I didn't actually eat a hamburger until later, because I was too busy watching Mason running around with all his old friends and new friends and trying to be social with people) and had a good time. It didn't rain as it was supposed to, which is good. I hope everyone else had a good time. Thanks for coming if you came. :) I will write more tomorrow. Aloha.

Friday, October 13, 2006

We're ready to par-tay!!

Even Mason looks ready to be the host with the most! Aloha!!

Is it tomorrow yet?

Well, I've done all the cleaning I can do for now (I plan on vacuuming later, because there's no sense in doing it too soon), and one more run to Costco when Mason wakes up from his nap. The weather isn't looking too chipper for tomorrow, but oh well. Hopefully the people who said they're coming still come, rain or shine. We're gonna have a lot of food leftover either way, I think. We're just those kind of people--over planners. I mean, it's better than not having enough food, I suppose. But I just hope we don't end up with 20 hamburgers to eat after the fact. We'll just see, I guess. The In-Laws will be here late morning, and so will Wildflower and her family (sorry, I just used that name, since your MySpace one changes so much! :)) are coming early too. That's gonna be really nice. I'm just excited to have guests at our new house period, but I'm especially glad it's them. Mason has grown so much since Wildflower and I got together the last time. It'll be neat to see how he interacts with her girls. Hopefully it's not raining at least part of the time, so they can run around in the backyard and blow bubbles and chase the dog and ride in the red wagon. I can't wait.

I know it's just a little Housewarming party, but it's a big deal to me. We've never been able to have more than 2 people over at the same time, since we moved back to our homestate. We lived in that craphole apartment and it was like trying to stuff a bunch of gorillas into a sardine can, which if you've never tried it, it's very difficult. And it was embarassing, because the place wasn't just small but old and we had lame neighbors (that were smokers!) and it just wasn't very hospitable. Now, we're in a house. A real house. With a yard of our own and driveway instead of a strip of parking spaces. It's just nice to be living in a place that we can be proud of, and will fit the 30 or so people that are planning on coming tomorrow.

Don't worry to those who can't attend and are avid fans of my blog (Princess BAF and Bluebird), I will be sure and get some pictures from the shindig up as soon as a I can. Maybe even Sunday? You will be missed, but I will do my best to document the festivities with photographs.

Well, Mason should be up soon, and then it's Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to Costco we go! Talk to you all soon. If you're coming to the party, see you tomorrow!

P.S. Did I mention how heavenly it's been to NOT work on any school related projects for the past week? Ahhh...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Our punkin'

Searching for just the right one...


Can anyone answer this for me?

Okay, I live down the street from a food bank. So, on Wednesdays, I see loads and loads of people pull up and load up their cars with bread, canned goods, etc. I am all for it. If someone's in need, let's help them out. Heck, I was on WIC when I was pregnant with Mason through his first year of life. They provided formula, juice, baby cereal and some groceries. The formula alone was generous and a big help. Needless to say, I support causes that give a helping hand to those who are in dire straights. But here's my question: if you can afford to have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth as you pull into the food bank and wait for your free food, why can't you afford to drive your ass down to Fry's and get your own groceries?? It just seems to me that even the cheapie generic cigarettes are hurting the pocketbook of any chain smoker. How can anyone justify shelling out the cash for those cancer sticks, yet feel that they deserve free bread and canned foods for free? Anyone have an answer?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

In honor of Fall...

I changed my background. Thought it was time. Isn't it special. Ta-Da.

Yes, right, well, here is a list of my likes and dislikes about this new change of season:

I LIKE that the weather is cooling off and you can actually enjoy being outside. Mason loves running up and down the tiny hill in our backyard.
I DISLIKE that the girls in my class are still wearing skimpy outfits and complaining about the weather.

I LIKE that my hubby and Mason and I are going to the Pumpkin Festival later today. It's such a nostalgic feeling, just walking up and down aisles and aisles of pumpkins with hundreds of other people. And the smells of the farm. And the smells of homemade treats... (see my blog from October 9 of last year)
I DISLIKE that the farm is being shut down and their land was purchased by homebuilders, so they can build subdivisions where people's livelihood rested for generations.

I LIKE that it's Fall and that means Halloween and Thanksgiving are around the corner. Food and family...
I DISLIKE that the stores are already shoving Halloween stuff into a corner and Christmas is taking over. In October. Grrr...

I LIKE that it's Fall Break and the 1st Quarter is over. Hooray!
I DISLIKE that I already have kids comfortable with complacency. They don't care if you issue them a Lunch Detention or After School Detention or an "F". They shrug their shoulders as if to say, "Who cares?"

I LIKE that our Housewarming Luau is next weekend!
I DISLIKE that I feel like I need get the house in tiptop shape before showing it off to people. I hate cleaning....

I guess that's it. I feel better, don't you?

I'll be sure to put a picture of our lil' punkin' on here after we go the Pumpkin Festival.

Happy Fall, everyone!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Time is just about to get more plentiful...

Tomorrow is an Early Release! Then it's Fall Break!! Can you tell I'm happy?!?!?!?!?

I'll write more after tomorrow...

Monday, October 02, 2006

"I love technology..."

"but not as much as you and me..." (a little Napoleon Dynamite reference for ya. It's at the end after the credits...)

Here's a picture of our little Mason. He got a hold of some headphones and was frustrated because he couldn't figure out how they fit or what they were for. I know the feeling, man! I have a love/hate relationship with technology myself...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Welcome to the Red Cross

I think we're running an infirmary around here: I'm still battling with a "Sinus Infection" (which has lasted for a lifetime), which basically means I'm draining snot all day long and I feel like someone is standing on my face; my hubby has had a tummy thing all day; and our little Mason is getting over a cold. We're quite the pathetic bunch. Don't get me wrong, Mason is still spritely and hanging from the rafters, and certainly not giving us any slack because we're sick. He just runs around the house with his nose dripping and then he says, "Nose, Mommy", but then won't let me wipe it, or he wants to wipe it himself. And if you have any experience with toddlers, then you know they have no clue how to wipe their nose (although he's already pretty good at blowing his nose!). So, needless to say, it it's been a trying day. I hope tomorrow's better for everyone. I will be at work, but it's Daddy's day off and he will be home with Mason, so hopefully they're both back to their normal selves. Maybe after a good night's rest...