7.31.2011

Change of perception

Well, I did it. I went tomy first WW meeting this morning. I cam do this...doesn't seem so hard, just watching and counting what I eat. I should be able to do this. I have a ways to go to where I would want to be, so we will see if I can do this. I don't think hubby thinks I am that motivated, so I will just have to show hi nd prove him wrong.

I was very anxious to go today, which put me in a bad mood when woke up. That and lack of sleep. On the bright side, it was riming today. We woke up to the monsoonal moisture. It's been nice nd cool, about 72 right now at noon,but it look like the rain is on it's way out. All I cn say is, ugh, it's gona get ugly now. But, beggars can't be choosers, right? We want rain and we got it,now it'll get yucky out with the humidity.

I was thinking today while iwas driving that I can only do so much. I can't do it all, so there is no point in trying. I can do what I can and then Go from there. I got some stuff cleaned, with the help of hubby, so now I can work on some other things. I may kick hubby and baby out today so I can get some things done with no interruptions. We'll see if they go for that. A couple of quiet hours to myself? I don't remember what that's like!

Well, the sun is coming out. Tome for me to go back in, turn on the AC and get some things done. I already feel the sticky. Sorry for those of you that have to live with it all the time. My hair can't handle it! Happy Sunday!

Let the countdown begin

While I was laying in bed wide awake at 3 am, I started to think about all the stuff I need to do between now and Saturday. I figure I have 7 days to get a months worth of work done. I am starting to get very stressed about getting it all done. I know there isn't enough time to get it all done, so I might as well face the fact and make a new to do list for the week.

1. Put my lesson plan book together. I made a lesson plan template and
Ringed it out for each week. I also made others for the weeks we have something different and are not doing our normal routine. But, that was as far as I got. So, I need to put the together, dat e them and start filling in what I can.

2. Homework folders. I need to make my cute homework folders, get them laminated and then get some duck tapes for the sides. I am changing my homework this year from weekly to nightly, but I am cutting way back on homework. I am hoping imhave better success with my homework, but not overwhelm the kids, either. I saw the error of my ways now, so I am trying to change it.

3. Lesson plans. I had planned to have my lesson plans started, but, no. Last year, I started outlining my units, and giving myself a good idea of what I was doing. I wanted to continue, but haven't cone it yet. I can at least plan my math and some other things now and go slowly from there.

4. My classroom. I still have some boOks and boxes of crap that need to find a new home. I am hoping to get in there as often as I can this week and get as much done as I can. I will have to work around my daughter and her crazy schedule this week.

5. Shopping. I need to figure out what my daughter's teacher needs and then go get it all. Plus, I need o get a few things for her and myself before next week. I have had all summer, but again, like other things they were just put off til another day.

I am sure there are many other things I need to do, but I don't want to become too overwhelmed. Or at least not anymore than I already am.

Happy Sunday. I woke up to some rain from some lovely monsoonal moisture. It has kept the dust down, but let me just say...sticky and steamy. If we could just get some lightning, it would be all worth it!

7.29.2011

Oh, happy day!

It's Friday and that's good, other than it means it's one day closer to the last week of vacation.  But, I just found out that we are getting a Hobby Lobby!  I live in So Cal, and the closest one is in Las Vegas or in Visalia which is no where by me.  I am so happy I could scream, if it wouldn't wake my daughter up. 

I have seen so many people post about Hobby Lobby and I finally went there in March and fell in love.  When we went on our trip in July, we drove a bit out of the way to go to the one up north.  So worth it.  I got gifts for Christmas, plus was in awe of all their crafty stuff they were putting out for Christmas.  Ooooohhhh, I can't wait. 

This is how people in other states must feel when they don't have an In-N-Out burger by them.  I just have to be patient for 2 more months and then good-bye paycheck, hello Hobby Lobby! 

7.28.2011

Mindless ramblings

This isn't really a teacher post tonight, but more of the thoughts that are in my head. There is so much in my brain right now that I think I might just go crazy! I'm trying to get a lot of things done, but I end up getting nothing done.

Anyway, my first order of business tonight is that I have almost officially joined weight watchers. I filled out the paperwork and will take them to the meeting on Sunday morning. I need to charge of me and put myself first for a change. I always put others before me, and then I end up getting worse and worse, with whatever it my be. So, I need to take care of myself now and see what happens. I don't like admitting that I can't do something, but I have to admit defeat here with this. New school year, new start for me. Here goes nothing!

I went to Lowe's today and was able to get some wood donated for my garden beds. I think I have enough for 2 beds right now, but it's better than nothing. I also went to Home Depot and they gave me $100 to spend on supplies. I need to figure outnhow much more wood I need and then I wil go from there. I may take my daughter with me tomorrow and get what I need so we can start either on Monday or Wednesday. I figure if we get the beds built, everyone will be on their own for the soil and plants. I was hoping to get wood, soil and plants, but no one is too big on donations right now. Another Lowe's told me that because of the economy, they don't have the funds for donating. Um, do they know the state of education budgets? Hello???

Tonight my hubby is working late, so my daughter and I had a Subway picnic on the floor. We ran and got sandwiches, came home and ate them while watching TV. It is always fun to have dinner in a different spot than normal. I feel so anxious for her to start Kindergarten in a little over a week. She's been in preschool for 3 years, but this is the big time. I haven't thought about it much before, but I wonder how many of our kids' parents freak out when their kid goes to school. I have 6 days to spend the rest of summer with her and still get school stuff done, clean house and all that fun stuff.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that I am a big loser and haven't done my homework yet? I had all summer and didn't get it done. What was I thinking? I am mad at myself for not getting it done and end up beating myself up over it rather than getting it done. I have almost the whole class to do and not much time to get it done. More stress...just what I need!

Well, time to get off my butt and get some more done. I didn't get as much done today as I wanted, surprise, surprise, so I gotta get it done now.

Happy Thursday!

You know what they say about best laid plans...

That's how I feel today.  I had, or thought I had my day figured out, but it sort of unraveled quickly.  It's only noon here, but I feel like it's been a whirlwind morning.  I had big plans that got squashed.  I am feeling very irritated and frustrated, but I need to let it go and move on.  No use in getting upset over stupid stuff.  And that's all it really is, but it still just bugs me. 

I figure I will take the time today to get some little things done around the house.  Why? It doesn't really matter.  No one gives a crap if the clothes are washed or folded or if the dishes are done.  They just keep piling them in the sink til I wash them.  Same with the clothes...leave them on the floor and I will do it.  As if I have nothing else to do with my days.  Sorry, I had to get that off my chest or I would burst.  I just hate it when things are always a bigger deal when they happen to someone else, but when it's you, it's nothing major. 

Anyway, I think I will do some little things, ignore the big things and move on from there.  What I had wanted to do and what will really happen aren't even in the same thought, but whatever.  Next week is another week.  Today is the last day of the week the school is open, so if I don't get in today, I won't be able to get in til next Monday, possibly Tuesday with my schedule.  I still have so much to do and am starting to stress about it, which isn't going to make anyone happy. 

Maybe a little nap, some lunch and a shot of whiskey will help me feel better.  It couldn't hurt, right?

7.27.2011

Can we say "freak out"?

So, two weeks from now I will be passed out in bed from the first day of school. I'm not ready. My. Mind isn't ready. My work isn't ready. My classroom is almost ready. My body for sure isn't ready. Bed before 11? Huh?

I went to school today for 8 hours. Yep, 8 long hours and there appears to be very little to show for it,though I know better. I was able to get my furniture a ranged, talk with my principal about a few things, get something's situated and put away and got some math games made for the first few weeks of school. Progress, yes, but not what I am wanting. I have a table that is still filled with stuff that needs a home. That would require time to sit and go through it and see what it is and where it needs to go. Not wanting to spend time on that. But, I will have to!

I took my crate seats in today. Two of the other teachers want them. One said she would pay me to make hers for her, as she isn't that talented. I told her buy me the stuff, I'll make them for her. Mine aren't where I want them, as they haven't bothered to deep for clean my room for me yet, but they said tomorrow. Seems to be the famous words...tomorrow. I don't plan going in tomorrow, but if I have a few minutes, I just might run in and work for a bit. I know hubby and I are going out to solicit donations for the garden beds, so we will see. He has meetings in the afternoon, so I may be able to run over there for a bit and get something done.

I can't believe summer vacation is almost over. It went by very quickly. Plus, next week i have meetings for my daughters school on Monday and Wednesday, plus soccer will start on Wednesday as well. Goodbye restful summer, hello mass chaos! But,I do look forward to a routine, even if it means waking up a couple hours earlier than my summer norm. Oh, how I will miss 8 am! I'll be driving to work then. Yuck!

Well, time to put Sleeping Beauty in bed and prepare for tomorrow. Happy Wednesday!

7.26.2011

Whirlwind Days

I don't know about you, but the closer we get to school starting, the faster the days speed by.  I feel like there are a million things to do and not enough time, energy or motivation to get them all done.  I am starting to panic as I have 2 weeks til I have a classroom full of new little darlings. 

Every morning I wake up and think to myself that this will be the day I get stuff together.  This will be the day I make something cute for a center or activity.  And then the day is over and it's dark and quiet and I just want to read.  Or sleep.  Or not think of anything.  Agh!  I have to stop this!

Today, I spent some mommy-daughter time with my baby girl.  OK, she's 5, but she's still my baby girl.  We had some errands to run and then we went to the cheap movies.  We went and saw Rio.  It was OK, not the best, not the worst.  She had fun and is all excited to tell Daddy about it later tonight.  It was nice with it being just the 2 of us.  It's hitting me hard that she will be in Kinder in 2 weeks and no longer just a toddler or a preschooler.  Kinda sad, yet very exciting.  After the movie, we ran to the mall to look for some shoes for her.  She has to wear all black shoes to school.  They are hard to find in tennis shoes, but we managed to find a pair we both agreed on.  One less thing to do now for school.  Next chore - a lunch box.  Hello Kitty, here we come! 

As we were walking through Walmart for some movie snacks, she was telling me all the things I needed to buy her for school - markers, crayons, pencils and paper.  Um, I don't think she really understands what Kinder will be about.  I'm planning to buy her teacher some things once we meet her next week, but I hated to tell my daughter that she already has a plethora of school stuff at home, thanks to good ole Mommy! 

I made my little crate seats last night, but I have been too lazy/tired/not home to take a picture of them.  I found the cutest little owl fabric at Walmart last week.  Hubby cut the wood last night and I put them together in about 40 minutes.  I only made 4, as they are going in my library area.  I can't wait to take them in and show them off tomorrow!  I will go in tomorrow while my daughter is off with the grandparents for the day.  Some of us are going to be working on math games.  Not everyone wanted to "join in" which is status quo for the grade level.  It's nothing new, but it sucks that some people still have a stick up their butts and don't feel the need to collaborate.  That's a whole different topic, but one I can see giving me grief this year as the grade level lead.  Fun times ahead...what did I get myself into this year? 

Well, I think it's time to jump in the pool for a bit and cool off.  I have a million things to do in the next 12 days.  I don't know if I will be able to get it all done, but I will see what I can do!

Happy Tuesday!

7.24.2011

School awards

My school is a Title 1 school.  It's an odd combination really, as we have some very poor students along with some not-so-poor students.  We have a lot of EL's, along with students who are not EL's.  We have a good mix of students, but they don't all fit into a neat little label that the state/feds like to give kids.  Before we got "hired" to go there, my friend and I listened to the principal talk about how great the school was, how high the students were and how wonderful it was.  Listening to him talk, you'd had thought we were going to be teaching in Beverly Hills (I am no where near Beverly Hills, BTW). 

Our first year there was an eye opener.  The school was just like the school I came from, but just a bit higher academically.  We had the same EL population, the same number for free lunch, the same "trashy" students and the same parents who cared and those who didn't.  The only difference was my school was now a bit further down the road and on the other side of the lake. 

Our principal at the time (part of the Good Ole Boys Club) was very much into raising test scores, like all principals.  We were given lecture after lecture about test scores.  We even had (and still do) intervention for all grade levels throughout the day to target the kids who need more help (I won't get started on this as it's a thorn in our sides).  And, the scores go up.  Is it from lectures?  Intervention?  No, it's because we bust our butts in the classroom and do what we know how to do. 

In 09-10 school year, our school got a couple awards for raising test scores with our Title 1 students.  It was a big deal for the district and all since the other schools in the district haven't earned many, if any awards. Our principal was all proud of the job he had done and we now have some ugly t-shirts to show that we earned these awards. 

Our principal was moved last year.  It ended up being the best thing in the world, since I didn't particularly care for him.  We got a new principal from another school that closed.  But, our former principal was a little pissed because the school could apply to be a Blue Ribbon School.  He was moved to another school that has high test scores already, so there is little chance of him winning all these awards (since they are mostly for Title 1 schools or schools with big gaps in achievement).  It was up to our new principal to apply for it and then cross her fingers that we did well on the test. 

Late Friday night, like 9pm, we got word (or those of us who check our e-mail from work) that our school will likely be a National Blue Ribbon School.  I should probably be more excited, but now the Superintendant is going to make a big deal about how he helped the school.  Yeah, whatever.  The jerk never came to the school once last year.  It's the teachers who worked their butts off, thank you!  I guess we won't hear officially til September or something, but it's nice to know that our hard work has paid off. 

Now, it's going to be a bit more stressful, just for the fact that we have to keep scores up or else we look like we gave up.  I know the kids we had last year who are going into 2nd were a higher group than the ones we had before, but that just means that group will be in 3rd grade and driving those teachers crazy (it was that kind of group).  As a teacher, I hate having to worry about test scores.  I just want to do my job, teach my kids and hope we have a little fun in the process. 

7.22.2011

Day 4...glad it's done!

So, I am as done as I will be for now. I dropped my daughter off at my parents and worked for about 5 hours on my room. I got a lot done and think I can take some time at home now before I really have to go back. My room is starting to look like a room now and that makes me feel good. I can't move my furniture yet, as I am waiting for them to clean the carpets. One of the custodians took all of July off, so we aren't cleaned like we should be. But what else is new...that's the status quo for my school!

All that's left now is some organizing of my desk, putting books and stuff on shelves, once I find the right brackets that the district won't buy for their shelves, and then the actual planning and copying and being prepared for the kids. I will get it done, but I don't want to spend all the rest of my vacation at school. Some teachers will be there from now on, but not me. I have other things to do and don't want to be at work til I have to. It was nice being in this week and getting things done, but I am ready to be back on vacation.

I need to get back into making things for school, working on work for my classes and just enjoying vacation. I bought 2 new books today that I want to read before summer is over. One is the new book from Danielle Steel called Happy Birthday and the other is Silver Girl from Elin Hildbrand. They are my favorite authors so it' no sacrifice for me to sit and read! I also bought some crates at Walmart and am planning on making some little seats for the library. I found the cutest owl fabric at Walmart and now need to get some plywood and foam.

Well, after not feeling well form the last day, I think I am going to take a nap while I can...before hubby and daughter come home. Happy Friday all!

7.20.2011

Day 3 Success

Wow!  I am feeling pretty good today!  I feel like I got a lot of things done, even though there isn't much to show for it in my room.  Today I tackeld some of the cabinets that I had just shoved things into.  They are nice and neat and ready for the rest of the stuff that needs to go in there.  I can breath a little easier now.  I also got a couple more itty bitty bulletin boards up for my rules, school notes and behavior chart.  It's starting to come together, but I won't be ready tomorrow like I had wanted to be done.  I still have a lot of organizing to do, some rearranging and a lot of putting stuff up that still needs to be laminated.  But, we don't have really have access to the laminator yet, but I may try to get to it tomorrow.  We'll see how that goes. 

While working, the teacher who talked my ear off yesterday was in my room again.  I worked while we talked, so I got a lot done.  I was telling her about "Cereal Math".  I saw it posted on a blog somewhere last week (tell me if it's you!) and am going to try to implement it this year, maybe 2 or 3 days a week, or as long as we have cereal being donated!  The idea of this is to work on counting skills and students can simply count it, group it into groups of #, show adding and subtracting and more.  I think it's a fabulous idea and want to do it.  I was sharing it with her and she's planning on doing it.  I'm sure she will buy the cereal herself and go overboard with it, but I have a family to support and she doesn't, so it's easier for her to buy what she needs without feeling guilty! 

I think tonight I will try to run out and do some shopping at Lakeshore and Walmart.  I need to grab some more border at Lakeshore as I ran out of mine already.  I'm not good at guesstimating how long things are.  I also need to find some plastic tubs for my class library (which looks so pathetic comapred to others I have seen...I haven't bought new books in a very long time!) and try and level them in some way.  I have never done that before I feel like a big loser in that aspect.  So, to a-shopping I may go! 

Speaking of big loser, what can y'all tell me about Weight Watchers?  I need to do something for myself to help me get in shape and lose weight and I have heard good things, but I hate having to admit to myself and everyone else that I suck at doing it on my own and I would be in denial and move all my mirrors out of th house!  I am thinking of starting it soon, but I am not a patient person and want to see results quickly!  Any suggestions or feedback you have for me would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Wednesday! 

7.19.2011

Things that make you wonder...

As I have been watching the news lately, or really the commercials in between the non-news (Carmaggedon anyone?  What a waste of newscaster breath!), I have started noticing all the commercials for the back to school shopping for the "fall" clothes.  Now, I don't know about you, but I have never started school in the fall.  When I was a kid, we started the day after Labor Day, but it's still summer fora  good 6+ weeks after that.  And in college, we started at the end of August! 

Everything I see for back to school touts the "fall" thing.  Well, I will have been in school for 6 weeks when the first official day of fall comes, and even then, chances are it will be over 100* on that day.  And if it isn't, it will be in the 90's.  We don't have fall, and I am sure many others of you are in the same boat.  Fall is just a word used to describe the weather and seasons on the East coast and the midwest.  I want to think of another word to describe the back to school shopping frenzy that has nothing to do with fall...Schoolmaggedon?  Sorry, my newscasters has warped my brain!

Day 2 failure

I went to school today for round 2.  And it didn't turn out like I had planned.  Although I don't really have a great plan going at the time.  I can't do too much as they haven't done the floors yet, so I can't move things into place.  And that, makes it really hard to organize and figure out where things will go.  But I am trying my best.  Sort of.

I did get another bulletin board set up.  This will be wall for their art work and projects we will do.  So, to date, I have the calendar wall, word wall, poem wall and art wall up.  That takes care of the back of the room.  The rest...nothing.  And there isn't a lot of room to put things up on.  Between the door, window and cabinets, there isn't a lot of good useable space left.  I will have to make itty bitty bulletin boards to put stuff up like standards, rules, etc.  I am trying so hard to make it not boring, but I am struggling to make it look nice.  And it bugs me. 

I went to Walmart this morning looking for shelf brackets.  When the custodians moved me, they lost some and I already had shelves that were missing brackets.  So, that's another reason I can't get things done...there aren't places to put the things that need to be in places!  Oh, Walmart didn't have any, so I will be going to Lowe's tonight or tomorrow before heading back to school. 

Another reason much didn't get done was because I was talking.  One of the other teachers came today, but I realized after I left that she never went in her room.  She was in mine the whole time talking to me!  And my daughter was with me, so it's harder to work when you have a shadow. 

I figured I would come home and try to get some work done.  Hasn't happened yet, but there is still some time left in the day.  Or the month! 

Happy Tuesday!

7.18.2011

Good summer fun reading recommendation

I just finished reading the Nora Roberts bride quartet series. There are 4 book, each one about a different character, but they all go along together. They are fun, easy reads, perfect for the summer. I found mine at a used bookstore, but I think the libraries may have them. Now onto a more serious book by Anita Shreve...The Weight of Water. I'll see how this one goes.

Controlling the classroom chaos or decorating - Day 1

Well, I did it.  I went to school today.  I don't know if I feel better or not.  Well, I feel a little better, but now, the chaos I have seen is a bit overwhelming.  I feel like my head is about to explode with everything that I need to/want to/must do before school starts.  And it's a lot.  I think it's more than a to-do list can handle. 

I went to school today and spent the first hour almost talking.  Not productive, but...I then went and took a bunch of butcher paper for my boards.  I am going with a yellowy-orangey color.  I like it as it really brightens up the room.  I have a cute fern border (that I need to go get more of) to go around it.  So for today, I was able to put up my calendar/math wall/reading comp wall, my word wall and my poem area.  We have all our furniture around the perimeter of the room for when they clean (next week) so I had to work around the clutter.  I wanted to get more done, but I started to panic, just a bit.  My prinicipal was there so I went and talked with her a bit and then I had to leave and come home so hubby could go meet with a client.  Now it's time to be mommy and teacher at the same time.  Back to reality I guess! 

Tomorrow I am going to go in with my daughter and work on putting up some more paper and trying to get a better idea of where things are going to go.  I wanted to put up a science and social studies wall, but I don't know where they would go.  I think I need to visualize better or utilize my cabinets better.  Time to think on that one.  This is why I am going in now rather than waiting til later. 

One of my ideas that I finally got cleared by my principal is to have little garden boxes in the tree planters by our rooms.  There are 5 first grade classes that will all be together now and there are 5 planters.  They have a metal grate covering them, but all the have is one tree in each hole and lots of weeds.  Since our big standards are living things, I was thinking it would be nice to have planter boxes and each class could be in charge of having their own planter box.  My hubby will build them for us and each class will then have to plant what they want and bring in their own soil, etc.  I think it will make the area look nice and will help the kids learn responsibility as well as taking care of things, sharing, etc.  And, how fun would it be to watch things grow that they have planted or taken care of?  Now I have to sell it to the rest of the grade level.  I figure those who want to do it can and those who don't, oh well!  Their loss! 

Well, I have a million and a half things to do today.  My mind in racing and I am getting antsy sitting here.  I have 3 weeks of vacation left and I know it will fly by faster than I think.  And, I have homework, housework, yardwork and getting my daughter and myself ready for school.  Oh, and then there is still the little thing of having some fun and good family time in there, too!  Yikes!  I need about 28 hours in a day and 12 days in a week to get it all done!  Happy Monday!

7.17.2011

Sunday randoms

Lately has been pretty random. I haven't been doing much of anything lately. On Friday, I took my doughtier to story time at library and then stayed with my hubby the rest of the time while he was sitting at the farmers market for his work. It's kinda boring but it kills time. I had big plans for some shopping, but then we ended up going that night. I did take a nap that day, which is something I have not partaken in this summer!

On Friday night while shopping, we went to Office Depot and signed up for their teacher club thingy. I got a few things for me, but nothing for school. I knew their crayons were going on sale today, so I waited. Today I went to one store and the limit was 5 per person. I got 5 and hubby got 5. They had some Sharpies, too, for 2 for $1. We went to another Office Depot and the manager let me get 20 boxes of crayons for the sale price. Woohoo! I also bought some folders for their poetry and other stuff. 10 for a buck! My kind of deal,

I also have spent my weekend splurging. My grandparents set money aside for all their grandkids in their trust. Unfortunately, my grandpa passed away 2 years ago and my grandma passed away in February. Their estate was just settled and we got our part. It came at a good time. I can put a lot in savings and also splurge on me. Which is what I did. I bought a new patio table and chairs for us and then went and bought myself an iPad. Do I need it? No, but it's something just for me! I'vedone without things I wanted to pay for law school, but it was ok, I didn't need everything I wanted anyway! But this is just a splurge. Plain & simple and I'm ok with it.

Tomorrow will be day 1 at school. I hope to remember to take pics of before and after. Although they said they aren't doing the floors til next week, so not too much can get done. My goal is to get paper on the walls and get some things figured out!

Happy Sunday! Time to watch a movie with hubby while our daughter is at Disneyland with the grandparents. A nice day for us!

7.14.2011

To panic or not to panic...that is the question!

So I did it.  I went into my classroom today to check out the disaster from summer school.  Much to my amazement, there was none.  Yeah, all the trash cans were full and then recycling tubs were full (I will have to empty those myself), but other than that, it looks pretty much like I left it.  Now I can breath a little sigh of relief.  Some teachers weren't so lucky.  We were told they were using 12 of the 30 or so classrooms.  I guess they ended up using 24 classroom, 12 of which the teachers didn't plan on them using.  I would be pissed.  Our principal was, and still is on vacation, so she doesn't know what happened or didn't tell the others if she knew.  Crazy!

I didn't make too much of a plan, as there was another teacher there and we were talking.  I think I have planned (in my head) to go to school on Monday and work for a couple hours and put up my butcher paper and start my bulletin boards and my word wall area.  I want to make it look really nice, so I want to take my time.  Then, I need to rearrange my classroom library and make it more kid friendly - I see lots of little tubs in my future.  I also want to take the read aloud books I have on my "teacher shelf" and put them by the whole group area.  I don't know if I love it, but I'll give it a whirl! 

I don't want to spend the rest of my vacation at work, but I don't want to be there til midnight the day before school.  I think I will go next week, see what I can get done and then go from there on my planning.  I haven't done much at home, so I need to get my butt in gear and get some things done.  Oh, and there is that pesky homework that needs to be done, too.  Does anyone else feel the need for a good cry coming on?  I sure do! 

Now that my room isn't a disaster, I can maybe relax and get some things done.  Or, I can just relax.  I was out of the house all day, so nothing got done, except dinner.  Thank goodness for the crock pot, right?  A new recipe tonight, but so far, so good!  Happy Thursday night!

Thursday randomness

* This week has just flown right by.  I have my to-do lists that are getting done, some days better than others.  Yesterday was sort of a wasted day since we went out for about 3 hours and then I had to find the motivation to get to work.  Ugh.  But, it's getting done and I am feeling a bit better about it.

* I can't believe I got so much guff for my post on school supplies.  YIKES!  But, everyone has their own opinion and are entitled to feel the way they feel.  You don't have to agree with my opinions, but please don't e-mail me anonymously to tell me that I am stupid.  I think that's pretty childish, don't you?  I thought we were all adults, but it's obvious we all don't act like adults. 

* I am going in to school today to check out my classroom after summer school.  I am very nervous as to what may have gone on over the last 5 weeks.  Now the custodians are supposed to really "deep clean" the classrooms used for summer school.  We'll see how long that takes them.  I plan on going in next week for a couple hours each day and hope to have a lot of stuff done so I can enjoy the rest of my vacation.  School will come soon enough, but I have had this itty bitty stress ball floating around in my head all summer school.  I'll go today and make my master plan for the next week or so!

* Today it's cold and cloudy/foggy and crappy and I don't like it.  I need to actually go put on a sweatshirt and warm up.  Last week it was over 100* and next week will be over 100*, but today it's in the 60's.  Not very sunny So Cal weather if you ask me.  I need some sun to make me happy. 

Nothing much else too exciting going on.  I have been too preoccupied with my classes to get anything done for school.  One of these days I will have to forgo sleep to get everything done I think.  I won't be a happy camper with that one!  Happy Thursday!

7.13.2011

Productivity

These last 2 days have been very productive.  I have actually sat down each night and written myself a list of 4 things (4 big things, mind you) that must get done before going on to anything else.  And it's worked like magic.  I am getting my big stuff done, but not having much time for anything else.  But, stuff is getting done and that's the important thing. 

I am still working on the last 2 classes I need to be done forever with school.  They are top on my list, but I can only really do them in small doses.  They are kind of lame and not what I was hoping for.  But, I am trying my darndest to get them done.  It's hard when it's just me at home and I have to be mommy and student.  My plan was to get them done on Sunday since my daughter will be gone all day, but hubby wants to go out and do stuff since we will be childless for the day.  I have done 7 projects in the last 3 days and hope to do about 12 more by Friday.  That will put me halfway done with the classes.  :(

I wokred outside on Monday and yesterday and it felt so good.  It was nice and cool in the 80's, perfect weather for working in the sun.  I got my front flower beds looking nice again and looking like I like my flowers.  I do, but it's so hard to keep up with it when it's 105* every day.  Today I added in some drip pipe for my flower boxes and replanted those.  Hope they grow!  I didn't realize I actually had a spot where the sun doesn't shine!  Ha!  I still need to tackle the backyard, but babysteps! 

I did get my bathroom and bedroom clean, sheets changed and all that fun stuff.  I hate cleaning the tub and the shower, since they are 2 separate areas.  My daughter insists on taking baths, so there is always something to clean.  Oh well. 

For the rest of the week, I need to start thinking of school stuff.  I say this every day, but it's getting closer and closer.  And I am getting less and less prepared.  But on Thursday, I will go into school and see what disaster is left from summer school.  They are done Thursday at 1:00 and I plan to be there are 12:59.  I want to make a list of all the things I need to do, including actually organizing the cabinets and reorganizing my bookshelves.  That will be the rest of my summer there!  Plus I need to decorate my room and start getting everything ready.  I figure Thursday will be my note-taking day and I can start with little visits next week for a couple hours and see what gets done.  I don't want to spend the rest of my time there, but I would like to get things looking nice and neat and like I am ready to teach.  We'll see how it goes. 

I am off to start on the to-do list for today.  Unfortunately I will be gone from the house for a bit, so there is some time away from homework, cleaning and projects.  Oh well, what can you do?

7.12.2011

My complaint to Walmart and Target

Dear Walmart and Target,

You guys are a bunch of greedy little b@stards!  I am appauled at the prices you are charging for school supplies.  In this time of economic crises, you go and screw people again and again.  Low price leader my @ss!  As a teacher who provides many of the supplies the parents don't provide and the ones that the supply companies charge us double for, I have always turned to Walmart and Target for good, fair prices.  But I have noticed over the years, the prices go up a little bit each year.  But this year, you didn't just go up a little, you jumped up.  You're really reaching for the stars now, aren't you?  While you will be so happy to show that you made a bigger profit this year for Back to school shopping, it will be because you raised your prices so much, not because more people are buying your stuff.  But, fortunately for you and unfortunately for me, I will have to buy the stuff I need for my class.  I won't be happy about it and will bitch and complain to anyone who will listen.  I think you are greedy little bastards who don't give a crap about people and only care about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.  My hope is that some new magical store will open and sell inexpensive school supplies to teachers for cheap so we can support the kids we teach and still be able to have money left over for ourselves.  But until then, I will curse you while I am checking out and then remember why I buy it...it's for the kids I teach and hope to make a difference in their lives.  Someone has to, and it certainly isn't you!

Thank you,

A very pissed off teacher!


FYI...At Walmart, their 24 pack of Crayola crayons are now 40 cents a box compared to 25 cents from last year.  At Target, they are 65 cents a box.

At Target, their spiral notebooks (70 pages) were like 45 cents a piece and I didn't see the 4 packs like they had last year.  I'm not sure what they are at Walmart, as they weren't marked last week.

Plastic 3 prong, 2 pocket folders were 50 cents at Target today and I know they are 25 cents at Staples.  I will have to go this week to get them for my homework folders.  I think! 

OK, time to get my frustrations out on my yardwork! 

7.11.2011

Mondays come too fast

I think it's been about a week since I last posted.  There are many reasons to that, but the big one is, I haven't had anything to post.  It helps that I was gone for the weekend, too, but other than that, there isn't much going on, I haven't done any work and I haven't wanted to post anything. 

But, today is Monday.  Another Monday in my summer vacation.  Another sign that the week will go by too darn fast.  I don't like it.  At all.  I wish the weeks would go by very slowly, like they do it October when you all want is a day off to relax and breath for a minute.  But no.  In summer, they go by at Mach 4.  

We took a mini road trip this last weekend.  We went up to Central CA to go to a "real" county fair.  We have them here, but they are large marketplaces with games and rides.  There are a few animals there, but they do that to show it's still a "fair".  And, it's costs like $20 to get in, where the one we went to cost us $8 for the 3 of us (that was due to the fact the lady couldn't subtract correctly and gave us more back than we should have gotten and she counted it 5 times!).  Anyway, we walked through the fair when it was over 100*'s, saw lots of animals that were smelly from the heat and had a good time. 

Prior to the fair visit (it didn't open til noon), I went to Hobby Lobby.  Some of you may be like, ooh, big deal.  It it to me!!!!  The "closest" one to me is in Vegas, which is 4 hours away.  So, this was my second time being in the store.  They were clearancing ut all their spring and summer stuff, so we went crazy.  I got a lot of cute stuff for Christmas gifts and some stuff for us and we left with 2 carts full and only spend $85 or so.  My kind of deal there! 

Yesterday driving home, my hubby thought it would be nice to drive along the coast.  We were in the middle of the state, mind you, and he thought it would be nice to drive to Santa Barbara.  We were about 4 hours from home where we stayed and left at about 9am.  If we went straight home, we would have been home about 1:30, more or less, depending on where we stopped.  But, hubby decided to look on mapquest and go to Santa Barbara.  According to mapquest, it was just an hour from this other town we drive through, so it'll just add another hour or so to the trip.  Over 7 hours people!!!!!  We were in the car for over 11 hours to get home.  We actually ended up further away from home in Santa Barbara than we were our whole trip.  I was NOT a happy camper.  I wanted to be home, get some things done and relax and NOT be in the car.  No such luck.  We were home about 8:30.  Yuck!  Oh, and it wasn't a nice drive as the traffic was a b!tch for 2 hours.  My advice, don't change directions thinking it'll be "fun" when you are relatively close to home.  Or at least go in the same direction!

Anyway, since I was stuck in the car for what felt like forever yesterday, I had a lot of time to think.  And reflect on my summer.  And then get a little bummed that I haven't done much.  So, I made a little plan in my head.  I have to get stuff done now or it will never get done.  I am so behind on everthing it isn't funny, but I have enjoyed being at home and that's what counts!  So, every day I am going to make myself a list and every item must be done before I can go rest, read or play on the computer.  Yep, those are my 3 time killers there, #1 being the computer.  I love to browse, play games or make games for my kids.  But, that will have to wait til the laundry is done, my sheets are changed, the front flower beds look presentable again and I have completed 3 art projects for my class.  My goal is to mail it off next week and then work on the other and have it done by the time I go back to school!  I haven't been very motivated lately, but that has to change now.  I have 4 weeks of vacation left and I inted to use them wisely, rather than watch them go by at mach 4!

Happy Monday!  

7.05.2011

Uppercase/lowercase matching and sorting

I was looking through the Really Good Stuff catalog and saw a game where the students had to sort the letters by uppercase or lowercase.  I got to thinking that I could make that.  So I did. And I made a couple of worksheets to throw into my center folder to go with it.  This will be perfect the first couple weeks while we review.  Go here to download your own copy of the game!  All I ask is you leave a comment and if you don't already follow my blog, please do now!  Thanks and enjoy!

I did it!

I finally decided on a theme for my classroom.  After much deliberation, going back and forth with different ideas and finding new ideas left and right, I went with my initial choice - OWLS!  I am so happy with myself that I made a decision!  I feel a little less stressed now that I know what I am going with.  Now I just need to be able to get to my room and get it set up.  Another 2 weeks and I should be good to go!

I still have a couple things I need to get, but Lakeshore didn't carry them and I wasn't going to go back to the other teacher supply store to get them.  It was too far a drive and too hot after being out all morning.  I have some ideas of things to do for my room now and now I just need to get it done! 

But for now, I am going to work on the computer, get some things done that are in my head floating around taking up space and then hit the couch for some reading and relaxing.  Being out all morning with a 5 year old and being in the heat and humidity we are having has kicked my butt.  And it's summer...I deserve to relax a bit before the school year hits!

Happy Tuesday!

7.04.2011

Back to reality for a bit

Happy 4th of July!  We got back this afternoon from our mini vacation to the river.  It was hot, it was sweaty, yet it was relaxing.  There's nothing better than doing nothing at all, and not feeling guilty about it one little bit.  The river we camp at is still running very high and swift, so there is no going in and playing in the river...if you are smart.  A lot of people were playing in the river this weekend and sadly, 3 people died from not heeding the warnings and staying out!  I know better, as I have been going there since I was a small child.  But, it was nice to get away and it's nice to be back home. 

I didn't sleep well when we were gone, so there was a lot of time to lay there in the dark and think.  I think I gave myself a little panic attack, thinking of all the things I need to do, with time ticking away quickly to get it done in.  And, I think I may have changed my mind about my classroom decor, thanks to a little browsing in Really Good Stuff.  Darn you, farm scene!  I will go look at Lakeshore and the other teacher supply store this week and make up my mind.  I need to get something planned and just go with it.  Plus, I have a ton of stuff that I put on my to-do list for school that I haven't even begun.  Lucky me! 

But, I will try to get to some of it this week.  I figure tomorrow and Thursday hubby is out working out of the home, so that gives me 2 good days of work.  Wednesday I can get some done, but not as much as I would like, plus we have to be somewhere that evening for his work.  Fun.  And, we are supposed to leave Friday again for a weekend away, but we haven't decided if we want to go and brave the heat as we are supposed to be outside for part of the weekend.  I live in the desert, but I don't live outside!  :) 

As for tonight, I have nothing planned.  We already watched fireworks on Saturday night at the lake by the river we were at, so that's done.  I feel bad that I didn't plan more for our 4th dinner, but it spaced my mind as I was planning for prepping for our trip.  So, it looks like it's bbq'd hot dogs, some beans and canned fruit, as all our fresh fruit went to the river and was eaten!  But, it's the thought that counts.  Then, I hope to sit on the couch and do a little of nothing, but watch the 4th of July shows on TV and keep my doggies entertained so the fireworks the jackasses shoot off don't drie them crazy!  We live in a county where fireworks are banned, but there are always those who think it's OK.  Plus, we have a 240 acre field across from us with dried hay, so...fireworks and hay don't mix! 

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I'm jealous when I see people going on their vacations now, and knowing I have 5 weeks left of mine.  It's gone by too quickly and I feel like it's just getting to be summer.  :(  Oh well...what can you do!  Happy 4th and happy Monday!