Sunday, December 30, 2007

Song: "Guaranteed"-- Into the Wild Soundtrack (Eddie Vedder)
Mood: Excited to be home!!

Well I'm finally home!!! Talk about a long trip! It was awesome to see my parents and spend time with them, but it made me wish I had a longer amount of time to spend with them. Steve and I talked about inviting them to come and visit again in January when I'm tracked out.

Speaking of track out, I cannot wait!!! I go back to work on Wednesday and thankfully, I only have 14 school days and I track out again! Three long weeks to do absoltuely NOTHING! I can't wait! I have to go into school and work on my profile cards and update things, but I don't have to leave my room this time, so I can just work in my own room. I am planning on going in tomorrow and work because we left in such a hurry on the 21st, I didn't have any plans for the day we come back and I didn't take anything home with me.

My principal is leaving. In one way I am kinda sad. I really liked her and was excited about coming to OG to work with her, but then she turned out to be kinda mean. She always "picked" on me I guess you could say, and I never had the feeling that she liked me much. Which is what it is... not everyone is going to like you, but I never did anything to make her not like me. Oh well... I am glad that someone new will be coming in and changing things. I am most nervous about Katie leaving and going to teach at the school that my principal will be opening. She said she's not going, but I wouldn't be surprised if she went. I will be very sad if she goes, because she is a wonderful friend and brightens my day!!! I don't think Lisa is going, but she did offer to go. It would totally suck if they both left.

The new teacher at my school, she took Michael's place, she is brand new. She's like 25ish and kinda loud. No idea what she doesn't know, but she won't take anyone's advice. It's kinda annoying. Anyway... turns out she's an AGD. She saw my bag in my room and then asked me if I was an Alpha Gam. Small world right?

Anyway-- I am sick of blogging so I am going to stop for now. For more info about the last week see the Walker Blog.

For those of you interested in what Santa (Steve and family) brought me this year... here's the break down:

1) A new GPS that's amazing. I named her frauline Nuvi (she's German)
2) Lucky perfume
3) HP and the Order of the Phoenix DVD
4) Kenny Cheney's newest CD (Pirates and Poets)
5) Shrek the Third DVD

6) A homemade apron
7) The Simpson's movie on DVD
8) Show Don't Tell Secrets of Writing book
9) 90210 Season 2 DVD
10) Sears gift card
11) Macy's gift card
12) A warm-glow candle
13) iPod transmitter thingy
14) Pens

That's all that I can think of for now...

Until next time...

Friday, November 23, 2007


This was the first Thanksgiving without my parents EVER in my life. It was very odd... it just felt like another day. I definitely miss my parents and I miss not having them over for holidays. It'll be nice to go home for Christmas. Steve's dad is getting married on the 28th and we're going down on the 21st. We will be gone that whole week and then come home on the 30th. Just in time to have two days off without anything to do and it's back to work.

The good thing about this time of year is that time flies. I go back to work on Monday and we've got 4 weeks until Christmas Break (20 days of school). When we come back in January, we only have 15 days and we track out!! Whoo hoo!!

That's about all I have to say for now... I'm sure there will be more to write soon.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So I went home to Michigan... it's funny how SO many things change when you're away. I went and visited Dreama (my old nail girl) and like half the people that used to work there have either quit or been fired. Then there's the actual changes that have taken place in the city... there's a Borders that was not there before... I never knew a Borders could be built and supplied and open within four months.

I got my fill of eating out. We went to Big Boy for lunch on Thursday and I finally got to enjoy a Slim Jim... soooo good. Then my dad and I went to the coney island for dinner. They don't have 'em down here and I definitely missed a good coney dog and Greek salad. We also went to Max-n-Erma's (don't have 'em in NC) and of course Montana's (a local restaurant).

My mom and I went to the cider mill and had cider and donuts. Yummm... but all though I was "home" I really missed Steve. When I was in the air landing in Detroit, I got a little teary-eyed and it really hit me that I don't live there anymore.

It was chilly and the fall colors in Michigan are unlike the colors anywhere else. It was perfect in every way, but it wasn't "home." Steve and I decided that the next time we travel, we're going together.

We're going to Ohio, Indiana and Michigan for Christmas. Steve's dad is getting married, so we're flying out on the 21st (my last day) and then we're gone all through the 29th or 30th. We won't be here for Christmas... which makes me sad. But... we will be in Michigan for Christmas Eve, so I can go shopping with my dad, and then we'll be at my parent's for Christmas and the day after.

I got to see Shauna and Gen and Aimee while I was home. It was great to see them and catch up, though I didn't get as much time as I'd have liked.

Anywho-- enough from me for now. I'll write again soon!
Until next time...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I made it to track out!

Where do I begin? Let's see... Michael at work officially resigned on Monday. Talk about shocking! He said he just couldn't do the year round school anymore and he was feeling tired all the time and sick of giving 100% and having nothing to show for it. He said that he had just gotten caught up and then with tracking out, he knew he'd get behind again and feel bad coming back. I'm not sure why he felt that way, but that's what he told me. He doesn't have another job lined up and said he wasn't sure if teaching is what he wants to do. It's a hard job... very little praise for a job well-done, lots of criticism when you don't do a perfect job and there are 24 little people that you must be always aware of and doing your all to help succeed. It's definitely not a profession for everyone.

Anyway... I made it to tack out and I am excited! I stayed late on Wednesday and had a few parents come and help me take things off the walls. Then on Thursday, there were a few parents that came and helped me clean the room. On Friday, I had the kids empty their desks and clean them and the room was so empty! It's amazing to see just how much of my own personality is in the room. The kids all commented on how boring it looked and how they can't wait to come back to a room that's decorated again.

Katie moved into my old room, so she was there getting it set up. When I track in, I'll be in Laura's room and she's probably not going to let me in to decorate until after she's out. Whatever...

Yesterday after school, Lisa followed me home and then she and Steve and I met Katie and Judson at Chili's for dinner. We then went to the haunted forest ( It was okay... they didn't take anything but cash and Steve and I NEVER carry cash. Luckily Lisa had some cash that we were able to borrow.

The haunted forest was fun, but definitely weird being in NC. There's something about going to a haunted house/forest in the fall and the air is crisp and chilly. Not down here... it was hot and humid. It didn't quite feel right. It was $15 per person to go in and it wasn't worth the money. Not enough scare for me. Though, at the end there was a guy in one of the port-o-potties and he jumped out and scared the crap out of us (lol).

Tonight we're going to Lisa's for a party. Not many people from work are going to be there, but it should be fun. I need to call Katie and find out if she wants to ride together. I am dragging Steve with me (lucky him)... but she's not making Judson go (lucky him).

I'll let you know how it goes!!

Five more days and I go home to Michigan!!!!!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Song: "Irreplacable" by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland
Mood: Content

I'm not sure why it ends up that it's about every two weeks that I'm able to write, but that appears to be the case. It's not like only things worth blogging about happen in two-week intervals, because there's always something to blog about...

The most recent thing was my birthday on the 2nd. I am now 31 and it wasn't as easy as I expected. I guess I always thought that by 31 I would be a mom and have started a family. It's not like it's too late for all that, but I am definitely feeling the need/desire to start a family ASAP.

I got up and in the bathroom were two cards for me (one from Steve and one from the cats and Ned). It was really cute and thoughful of Steve. He went to work and then I showered and went to work.

My 4th graders are so cute! I got a ton of handmade cards from them (the cards were super cute with frogs on them) and then I also got a tree frog Lil' Kinz and some pumpkin earrings with a matching pumpkin necklace.

We started our morning with our morning work and then when our announcements came on three parents from my class came into my room with balloons and bags of treats! I was absolutely shocked! They brought donuts for the class to celebrate my birthday and then there were five balloons!!! They put some on the outside of my classroom door and I put three on my chair. Then, there were more gifts! I was given a pair of frog earrings (super cute) and then two of my girls had gone and made me a necklace at a place called Beadazzled that is green and white and yellow beaded with a cute frog at the end.

I was in complete shock. I have never had a birthday (besides when I was a kid) like this one!! It was wonderful!!

When I came home, Steve gave me my present and I was excited to see the green EMU hoodie that I wanted!

It was an excellent birthday!!

Now for the not-so-great stuff... on Wednesday, at around 3:15 my principal comes to my classroom and asks if she can speak to me in private. So I go out into the hall and she told me that she had to ask me something. She asked me if I was doing the "Moving On in the Morning" activities (we watch exercise videos every morning and the kids do a mini-work out each day). What's funny about this question, is that I do it religiously. EVERY day and I do it for the ENTIRE length. I had just had a discussion with the other 4th grade teachers about this and they admitted that they only do it for 5 minutes... while I am doing it for 20-25 minutes.

So my principal asks me this and I was kinda shocked. Of course I do it, I told her I do it for the ENTIRE duration... not just 5-10 minutes... the WHOLE time. She could tell I was defensive and she said not to worry about it, but the office had just received an anonymous phone call from a concerned parent that said that she knew for a fact that I wasn't doing it. That I had apparently told my kids that , "I had more important things to do with my time than to have them doing exercise for the morning." Which is a load of crap... yes, I've thought that, but never said it to my class.

AND... my kids moan and groan and complain about doing the exercises and I MAKE them do it anyway! They know all the words by heart and sing while they're doing it... so if I wasn't doing it, how would they know the words?

What got me, is that I could see if I really wasn't doing it and I was caught. But I do it every day for the entire time. ALL of my kids do it. I can't picture any of my kids going home and having their parent ask if we're doing the moving in the morning and them saying, "No. Mrs. Walker said she has more important things to do than to have us exercise." It just doesn't add up. The other part is that there's a Mrs. Waller in my building... so it was suggested that maybe the call was intended for her, not Walker, but she's kindergarten and I can't picture a kindergartner going home and saying that. Who knows...

Anyway, it was enough to seriously piss me off.

Enough bitching for now... I need to find my happy place.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Song: "I Don't Wanna Be In Love (Dancehall Anthem)" by Good Charlotte
Mood: Tired

Well... last time I wrote was almost two weeks ago. It's not like a whole lot has changed since then, but there have been some updates. First of all... I'm not sure about how I like working at my school. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the people that I'm working with (which is a good change), but my principal is a whole different story.

She's the reason I am there. When I did my phone interview, I went into it with a very laid-back attitude because I didn't want to teach in a year-round school. I looked at the interview as a practice for the ones that I really wanted. After talking to my principal, I really started to consider the school. Then she called me... several times... to let me know that she was really excited to have me join her staff and she felt I'd make an outstanding addition. When we flew down for our house hunting, we toured the school and she was great.

So what happened? I'm not sure. Since starting she's been really weird to me and not friendly at all. I've talked to people about it (thinking it was something I did)... it's just how she is.

I had my first observation. I was very nervous... but I honestly felt the lesson went well. She called me into her office the next day and ripped me up one wall and down the other. She accused me of not teaching the curriculum (HELLO-- one of my degrees is Curriculum and Instruction and I ALWAYS make sure to follow the required curriculum!!!)... and then basically told me that the way that I was teaching guided reading was wrong. She said that in all the years that she's been in education, she's NEVER seen anyone teach guided reading like I did.

You might be asking... "What did you do that was so different?" Good question. I asked several people that I teach with... and they all do it the same way that I do. Katie (also new) even called her mom (a principal) and asked her mom and her mom said that it sounded good. So I don't know.

It's been disappointing. I really like the people that I teach with... but I don't think I can stay there another year. I'll stick it out through this year, but I don't know if I'll be back next year.

I told Steve that we need to get pregnant so I can have babies and stay home and raise them. I wasn't kidding.

Until next time...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Okay, anyone that knows me, knows that I have a very special cat in my life. Her name is Bob... I call her "Bobby" and sometimes "Roberta." She is the best cat on the planet. She and I (yes... Bob is a SHE) have talks (some of you have been lucky enough to witness this first-hand) and loves turkey. She actually snorts when it's turkey-time. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday!

Last Sunday, Steve noticed that she wasn't quite herself. I'd noticed too... usually she sleeps in bed with me (she likes to sleep on my head and sometimes chew my hair), but lately has not been in our bed. She's been chillin' downstairs in Steve's blue chair.

Anyway, she was definitely "off" and we decided to take her to the Animal Hospital. They took her back right away and we didn't see or hear from them for three hours. Talk about feeling anxious! I had cried before we took her, because I was really scared that she wasn't going to be coming home with us.

The vet finally came to talk to us and told us that she was "perfectly normal." WHAT??? Impossible I said! We described her normal behavior compared to her behavior on Sunday and the vet said that she was probably just sick. She prescribed some meds and sent us on our way.

Well... throughout the week she didn't get any better. In fact, she just got worse. Steve and I have been so busy with work, I had a field trip last week and then conferences each day after school, and Steve's got a lot that he's doing.

The soonest that we could get her to our Holly Springs vet was Friday. Steve took her in and the vet said that there was definitely something wrong, but he wasn't sure. He took some blood and said that he'd have the results today. He said that his best guess was that she had a Potassium deficiency, and it could be treated with medication.

Throughout the weekend she didn't get better. It was heart-wrenching to watch her deteriorate. This is MY cat... the one that I got for my 21st birthday. This is the cat that when I went through my divorce, kept me sane. She is the cat that was almost killed/eaten by Lou (my dog that I had for about a minute).

This cat is my world and means everything to me... and she was slowly getting worse.

This weekend was awful. She couldn't walk... couldn't do anything but lay on her side and moan. Steve and I were praying that it was a Potassium problem that could be fixed. We were wrong.

This morning Steve got a call from the vet. She has FID... the feline version of AIDS. There's no cure and it always results in death. The vet said that Bob was so far along, that the most humane thing to do would be to bring her in this afternoon and have her put down.

Steve sent me an email this afternoon telling me this and I cracked. Thank God my assistant was there and could take my class to lunch. I called him and he basically said that he didn't want to take her by himself.

Not only is it bad news for Bob... but it's transferred to other cats and we have five others that now MUST be tested. Steve's taking Tommy and Toebe on Wednesday and then Mindy, Eddie and Hurmin on Friday.

I rushed home from work so I could spend some time with her before we had to go. I came upstairs and she was on the floor at the opening to our bathroom. I got on the floor with her and cried like a baby. To think that my cat... my sweet Bobby was going to be leaving me shortly was so painful.

I cried and hugged her and told her how much I loved her. She was a great cat... and got me through the most difficult time of my life. She and I had a connection that only a few pet lovers could ever appreciate. I told her to just go on her own because I couldn't imagine having to watch the vet end her life.

Steve called and said he was going to have to meet me at the vet's. I gathered her into my arms for the last time and carried her limp body to her cat carrier. All week her body was slowly shutting down. She could eat, but had no strength to stand. She could no longer bend her arms or legs and lost all muscle flexibility.

We got into the car and drove to the vet. I cried the whole way. When we got to the vet's office, Steve had just pulled in. I got out and opened the back door and she was in her carrier. She looked like she had an itch, so I opened the top and reached inside to help her itch. She had bent her leg, which she had not been able to do all week. She couldn't quite reach her neck, so I scratched for her. She stuck her neck way out and opened her eyes wide (they had been almost closed all week). Then she moved her body so she was in a different position.

Steve came to the side of the car and took the carrier inside for me. I was crying the whole time and once inside they escorted us to a room.
As soon as we went inside, we looked and she took one final breath. We both said that it didn't look like she was breathing. The vet tech listened for a heartbeat and said that she couldn't confirm anything, but she was pretty certain that Bob had passed on.

The vet came in to check and told us that she had passed on and was no longer with us. It was so painful, but I am glad that she went on her own.
We are having her cremated and will be coming home later this week.
I now feel empty and sad and there's a hole there that will never be filled by another animal. Bob was my soul-cat. She came into my life almost 10 years ago and fulfilled every day as the best cat that ever lived.

I have the most supportive husband... he cried with me and held me through the whole thing. Now we're going to hope that Bob didn't pass on the virus to any of the other cats. It's spread through saliva... and they all share the same food.

Keep us in your prayers.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

It's funny how things can either stay EXACTLY the same or drastically change.

Since my last post, I still have not had a period. Yes... I'm sharing info about my cycle with everyone. So now we're in month two without one... I did have some SMALL bit that I thought was a sign that it was coming, but it never came. I am going to have to call my doctor again and see what the deal is. If I were pregnant it'd be fantastic... but I don't think I am. Who knows, since I didn't ovulate last month I couldn't tell which day I was most fertile. Still, Steve refuses to spend any more money on pregnancy tests (we dropped over $40 last month thinking I was pregnant).

On another note... I've started my parent teacher conferences for the first quarter. I'm not sure why I am having them when I've only taught the kids for five weeks, but I guess it's better to alert parents to things early, rather than waiting until the first quarter is over. I have to set them up on my own and stay after on my own time to complete them. It totally sucks...

Today I had a HUGE scare. Since yesterday, we noticed that Bob hasn't been acting like herself. In fact, yesterday I made a comment to Steve about how odd it was that I hadn't seen her all day. Well this morning, around 11ish, I was up here working and Steve called to me and said, "You might want to come see Bob... she's acting really weird." So I came downstairs and sure enough... she was not able to lay down and she was wobbly. Like she had just taken a tranquilizer, except she was shaking. I started to pet her and then it hit me that there was something seriously wrong with her.

Steve called the 24-hour emergency vet hospital and we got her ready to go in. I couldn't stop crying. I had the most terrible feeling that she was going to have to be put down. She had big snot bubbles coming out of her nose (gross I know), and she was breathing very rapidly. She looked at me and her eyes were both going different directions. It was so scary!

We got to the vet hospital at 12:30 and they took her back immediately, but we didn't get to go with her. Finally at 2:30 we found out that she's fine. The vet said that she didn't seem to have anything seriously wrong with her, other than a severe upper-respitory infection. We brought her home at 3:30. Talk about a long afternoon.

So I'm going to close for now. My head hurts from crying so much. I'm depressed that this is the first Labor Day Weekend in 20 years that I haven't spent it up north (Michigan) with my parents. I cried about it earlier this weekend... now I'm just depressed about it.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lab results:

I got my lab results today from my doctor. She said that everything came back normal. The only thing that wasn't normal was that I did not ovulate last month. Apparently, no egg was released... therefore, no period for me. She said to keep an eye on my period and if I don't have one this month to contact her and she'll give me progesterone to start my period.

So... it's a little bit weird for me. I keep asking, "why didn't I ovulate this month?" And now I am really hoping that I get my period this month. I also wonder if each month the ovary that releases an egg/eggs switches (like one month it's the left ovary and the next month it's the right). Does anyone know? If that's the case... I hope there's not a problem with that particular ovary!!

Anyway-- it's made me really want to start a family. I know we'll never be financially ready, but I'm not getting any younger and the desire for motherhood is growing stronger and stronger. So I send up a prayer that if it's meant to be, it'll be.

I got my hair done today. The girl that did my hair was really nice. She even gave me her business card and wrote her email for me and said to email her if I have any questions about the area or things to do. She said if I ever need something to talk to, just to give her a call. Like I said, she was really nice! She added lowlights and a few high-lights to my hair. I'm trying to get back to my roots (so-to-speak)... we'll see how easily done it is.

I think I might go to DSW tomorrow and get some shoes. Buying new shoes always puts a big smile on my face.

Enough from me. I just wanted to give the most recent info on my blood test. I was releived to know that my cholesterol and sugar levels were normal. One less thing to worry about.

Until next time...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Song: "Cry Me A River"- Justin Timberlake
Mood: Content

So I've officially been on vacation for a week now. In the week that I've been off I have attended a writing training that lasted two days and I've been to the doctors twice.

So it's not a big secret anymore, but I thought I was pregnant. Yes, I was very excited and thought it was going to be a wonderful thing, but after six pregnancy tests and a blood test, the results all point to not pregnant. Which is kinda screwed up because I was supposed to start my period on June 21st. I still have not started. I went to the doctors last week to have them do a urine test and blood test. They did both and the urine test came back immediately as negative. The blood test came back two days later and said negative. So this morning I went in for more blood work. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, but hopefully we'll get it figured out. They did a test for my thyroid with the last blood work and it all came back normal.

So... I'm not sure what's going on internally, but six pregnancy tests can't be wrong... I am most definitely not pregnant. There's always next month right? It's not like we were really trying or anything, so to be pregnant would have just been a great added bonus.

On another subject... we went to the Kenny concert on Friday. I was so tired and felt sick before we went, but it was fine. I wore my stupid black Sketchers sandals (the same ones I wore when we were at Steve's fraternity's anniversary and I got the bad blister on the ball of both feet)... well it happened again. I ended up in pain a few minutes after leaving the car. We were parked out in BFE and then once inside the place had to walk all over to get to our seats. By the end of the night my foot was toast. It's still messed up and it's been three days!!

Anyway, the concert was great. When Sugarland came out Jennifer Nettles was singing "Betterman" by Pearl Jam. I loved it! She also did a cover of "Irreplacible" by Beyonce. It was awesome!

On another note... last night I made some banana nut bread from scratch. It's pretty tasty if I may say so myself! I was surprised at how easy it was to make! Steve took some for a mid-morning snack this morning and said that he thought it was delicious. As long as he enjoys it... I'm happy!!

I watched Shag today. It's the movie that my mom and I used to always watch together. So whenever I feel sad or homesick I try to do something that reminds me of her. So, I watched Shag today. :)

Steve's home now so I'm going to go and catch up with him. Until next time...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Song: "You'll Think of Me"- Keith Urban
Mood: Content

I made it to track out!!! I'm not sure how I did it, but somehow I was able to survive the first three weeks of teaching at Oak Grove. Let me mention, that my surviving was BARELY done. In three short weeks I have learned that the parents at this school are a breed of their own. I have never worked in a school where every parent thinks their child is brilliant (literally... they ALL think their kids are the most intelligent beings on Earth). I was told that the parents need their children to be challenged, so I've been doing just that... and then as a result I've have numerous (like five DIFFERENT parents) contact me for conferences because they're concerned about their child's grades. Mind you, this was all in week two... like six to ten days of school so far, and I had only given TWO assessments.

The whole assessment thing is another issue. We have goals and objectives that are from the NC Standard Course of Study... the same as the GLCEs in Michigan. Nothing that I haven't seen before. However, Wake County does Standards Based Grading (as did Childs with Bs, Ds and Ps) but with 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s. Each goal has multiple objectives and as a teacher, I have to give three different assessments per objective before I can give a final grade for the objective. The numbers work like this, a 1 means they cannot do the objective on their own. A 2 means they can do it with assistance but not without, a 3 means they get it and can do it on their own and then a 4 means they take the objective and go even further with it on their own. I was told that 4s are very rare and should only be given if the kid REALLY goes above and beyond what the objective is asking for.

SO... for reading, there are 16 objectives. If we multiply 16x3 we get 48. That means I have to have 48 assessment grades before I can give ONE reading grade (only one grade goes on the report card) and of those 48 I have ONE.

For math there are 28 objectives and if we do 28x3 we get 84. That means I have to have 84 different assessment grades before I can give ONE math grade. And of those 84 I have given ONE assessment.

So... you can imagine my shock when I had five parents tell me they were already concerned about their child's academics. I flipped out a little... okay, a lot because on the HUGE scheme of things we have only just begun. On many assignments I can only use a 1, 2 or 3 as the scale. They mean the same, but I have given a few 2s. Why give a 3 if they really can't do it?? Well... I've realized that many parents see the 2 as failure. Way to go Wake County... eliminate the logical letter grades that MAKE SENSE and use a stupid system where a 2 means failure. Grrr...

Anyway, I am tracked out and I can't express how happy I am!! I am going to a 3-5 Literacy training tomorrow and Tuesday. I am excited because EVERYONE in 4th grade has been trained and all plan on using this program after day 20 (we were given a step-by-step list of lessons for the first 20 days of school). It'll be nice to come back in August, finish that week and start using 3-5 Literacy.

Other than the training I don't have any plans! We spent all day yesterday cleaning the house and it finally looks good enough to take some pictures (just the downstairs though). Over track-out I am going to try and clean up here and unpack more boxes.

On Friday I was in my room working and Lisa came in and asked if I wanted to join a big group of people that were going to Chilis for drinks. So I wrapped up what I was doing and joined everyone that was going to go. I had such a great time! There were about eight of us that went and it was nice to just laugh and get to know people a little more outside of work. There are a lot of YOUNG teachers in my building!! They all go out (outside of work) and hang out together. I don't think I'll ever go that route, but I look forward to getting to know them better. Lisa asked me and Steve and Katie and her boyfriend Judson wanted to go camping and tubing with her and Chris (her new boyfriend) and all their friends. I think Katie is going to go, but after last year's tubing fun on the Rifle River (go back to July/August 2006 and read about it if you've forgotten)... I told her that we'd pass.

Last night Craig and Christine came over for a bbq. It was so much fun!! We hadn't had a chance to use the screen porch yet and now that we have we LOVE it even more!! We ate dinner out there and then stayed out there chatting and laughing and then had dessert and stayed out until like 11:30 or so. It was the first time that we met Christine... and she is wonderful!!! It's nice to have someone familiar here in NC that we can see!! For those of you not sure who Craig is, he was married to my friend Nicole (Phi Sigma Pi) and then moved down here in January and then a few months ago divorce papers were filed and now they're about to be divorced. Anyway... he is doing amazingly well. Better than I was a few months after going through a divorice!!! Christine is absolutely beautiful... she looks like she could be a Playboy Bunny... and she loves him so much. They're awesome together!

Anyway... there are some other issues with me... but I won't share just yet. Frustrating and annoying but I can't give much more info at this time. Just keep my sanity in your prayers please!!!

Until next time...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Song: "The Captain" by Casey Chambers
Mood: Tired

Well... Open House went well. I made a Power Point last weekend to use and I'm so glad I did! I added some notes to the bottom and then I'm going to email it to the parents. Some were not able to attend because it was the night for all the end-of-season swim banquets. I still had a pretty good turn-out though. All the parents were really nice and had great questions. It was a lot easier than I had expected.

I am really excited to have three weeks off soon!! I feel like there's so much to get done around here (our house)!! I absolutely HAVE to get my books put into my computer and then organized. I am going to start doing novel studies when we track back in in August. I plan on going into school the first week that I'm off, just to get some extra work done. I feel like I have a better idea of what I'm doing and I don't feel so stressed anymore. Oddly enough I have found that I'm not the only that doesn't really know what I'm doing. No one does really, so it's reassuring!!

Last Monday M.E. came to me and told me that she had gone to get her nails done and told the person about me. She gave me the business card and told me to call and make an appointment with Jennifer. As you all know, I spent about four hours removing my acrylic nails and ended up with sore and disgusting looking nails. So on one hand I was eager to get nails back on, but then apprehensive about having them look like they did before.

So anyway, I went on Friday and was so glad I did! I now have gel nails and they look absolutely incredible! I've never had gel, but my mom has and she's had hers for more than 12 years!!! I am so happy that I found someone great that I can go to for my nails!! On the flip side, Steve called my hair girl to ask about getting in to get his hair cut and was told that she no longer works there. So much for that... now the quest is on to find someone good to do my hair. I'm due for a touch-up next week.

Speaking of next week... we have the Kenny Concert a week from Friday! I am so excited I can't wait!!! We're just hoping that there are a bunch of people coming with him to NC like there are to Michigan.

Well... enough from me for now. I'll be writing again sometime soon.
Until next time...

Check out the slide show of my class!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Song: "Crash" by Dave Matthews Band
Mood: Exhausted, sick and hungry

I survived my first week teaching 4th grade!! Not that I, or you, had any doubts about this. I made the little slide show about my room so everyone could get a better idea of what my classroom looks like and see where I live from 7:45am-7:00pm. Yes... I am putting in just under 12 hours each day and still cannot say I have everything done that I need to have done.

This weekend I brought home a butt-load of books and my plan book so I could spend today (Sunday) getting my plans in order for this next week. I've equated my feelings to that of a person in the ocean with no life-jacket and treding water HOPING that someone will come to their rescue. That's me... and if I don't get things planned this weekend, I will definitely drown this week.

My kids are all very cute and sweet. I have one boy that likes to talk A LOT and I've had to talk to him about his behavior one time too many, and then I have another boy that's just odd. He just is a little strange and does things that I think are on the mean side and he shows no remorse. I'm going to keep my eye on him... but so far I get a very weird vibe from him.

I have Open House on Thursday from 6:00-7:30. Now... at Lincoln we had Open House as well but there were a few differences. One... we were paid (there's the union hard at work for ya) and two... it was never a formal presentation to JUST parents. Thursday there are no kids coming at night and there are two sessions (for parents that have kids in two different rooms). I have to give a presentation about how my classroom works. AHHHH!! I HATE talking to adults! I can talk to kids until I am blue in the face, but I cringe at the thought of having to present to parents!!!

Friday we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner in Fuquay-Varina and then stopped at DQ for some ice cream. Very tastey... and then yesterday we went to Red Robin for dinner. It was soooo good! I hadn't had Red Robin in months. We also went to Target and Lowes and were looking at their grills, but Steve wants to just go back to Home Depot and get one from there. He's supposed to be going today to get that.

After we went shopping yesterday we decided to take a drive and explore. We went to the Harris Nuclear Plant (VERY SCARY) and saw how absolutely close it is to where we live. We also drove around a little and then went to the lake. We're like just down the street from a HUGE lake!! It's amazing what you find when you start to really look!

I am sick right now. I have a student that was out Wednesday and Thursday with strep throat and I think he might have given me his cold. I don't have strep, but I am sick. Then it dawned on me that I was teaching 5th graders for three years and they aren't as germy as younger kids. When I taught 3rd I was sick for 8/10 months of school. I am hoping that my being sick after a week isn't a sign of things to come. The substitute system is so weird in Wake County... I've just decided to work everyday so I don't have to worry about it. You have to call in and then pre-arrange a sub (if you want) and then tell the system who you got to sub for you and then there's all these days that you can or can't take a leave... it's VERY complicated.

I am going to go eat breakfast and get started with my planning. Have a great week and I'm sure I'll be back to write sometime soon! Wish me luck for Thursday!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back to School!!

My summer vacation officially ended yesterday. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't as nervous as I normally am at this time. I think it's because it all crept up on me so quickly, I didn't have time to sit down and freak out.

My 4th graders are so damn cute!! I have to keep reminding myself that they're 4th graders and not as mature as 5th graders. They're also a week out of 3rd grade, so they're still like 3rd graders. I think it's going to be a lot of fun though. They giggle at my jokes and when I get serious, they know I mean business and they respect what I ask.

So far they're great. They REALLY want to have a teacher of the day... but they're not quite ready for it yet. I told them that I'm going to keep watching and I'd let them know if I think they're ready for it. They're striving to do better each day, and that's a wonderful thing!

My principal AND assistant principal have both been in my room EACH day to observe what I'm doing. Today, I was teaching grammar and didn't even notice my principal come in. I turned around and she was at my back table watching. It doesn't make me feel too uncomfortable... but they don't give me any feedback, so I'm not sure what they're thinking when they're there.

As each day passes I am learning more and more things. I am starting to feel more comfortable with what I'm doing (which is a good thing because it's been rough). I track out in three weeks (the 27th) and it'll be nice to have three weeks off. I am going to spend the first week of vacation coming in my room and working. It'll help SO MUCH to get things figured out and organized. Then I am going to spend the next two weeks on vacation!!!

I need to get to bed because 6am comes all too soon for me. I'll try to write more later and post some pictures!!

Until next time...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Music: "Get it Shawty"- Lloyd
Mood: Exhausted

What a long week!!!

Monday I went back to work and I was super excited to get into my classroom and start setting it up. Katie was there when I first got there and she helped me bring all my stuff into my room. She's such a sweet girl!!

Monday I spent the whole day working on my room. Setting everything up, organizing and making it look cute. At 10am on Monday I went to the teacher's store with Katie, a girl named Kristen and Lisa (Lisa is on my 4th grade team). We were each given $100 for anything we needed for our rooms. I got a plan book, stickers, some frog stuff, award stuff, a writing book and a frog number line.

When I got back to school I got most of my posters and stuff laminated and cut out. I went to lunch with Lisa, Katie and another person on my team named M.E. (she goes by ME). I stayed until 6:30 working on things and decided to head home.

Tuesday I got to school at 8am and worked all day. Katie had a thing to do at East Garner HS so it was just me, Lisa and M.E.. We went to lunch together (I had Moe's for the first time and was delighted)! Steve came by to help me with some things in my room and it was VERY nice of him. He got to see my room coming along and helped put up posters and my number line. He went home and I stayed and worked until 6:45 and got my room just about done.

Wednesday was the 4th of July. Talk about a sad day for me. I was depressed and cried off and on all day. My dad called me and invited me to come up to the cabin. It was funny and he was joking around, but when I hung up I started crying. I am so homesick and I miss my parents so much. My mom always said that homesickness and seasickness were two of the worst feelings in the world. I've never been sea-sick, but I just have this ache inside me and I yearn to see my parents. I worry that when I do see them, it's going to be all the harder to say goodbye.

Anyway, we didn't do anything major. Steve grilled us hotdogs and we had baked beans and potato salad for dinner. It was similar to what I'd be having with my parents so it brought a little comfort of home.

Thursday I had my teacher meetings ALL DAY. I got there around 7:30 and had a very brief time in my room to work. I had the new teacher meeting from 8:00-11:30. It was very nice... when I got to the media center, they had folders and binders with our names on them and a jean shirt that says Oak Grove staff. It's very cool!!

The new teacher meeting finished and then I went to Wendy's with Katie. We got back just in time to head to the ALL STAFF (like 50 people or so) meeting. We had introductions and then played a few team-building games. That meeting went from 1:00-4:00.

When the meeting ended I stayed until 7:00 working on more things. I still didn't have copies made for "Meet the Teacher" or lesson plans done for Monday. I went into panic mode.

This morning I got to school around 8am and tried to get as much done as I could before 8:30. Not a lot was done. At 8:30 the 4th and 5th grade teachers had a breakfast together. It was SO NICE!!! Each person brought something (I brought plates, cups, bowls and napkins) and we had a little potluck.

At 9:00 I had a meeting scheduled with the school nurse. She's kinda kooky. I haven't met a school nurse that isn't a little kooky yet. (LOL). She informed me that I have two students with allergies to eggs and egg products. I was trained on how to use an epi-pen (which I already knew from last year in 5th grade with Megan P.'s allergy to peanuts).

I was able to work in my room from 9:30-10:30 and then the 4th grade team had a meeting. We talked about field trips and curriculum stuff. At 11:30 I went back to my room to attempt to work. I went to Subway for lunch at 12:30 and then was back around 1:15 to work. I made copies for Meet the Teacher and tried to finalize things in the room.

Around 2:30 parents started to show up... but interestingly enough, Mrs. Turner (my principal) didn't let them in until 3:00 on the dot. Meet the Teacher went from 3-4 and it was DONE by 4:00.

I got to meet 14/24 students and their parents. I was overwhelmed by the support these parents gave. Most welcomed me to NC and were very nice to talk to. I had one dad that was a little confrontational... he assumed that I had never taught before. I didn't back down and answered all of his questions and I was quite proud of how I handled the situation!!

The kids were super cute and very tiny! I am so used to 5th graders!! It's odd too because they're in July of the summer before 4th, so they're still tiny like 3rd graders.

I had just about every parent sign-up to volunteer in my classroom. I had one mom ask if she could be the "room mom." I wasn't sure what that was... apparently each classroom has a "room mom" and that person coordinates the other parents to volunteer. Basically, I work with the room mom and she delegates to the others. It's VERY interesting.

The best was that right at 4:00 Mrs. Turner came on the announcements and thanked the parents for coming to the school and to finish their conversations. She wished them a nice weekend and said that we'd see their kids on Monday. Five minutes later, she came on again and said that all parents needed to vacate the building. THEN she came to each room and if there was a parent, she asked them to leave, and if there wasn't a parent in the room, she turned off the lights and closed the door. (She asked if we could work in the dark for about 5 minutes.)

So... that was my week. This weekend I plan on lesson planning and getting mentally ready for Monday. I stayed until 6:45 tonight. My room is DONE and ready. I just need to get my plans figured out!!

Until next time..


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Song: "Fat Lip"- Sum 41
Mood: Exhausted and slightly home-sick :(

So it was bound to happen eventually... I have gotten a slight case of home-sickness. I know it's normal and it'll pass eventually, but it struck me on my way home from my math training... and I started crying... and crying... and crying. And no, I am not PMSing ;)

I had my math training yesterday and today. It was at Stough Elementary and I'm interested to hear how many of you would pronounce the word "Stough." I said it to someone and was told that I was saying it incorrectly and didn't I know the grammar rules? Anyway...

Stough Elementary is quite a drive from Holly Springs! I hit major traffic both days in the morning. I don't know how Steve can handle it. I sat on 55 this morning for more than 45 minutes trying to get to US-1. I HATE traffic that doesn't move!!

The trainings were absolutely excellent!! I got to meet Katie (she'll be teaching 4th grade at Oak Grove this year also, but she's track 4) and I met some other people as well. The presenters were VERY young (like maybe 24 or 25 years-old) but they were awesome. Both have taught Math Trailblazers in their 4th grade classes for a few years and really know the program.

I am so excited to actually have a book and resources there for me to follow! I have a pacing guide and I feel like I can actually do this!!!

Yesterday when I got home I wasn't as excited about it all as I am today. Steve and I drove into Fuquay-Varina to get dinner (we went to our favorite Mexican place and had our less than $20 dinner) and then we went to Wal-Mart (errrr) and then Dairy Queen. It was a great evening, but it went by too fast.

I am excited to have ONE MORE DAY of vacation!! I plan on sleeping in tomorrow. Waking up at 6:15 is just not what I've been used to! I am excited to get into my classroom and work and get it organized. I got an email today from one of the other 4th grade teachers inviting me to lunch on Monday with some of the other 4th grade teachers. I'm excited to meet people!!

I think I am going to REALLY love Oak Grove. I LOVE Wake County Public School System so far. It's amazing that the teachers here REALLY take their jobs seriously. Everyone knows to follow the curriculum and uses the resources provided. It's so weird... Lincoln is like so tiny compared to WCPSS and the demand for teachers is non-existant in Michigan. The people teaching in LCS should be DAMN LUCKY to have jobs (considering how many people are qualified, excellent and looking) and yet... here in NC, there's such a demand and the expectations are SO MUCH MORE!!!

I think LCS needs to revamp everything. Just seeing how organized and disciplined things are here really makes me lose respect for Lincoln. Knowing the people that I was teaching with and the shit they got away with (leaving their rooms unattended... not planning lessons... leaving in the middle of the day to go shopping... showing movies all the time... playing on the computer instead of teaching... running copies whenever they wanted...) is INSANE.

I am so much happier in a district that values and holds the teachers to a very high standard. I guess that could be one reason why all the schools here are rated so highly and the schools in Lincoln just aren't. The teacher quality isn't there... and it's the fault of the administration.

Anyway-- tomorrow we go to take our driver's exams. I am very nervous about not passing and being stuck without a license!!! I want the protect our shores license plate... it's got a beach on it and it's SOOOO cute!!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Music: "Don't Turn Off the Lights"- Enrique Ingesias
Mood: Happy

Today I had my all-day training for new teachers to Wake County. It wasn't required, but suggested that I go. I am glad that I went! I got up early (6:15) and left the house by 7am so that I'd have more than enough time to get to Leesville Rd. High School in north Raleigh.

I was about five minutes into my commute when I hit MAJOR traffic on 55. I was a little nervous because I thought that the majority of the traffic would be going to US-1 (which is where I was going) but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were all staying on 55!

Once I was on North US-1 I had smooth driving! No traffic problems at all. I arrived at Leesville Rd. High School at 7:45 and I had until 8:30 before the day began.

I went inside and found the registration table and was given directions to the room where the 4th and 5th grade teachers were being trained. When I got to the room I saw Julie Cuttler (the IRT from Oak Grove)! I was excited to see someone that I knew!

The training was excellent. They went through all the required curriculum for reading, writing, math, social studies and science. They even went through both grades (4th and 5th) so that each grade could see what the grade above/below would be teaching.

After the training for 4th/5th we were given a small break and told to go to the cafeteria for a session on classroom management. I met a girl in the 4th/5th session that was also from Michigan (Traverse City and then Livonia). She also teaches 4th grade and was teaching in Durham last year. Her name was Laura and she and I sat together at the classroom management session.

Even though I've been teaching for a while, I learned a lot from the presenter. She was very funny and explained things according to Harry Wong (educational genius). I loved hearing all the things that I do being reinforced!

After the session we were able to meet the Wake County Teacher of the Year (she's from Fuquay-Varina HS). She gave some words of advice and welcomed us to Wake County. Then we were released for lunch.

Laura and I went to Panera Bread and it was good. We got back at 1:00 for the next session. The second part of the day was rather boring. We were told about growth of the district (which was interesting for the first 30 minutes... but an hour and a half into graphs and demographic data I was checked out). Then we heard about the assessments given by grade and then we learned about staff/professional development. All good stuff.

The best part was the year-round lady. She basically talked about what to expect and how year-round works. I am so glad I picked Oak Grove because they've been doing year-round for 15 years and have it perfected. All the other year-round schools just switched and July 2nd will be their first run.

The superintendent was the last person to come and speak to us. He was very nice and very friendly. It was weird that for such a HUGE district he'd be there to talk to us, but he was very positive and welcoming and professional.

There were only seven people in my morning training... weird to think that there are only seven new hires for the entire county for 4th and 5th grade. Today's session was ONLY for year-round people. Which means that the rest must be traditional calendar. Anyway, the afternoon session had all grades represented and there were only about 45 people. Very small compared to the 2,500 new teachers that they said they hired for 2007-2008. Maybe they didn't know about the training.

I got home and Steve was already here. Not too long after I got home we had a visitor come to our door. It was the "welcome wagon" coming to greet us and welcome us to Holly Springs! It was very nice! She brought all kinds of info and had a lot of handouts for dentist offices, doctors, nail places (that are not in shopping plazas) and hair salons. We were excited and touched that someone actually came to our house to welcome us!!

I'm telling you... the south is wonderful! Everyone has been SO warm and friendly. We couldn't be happier (unless my parents were here)!!

Tomorrow I have another training-- for math. Should be fun. I hate math so much, so maybe this will help me to embrace it!!

Until next time...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Song: "I'll Do For You"- Father MC
Mood: Overwhelmed

Have you ever had a moment where you just feel like there's SO much to do and you'll never get it all done? I feel like I need to freeze time and get stuff done, because there's not enough time in the day for me to do all that I need to do.

This is my summer vacation. From my last day of school until the end of this week... this is it. I'm torn because I have a MILLION things that must get done, but then I'm also disappointed because I want to just relax and enjoy my summer as much as I can. I know it's my own fault... I am the one that chose to go the year-round route, but I feel like I am getting the short-end of the stick when it comes to vacation. I'm sure it'll all pay off when I get three weeks of vacation that are much needed, but right now I just can't get a grip on how much I could use having until August to get all this stuff done!

I got another email from my student. She is absolutely the cutest thing ever. She told me about her weekend and how she went to a bowling birthday party and a sleepover. I am so excited to actually get back into the classroom and this little girl is a HUGE reason for that! I sometimes forget how much I absolutely love teaching. I can't think of anything better to do each day, than to spend it with kids.

Speaking of things to do all day... I have to go to an all-day teacher training tomorrow. It's not manditory, but it was suggested that I at least go for a little bit to see what they say. I am so lucky to have some teaching experience behind me. I'd be freaking out if I didn't have experience to help me.

I am nervous about teaching in a new school. I am not nervous about the kids, but I am nervous about the curriculum, the parents, the staff and expectations. I feel like I don't know what to expect. I guess I'll figure it out as I go, but I am a planner by nature, and I like to have a firm grip on things.

Steve said that he'd come in next week and help me set up my classroom. I am excited to have him there to help. When I was there last week I was asked if I had anyone to help and I said no. It was sad to think about doing all the set-up without any help or friends. Last year, Marcia Cannon came in to help me and in years prior, I've had my mom and other friends there to help.

Which leads me to another issue... no friends. I usually make friends easily and I hope once school starts I can make some new friends. Right now I feel sad because I don't know anyone here. I tried to contact the JC of Raleigh and got nothing back from the girl. Then I went online to contact the person from the Alumnae Club of Raleigh and still haven't heard anything. FRUSTRATING!!!!

Well... I have a million classroom books to categorize and put into my computer, so I am going to go. I did find some of my teaching stuff that I'll need for next week, so that's a good thing. I think I am going to try and get my social studies curriculum planned. We'll see... tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday I have trainings. Maybe Friday and this weekend I'll get the rest of these books done and I can get the social studies curriculum mapped out.

Heavy sigh...
Until next time,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Music: "Cry Me A River"- Justin Timberlake
Mood: Glad it's the weekend...

Well... I had my orientation this morning. It wasn't as long as I expected it to be. I thought someone told me it was from 8:30-4:30 so at 11:30 when it was over, I was very surprised!!

I ran into a few problems... I didn't have my physical done on the pink Wake County form, it was faxed on a white piece of paper. The lady at the registration table gave me a little bit of a hard time about it but eventually backed down and accepted it. Then I didn't have a voided check from our checking account (we just opened the account last week) so I couldn't turn that form in and was told to go to a Wachovia (our bank) branch and have someone sign the form and then bring it back to the orientation building.

That would be no problem if I was familiar with the area, but I wasn't. I ended up driving all over looking for a Wachovia bank. Unlike Michigan where there's a bank every 100 feet, I actually had to search and then Google a location.

I did find a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant and I was very excited! There's a place like this (could be Sweet Basil's or maybe even the same place) out in Arizona that I went to with Dave and Heather. It's basically a giant all-you-can-eat salad, soup and pasta bar. I liked it when I went there and thought it'd be great to have one back home. Well... I found one!!

Back to my story-- I found the bank and got my stupid form signed and then went back to the building and dropped it off. Then on my way home, I missed my turn and thought I could just go to the next road and it'd connect. I was wrong. I ended up driving for about two hours (my normal trip would have taken 20-25 minutes to get home) and I ended up south of Fuquay-Varina!!!

Needless to say, I was very upset and glad to be home. I watched the movie Invincible (the guy that walked on to the Eagles back in '76) with Mark Walburg. It was okay... not spectacular or anything, but good. I'm glad we rented it from Netflix instead of paying to go see it at the theater. We also have Music and Lyrics (Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant) and we're going to watch that tomorrow.

I went to school yesterday and had a great experience. I met a TON of people and they were all super nice. I got a lot of hugs from people and I felt very welcomed!

I met my teaming partner... his name is Michael and he's from Minnesota. He's a teaching-as-a-second-career person and flat out said that he got into teaching for the vacation from all the stress of the real world. GREAT! He also told me that he hates the year round calendar, his class is awful and if he had a decent group of students maybe he'd be able to actually teach them something. Mr. Negativity... should be interesting to work with him. He kept saying how unorganized he was and how he doesn't know if he'll be back next year (2008-2009). We'll see...

I've been emailed by several of my students (in my upcoming class). One girl's name is Avery and she was very sweet and the other's name is Madeline and she's asked that I call her "Maddie." She absolutely cracks me up. She apparently saw me at school yesterday (didn't say anything to me there) and then sent me an email last night about how she thinks she saw me... I looked just like the pictures of myself on my website and I was wearing a nametag that said "Cathy Walker" so she was certain that it was me!

I am getting excited to go back and get things started. I finally know what I am teaching and what programs are used. I am going to a new-to-Wake-County training on Tuesday (8:30-4:30) and then Wednesday and Thursday I am going to a Math Trailblazers training. I will be meeting another Oak Grove teacher (she's new too) there.

It'll be nice to meet some new people and maybe make some new friends. It's weird to be starting in a place where no one knows me! It's a little scary, but hopefully I'll adjust soon. I'm so used to knowing people! I will miss not having my Jenny to go grab drinks with on Fridays and I'll miss not seeing Kristen for lunch and catch-up gossip sessions! Though, I'm already getting emails about things happening at Lincoln. Sounds like I got out at the best time.

Ahhh... just the idea of never having to go back there again makes me smile! I told Steve that I owe him BIG TIME for taking me far far away from Lincoln and Childs and all the drama.

I'm getting tired so I am going to go for now. More later I suppose!


Friday, June 15, 2007

Song: "All I Ask Of You"- Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack
Mood: Tired

Well we are finally here in North Carolina. It's so unreal... it has not hit me yet that I'm here for good. I know in a few days it'll probably start to sink in and I'll freak out a little, but there's been so much to do, that I haven't had a chance to really think about things.

We got here Saturday night (almost a week). The drive down was interesting. We got up early Saturday morning and gave the cats their tranquilizers (a pill) so that they'd be relaxed and ready for the trip. Apparently Toebe didn't take his... but we didn't know this until after the fact. We put Hurmin into the cute (yes, cute and Steve HATED it) cat carrier... and she decided to chew her way out-- WHILE I was driving and WHILE she was doped up. It was quite interesting to drive and watch her wobble around the Escape. Toebe decided to cry and make a fuss the whole way... so in Bowling Green, Ohio we stopped so Steve could get Hurmin a new crate (NOT a cute one) and give Toebe another pill.

It was smooth sailing from that point on. It was a long drive, but we made it to our house in Holly Springs in about twelve hours or so. It wouldn't have been so long if it weren't for the dumb people at the Wendy's that we stopped at for lunch.

We spent Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night on the cots. Steve started his job on Monday and it was exciting for him. Our things came in two different loads. The first load came on Tuesday, even though they said it would be there Monday.

So Tuesday was spent unpacking box after box. Steve's sink in the master bathroom was cracked (some pipe under) so the plumber had to come... he got here and didn't have the right part and said he'd come back the next day (he didn't come until today).

Wednesday the cable guy came to install the cable. We have it all hooked up, but we can't locate box 142 (it has our DVD player, VCR, surround-sound stuff and all of our remotes)... so we can't fully set-up our television and cable. Just a bit annoying. I got the kitchen almost unpacked (one more box).

Thursday the rest of our stuff came... and I got to stand outside and check off the boxes that were being unloaded from the truck. It was a waste of a day. The washer and dryer arrived but they didn't have all the parts or the stacking kit (we ordered it but they didn't have it with them)... so we have a washer and dryer that we can't use. We're missing several things from the move... so we can't put our bed together (we're missing a HUGE part) and we're waiting for box 142 to show up.


Today I got some things settled for Wake County and I had to drive to the WCPSS offices and pick up my orientation packet. I have an orientation to go to on the 22nd (Friday). I wasn't sure how to get there, so I went to their website and followed their directions. WRONG MOVE. I ended up driving all over and couldn't find the street that they said to take. THANK GOD I have my SK3... I was able to get onto the web and go to Google maps and get directions. Turns out I could have taken a very direct route... and I was able to get home in 20 minutes. At least I know for the training.

Tonight we got more boxes unpacked and our office is coming along. We're trying to throw away a lot of things and not have so much junk. It's easier said than done though.

Next week I have a meeting on Wednesday (the 20th) with the curriculum person at my school. Then on Friday I have the Wake County orientation. Next Tuesday (the 26th) I have another training from Wake County (not manditory but I was told it'd be very helpful) and then Wednesday and Thursday I am going to a Math Trailblazers (the math program that my building uses) training. Then Monday the 2nd is when I go back to work!

Talk about a short vacation! The good news is that I am in school from July 9th through July 27th and then I'm off until August 20th. At least I'll have August off and I can go to the pool and get a tan.

Time for bed...

Until next time!


Monday, May 28, 2007

Successful trip to NC!!

We flew down to Raleigh on Thursday afternoon. I talked to Gail Turner on Wednesday and she said to give her a call as soon as we landed and then she'd make arrangements for me to come to the school for a tour. We ended up arriving right at rush hour and it took longer than expected to get to the school.

The whole trip was surreal. When we got to the school I met Gail and the Instructional Resource Teacher (Julie) and they gave us a tour of the building. I got a weird vibe throughout the whole tour-- I felt like they didn't want me anymore, but Steve said he got just the opposite vibe-- they were trying to sell me the school. I remembered that when Gail offered me the job I was still interested in North Ridge Elementary and I told her that I would need to see the building before making my decision. Anyway-- after seeing the HUGE building and hearing how it all works, I accepted the job and they were both excited.

After visiting Oak Grove, Steve and I went to the hotel and checked in. We went to Mama Mia's for dinner and it was excellent! I had lasagna and Steve had chicken marsala. The area seemed SO BIG as we drove from place to place!!

We got up early on Friday and started our house-hunting expedition with Mindy (our realitor). We went to many homes and all morning were growing more and more disappointed. It appeared that our price range wasn't "high enough" for a nice house. We were very upset and decided to go get lunch.

After lunch we had several more houses to look at and it actually started to get better. We found home after home that we liked and were really impressed with. We finally found our house at the end of the day. We had three more houses to look at and Steve was most eager to look at this one that was located on a pond. We almost didn't go into the house that we picked because we didn't think it was worth it. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!

I won't bore you with the details, you will have to come and visit to see how great it really is, but it is an amazing home. We have four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a computer loft. It's got a gourmet kitchen, laundry room, formal dining room and a two part deck. One part is open and the other is a screened-in room. We're having hardwood floors put into the formal dining room (there's carpet there now). We're also getting a nice fridge and our garage door hooked up.

Friday night we went to the grossest seafood restaurant for dinner (Ocean Stars) and were very displeased with their food. It was a cross between a Red Lobster (which I love by the way) and a Long John Silvers. Very weird.

Saturday morning we went back over to our house and signed all the papers and got everything going. Most houses take at least 30 days to close but we need our home to be done and ready by June 9th/10th. They were a little concerned about the time window, but Steve's job starts the 11th and we HAVE to be moved before then.

The plan is to have the movers come Thursday and Friday and pack up the house and then early Saturday morning we'll drive down. The house is closing on the 8th and we should be able to just drive to our house and be there for good on the 9th. We went to the Bass Lake Ale House for dinner (very tasty).

Sunday we spent the day driving around and relaxing. Steve got a new Blackberry (since he has to turn his in on June 6th) and he has a new number (a 919 which is good). We had lunch at Fireman's Subs (very cool place) and then we went and saw Pirates of the Carribean 3-- it was very long and hard to follow. I guess I'm just really spoiled by closed captioning!! We also checked out of our hotel... drove from our new house to my school (8 miles and about 20-25 minutes to drive) and then back to our house and then drove to Steve's work (20 miles and 30-50 minutes to drive). We met Monica (the lady that brought Steve into Burt's) and went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.

We stayed at the hotel right by the airport last night and then this morning got up at 4am and had to catch a 6:09 am flight. We arrived in Detroit at 7:30 this morning.

This week is going to be crazy... tomorrow is field day (provided that it doesn't rain) and then Wednesday is our trip to Rolling Hills... and then Thursday is the rain day for field day and then we've got a HUGE thing going on Friday for our Patricia Pollacco visit!! This weekend we're supposed to be getting together with Aimee and Matt (it'll be our last time) and then going to dinner with Jim and Bobby Boldger.

Then the following week (the week of the 4th) is our last week of school. Thursday night is the 5th grade promotion ceremony and Friday is the last day of school. We move on Saturday.

So as you can see... it's all crazy and hectic and moving at warp-speed!!! I don't know when I'll be back on to post, maybe this weekend but if not, definitely once we're settled in North Carolina.

Until next time...