Sunday, December 26, 2010

snow in the south

It does not snow very often down here where I live, so snow on the day after Christmas is a pretty big deal. Especially since today is a Sunday, and snow in the south often means no church. My church wasn't canceled, but sweet hubby and I decided to stay in, anyway. We took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures before the sun came out....








And of course, we had to get one of the sneaky bunny....



She was not very happy about being out in the snow.

In other news, you can give a dollar and help raise money to bring this baby to a forever family....Just click on the picture and you can find out more.

Friday, December 24, 2010

making merry

We have been busy in this family, making merry.

And more merry.

And then a little more merry after that, too.

So merry, merry Christmas to you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

i'm a dork....(or, pretending i'm martha)

I think that vacation is a great time for me to waste my time. For real. Because otherwise, why would I have turned the "move the books from the other room onto the bookshelf" project into a "make the textbooks match each other" project?

It all started with this silly idea of mine to group books not by type, but by color. I think I will hate this arrangement as soon as I want to find any particular book and can't remember what color it is. It seemed silly to put one part of The Sisterhood with the yellows and reds, and another with the blues, but I'll have to wait and see whether it bothers me in a few days, or months, or years, as it may be, when I'm finally in the mood to re-read the teenage angst.

I am very proud of myself for not taking the time to sort through the books, rather to just put them on the shelf, and there should still be some re-arranging of color/height combinations, but on the whole, I rather like it. There is another half of this bookshelf that can't be seen in the picture, but I didn't do anything to it since the tree is blocking my access.



That silly kitty there? She's sitting on my lap now. Makes it hard to type, since I can't move my arms or I will disrupt the purring.



And this is a close-up of my Martha-esque afternoon work. A little scrapbook paper, some spray adhesive, and an hour later the textbooks had been converted....



Some of my friends warned me a while ago not to do this. I couldn't resist. It does look a little staged....But it's my house, and I like cheesy. And the textbooks look a lot more inviting, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

last night...

My husband and I had a little adventure. It started out with a visit to silver coast...



And then a little road trip to see the giant Christmas tree...



Followed by dinner at circa 1922, a relatively fancy restaurant, for us....



Which was an incredibly delicious meal at an extremely reasonable price. It didn't hurt that they have a fixed price menu for Sunday-Thursday nights, so we were able to easily choose a salad, main course, dessert, and coffee for one low price. We found the famous Silver Coast Touriga on the close-out wine list and, since there had been much discussion earlier in the day, at Silver Coast, about where the last red bottles might still be hiding, decided that we needed to order a bottle.

I may or may not have had too much to drink, after drinking a woo-woo before going to Silver Coast, a couple glasses at Silver Coast, and the bulk of the Touriga, since sweet hubby was driving.

After dinner, we walked around Princess Street and the river and decided it was cold. We headed back to the biggest Christmas tree, where sweet hubby decided that maybe he shouldn't be driving, either, and we decided to find a hotel for the night.

Thank you, Holiday Inn, for having an indoor pool, and a Target on the next block. Sweet hubby bought me this bathing suit....
available at target.com

To which I responded, "Yellow?" I put it on, anyway, and we swam for a while. In December. Which is ridiculous, because it was freezing outside. But we were inside, and it was warm, and even though we didn't have toothbrushes, I had a new yellow bathing suit.

Too bad we had to get up early to get home to meet with the alarm system guy....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

En la playa, otra vez!

Que felicidad, que felicidad....
Estoy otra vez en mi reino, la casa de la playa.... Y de vacaciones, asi que tengo un día extra para disfrutar, y estoy recien empezando las dos semanas de libertad antes de volver a la escuela.

Es rico estar en la casa calentita y con lluvia fría afuera, sonando en el techo y creando una neblina encima del agua. El tiempo es completamente diferente a lo que era en noviembre, después del Día de acción de gracias, pero lindo de su propia manera, y me hace pensar en la bendición que es tener esta casa disponible para disfrutar, siempre y cuando hay tiempo para llegar.

Ayer, yo limpié un poco en la casa (normalmente limpiamos en la primavera, y a veces durante el verano, dependiente en cuantas personas están usando la casa y por cuanto tiempo -- cuando estamos ocupando la casa por dos meses, como el verano de 2010, limpiamos con mucha mas frecuencia), que no habíamos hecho desde septiembre, y yo cociné el almuerzo. Normalmente me pongo floja cuando estoy en esta casa (bueno, donde sea) y le exijo a mi esposito lindo que cocina, pero ayer preparé la comida. Después, fuimos a visitar Silver Coast a tomar un rico Holiday Red. Esto nos fortificó a salir a comprar, así que pasamos a los Outlets y después a cenar en el Flying Fish, un restaurante rico que descubrimos juntos con algunos amigos durante la primera semana del verano.

Que rico la cena, que rico la experiencia de comprar con mi esposo (dos pares de zapatos para él, una chaqueta, y algunas otras cositas que el necesitaba, y todo de oferta!) y disfrutar el día, el tiempo juntos, relajado y no pensando que mañana tendré que volver a trabajar.

Lo mejor de todo: todavía me queda hoy y mañana para disfrutar en la playa, sin tener que preocuparme de ordenar mi casa.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3 days

3

3

3

Only 3 more days until two little tiny weeks away from my monsters.

Any progress that I thought had been made, this week, is out the window. Forget lining up, forget following directions, forget all of it. That what it feels like, at least, and what it looks like, and what it sounds like....

I am so frustrated with my kids that I could just walk out, and not return, and be sad only about the having to find a new job with no references part of the equation, rather than the part of the equation where my kids have no teacher, get stuck with a long term sub, and keep failing everything because they are so horrible and therefore super low. Third graders should know how to read, people. Sure, they won't be reading anything super difficult, but they should be able to read at least a simple book that has repetitive language and simple, one syllable words....But mine can't. And if you think that reading in English is hard, just switch to Spanish. Because then it should be easy. Every letter is pronounced in exactly one way, except for c, which follows the same rules as English. It should be EASIER for my kids to read to me in Spanish than in English. But they can't. And if you can't read, please, oh, please, pay attention when I'm reading it to you. Because I'm not going to read it five times. I know how to read it, I know how to answer the questions, I know how to multiply, I know how to pay attention, and I know how to make you walk laps at recess because you are wasting my time. And I will.

Parents, please teach your children to pay attention in class. Although occasionally I change my mind and admit that I have said something incorrectly, far more often I find that I have to repeat myself over and over and over for these children to finally grasp that what I have said is important and that they might need to know it.

I am looking forward to my short, short break. I need to get away from these kids, store up some energy, and get together a super strict plan for the week after school starts back. Blegh.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Going Green

This sounds pretty cool.... http://greenbaglady.blogspot.com/

It goes along nicely with a conversation I had with a good friend on Friday night. We were talking about restaurants and going out to eat, and the cute cardboard box she was toting her leftovers home in, rather than a styrofoam container. We talked about how great it is that everyone seems to be getting better about taking their reusable shopping bags with them to the store. And then we decided that the next big thing in this going-green journey will be toting tupperware.

Yep, toting tupperware. We're pretty good at taking a reusable bag with us where ever we go -- leaving them in the car is pretty convenient. Why not keep a couple clean food containers in the car too? That way, when I go out to eat every single Sunday to the same restaurant where I almost always bring half of my meal home, I can just pack it into my own container, instead of having to put it in styrofoam and then change it to a plastic container that actually seals when I get home.

Starting tomorrow, the tupperware will be traveling in my purse. I'm a woman. We all carry purses with plenty of space for a little plastic container. And over the course of a year, I personally could reduce my styrofoam contributions to the landfill by at least 40 containers. That's a lot of styrofoam.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

countdown....12 days

12 more school days before winter break! I can see the light!

This week has helped me see that in some ways, my kids truly are making progress. And it has also helped me see that in other ways, my kids will NEVER make any progress.

How enheartening and disheartening all at once.

My kids (in both groups) are now much better at entering the classroom quickly and relatively quietly, which typically translates into calmly, which is a GREAT improvement. Credit goes to the RISC 4-square tool -- what does it look like and sound like when you come in and what does it look like and sound like when you pack up? The problem is getting packed up with enough time to rate how each child has done -- less feedback, so harder to be inspired to do better. But half of the equation has improved, so I'll keep at the packing up earlier and getting quieter and calmer with that, too.

My thrower is still throwing things. So overreactive. On his behavior plan, he received "2s" (on a 4 point scale) for his related arts block, and threw the paper, stomped on it, started using ugly language....Oh, temper, how you control that kid -- this will apparently never change. I'm not sure the behavior plan ever works for this kid. I hope, hope, hope that he was lying when he told me his mom is having another baby.

On a positive note, though, my mama and I made it back to yoga after a week off last week. It hurt. I think it will hurt even more tomorrow, though, and maybe into Friday as well... And an acquaintance at school asked in passing for a running mate -- someone to run at 3pm with her, at school, a couple times a week -- this would be great, because I've had the thought to do that, but didn't want to start alone. And I stay too late at school to run when I'm home since it is already dark, and cold, and I lost the reflective vest that my sweet hubby insists I wear in the dark to run.

Another positive -- my class is over! And I scored an A on the final exam! I'm finished with rushing to class this year! Yay!

And at the end of it all, there are only 12 more school days until winter break.