Monday, July 7, 2014

Food. Family. Fun.

We kept with tradition and went up to visit my family for the 4th of July weekend. 

Here are some pics we took on Saturday morning at the Blackberry Parade:

Oddly enough, I never realized how huge these glasses are until I saw this picture. Hmm.

It was obviously quite windy that morning. :)

Extended family came over for a cookout on Saturday evening. We had lots of great food and played a version of the cornhole game in the yard.

On Independence Day, most people are off work, the sun is shining, the hometown traditions are still going, and everyone is relaxed. It's the perfect holiday.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kickin' Off Sweet Summertime

Have you seen this graphic before?

 In case there was any doubt, it's true. 

Toward the end of the year, our PE teacher scheduled field day in the morning and a bubble lady show in the afternoon. 

Of course, I got suckered into going on stage. lol.

Here's a video...

I doubt many others can say that part of their job includes standing in a bubble, so... ya know. I'm cool. 

Summer vacation supposedly started on June 7th for the teachers in my district, but I've been a busy bee and haven't had much of a break yet!

I gave the SAT on the first Saturday of my break {those poor things have to take 10 tests total during a 4-hour period! I was exhausted for them!}... not my ideal way to start summertime, but it's cool for our wallet. ;)

The next week, I spent working on curriculum and science stuff for the district. We did take time to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary, though.

 ...And Facebook kicked up the creepy-notch {as always} by showing me this little gem when I logged in that day:

I think I'm about done with Facebook.

Another milestone happened that week: we paid off the rest of my student loans.

Buh-BYE, Fedloans! Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!
I know it's tacky to talk about money, but I don't even care; I want to shout it from the rooftops that that loan is outta here!! #sorrynotsorry

Last week, I taught a camp. It was fun, but I was ready for it to be over by Friday. :)

The last couple of days, I've been working on a presentation I have to give the first week back to school. I'm almost finished...whoo-hoo!

I visited the doctor yesterday for my annual physical. She ambushed me with a tetanus shot, and ooohhh my arm is sore. They did give me a Tweety Bird band-aid, though, so I guess that makes up for it? It's probably a good thing I scheduled that appointment when I did because I got a weird rash from my Fitbit that ended up getting some steroid cream. Blech. It's so itchy, and I still can't figure out what happened! Have you ever had a skin issue because of your Fitbit Flex? I need to know if this is normal! I've worn it about a year now and only had this happen once, but... it's weird.

Today, I went to the eye doctor. {Do any other teachers feel like half their summer is spent catching up on appointments that you didn't have time for during the school year?} It looks like I need some new glasses, so here are my options:

I think I've ruled out option #1 now, but other than that, I can't decide! What do you think?

After my eye doctor appointment, I got to go hang out with my fav ten-year-old. We went for lunch at Chick-Fil-A and enjoyed a yogurt treat afterwards. She's growing up so much! 

J has just been working steadily -- nothing particularly special. He's doing fabulous at this sales position, and I'm super-proud of him! < 3

Ummm can we also talk about the fact that it's going to be JULY next week?! I wait 9 months for the summertime to get here, and then it goes by so quickly! Unfair...



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Incidents from Elementary School

School is winding down -- 17.5 more days with kids {not that I'm counting}  -- and with that comes the silliness of spring {summer?} fever. Here are a few things I've managed to document in the last couple of weeks:

My class refrigerator smells like bugs. Probably because I had to store ladybugs in there for a lesson I taught to kindergarteners right after Earth Day. And there are random ladybugs hiding in my room.

To calm ladybugs down so that you can work with them, you're supposed to stick them in the 'fridge for a bit. I was dumb crazy ambitious enough to decide to send all 80-something of my kinder friends home with a cup full of ladybugs to release at home. I put some soil in cups before I left for the weekend, but I couldn't distribute ladybugs until the day of the lesson. The coolness of the 'fridge helps calm ladybugs down, but let me tell ya: those are some active insects. I went to plan with the kindergarten team around lunch time, and a ladybug flew out of my hair. I still have wayward ladybugs hiding in my room. In fact, I had the students on the tile at the front of the room to watch a Brainpop, Jr. clip. All of a sudden, a hoard of ladybugs starts advancing on my kids from the back of the room. It really looked like they were going to take over the school. And because the kids would've screamed if I'd have just stepped on them all, I had to kindly sweep them up and take them outside to let 'em go. Sigh. 

The kids acted like I'd just given them all free Justin Bieber tickets when I gave them their ladybugs. So... worth it. :)

Click it or ticket.  

I'm sure the Oklahoma police department meant tadpoles, too, when they thought up that slogan, right? See, my friend ordered tadpoles for me for a different kindergarten lesson I was doing. When I went to her class to pick them up, they simultaneously grossed and freaked me out SO MUCH that I couldn't even leave with them in my hands. She graciously offered to bring them over the morning of my lesson, so I accepted before she could retract the offer. :) 

Come Monday morning, I had an aquarium full of slimy, HUGE tadpoles in my room.

{Speaking of "ew," one of my sweet little six-year-olds had an upset tummy that morning, so on top of  avoiding the tadpole aquarium, I was also dodging chunky puke around his table while taking deep, calming breaths, praying the janitor would arrive quickly, and comforting the one who felt yucky. You best believe I bought our custodian a gift card because -- in case you didn't already know -- I'm a social puker. You barf and I join in.}

At the end of the day, I needed to return the tadpoles to my friend. See, the tadpoles she brought to me were actually hers. Mine had died over the weekend in what she described as "tadpole suicide." She said there was an area in the aquarium that didn't have too much water in it, and some rocks were poking up on top of the water. She thinks that after my tadpoles got their legs, they walked up on the rocks, suffocated, and couldn't get back to the water in time. She said she walked in Monday morning to SIX of my tadpoles laid out on the rocks like some sort of tadpole concentration camp, so she had no choice but to bring hers to my room and hope I could keep them alive for the day. hah. So that led to THIS in my car after school:

While making the 5 minute drive to her school, I kept having visions of some freakishly strong tadpole using its two legs to jump out of the aquarium and attack me.

First graders are a hoot. 

Last Friday, we did a lesson about how friction can cause heat. We investigated by rubbing our hands together vigorously to produce heat, and then hypothesizing which other things we could rub our hands on to produce the same kind of heat. So the kids are all spread across the room, waiting for my command so we can start together. I say, "Ready..." intending to finish with "Set... Go!" Before I could say the rest, a little girl looked at me with fire in her eyes and said loudly, "I was BORN READY!"

In another class, we got on the subject of taking to yourself. One girl volunteered, "I talk to myself all the time." I said, "Oh, yeah? Me, too." She replied, "Yeah. But mostly while I'm in the bathroom."

To end my day, a little boy came into my room and headed straight for his table to start working {bless his little heart!}. I greeted him but he didn't hear me. He turned to me and said, "Pardon?" I was surprised that a six-year-old knew that word {and used it correctly!} so I asked, "What did you say?" He answered, "Pardon. It's what you say to someone when you didn't hear them the first time." ...Thanks for the lesson!

Wear black and white polka dots sparingly.

I bought a shirt similar to this one

except it is short-sleeved. I'd planned on wearing it with this skirt:

but because a) I'm too lazy to work out right now, and b) I eat every meal like I've been starving for 3 months, that skirt is a bit too tight. Plus, we got to wear jeans all week for Teacher Appreciation Week, and I wasn't about to pass on that {can I get an amen, science/elementary teachers?}. I was in a hurry and just put the polka dot shirt on with some jeans and flew out the door.

Later that day, a second grade girl kindly informed me, "I was in a play about Dalmatians last weekend, and your shirt looks like my costume!" ...So I'm either trashing that shirt or not wearing it with jeans ever again.

Speaking of Teacher Appreciation Week, I learned I have PWF.

Have I mentioned before that my school is the best? Well, it is. Our parents take care of us and really go out of their way to pamper us during Teacher Appreciation Week. To kick off the week, we had an assembly on Monday afternoon. All the teachers lined up behind the stage. The parents dimmed the lights, gave each kid a glow stick, and announced our names one by one so the kids could scream {literally} for us. Afterwards, they played a super-sweet slideshow that featured all the staff. It was during this show that I realized I have a syndrome I've dubbed "PWF:" Permanent Witch Face. It's a phenomenon I've dealt with for a long time. I remember in high school, walking down the hall, and people would ask if I was okay. This still happens when I'm not making a conscious effort to smile as I walk. I mean, it could be the happiest day of my life, but my "thinking" face apparently = severely ticked off and scary. So it was a fun reminder of my condition as I watched the slideshow and silently chided myself for not making the students invent something to keep the corners of my mouth spread so I look like I'm grinning all the time.

In fact, I think I'll get started writing that lesson plan. There's a craze about STEM and engineering in the elementary classroom, so if we're going to be building stuff, we might as well help Mrs. K. out with her PWF,  right?


Saturday, April 12, 2014


Here are my thoughts on taxes, as shown on my Twitter:

Wish that was acceptable and wouldn't land me in jail. ;)


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Jewelry Holder

Let's just get this out of the way right now: I have a lot of necklaces, and it can be a little tricky to store them. I used to keep them in 3 of these from the Container Store,

Find it here
but I had so many that I had to layer on every hook. J was tired of hearing the beads hit against the acrylic sides every morning, so he took matters into his own hands. For several weekends, he slaved in the garage until this was finished:

It's stained dark -- which I love -- and matches the rest of our bedroom furniture. He even used the same handle that we used for all of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The thing is huge -- almost as tall as I am! And the inside is more magical than the outside...

Look at all the hooks! 

And there's a light at the top! With the press of a button, I can put the light on full blast, or I can give my jewels a "romantic glow."

He thought of everything. :)

If you look closely, you'll see that there are 3 hooks that are empty, so... if you'll excuse me, I'm going necklace shopping.



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Turning 26

Nothing special going on over here, but I thought the blog deserved an update, so here we go:

J and I haven't started 2014 in the best way... we've both gotten sick and been to the doctor twice since New Year's Day. Each time we go, we get matching steroid shots in our hip and are prescribed a cocktail of medicines like this:

We went to Oklahoma last weekend for a couple of reasons. One was to celebrate my Papa's birthday and have dinner with everyone, and the other was because Nick & Kaci had baby S, and we wanted to squeeze his cute little cheeks. :)

Because of wacky winter weather like this mess

and my daily outside morning duty, I finally ordered a "real" winter jacket. It looks like this and makes me feel warmer just looking at the picture:
Picture from the Columbia website
I'd made Meme promise not to make me any of her famous sweet treats for my birthday, since I'm trying to live a healthier lifestyle and still can't trust myself not to eat a whole box of junk in one sitting.

A couple days after we got home from our Oklahoma trip, I called her, and she mentioned that I should look for something in the mail. I didn't put two and two together, although I should have, since she was positively giggling with excitement. That afternoon, I came home to this:

Inside was this:

Had it not been for the snarky writing on the egg carton, I would've been concerned for her health for sending me a duct-taped egg carton at this point. Inside were these gems,

which are her famous peanut butter chocolate balls that I LOVE. I may or may not have eaten them all in two days. I had to restart my diet the next day. hah.

Speaking of my "healthy living," a bunch of ladies from work got Fitbits for Christmas, so I got to add them all as friends. I was motivated for a few months when I first got my Fitbit, but it got old after awhile because I felt like my only accountability was myself {which obviously doesn't work or I wouldn't be in this out-of-shape position in the first place}. I was pumped to add them all, and being able to have ten or so ladies on my Fitbit friends' list makes me so much more determined to get up and move. In fact, I've hit my 10,000 steps/day goal for 21 days in a row now! Even when I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week at this time last year, I wasn't meeting my goal on the weekends or on days that I didn't go to the gym, so this is huge for me.

I admit that there are days when I have to pace 3 or 4 miles inside my house -- J jokes that there are going to be holes in our floor where my "track" is -- but it gets the job done! I've found that walking slowly makes my Fitbit pick up more of my steps, so it's actually to advantage to read and walk at the same time. No excuses after that realization!

My school always announces birthdays {or half-birthdays, if your b-day is in the summer time} over the intercom during announcements. I was outside doing crosswalk duty Monday morning, so I guess I missed the announcement about my birthday. It's not until today, but my school takes the approach that it's better to be early than late. :) It was so sweet to hear students yelling, "Happy birthday, Mrs. K!" down the hall all day long, and I got lots of great hugs from my little friends. PTO was crazy-generous and absolutely spoiled me. I won't share everything they got me, but I do want to show a picture of these gorgeous flowers:

I so wish I'd have gotten a picture of the bottom of the vase because there are gold rocks in there! It's so pretty. I'm also not normally a fan of the smell of flowers, but this arrangement smelled heavenly in my classroom all day -- I didn't even need my Scentsy to cover up kid BO science smells that day. ;)

I am also proud to say that the admin building sends a birthday card to every employee every year. I don't even know half the people in the admin building because our district is so big, so it's extra-special to receive a card from them. It shows me that my school cares about their staff as people and not just workers, and that they take care of their employees.

I was so frustrated with God during the 2011-2012 school year because He didn't give me a teaching job as soon as I moved down here. But my position was filled that year, and the woman who was in my spot didn't retire until the end of the 2012 school year. It's so funny to look back at how frustrated I was with Him and kick myself for not being more faithful. He knew what He was doing... I just needed to have some patience. This spot is perfect for me, and I am so thankful for it!

J had to leave for a business trip this morning, so I am stuck by myself all day. There are only two birthdays where I have ever been alone, but this one is already better than the other one, so I'm not too upset. I currently have a nice fire going

and am about to enjoy some reading on my Kindle. My parents got me an Amazon gift card as part of my birthday gifts, and I already bought these 3 books with it:

Get it here

Get it here

Get it here

The hardest part will be deciding which to read first! I got a few of these bath bombs from Etsy, and they are the {pun intended}. The love spell scent makes me want to stay in the tub literally all day.

It will be a quiet day around here, but sometimes that's nice. :)


P.S. A week later, I feel the need to update this post to say that I was able to walk 26,000 steps on my 26th birthday {according to my Fitbit}. Sorry for being the person who posts annoying things about my fitness accomplishments, but I feel like this probably won't ever happen again, so I'm allowed to post it just once. :)

Proof. Boo-yeah.