Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Well, I am happy to say that I made it to Christmas Break! The last week before break was impossible. Not only were the kids a little loopy (which is normal), but we had report cards due on Friday. There was a lot going on and no time to finish anything. I worked until 9pm on Wednesday (12-17-08).

I had an OB-GYN appointment yesterday. It's the first one since before we moved, so it was good to get back in and start getting back on track with my yearly visits. I have to have an internal ultrasound done because I am not ovulating. That's kind of a problem when you're trying to get pregnant. LOL. So I have to go have that done during the first week in January. They'll hopefully be able to give the doctor more information about what's happening. I had to go in this morning and have blood drawn, so the ultrasound and the blood work should help paint a better picture.

It's very frustrating. She said that I am still young and not to worry about things yet. She said it could be insulin resistance (not good) or my thyroid, or cysts on my ovaries. Until I get the internal, they won't know for sure. I also have to go and have a mole removed because she freaked when she saw it (didn't make me feel very comfortable). So... more to come on that later.

I went to the dentist today. I haven't been since before we moved (March 2007). Surprisingly, I only have a few cavities to get filled. No root canals (whoo hoo) and she said it looked good. Must be the Sonicare that I use. ;)

Other than all that junk, things are good. I am very excited to see my mom and dad next week. They're coming on the 30th and staying through New Year's. I am excited because this is the first year (in 32 years) that I haven't spent Christmas with them. So, it'll be so nice to have them here for a bit! I think they'll really appreciate the weather because it's cold in Michigan and supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow and Thursday! :)

That's it for now... I'll write again soon. Be sure to check out the Walker Blog to see other things-- like the slide show from DC in November, the slide show from Thanksgiving and the slide show from the Burt's Bees Holiday Party last weekend.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Yes We Can"

Okay, so I worked the polls yesterday and it wasn't as bad as I expected. I didn't get any sleep Monday night because I was so nervous about Tuesday and making a mistake or doing something wrong.

I ended up getting up at 4:45am and got into the shower. I had to get dressed and then eat breakfast, and pack any/all food that I was going to eat all day. We were told that there wouldn't be a lot of time to eat and relax, so to pack lightly. I did.

I arrived at the precinct at 5:45 and there were people already lined up outside the door. Our polls don't open until 6:30 here in NC, so they had quite some time (in the rain, I must add) outside before being allowed inside to vote.

There wasn't a lot to do inside because we had set everything up Monday night (I went after class). I was assigned to work at the Ballot Table. I was a little nervous because it's a pretty important station, but I had time to reread my manual and familiarize myself with the procedures for the table. We were told we'd be rotating throughout the day, so anyone who had a station that they didn't like, would have the chance to move. That didn't happen. I worked the Ballot Table the whole day.

I really liked being the person to give the ballot and tell people, "Thanks for voting." We had more than 640 people (648 to be exact) at my location. The longest line that anyone had was from 6:30a-7:00a and it was like 10 minutes long from arrival to departure. Not bad at all.

My mom and dad had to wait for more than an hour in Michigan to vote. I think because we had early voting here in NC, it REALLY helped with the lines and the turnout. My precinct had more than 80% of the people registered come and vote (either early or yesterday).

Anyway, I got home late (9:00p) and right away called my dad and told him about my adventures as an elections official. LOL. Then Steve and I watched television. I stayed up until 10:57 and then I couldn't stay up one minute longer. Little did I know what was about to take place at 11:00! ONLY THREE MORE MINUTES LONGER!!!

This morning I got up at 6:30 and headed downstairs to watch the news from 10:57pm (last night)-5am (this morning). I had DVR'd it anticipating that I'd be zonked before 11:00. I am glad I waited until this morning to watch because of a few reasons. A) I ended up watching from 6:30-9:00 this morning and would NOT have been able to stay awake that long last night-- yet I would have made myself stay up to watch. B) I was alone in the comfort of my home able to cry and cry and cry. :)

I can't even put words to how touched I was watching the events unfold. Pride? Disbelief? Lucky? Blessed? I don't know... but it was absolutely amazing to watch things change at 11:00. The reactions of the students at Spielman College, the crowd at Grant Park in Chicago, the people in Times Square... all just moved me to tears. Listening to a black commentator say that throughout his entire life, he NEVER thought he'd live to see a black man be elected as President. He was crying, I was crying, Jessie Jackson and Oprah were crying. It was just very moving.

I know there are a LOT of people out there angry and disappointed that "America got it wrong," with Obama being elected. Well, now you know how I have felt for the last eight years. Only to be able to say, "I knew it..."

I am excited for the changes that are happening and I am thankful to be alive and filled with so much energy and excitement over something so historic.

Enough from me... I could go on and on but I'll spare you.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where does the time go??? Thankfully I received a comment from my good friend Kate saying that she needed an update... it's been two months since I last wrote! AHHHHHH!!! SORRY!!

It can be rather difficult to keep up with three blogs. Yes, I have this one that's just mine and I can use the words I and me, and then there's the Walker Blog that's the blog for me and Steve. That blog was updated last month with information about our trip to Michigan and Indiana. Then there's my teaching blog, and I try to update that one each week. AHHHH!!!

So anyway, for the last two weeks I've been doing well. I've been getting really excited for this track out- it's been much needed. I had to move classrooms this time, but it was okay. As much as I hate taking everything down and moving, it's a nice change and it's a great way to reevaluate what I need and what can come back home.

This past Friday I moved out of my room in record time. Seriously. I had about 8 kids helping and then two parents. We started around 4:05 and the kids and parents were gone by 4:45. It was amazing to think that it only took 40 minutes to take it all down and move it into Ms. Allen's room for the 3 weeks.

When I go back I'll be in the best room ever... room 600. I am excited because it's the biggest room and it's down the hall from everyone else. I can play my music and not have to worry about it being too loud for anyone!!

This track out is exciting for me because I've got some things going on! Today is my first day for my mentor training. It's class for teachers that want to become mentors to new teachers. I have class every Monday and Wedensday from 4:00-7:00 for the next 5 weeks or so. I had to buy things for class and it made me feel like I was back in college. Thankfully I am done with that!!

I have Jury Duty on October 30th. I am pretty excited to be apart of that since I've never had Jury Duty before! Not that I want to get picked and have the rest of my track out sucked up by a court case, but I think it'll be interesting to see what it's like.

Lastly, I volunteered to work the polls on Election Day. I have to attend two different trainings and then I am good to go. I actually had one scheduled for this morning that I was not aware of, so I called to see if I can do it on Saturday instead. Not sure if they'll allow it, but it is what it is.

That's about it... if you want to see what else is going on, read the Walker Blog because I try not to write the same things on both blogs.

Until next time...


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well... I guess I didn't realize how long it's been since I last posted on here. Sorry!!

Since the last post we've been to THREE Durham Bulls games! Yes! Three! The first one we went to was with Steve's work on Wednesday, August 13th. They had the Clorox Family Day event and we were able to go and get free hats and they had an all-you-can-eat buffet of fried chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw and soda. We weren't sure if the game was going to happen or not because of all the rain, but we went and it rained on us. The temperature dropped over the course of the day and by the time we went to the game it was in the 60s. PERFECT weather for baseball.

The second game that we went to was last Saturday (August 23d) with Stacy from work and her boyfriend Ben. Stacy is teaching 4th grade with me this year and she and her boyfriend just moved here from Michigan. She went to EMU also! It's very cool that I have that connection with her. She's super nice and really sweet. Steve and I wanted to go to the Mellow Mushroom before the game sometime and then head over, so we did with Stacy and Ben. The pizza was outstanding!! We had lousy seats for this game, but they were about all that was left. There were fireworks after the game, which was cool. Again, it rained... three for three on the Bulls games and rain.

Then, because it had rained on the August 13th Clorox Family Day event, Burt's was able to get more tickets (even though there's no rain policy) because there were a TON of unused tickets that they returned to the Bulls. They rescheduled the rain event for last night (August 30th). It was the very last regular season home game for the Bulls. And guess what? IT RAINED again!! This time we were under the roof and didn't get wet at all. There were only a few people from Burt's there. Probably because it's Labor Day weekend. Anyway, they won and it was an outstanding game. After the game we went to the lower seats and watched the fireworks. It was wonderful.

Now our focus is on getting through this week and getting ourselves and the house ready for us to travel up to Michigan on Saturday. We're going to clean today and then have tomorrow to "rest" but I don't think that's going to really happen. I have a TON of school stuff to do and tomorrow is when I'll probably get to it. We have a birthday party for our neighbor tonight. As much as I don't want to go, I'm kinda looking forward to it because all our other neighbors will be there and we don't know any of them. Should be interesting.

My good friend Amy (Maylone) Brauer had her baby at 1:15 am, August 30th. His name is Charlie Brauer. I am so excited for her!! She's going to be an amazing mother!! I don't think we'll get to see him when we're up north next week, but I can't wait to see some pictures. My other good friend Aimee is there today visiting Amy and the baby, so I hope she takes some pictures and can share them.

Enough for now... I'll write again (I hope) before we leave for Michigan. Dave and Heather and the kids are already there, and this weekend they're up at the cottage. I'll blog tomorrow about Labor Day... it always gets me sad because for 18 years of my life I ALWAYS went up north for Labor Day. I told Steve last night at the game, if someone would have said to me two years ago that I'd be spending my Labor Day weekend at a Durham Bulls game... I would have thought they were crazy.

Until next time...

Friday, August 08, 2008

So I went and saw Mama Mia! on Wednesday. It was absolutely WONDERFUL!!! I loved it so much!! I really didn't think I'd like it as much as I did. I'm not a HUGE Abba fan, but it was wonderful. My mom said that she loved it and would see it again and again and wants to buy it when it comes out. After hearing that, I just had to see it. Also, my friend Kate told me that she saw the play and wanted to see the movie.
I am so glad that I went and saw it! Steve would have totally hated it, so I went alone. I want to see the Sisterhood movie too but I am going to wait to see it with my mom next month (if it's still out).
So, if you haven't seen it yet, go see it!! I also am excited to go see House Bunny. It looks really funny. I am going to arrange an AGD JC event I think to go see it. No one better to see it with than a bunch of my sorority sisters!!
Until next time...

So this morning at 4:00am or so, I was laying in bed not able to sleep. Not sure why, I spent the whole night tossing and turning and just couldn't fall asleep. This happens every now and again. Thankfully, I am on vacation and could actually sleep at 6:30.

So anyway, when I can't sleep I listen to NPR. For those of you who don't listen to NPR at night/early morning... it's the BBC from like 10pm-5am. So I was listening to BBC and they were talking about the Olympics and all this stuff and they interviewed this guy... no kidding... his name was WONG WAY.

I guess Steve had been awake too because at the exact same time be both busted out laughing. It was absolutely hilarious. Here we were, in bed, 4am and both awake at the same time. It was absolutely priceless that we had both been listening and both heard them say the guy's name... WONG WAY.

Just one more reason why I love being married to Steve. There's no one else in the world that would bust out laughing with me at 4am about a stupid name.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Quiz: Who Should You Pick For President? (Click link to take the quiz)

Democratic Candidate Barack Obama
Your values are most aligned with those of the Democratic Party. The Democrats advocate for social freedom and free enterprise with Government oversight and intervention. Democrats believe that government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice, even if it requires a larger role for government and progressive taxation. Barack Obama is a junior Senator from Illinois. He is the first African American to be a major party's presumptive nominee for President of the United States.

(Not a surprise)
Quiz: The Brain Test

That means you are able to draw on the strengths of both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, depending upon a given situation. When you need to explain a complicated process to someone, or plan a detailed vacation, the left hemisphere of your brain, which is responsible for your ability to solve problems logically, might kick in. But if you were critiquing an art opening or coming up with an original way to file papers, the right side of your brain, which is responsible for noticing subtle details in things, might take over. While many people have clearly dominant left- or right-brained tendencies, you are able to draw on skills from both hemispheres of your brain. This rare combination makes you a very creative and flexible thinker. The down side to being balanced-brained is that you may sometimes feel paralyzed by indecision when the two hemispheres of your brain are competing to solve a problem in their own unique ways.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thoughts on the World

Song: "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
Mood: Okay

So this morning I woke up and decided to listen to NPR for a bit. It was the BBC and they were talking about various things and I wasn't really focusing on anything they were saying. Then they had a Senator (can't remember which state he was from) come on and he was talking about the US economy and how the tax-payers are broke and can't make ends meet, and yet there's Iraq sitting high on top of more than $300 billion from oil. The Senator made a statement that really made me say, "YES!!!" (I really did say it... I was laying there in bed and I had a surge of emotion go through me and I said it to Hurmin.)

What the Senator said was that Iraq has been accepting our help for years. We have our troops over there, we're providing the assistance that they needed to get out from under Saddam, and to establish a democratic society of their own. It has cost the US billions of dollars and the biggest cost is the blood of our citizens. The Senator was calling for Iraq to give us some money for all the money that we've spent and to pay for the help that they've been given for the past several years. They obviously have the money and can afford to pay back the money that's been spent on their well-being. The fact that the well-being of the US citizens comes secondary to the citizens of Iraq is sick.

After the Senator spoke, they had a man from Iraq come on and he said that they are ready for the US to leave and let them take care of themselves. He said that they don't owe the US anything because they never asked for the United States to come and help them.

Yeah, it got my blood boiling because whether they asked for the help or not, they got it and they're in a better place because of it. Our soldiers are STILL there making sure that they're safe and watching guard and yet, they have the audacity to say that they don't owe us anything. On top of that, they have BILLIONS of dollars that they're keeping (the guy from Iraq said that they're saving the money) coming in from oil. You'd think they'd use that money to pay back the US.

Not that it would matter. I honestly don't think the American people would see anything even if Iraq did pay us back. The money would go for other things, but the US people wouldn't see any of it. Maybe the education system would get some of it. Just think where our schools could be if there were BILLIONS invested in them instead of Iraq.

Heavy sigh...
Until next time-

Monday, August 04, 2008

Song: "The Flag" BNL
Mood: Tired

I have a few things on my mind that I would like to blog about tonight. If you're not in the mood to read... please find a different website at this time.

1) The Olympics-
I am so excited for the Olympics! I love the summer games 1000x more than the winter games and I love swimming and gymnastics the most! I am not a big fan of the opening/closing ceremonies, but I usually watch anyway. I am excited to watch the games this year and Steve is not. He absolutely HATES the Olympics. I guess you would have had to played on a sport at some time in your life to really appreciate how talented these individual athletes are... and he never did.

2) Gene Simmons Family Jewels-
I love this show! We watch it every Monday (it's on Sunday nights and we DVR it) and we laugh and laugh. Who would have thought that Gene Simmons was so funny? He's just a normal guy... a RICH guy. Anyway, last night's episode had me saying, "OH MY GOSH" over and over. Gene bought Shannon (his girlfriend of 25 years) a house in Canada (she's Canadian). He had her come to Canada and he surprised her with the house. Then these people show up... they apparently paid to rent the house and the guy that sold Gene the house never told him about it. Anyway, it was just insane how rude these people were and I couldn't believe how nice Gene and Shannon were. If you have a chance to watch... you totally should.

3) The Two Coreys-
Steve and I totally disagree about this show. I am on Team Haim (he's hot) and Steve is totally on Team Feldman (he's a douche). They are in therapy together (like for couples) and Feldman had suggested having some of their peers come together and tell Haim how he could improve in all areas of his life. Haim said, "Let me think about this... no." So you'd think that Feldman would drop it but no... instead he invites Haim over for dinner and oh, by the way, he invited Pauly Shore and Todd Bridges over. Haim comes in and immediately knows that Feldman has set him up. He gets all upset (rightfully so) and flips out a little. Okay, a lot. Anyway- Feldman and his bitch wife end up going over to Haim's to talk to him (because he refuses to answer any of Feldman's calls) and they end up having a HUGE blow-out. At the end, Haim writes Feldman off and vice-versa. Steve and I are split- I say Feldman shouldn't have set him up and Steve thinks that Haim is a train-wreck drama queen.

Okay- I think I have everything off my chest that needed to come out. Vacation is still going well. I have two weeks left and I couldn't be happier. I think I might go see Mama Mia by myself tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of seeing movies alone, but I want to see it and I love Steve too much to make him go see it with me. LOL. I'm going to wait to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants until I get back to Michigan in September. My mom and I are going to go see it together. I'm going to see if my SIL wants to go too and we can do lunch and a movie and make it a girl's day.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Song: "I'm Only Me When I'm With You" by Taylor Swift
Mood: Nostalgic

So today I drove up to Burt's to meet Steve for lunch. It's one of my most favorite things to do when I'm tracked out. It's a treat to get to see Steve during the day and there's something so sexy about him when he's at work. When we first started dating, he'd call me from work and he had a "work voice" that would drive me crazy. He still has it... I don't know how to describe it other than it's a different tone that he uses when he's working. Anyway, I love seeing him for lunch because he has his work face on and with it comes the work voice. :)

After lunch I came home and for whatever reason, I decided to get out my old high school yearbooks and look through them. It was so weird. It's been fourteen years since I graduated, but as soon as I started going through the books, I remembered faces and names. I should restate that; I remembered names and faces of people that I was friends with. There are still a whole lot of people that I went to school with that I have no idea who they are. It's to be expeceted when you graduate with more than 700 people.

Anyway, it was so funny to look back and pictures and even more fun to read the yearbook articles that I had written (I was on the yearbook staff my senior year). I didn't always have the best grammar!! HAHAHA!! It's funny to see how much I've changed.

I recently reconnected with a few friends from high school on facebook. It's funny to see them now and how they really haven't changed a whole lot since high school. It just left me thinking, "Where did the last 14 years go??"

Anyway-- until next time...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

(Jen and Me-- track out day)

Song: "I'm Movin On" by Rascal Flatts
Mood: Okay

I know it's been quite a while since my last post. There's been a lot going on and I just haven't found the time to blog.

First things first, I started the 2008-2009 school year on July 7th. I spent the whole week between the 07-08 year and the 08-09 year doing back to school stuff at work. As much as I worked, I still wasn't able to get everything done that I wanted/needed to get done.

Steve and I went to the Brad Paisley concert July 19th and had a great time. Burt's had tickets for their box seats and offered them and Steve jumped right on it! We were super close and had an excellent time as VIPs.

I am tracked out (whooo hoooo)! Steve and I made it to our 2nd anniversary. We celebrated by going out to dinner. Sadly, we didn't even watch our wedding DVD. It was only my 2nd day of teaching and I came home exhausted. We talked about doing something over my track out (which is now) but I don't know if we'll actually do anything. I'm just thankful to have Steve in my life and to come home to him each day.

I'm not feeling very chatty right now... (can you tell) so I am going to sign off for now. I will say that I did get to present two sessions to the teachers at my school for our staff development days. I was really honored to be asked to present and to know that I've only been there a year and I am respected. It's definitely a good feeling!

More on that later...
Until next time...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Song: "Fall For You"- Secondhand Serenade
Mood: Exhausted
So I officially survived my first year in North Carolina teaching 4th grade at a year round school. It was the longest year of teaching that I've ever had in my eight years as a teacher. I literally was with them from the beginning of July through the end of June. Fortunately, I had an outstanding class and it was a pleasure 99% of the time.
Last Sunday Steve and I met 12 of my kids at the Durham Bulls stadium for a game. They played the Norfolk Tides. It rained and rained and eventually we had to leave because the rain was coming down too hard. However, we had a really great time and the parents really seemed to enjoy themselves. There were 52 people there and like I said, 12 kids. That's more than half my class!! I think it'll be something I do each year, like I did in Michigan with the Tigers.
The last week of school was more stressful than anything I've ever experienced at work. There was so much due by Friday and I just didn't have time. Each night after work I worked on getting the end of the year DVDs ready for the kids. That took so much time and thankfully Steve was there to help me. If Steve had not helped, there's no way I could have finished them by Friday.
The fourth grade teachers decided to have spirit week for the last week of school. Not sure why the administration didn't do it for the whole school and we were waiting for it to be announced, but it never did. We decided to take it upon ourselves and as a result only the 4th graders participated. Monday was wacky hair day (there's a picture at the top of my wacky hair). Tuesday was backwards day, Wednesday was Wacky Wednesday (student choice) and most of my kids dressed up like twins. Thursday was mismatched socks and shoes and then Friday was celebrity day. All the fourth grade teachers (except Katie) dressed up as beauty pagent queens. I was "Miss Steak," Jen was "Miss Tury," Lisa was "Miss Spelled" and Laura was "Miss Understood." It was funny and the kids really liked it. We each wore a tiarra and then because it was the last day, Thomas gave me a dozen roses so I carried them with me. The roses made the outfit complete. Ms. Jarman introduced me and Jen as celebrities for the track out ceremony and we each gave the pagent wave. LOL.
My kids had a fantastic party on Friday. Chick-fil-A donated nuggets and then they had pizza, chips, grapes, watermelon and veggies and dip. Then they went outside and we did a bunch of water games that they LOVED! After that we came back inside and had ice cream sundaes. It was really nice. My parents gave me a really nice personalized frame and then a $75 gift card to DSW, a $25 gift card to Sonic and $20 cash. I got $25 from one student to Stones (teacher's store) and then I also got some nice earrings from one, a $30 gift certificate to this place that's only open for breakfast (supposed to be really good). I also got a nice frame (apple) with a picture of one of my girls and then three bags of personalized M&Ms. They say "Thanks Mrs. Walker" and then "You Rock Luv Emily." I thought they were awesome!!
Tomorrow I have to go back to work and it's a workday. It'll be Katie's last day (tear). Then Tuesday will be the first day of the year with our new team. There's three new people. Laura is going to 3rd grade and so a different Lisa is taking her place. Then a woman named Amy is taking Katie's place and then there's a new girl (not sure of her name-- we call her Barbie because she looks like a damn Barbie doll) but she's from EMU (weird right?). She's a brand new teacher... I told Jen she looks like a tri-Sigma. LOL.
Anyway-- I'll write again soon.
Until next time...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Watching: LOST 2-hour season ending (just now getting around to it)
Mood: Content

Steve and I watch a show on A&E called Intervention. It's about people with various addictions. They usually think they're doing a documentary about their addiction and then the cameras follow them around and film what their days look like. They interview the family and friends and then at the end of the show, there's a pre-intervention. This is when the friends and family meet with the person from the show and they talk about what's going to happen and what they need to do to help the individual. Then they have the intervention and the person thinks they're going to their final intereview, but they walk into a room with their friends and family. They usually freak out a little (or a lot) and then the friends and family lay it all on the line for them. They are always asked if they will get treatment or not, and if they will, they leave immediately. It's usually really emotional and stressful.

So, last night, Steve and I watched one about a guy named Dan. He was an alcoholic and was living in Hawaii with his wife and infant daughter. When they showed the background of this guy, I couldn't help but think about something that I had never thought of before. Dan had an older brother that ran way from home when Dan was only eight. His brother ended up raping and murdering someone and was put in prison. Eventually, the brother was sentenced to death when Dan was in high school.

The parents ended up doing all that they could to appeal the decision, they spent all their time and money on lawyers for the brother. While this happened, Dan's life spun out of control. The whole family was ripped apart and basically collapsed when the brother was put to death. The parents were interviewed and you could really feel their emotions when they talked about their son being in prision and then put to death.

It made me think about something that I had never really thought about before. I am definitely not in favor of the death penalty, never have been. I couldn't even imagine how awful it would be if one of my brothers were sentenced to death and there was nothing that I could do about it. I guess I've just never really thought about the people that are related to a murderer. I have always thought about the victim and their families, but never really gave much thought to the murderer's family. So very, very sad.

Anywho, Dan's family had the intervention and all of them told him how they felt about his addiction. He accepted help and the show gave an update about him. He has been sober for like seven months or something, and it was a good ending for the show (sometimes, they don't have such happy endings).

Enough for now... I need to finish watching LOST. I'll blog again soon with information about the Bull's game from last weekend and then some info about my last day of school (yesterday).

Until next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Music: "One Burbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by George Thorogood
Mood: Happy

Anywho-- Steve and I are off to have lunch at Tyler's Taproom (I am excited to try it) and then we're going to see You Don't Mess With the Zohan. Should be a fun movie and since it's so hot outside it'll be nice to be inside where it's cool.

I'll try to post again this weekend with more about the movie.
Until next time...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Song: "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas
Mood: Exhausted

Okay... so the EOGs are over and I am totally stressed. I feel like a complete failure. As I walked around the room yesterday and today (math), I saw so many things that I KNEW my kids probably didn't know. I held after school EOG clinics for two days a week for more than four weeks. The kids that came to the EOG clinics probably did AWESOME because everything that I reviewed in the clinics were on the EOGs. However... they didn't all come, and I have my doubts about how well they did. Which totally sucks.

My principal still doesn't know what's happening for next year. No idea about numbers or classrooms or anything. I have no idea if I'm going to be moving out of my room each time I track out or every other time like it has been. The good news about that whole deal is that one of the resource room teachers that's on track three said I could store my stuff in her room during track out. WHICH IS AWESOME because I was freaking out about where I'd put my stuff. Sadly, I was going to have to take home all of my books.

Tomorrow we're going out to dinner for Katie... she'll be going to the new school and we're having a farewell dinner for her. Lisa isn't going. It's so weird how close they were all year and then in February it all changed. Not sure exactly what caused it but they pretty much hate each other. Sigh...

Anyway- I'll get my scores for math on Friday (hopefully) and then we won't get the reading scores until October/November. I'll write with my info when I get it. Say a prayer for me and my kids that we did well!! I'm going to feel like shit if they don't do well. I'll feel like a failure. :(

Heavy sigh...
Until next time...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Song: "Anything But Mine"- Kenny Chesney
Mood: Tired

Okay... so I have to brag about myself for a minute (if I don't, who will right?). I recently applied to be a Discovery Educator Network STAR teacher. I had to fill out an online application, answering questions about my educational experience and my background with technology. I then had to watch a video and take a test. Then I had to complete an "event/training" and log it before I could be considered. Well... I was considered and approved! I am a STAR educator! I am super excited because I get my own blog on the DEN, I get invited to special events and conferences, and I can train people on the various Discovery Education products (United Streaming being one). It comes at a perfect time because (with my help), my school finally purchased United Streaming and I'll be able to train everyone at my school on how to use it. I might even get to train the teachers at Laurel Park (the new school that my old principal is opening).

I got a nice plaque saying that I am a Discovery STAR Educator (it arrived at school and my kids got to see it), I also got a nice laptop bag (which is perfect because I just happen to have a NEW laptop that needed a bag), a nice STAR educator pin (that I wear with pride) and a lanyard that says DEN. I am excited!!

I'm not done bragging... (lol). I have finally figured out how to do PodCasts and have had such a great time teaching my 4th graders about them. We've used them for book reviews and so far it's been incredible. They've gotten comfortable and are even experimenting with new ways of doing a book review. You should definitely check out my website and listen to their PodCasts.

And still not done (bet you thought I was done didn't you?)... I've mastered taking video and embedding it into my website! I have had so much fun with recording my kids doing the wackiest things and then putting it on the website. I think the parents have really enjoyed it as well. There's a page just for videos on my website. If you need a good laugh... check it out. :)

Okay, my head is super big now... so I'll check out.
Until next time...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Song: "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi
Mood: Delighted!

I am writing this post from my couch... on my brand new laptop computer!!! I guess if you ask you might receive right? When my parents were here a few weeks ago, I had complained to my dad that I didn't have a laptop. He was surprised to hear this, so he said he'd make me one and send it. I didn't not believe him, but I also didn't really expect him to build me one and send it. I was wrong!!! I got home today and Steve had opened it and configured it to our network. So now I have my very own laptop!!!

It's been very rainy here in NC lately. We had tornados rip through last weekend and then again on Tuesday. Kinda scary actually. I was driving home and Steve texted me and said that he needed to take cover because a tornado had been spotted less than five miles away. I drove through hail and heavy winds and rain, but was able to avoid being picked up (lol).

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. It's funny because it was during Memorial Day Weekend last year that we came down on our house-hunting trip. It was also the time that I accepted the job at Oak Grove. It's so funny how fast time passes!! We don't have anything planned this weekend. We're going to probably grill out and just relax and enjoy the nice weather. Steve has a conference in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I'll be spending the weekend with him and enjoying the time together.

One last thing... I was able to post a video and Podcasts on my website. I was so proud of myself and so excited to have my kids make the Podcasts!! Definitely go to my website and check them out if you get a chance. Don't forget to leave me some love (comments).

Until next time...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Song: "Fall For You" by Secondhand Serenade
Mood: Motivated

Well... my vacation is officially over. I can't really complain because I had a great three weeks and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I didn't have to go anywhere or do anything and it was refreshing. I can't say that I am ready to go back either.

There have been some issues at work with different personality types clashing. I had hoped that for the 2008-2009 school year there'd be some changes within my grade level. Basically, people moving to new grade levels and bringing in some new people to balance things out. Well, it's not going to happen. Basically, the same problems that we've had all year are going to continue next year. Katie is leaving (which I am so sad about) and the person coming into her place is a "good friend" of my principal. It's never a good sign when the person coming in is "good friends" with the boss. I think she might be a spy. LOL.

I went into work yesterday at 4:00 to set up my room. It was the first time that I had set foot in the building for three weeks. It was great!!! The longest that I've gone without having to go in for something.

Steve came in to help me and I have to say I am so lucky to have him. I could NOT have set up my room without his help. He's always there to help with the take down and set up. I am very lucky because I never see other husbands there to help their wives.

So my room is set up and I like how I changed it. It's a little different than usual and we'll see how it works. I took some pictures, so be sure to check out the website (tour our room) to see how it looks.

I am praying that I won't have to track out every track out. If the numbers are too high I'll have to move every quarter. I won't have a room to store my things, so I'll have to bring home a BUNCH of books. It'll be really upsetting because my kids really love having so many books to choose from.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for the results of the writing test that we took in March. I have six weeks left in this school year and then we start all over again. Not sure how that's going to work... I am so used to having a summer between classes. It'll be so weird to go from my kids that are basically 5th graders to new 4th graders that are still practically 3rd graders.

I'll keep you posted on how it all goes. Until next time...

Song: "If I Lost It" by Kenny Chesney
Mood: Happy

This week my parents FINALLY came down to visit! I was so excited to see them both. Steve and I went up to Michigan in December for Christmas, but we didn't really get to spend quality time with them because we were only there for two days and then had to get back down to Indiana for his dad's wedding. This time they were here from Saturday through Friday morning. It was wonderful!

Sunday (May 4th) we drove over to Morrisville and RTP so my mom could see where Steve works. We had lunch at Two Guys Grill and then we drove over to Burt's. She got to go inside and see how all the Burt's Bees products are made and packed. Steve got to show them his office and then we drove over to the distribution center. I had never been inside, and man was it HUGE!! They have row upon row of shelves that go straight to the ceiling and they'll all filled with boxes ready to be shipped. There were several rows just for Target stores. It was very cool. We also got to see how the internet orders are filled.

After our trip to Burt's we came home and made dinner. We gave my mom and dad their combined Mother's Day and Father's Day gift... a Wii. My mom wasn't as excited as my dad, but they really liked it. Steve and I were so excited to actually find one and be able to buy it for them. After dinner I showed my parents my skills on Guitar Hero and beat the game for a second time. My dad played as well and he seemed to really like it. He wasn't very good (lol) but he had fun trying.

Steve took Monday off work and we decided to drive to Chapel Hill for lunch. I came down to UNC back in 1998 for a Relay for Life event with the Chapel Hill chapter of Phi Sigma Pi. It was enjoyable, but we only spent one night on campus. Anyway, we ended up having lunch at Top of the Hill. It was really, really good. We had a beer sampler and my mom and I weren't very fond of any of the beers, but Steve and my dad enjoyed them. We drove around campus and then decided to head over to Durham to see Duke's campus.

Unfortunately, there was something big happening on campus, so we weren't able to see much. We did drive a little and what we did see was absolutely beautiful. I've decided that UNC reminds me of U of M.

Monday night we went grocery shopping and got some scallops and shrimp to grill for dinner. It ended up being absolutely WONDERFUL! Steve did an outstanding job grilling!!

Steve had to work on Tuesday and my dad was really eager to go for a bike ride, so while he did that, my mom and I went to the Carolina Ale House and had lunch. Then we went to the movies and saw Made of Honor. It was cute. I really had fun spending the day with my mom. We went to DSW after and I found a cute pair of flip-flops that I got for $16. Then we went to Old Navy to look around... didn't buy anything though. After shopping there we went to Wal-Mart and my mom found a bunch of stuff that she wanted.

After Steve got home we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner. My parents really seemed to enjoy their dinners. After dinner we drove over to Bass Lake and showed my parents the lake, then we drove to Sonic for dessert.

Wednesday Steve was off work again and we decided to take my parents to the beach for the day. Our original plan was to drive to Beaufort, but instead we ended up driving to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. We had lunch in Wilmington at a place called Fat Tony's Italian Pub. The food was okay... then we drove over to the Battleship, USS North Carolina. Steve and my dad went inside while my mom and I sat in their consession area and had something to drink and munch on while they were inside. They were inside for about two and a half hours... I was getting very annoyed that our whole day was wasted sitting inside a stupid consessions area while they were inside the ship. After they came out, we went to the beach (finally).

We had such a great time at the beach! We weren't there very long, but it was long enough to stick out feet in the water and take some cute pictures. My mom was most excited about being there. It made me want a beach house. I now know why people head to the beach over track out or for the weekend. I could totally live there. :)
After spending some time at the beach we decided to get dinner. Steve has a guy that he works with and he tried to call him to ask about a place to eat, but he didn't answer. So I gave Katie a call and she recommended this AWESOME place called The Oceanic. We ate dinner outside on the pier and watched the ocean. It was sooooo good. We all had scallops and shrimp and then Steve and my dad had fresh fish and then my dad had fried oysters that he LOVED.

After dinner we decided to get some ice cream. We ended up at Kohl's Custard. It was really good. We also went to the surf shop next door and got some goodies. I got a cute shell bracelet and then mom and dad got Gunnar a pirate hat and t-shirt. I'm sure he'll love it.
We ended up getting home pretty late from the beach so we went straight to bed. Thursday, Steve had to work again, so mom, dad and I went to lunch and then checked out downtown Raleigh. We had lunch at the Hibernian Pub. Mom and dad really liked it and I was excited for them to have something different that they can't get at home. When we drove to Raleigh, they were surprised at how small the capitol building was. My mom thinks that downtown reminds her of Ann Arbor.
We ended up coming home and then my dad fixed my MS Word for me. Steve got home and we ordered some pizza and then that was about it. Sadly, they left early Friday morning. I was very sad to see them go, but I kept it together until they left.
I am excited for them to come back. I hope they'll come down for Thanksgiving... that would be absolutely perfect!!
Until next time...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Song: "Leavin'" by Jesse McCartney
Mood: Happy

I can't believe how fast five years have passed. My nephew Eamon (my first nephew ever) turned five yesterday. It's just mind-boggling to me to think that he's five already.

I can remember when my brother called me to tell me that they were expecting. I was newly divorced from my ex and was just thrilled to become an aunt for the first time. When my brother called me nine months or so later, I was standing in a market area in Key West, Florida. I was on a cruise with Krissy and Amy and we had our first excursion in Key West. I was so excited to know that he was born and safe.

At that time, I had no idea what my future would look like. I was scared of being alone for the rest of my life and not ever finding happiness. Obviously, a lot can happen in five years! Now, I want a baby of my own. It's so hard to see people all around me having babies and relishing in the joy that a new life can bring. I think Steve and I will make great parents, but it's so stressful with each passing month. We're not getting any younger and I keep thinking, "What if it doesn't happen for us?" (Heavy sigh.)

We went and saw Baby Mama today. It was really funny and was totally right on with showing how it feels when you really want a baby, but can't have one. I'm not totally there yet... we're not giving up hope or having to use other methods (yet), but I could definitely empathize with Tina Fey's character. The movie was good, but the end was very predictable. I guess that's what I wanted to see... it would have been awful for a sad/unhappy ending.

Oh well...
Until next time

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Song: "The Promise"- When In Rome
Mood: Content

So it's been a while since I last posted. Sorry.Things have been going well here for us, and I am getting totally excited for my parents to come down for a visit!! My dad has been down (he came down at Thanksgiving time) but my mom hasn't been down yet. I miss them so much, it makes me really sad to think about the distance and how far I am from them. There are times that I just have to catch myself because it just doesn't seem real that we're really here in North Carolina.

Steve loves his job and is really happy. That makes one of us right? It's so odd... when one of us is really happy with our job, the other is miserable. I don't think we've both been happy at the same time.

It could be that I just needed to track out and get away for a few weeks, but I am just miserable at work. I am not going to go into too much detail, but I had hoped that there'd be some changes for next year. Katie (whom I love dearly) is going to the new school and will for sure be leaving, but then there was a possibility that three others would be moving around. Changing grades is what I was told. Now I find out that no one is changing grades... we're all going to stay in 4th and the reason is because my principal thinks we're all working so well together now. Which is complete BS. Everyone has been biting their tongues because we assumed that things would be changing for the next year. It makes me so mad.

Anyway... on another note, I am tracked out. I am so glad to just have time to relax and just enjoy being home. We had to take Tommy to the vet and get his "spot" checked out. It turned out to be a tumor, but it's benign (non-cancerous). We're so happy! All the other cats had their well-kitty checks on Monday and they're good. Hurmin has a heart-murmur... and then Eddie needs to lose weight (he is 25.5 pounds) but has lost a pound since moving to NC. Mindy and Toebe both had excellent check ups. Ned is doing well also. :)

I'll write again soon... I need to go eat breakfast.
Until next time...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Song: "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" by Weird Al Yankovic
Mood: Entertained

Okay... it's been about three weeks since I last wrote. We sold our house in Michigan (read the Walker blog for more details), and we got a Wii (again... in the Walker blog).

I am getting excited to track out again. I feel like I have been teaching my kids FOREVER. Seriously... the main disadvantage to teaching in a year-round school is that you have the same class for a whole year. I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but it feels like I've been teaching forever. I know I've had breaks (9 weeks off so far), but it feels like it's been a really long year with them and we're only in March (we don't get out until June 27th).

I have to track out of my room this track out. Grrr... I hate having to move rooms. They're saying that we're going to be getting more students next year and it's possible that I'll have to change rooms EVERY time (not just every other track out). That'll really suck. I am just hoping that it doesn't happen.

So, Steve and I have been together for four years now. Four years ago on March 6th we had our first date. It only seems like yesterday! Four years ago Thursday, he told me he loved me for the first time (awww). It got me thinking about how really happy I am and how lucky I feel to have found him. I know that we both got it wrong the first time around, but it's just so amazing with him. I've never had a relationship where I feel more in love each day and can't wait to see him and spend time with him. I know some people get into a relationship and then it becomes "comfortable" and they enjoy time apart and enjoy having their own personal time. It's not like that with Steve. I honestly love spending time with him and have no real desire to do anything without him.

On another note, I've discovered a new show on television that I really enjoy. It's called Lock Up. It's really good and very interesting. It comes on each weekend and I can spend hours watching it. I am so scared of prison and of being wrongfully accused of something and being sent to prison on accident. This show shows the people that are in the prisons and then they talk to them and show what life is like behind bars.

My opinions of our prison system have changed after watching this show. I honestly never really thought about it before, but after watching the show, I really think there needs to be "less" provided for these people. They should be in their cells ALL THE TIME. If they get to go outside it should be for a brief amount of time and they should be in another "cell" once outside (like a giant dog pen). They were showing the fights and violence that happens in "the yard." Why is this even possible? Keep their asses locked up! They can buy things from a store... fuck that. They should be in a cell at all times and shouldn't be given soda and chips and other shit that is a luxury that they don't deserve.

Now... I know that there are people in prison that are innocent. I'd think their behavior would speak for itself and I think anyone with excellent behavior should be given "perks." Anyone fighting or showing signs of aggression or violence should NOT be given perks.

Enough from me... I am getting all stressed and pissed about this whole thing.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Song: "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel
Mood: Content

It's really weird that we've been in NC eight months already. As much as we love the great weather and love the area that we're in, I really, really miss my family and friends. I think the holidays are the worst for me. We made it through the 4th of July... Labor Day (that was a rough one)... Thanksgiving and then we were with family for Christmas. Now we're going into Easter and it's hitting me again that I'm so far from family and friends.

I feel like everyone that I know is pregnant. I am happy for all my friends that are moms-to-be... but I can't help but wonder when am I going to get to experience all that. Steve and I are taking our time with trying to conceive, but it's still a bit disappointing each month when we receive word (so-to-speak) that we're not pregnant. We're not at the point that we're taking temperatures or anything like that, but it would be nice it it would happen soon for us. It seems like we're finally getting things organized and settled and the next natural thing for us to do is to start a family.

In the meantime, I've decided that I'm going to go for my National Boards for teaching. The state of North Carolina will pay for me to go through the process, but I have to have three years of teaching in NC under my belt before they'll pay. So... I have to wait two more years before I can start the process. I'm not too concerned about it because I wanted to wait until I've taught for 10 years before starting, and it'll be exactly 10 years when I can begin.

Enough from me for now. I'll write again later... maybe. ;)
Until next time,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Song: "The Way I Am" Ingrid Michaelson (The Old Navy Sweater Song)
Mood: Tired and Sad that it's Sunday

I was reading something in People magazine that really caught my eye and made me think. It was an article about these children in New Jersey that need to be adopted. It was a project and there are 100 kids and they're all older than 10. There are pictures and little statements from each child and the goal is to get them all adopted in 2008.

Anyway, it made me think about adoption and really touched me. I want to adopt a child and not a baby. I would love to adopt a child that's older than four years old and actually give them a nice life. My mom was in foster care for a bit and the thought of her and her siblings being in foster care kills me. I know there are some kids that just want to be loved. One of the kids in the magazine was asked to describe the happiest moment of his life and he couldn't because it hasn't happened yet. It just broke my heart.

So we'll see. Steve isn't big on adoption. He wants to have his own children. I do too... but I also want to adopt. I always have, ever since I was younger. I might start looking more seriously at what the process is. I am sure that there are lots of kids older than four, here in North Carolina. We'll see.

In other news, I was observed for the second time last Monday. G came into my room right before reading and said, "I'm here to observe you." This was an unannounced observation. She had sent me an email back in December saying that she wanted to schedule the second observation, then immediately wrote back and said it was a mistake because the second and third ones are unannounced.

Anyway, I was REALLY nervous. I think you all remember how negative the first observation was. So bad that I really was considering leaving OG next year. I was elated to hear that G is moving to a new school on February 1st. So, I thought my lesson went well, but I thought that the first time too.

She scheduled my post conference for Thursday during my planning. All morning I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect. However, I went in and she was really nice, kinda chatty (which was weird since she never talks to me). She told me that she loved my lesson. She said there's a certain "energy" when she enters my room and she loves it. She said it's a positive feeling and she can tell my kids enjoy being in the room. Then she told me that I did a great job with the lesson itself. These words came out of her mouth, "Cathy, you're a really good teacher." AHHHHH!!! Whoo hoo!! We talked about her leaving and about her being nervous about opening a new school, and then she said that she would miss me. She also said that she's glad that she hired me and that she would hire me again. SHOCKING!!!

To say that I was happy and yet surprised would be an understatement. I went into the conference expecting the absolute worst, but fortunately, I came out with more than I had ever expected.

It felt really good to hear her tell me that she was glad that she hired me. She also told me that there was a parent that was with a group of other parents (she didn't know/recognize the mom), but the mom told her that she's always had excellent teachers since her children have been at OG, but that I am the absolute best teacher that they've ever had. :)

So... all in all it was wonderful. I am now counting down the days to track out. We have this next week as a full week and then Monday is MLK day and no school. I have Tuesday the 22nd and then I track out at 4pm on the 23rd! YAY!!

I went to the salon yesterday (finally) and got my hair high(and low)lighted. I also got it cut. It's kinda short!! I like it though. I also got my eyebrows waxed! I am so excited to have nice eyebrows again!!

Until next time...