Thursday, January 29, 2009

What a great day!

Today was a wonderful day! We did, like every other day, have a few meltdowns from a select couple of students, but they weren't so bad. The meltdowns seem to be decreasing in duration and intensity, which is so nice!

I feel like I am finally gaining enough control of my class to have fun with them. It didn't take me this long last year, but it's a totally different group of kids. I just hope that by the time we become the family that I know we can, the year won't be over! All in all, I am feeling really good about things. The kids are excelling in reading, writing, and math. I tweaked a lot of my strategies from last year and it really seems to be paying off. And, all things considered, I have a reasonable amount of control over my class. We have our routines and procedures and we stick to them. So much that if I ever decide to, say, do math in the morning instead of the afternoon, my kids freak out. The same goes for if we ever, Heaven forbid, put away our markers without saying "Make your markers click so they won't get sick." Or if we do not take our restroom breaks at exactly 8:50, 11:20, and 1:30. Routines are lifesavers.

As I type, I am sitting at my kitchen table eating DELICIOUS taco soup that one of my students brought me today. I don't know why, but I'm glad he did! He or his mom didn't even know that Kevin is out of town and I'm on my own for dinner; they just decided to randomly send me some soup and it worked out great!

Oh, and for dessert, I'm eating the cupcake that another one of my students brought me this morning. It's not anyone's birthday; she just wanted to make and bring her teachers a cupcake. How sweet are my students, really?

Funny story: As I wrote about before, I got sent home from school on Tuesday morning to avoid the ice storm that was coming from my side of town. Our speeth pathologist took over my class for the day (a BIG sacrifice for her, which is why I'm bringing her Starbucks to thank her - but that's just what the people at my school do for each other - it's amazing). You may remember little 'Jake' asking me about the birds and the bees a couple of weeks ago. Well, Jake took this opportunity (fresh blood in the classroom) to further explore his curiosity. I believe their conversation went something like this:

Jake - Um, Mrs. Sandler, what are those things on your jacket?
Mrs. Sandler: What things? (looks around for buttons, spills, etc)
Jake - Um, well, you know....when a girl gets all dressed up sometimes you can see them?
Mrs. Sandler - (realizing what he is talking about) Oh! Um, let's not talk about that right now.
Jake - But what ARE they anyway?
Mrs. Sandler - (tries to change the subject)
Jake - Seriously. What are they?
Mrs. Sandler - (still desperately trying to change the subject)
Jake - Are they like cushions or something?

HAHAHAHA! How funny is this kid?

Also, KEVIN COMES HOME TONIGHT! I have been so bored and lonely and I am looking so forward to seeing him in less than 4 hours!

I hope you have a wonderful evening and a great Friday! TGIF

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finally an update

I can't believe I did it again - I waited an entire week between posts! Sorry.

I wanted to give you a tip:

If you happen to teach first grade and you really want a confidence boost, do a fractions lesson with cookies. Yesterday, to introduce fractions, I cut up chocolate chip cookies into fourths, thrids, and halves. I told the kids that they were only going to get PART of a cookie, but that they got to choose how big that part was. I gave them a piece of paper and instructed them to write 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 on it (with crayon - pencil can be erased)! Then I went around and gave them the size of piece that they wrote.

You see, they had all written 1/4 because 4 is a bigger number, thus they thought a bigger piece. They got really fired up about it! And by fired up, I mean ticked. So where does the confidence boost come in? When I surprised them after the lesson with a WHOLE cookie for each of them. Here are some of the comments I got:

-I LOVE first grade!
-I love you so much, Mrs. White!
-This is the best class EVER!

...and my favorite all time compliment:


Kevin is in Reno for the week for a sales conference with his company. I really miss him! Even though we don't spend that much time together during the weekdays, because of both of our demanding jobs and my grad school assignments, it's still nice just to be in the same house. He's coming back on Thursday night and I hope it comes fast! He's so busy at his conference and our hours don't match up very well, especially with the time change, so I havent talked to him much the last couple of days. It's weird that I miss him so much because for two years of our relationship we went 4 days every single week not seeing each other - I guess I've gotten spoiled.


In other news, weather is pretty bad in the DFW area. There's a big ice storm coming through today and tonight. I woke up this morning expecting school to be cancelled, or at least delayed, but I was wrong. The district that I LIVE in was cancelled, as well as nearly every other district I drive through to get to the one I work in, but not mine. So I got dressed, braved the ice, and went to work. I was feeling really nervous about how I was going to get home though, because they were projecting it to get much worse throughout the day.

I was so happy when my nice, generous principal forced me to go home before the weather got too bad! I typed up a lesson plan for the day, and our awesome speech pathologist subbed for me all day. I threatened my students with buzz cards and color changes for not minding, and I was gone. I made it home safely and spent the day finishing this week's case study assignment and working on lesson plans for next week!

Now we'll see if we get a delayed start tomorrow!

Question: Is 23 too old to be scared of the dark? Too bad if it is, because I am! With Kevin out of the house, every sound I hear freaks me out. The power just went out for a minute and I thought (for a second) that it was a bad guy cutting off the power so he could get me. I'm such a loser! Everywhere I walk in this house I make my big dog Tex go with me so he can protect me. I think I've watched too many scary movies and crime shows in my time.


Well, that's it for now. Sorry this post was all over the place, but that's just how my mind is working tonight!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Letters to the President

This morning we wrote letters to our new President. Some of them were so funny/creative/interesting that I had to share them with you. Our writing is really coming along, so I think I'll leave out the translations, as I think you can actually decipher most of it now.

A crush on Michelle Obama
Dear President Obama,
Im glad that your our new president. You are the best in the warld. you live in the United States or Mexico.

Frome 'Jake'

Ps - you look hot Michelle.

Did you mean that?
Dear President Obama,
Its glad you are preident of the United States of America. My name is (E). My school is called (name of our school). I live in Dallas. Do you want to come visit me. Are you in the white house? Mr. Obama I like you win you do the promise. Did you ment to say that? so I want to you come to my school.

Frome E.

A Big Trampoline
Dear President Obama,
Have you ever been to Nantucket? If you could go anywhere in the wold where would you go? For spring break my family can go eney where. I haev a puppy his name is Lizzy. I will play five times a day with my puppy. It would be so cool if everything was a big trampleen. I think about weerd things like that. Ha! Ha!

Sinseerily, A.

Poisonous Frogs
Dear President Obama,
what is your new puppys name. Wich kind of puppy are you geting. I am so glad you are America's new president. When you go on your privet plane were are you going? If I was the president I would go to Egept. What are your daughters names? Do you like posens frog's? you are going to be a good president. Are you going to share your privet plane with your family?

Love E.

As good as Abe Lincoln (this one is SO SWEET)
Dear President Obama,
I know you are going to be as good as Abe Lincon. What are your daughter's names? I'm in first grade just like one of you daughters. What kind of puppy are you going to get. Martin Luther King would be so proud of you if he was alive. I promise. My phone number is ( ). And my address is ( ) zip code ( ). See you later.

From A.
PS: I think you should get a chihuahua.

You're Good Too.
Dear President Obama,
you are the best I vot for Jon Makan but dot worre you are good to. Are you haveing fun at your new hose? I bet you are. I live in Texas. I no that you are nis wut are you going to do thar? Can you some tim come to texas. I bet you come. Did you no that I am the fastist boy?

From #1 fan S

So are those good or what?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Not Me Monday!

After skipping too many in a row, I'm ready for some Not Me Monday therapy, courtesy of MckMama! Here are some things I did NOT do this week, and even if I HAD done them, I would NOT write about them for all of you to read!

1. I did NOT, for the first time since I created my blog, go an entire week without posting. This is certainly NOT because I am working 50+ hours a week plus the 7 hours of commuting, putting in 12 hours a week toward my M.Ed, and maintaining my New Year's Resolution of being a better housewife (even though I'm OBVIOUSLY not a housewife) and cooking dinner each night. I am NOT concerned that, for the next 18 months, my schedule will allow me next to no free time.

2. I did NOT decide to be more organized when completing my first week's assignments for grad school, and save them in a folder other than the one created by the program on my desktop. I then did not upload my assignment (almost a week early, mind you - I'm so on top of things), without realizing that the document it was automatically uploading was coming from the empty folder and was nothing more than a template. I was not just lucky enough to discover this at 9pm Sunday night, exactly one hour before the deadline. I then was NOT freaked out when I couldn't re-submit the assignment and had to email my academic coach with it in an attachment instead. I am NOT paranoid that I have now made a bad first impression!

3. While eating lunch with Kevin yesterday, we did NOT discover that we were out of ranch for dipping our pizza rolls, which we DO NOT consider a necessity. We then did not proceed to scavenge through our fridge, only to find 2 little tubs of ranch from restaurants to share. We then did NOT both decide that one of the little tubs was better than the other, and proceed to fight over that one. I did NOT coach my husband on "proper dipping technique" in order to conserve the good ranch. We did NOT then start bickering over who got to finish the good ranch, which did NOT result in dropping it on the table upside down.

4. Even if number three HAD happened, I would never have rubbed my remaining pizza rolls in the good ranch, which was all over the table.

5. I did NOT go shopping for a new dress to wear to Kevin's annual awards banquet for work, which was a fun dinner and casino night at a very upscale country club. I did NOT choose to go shopping because I wanted a more "mature" dress, after deciding that 23 years old demands a more mature look. I did NOT find the perfect dress, only to discover that the pretty, puffy, toole-like stuff that was fluffing off of the top had come unstitched, and thus was not staying where it should have been. I then did NOT pay full price for it anyway, because I was desperate, and come home and stitch it myself. That would have been just ridiculous!

6. While getting ready for said party, Kevin and I did not completely forget how to tie a tie, which was unfortunately required for the event. We then did NOT have to get on YouTube and watch a tie-tying tutorial. I then did not have to tie the tie on my own neck, slip it over my head, and place it on Kevin. We are way too sophisticated for that nonsense.

7. After getting all dolled up in my new "mature" dress, which was very cute by the way, Kevin did not insult me. He did NOT tell me that I was "hotter than that dress," or that he was sad he wouldn't be able to show me off. I did not become instantly offended and Kevin did not have to spend the entire night telling me how beautiful and mature I looked to make things better.

8. Also at the casino night, I did NOT see one of my friends, a fellow teacher from my school, dealing blackjack at one of the tables. I was NOT overjoyed as we sat down to play at her table, because I DIDN'T even care ONE BIT that I don't know any of those golf guys. I don't need one of my own friends there to be happy. My friend then definitely did not proceed to "help me out" a little throughout the night. We all started with $2000 in chips and whoever ended with the most got to pick a prize off of the table first, then whoever was second, and so one. I did NOT only end up with 3700 in chips, and she definitely did NOT write my voucher for 7000. I then did NOT get to pick very early off of the prize table and get a $50 Kohl's gift card. Kohl's is NOT one of my faves. The planners of the party had NOT bought too many prizes, so they didn't start calling random people up to the table for seconds, thirds, etc. Kevin and I did NOT go home with the Kohl's card, a Papa's gift card, a tool set, and a Shiatsu back massage pillow with heat.

9. I am not already anticipating how wonderful that massager is going to feel after a long day at school with my favorite first grader named 'Jake.'

10. I take education seriously. I would have NEVER put off studying for my GRE until the night before, and then decided to CRAM as hard as I possible could. I then was NOT surprised when I saw words on the test that I had never seen before in my life. The fact that I did excellent on the math but stunk it up on the verbal has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that I chose not to study.

11. I am NOT absolutely overjoyed that I have tomorrow off for MLK day. I have only been back in school for two weeks since winter break, and I am not ALREADY needing more time off.

So what did you NOT do this week? Come on, leave a comment! I promise you won't regret it :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where do babies come from, Mrs. White?

Yes. I was asked that question, for the first time ever, today. After school Jake and I had this little convo:

Jake: Mrs. White, how come you're a wife but you don't have a kid?
Me: Jake, you can be married and not have children yet.
Jake: No you can't. When you're a wife you're supposed to have a kid.
Me: I will someday, Jake. I'll have a kid someday.
Jake: What will happen if your tummy gets really big and there's a baby in there?
Me: I'm sure that will happen.
Jake: Well how...well...Mrs. White, how would.... Um.....Okay. What about.... Okay. Let's say me and E (his first grade "wife") were married. Not now, but just someday. And belly was really big with a baby in it.
Me: Okay....
Jake: How did that baby get in there?

.........Long pause.................
Me: Well, I don't know because I've never had a baby in my tummy. Why don't you ask your mom? She's ahd three of them.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

How did I get here, anyway?

After reading MckMama's timeline post, I was inspired to create my own. This was you can learn a little bit more about me, while I reflect on my life and what has made me who I am today.

June 1985: I am born into the most amazing family I could have dreamed of. We lived in San Antonio, TX.

In 1988, my parents decide that I should be communicating more than by saying “dah-dah-dah-dah-dah” and using secret hand motions. They put me into speech therapy. I am tested and, at age 3, have the vocabulary of a 6 year old but the annunciation of a 1 year old. I begin classes. This year my grandfather dies, and though I don’t understand where he went, I know that I miss him terribly. My grandmother moves in with our family.

In 1989, I end speech therapy. I am a talking machine, and I’ve been going non-stop ever since! Also that year, I begin pre-school at a private school. My teacher dotes on me and comments to my parents how she thinks its so sweet how I prefer to sit by her and hold her hand instead of playing with the other children at recess. They realize that this is not, in fact, a good thing.

In 1990 I turn 5 years old and we move to New Jersey for my mom’s job. I begin Kindergarten there and make my very first best friend, named Danielle. My Kindergarten teacher takes sewing classes from my grandmother, who lives with us, and I think it is SO cool.

In 1991 I begin first grade in New Jersey. Little did I know I would end up teaching first grade later in life! At this point I want to be a veterinarian. One day before school my friends and I found the previous day’s “Daily Oral Language” class journal chart paper in the trash behind my teacher’s desk and we were so offended and hurt, like she didn’t care about us or something. I still remember this to this day and never throw anything away in the classroom until after school.

In 1992 I turn seven years old, get the chicken pox, and move back to Texas all within a month in the summer. I begin 2nd grade in San Antonio, and my baby sister is born in October. I had been the only child and grandchild for 7 years!

In 1994 I win the Bike Rodeo at school. This was, in my eyes, probably my biggest accomplishment thus far. I also sign the conduct book for the first time for playing with my friend during story time instead of listening.

In 1996 I begin 6th grade, Junior High. I was very uncomfortable with myself and in my body, like most girls were. I took honors classes and studied a lot. I rode the bus to school for the first time. I had a teacher who thought it was funny to randomly say “You owe me a nickel.” I still don’t understand this. I also had my first crush, which would last an lengthy 3 years, on a boy named Kevin (no, not the same one :) ). In the summers at the pool he wore an orange swimsuit and I remember drooling over him with my friends about his “adorable dive.” I asked him out maybe 4 times over the course of the year, and was turned down each time. Looking back, I’m glad it didn’t work out.

In 1998 I began 8th grade. I was finally happy and comfortable with myself, and I had more friends that I knew what to do with. I moved to the new Junior High when it opened and met a lot more people. I got my first boyfriend; his name was Coley and he was SO cute. I also got in big trouble for the first time and had lunch detention for the last 3 weeks of 8th grade for playing Truth-or-Dare in the back of the bus on the way home from our NASA field trip.

In 1999 I began High School the same year that my High School opened. I decided to sign up for Pep Squad even though I had no dance experience whatsoever, just to avoid PE and because my friends were doing it. I remember my best friend Emily coaching me in my living room for two hours trying to get me to make my hips move. Later that school year, I decided I wanted to try out for Drill Team the following year because I so admired those girls. I began to work my tail off practicing, preparing, and taking outside classes.

In 2000, I made the Silver Stars Drill Team, and I still think it was a miracle. I worked my butt off to keep up with the rest of the girls, who had been dancing most of their lives. I decided to try out for the Dance team the following year.

In 2001, my name was not on the list for Dance Team and I was crushed. I became a Social Officer on Drill Team and began to work even harder. I didn’t realize that this disappointment and the diligence that would follow were shaping me into the person I am today. This is the year that I was baptized, after returning from my first mission trip to Brazil in summer of 2000 and being urged by Christians over there to "go do it now, the sea is large and full of water." I returned home, began discussing it with my dad, and he baptized me in front of my church in San Antonio.

In 2002, I joined this Diamond Dancer Dance Team and it was the proudest day of my life so far! I took the SAT and prepared to enter college at Texas A&M University in College Station. This year I had my first really serious boyfriend, and went through a really difficult time when he cheated on me with one of my best friends from church who I’d know since the age of 7.

In 2003 I graduated high school with a high GPA and acceptance into my college of choice. I began at A&M in the fall – living in a dorm, making all new friends, and having the time of my life. I passed out from heat at a football game and had to be carried out of the stands by some guys who would later become my friends. This year was the first time I really took my faith into my own hands, realizing that all those years attending church with my family I had not taken it seriously enough. I began reading my bible, talking much more often to God, and trusting Him more with my decisions. I met a guy in one of my classes and we began to seriously date by December.

In 2004, my “boyfriend” broke up with me by sending me an instant message with a link to his new profile, which listed him as single. Classy, huh? In an act of rebellion, I created my own free profile. In October, after having been contacted by several uninteresting guys but never having met one in person, Kevin sent me a message. For some reason I began talking to him over instant message.

By late October, I was very interested in him. We spent 8 hours talking on the internet on Halloween. A couple of weeks later, we talked on the phone for the first time, and about a week after that, he took me to dinner. We were officially dating by November of 2004.

In May of 2005, Kevin graduated and I still had two more years of college. I pretended not to be worried, but I had a bad feeling about him leaving. He moved back to Houston and by August, he had broken up with me, saying he needed more space. I began to date a couple of other guys and enjoy the single life, but I still missed him terribly.

By November, Kevin was coming back around, asking for another chance. We had a lot of things to work through, but he promised to spend the rest of his life making up for the way he had hurt me. So far he has. We continued to date long distance. I took 18 hours a semester and worked 20 hours a week, but still managed to make it out of town every single weekend to visit him in Houston.

In April of 2006 Kevin was baptized at our church in Houston. This was not only a big day for him, but also for our relationship.

In July of 2006 Kevin proposed to me at his apartment in Houston and presented me with a wedding contract for Moon Palace Golf and Spa resort in Cancun, MX. I had been wanting to book a wedding there, but Kevin had insisted that we not get ahead of ourselves. All along, he had been working with my mom to secure the reservation for the wedding of my dreams.

In December of 2006 Kevin got a sales job in Fort Worth and moved from Houston to there. I set my sights on an internship in Richardson ISD and was hired in an open contract with the district in February of 2007. I would teach one year as an intern in place of Student Teaching.

In May of 2007 I graduated from Texas A&M Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.84. I also got a job at the most amazing elementary school in Richardson ISD to complete my internship.

In June of 2007 we were married in Cancun. It was truly a fairy tale wedding, complete with a horse and carriage and pictures on the beach. We invited only our families, and my sister was my maid of honor. A few weeks later we held a reception at my church in San Antonio where we had our cakes, showed the video of our ceremony, were blessed by those that love us, and celebrated with our friends. In August, I began teaching first grade and loving every minute of it. Kevin and I were living in a little apartment in Carrollton.

In May of 2008, Kevin and I closed on our first house, in Flower Mound, Texas. I also ended my first year of teaching, and became grade level chairperson for the following year. In June we celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

In July of 2008, I was preparing for my second year of teaching and feeling stressed out because the former team chairperson, who had moved up to second grade, was the planner and organizer for first grade. I began trying to get all the files and documents from her, reworking our first grade handbook for open house, and thinking about ways to improve our grade level. Kevin and I were busy working in our new house and yard, and I took my first (and last) trip to the dump to get rid of some brush. I began my blog at this time to document the horrid experience.

In August of 2008 I began my second year of teaching, this time with much more responsibility and a very challenging class. This year has already taught me more than I could have ever imagined. It has been a challenging year, but also one full of accomplishments. Our grade level is excelling in Reading and Math which is a blessing because, while the district emphasis in on K-2 this year, we are not feeling as much pressure as some of the other schools are.

In 2009 I have already begun a distance graduate program to get my Master’s degree in Educational Administration. Some day I want to be a principal. My New Year’s resolution is to learn to cook and be a better home-maker, and so far so good!

What has made you into the person that you are today?

This Week

This week was pretty rough. You can usually tell when I'm having a rough week because I don't post very often. Yesterday was especially challenging - filled with fits, crying, screaming, being overly talkative, not following directions, etc. There were a couple of times when I actually had to step outside of my room to take a deep breath and count to ten before going back in to deal with situations! I like how I use the strategies I teach my kids to deal with their anger and frustration myself :)

Because I see much more benefit in focusing on the positive things than on the negative, I'll just share some of my funnier stories from the week.

On Thursday we were walking down the hall on our way to specials, with Jake dragging in the back. I heard this loud moaning, and when I turned around to see what it was I saw Jake pulling his sweatshirt slowly out of his other shirt, screaming dramatically "I'm having a KID! I'm having a KID!!!"

T shared some of his deep thinking with me yesterday. He said "Mrs. White, in this class we all love each other. Take you and I for example, Mrs. White. We may experience really bad difficulties, but we still love each other." I thought it was ironic that T is the REASON we "experience" these "bad difficulties."

Yesterday morning I had one of my students leading calendar so that I could pull small groups at the horseshoe table. After finishing, I decided to take the opportunity (while they were behaving) to go to the restroom. When I walked back in, seriously less than 2 minutes later, I heard a lot of talking and giggling. Then I heard E loudly whisper "The party's over."

Jake grabbed Em's bottom in specials, which of course resulted in a color change. After throwing himself to the floor in the middle of the hallway, with me warning the other children not to "step on 'Jake,'" When we got back to the room to begin our math test, he eventually joined us with frustrated sobs and loud blurts about how angry he was at himself. He kept yelling "I'm the worst kid EVER! Why do I have to be on BLUE? I'm a LOSER!" Since we were trying to take our math test in silence, I warned him that if I heard one more sound come out of his math he would get another color change." A few minutes later I walked by his desk, looked down at his test, and saw a drawing of an angry face with tears. Above the drawing he had written "I'm a loser." If you know Jake, you know how smart he is and how confident he really is with himself, which is why I can laugh when he is being so eccentric like yesterday.

There were many more things, but that's enough for today.

In addition to the stresses at work this week, I have been working on my first week of grad school assignments. I had to take 8 personality and leadership styles surveys and assessments, and then write the results and my reflections about then in a personal assessment paper. I also had to take the practice TEXES principal competency exam so that I could see the areas I most need to focus on over the next 18 months. I actually scored a 87% on it! But I am completely aware that even though I can answer test questions correctly, I am in no way close to knowing what I need to know. I'm so excited to be in school again because I love learning; I think that's why I fell into being a teacher myself. I'm also excited to be able to solicit the help and advice of my own principal, who is my site supervisor for the program, throughout the process because I have so much respect for her and how she leads our school!

Also, I am proud to say that I have successfully cooked for one whole week! Not just reheating, people. I'm talking about choosing recipes, making meal plans, buying necessary ingredients, and preparing said meals. This is big. It's my own personal New Year's Resolution, and part of mine and Kevin's shared NYR to better manage our finances - not eating out is a good step toward that! So I've been a very busy girl this week.

Today Kevin and I are grocery shopping, doing laundry, cleaning house, and just hanging out together at home with our furry children. :)

I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Flattery and Funny Stuff

Sometimes being a teacher is the hardest job in the world. But other times, it is the most wonderful...usually I see it as the latter. Like when I am feeling huge from all the holiday food I have eaten the last several weeks and grumpy due to the stuff my students put me through on a day to day basis, but somehow they still love and admire me. Here are some pictures I was given today:

From K: "Beautiful Girl" - he told me it was me! How sweet is that?

From T:

From E:

How could those NOT make my day?

Also, T proposed to me today. Yes. He asked me if I would marry him. When I reminded him apologetically that I am already married and showed him my ring, he sulked away and said "Too bad." Poor little guy.


I thought this was funny: E came up to me today, the same kid whose "glue taked its own top off", and said "My shoes are MONSTERS!!!" When I looked down, this is what I saw:

Apparantly untied shoes are now "monsters" in first grade. I think it's a funny way to look at it. And if this is truly the case, half the kids on A hall are walking around wearing monsters.

Monday, January 5, 2009

On the first day back...

I knew that today would be interesting, being the first day back from Winter Break and all. I figured the kids would be hyper, we'd all be tired, and it would be hard to get back into a routine.

I had no idea.

The most notable thing that happened today was right in the middle of science, an hour before school ended. Here we were, all spread out all over the floor. We were building ramps with cardboard and clothespins, building "rollers" with different sized buttons and straws, and rolling them down our ramps. Then the electricity went out. My kids, of course, screamed. Because obviously, when the electricity goes out, it couldn't possibly mean anything other than that "the gremlin" is coming to get you. I learned that today, by the way. After they calmed down, it was apparant that the lights were not coming right back up. I got my flashlight out and did my best to shine it around the room so the kids could see their ramps. This worked for a while, until people started losing buttons, breaking straws, and tripping over things in the dark which resulted in falling on (and breaking) the ramps.

So Science was over early today. We packed up in the dark and I read aloud out of our chapter book (by flashlight) until the end of the day. I remembered tutoring at about 2:40 and then called 7 parents to cancel it last minute due to having no power. I had to speak Spanish to two of them, since there was no time to find a translator. My end of the conversation went something like this: "Despues de escuela, no hay tutoring." Complete sentences? No. Grammatically correct? Probably not. Got the point across? Bingo.
I also have a problem with trying to reason too much with 6 year olds. Today I had this conversation.

Me: K, is it appropriate to be playing with your eraser like it's a gun?
K: Yes.
Me: K, appropriate means that it's okay. When something is right to do, it is appropriate. Is playing with your eraser right to do?
K: No.
Me: So is it appropriate to be playing with your eraser like it is a gun?
K: Yes.
Me: (repeat meaning of "appropriate" and cite several examples). So is it appropriate to be playing with your eraser and pretending it's a gun?
K: (shakes head no) Yes.

I guess he figured he couldn't go wrong with both answers. Oh well.
Today T was throwing a huge fit right about the time indoor recess was about to start. After several unsuccessful attempts to calm him down, I called the aide from his class to come get him, as he did not deserve to do recess with us today. Upon seeing her enter our classroom, he started screaming bloody murder. I had to actually stop what I was doing because I couldn't even hear myself over the noise. He laid down and started kicking people and objects uncontrollably. Eventually, he had to be carried out by two adults - one at his feet and one at his hands.

...So would you say today was a crazy day?

I'd say that's an understatement.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Playing with Photoshop

I have always wanted to know how to make a photo black and white and then make part of it color, to make it "pop." Ithink it looks so cool. So anyway, today I decided to play around on photoshop and figure it out. Success! Here are some of my creations. Some are good and some are Remember, I'm just an amateur!

So what do you think?

New Years and Other Misc.

Kevin and I just finished cleaning our house and my absolutely FAVORITE thing in the world is to sit down in a freshly clean house with like 10 candles lit all over the place making it smell good. So as I write, this is what I'm doing. Bliss.

I have seriously been Suzy homemaker the last several days, which is pretty out of character for me. I've been cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry like a madwoman. I even made a MEAL PLAN for the week and then shopped accordingly, so I can prepare my PLANNED meals. I never cook! What's my deal, you may ask? Well Kevin and I have formed a little agreement, which is just between us for now, but lets just say I'm pretty motivated to be a great wife. ;)

Last night I let Tex and Bella out to go to the bathroom and they started barking at the dog next door, trying to stir something up, as usual. Bella thinks she's a big shot - a six pound big shot. When the barking started getting loud and angry, I opened the door and called for the dogs. Tex came running but Bella did not; this is not unusual when she's into the barking thing. Then I heard the most awful sound ever. The neighbor dog was growling meanly and Bella was crying out in fear/pain (I had no idea what it was). I bolted outside and tried to find her in the dark. She had slipped through the fence and was in the other yard, and she didn't know how to get back through! It was SO SCARY knowing she was in that yard with the mean dog. I stuck my hand through the hole on the end of the fence (which she had knocked the bricks out of) and she jumped on my hand. I pulled her back through and closely examined her. Luckily, she was not hurt anywhere; her cries had just been out of fear. It still scares me when I think about it, but hopefully she learned her lesson and she won't do it again.


Kevin and I returned home from Houston on Friday after celebrating New Year's there with friends. We had such a fun time! We went in on Wednesday and saw a few people. Then we changed and got ready for the night. We ate at La Hacienda in a HUGE, fun group. Then we went back to the house we were staying at to party there for a while with everyone. From there, we headed to a little bar to bring in the New Year. We WERE their business for the night, haha. It was really fun and Kevin and I so enjoyed spending time with such great friends. These are the guys that Kevin went to high school (a some of them college as well) with. All of their wives are amazing and I genuinely enjoy spending time with them.

We woke up on Thursday and had lunch at Chuy's, our favorite Mexican food restaurant ever. Then we hung out all day on the couch. The guys were watching football and the girls were drinking Mimosas and chatting. We partied again on Thursday night, then got up and came home on Friday. Here are some pictures!

Our end of the table at dinner:

The whole group at dinner:

At the house:

The whole group at the bar (in case you were wondering, Kevin is blocking me out with his arm):

The girls:

Kevin and I with Ryan and Ashley:

The boys singing Karaoke:

And the girls singing:

Kevin and Me:

Our NY Kiss - sorry everyone :)