Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our New - ORGANIZED - Home Office

This weekend Kevin and I took on and completed a huge project. See, when we bought our house we loved everything about it except that we wanted a 4th bedroom, or an office aside from the 3 bedrooms. The previous owners had the 3rd bedroom converted into an office, which we thought was nice at the time. Then we realized that we never use our formal dining room and would get much more use out of that 3rd bedroom. So we packed up the office and moved it into the dining room.

We spent several hours on Saturday at IKEA and The Container Store, buying office furniture and other organizational things. (Note to self: never refer to any kind of bookshelf for your husband as "cubbies." It's the curse of a 1st grade teacher I suppose). Then we came home and spent 8 hours working on the new office, and an additional 7 today. Finally it's done! Here are some pictures:

These are NOT cubbies.

We're happy with how it turned out! We finally have our Aggie office (unfortunately our awesome Texas A&M rug didn't make it into the pictures I took). We also did some other organizational things - in the closet, with my jewelry, and in the laundry room. Oh, and we bought a label-maker and I am absolutely obsessed with it. I have labeled things to the point of it being ridiculous. Perhaps I'll do a post soon showing some of this ridiculousness. Kevin labeled me last night with the a label that said "Label Nerd." He might be right.

Okay, I'm off to bed. I am exhausted after this busy weekend! Have a wonderful Monday.

Friday, March 27, 2009

10 Reasons this Long Week Was Still Great

1. We are studying Geometry in math, and it is the most fun subject of the entire year! Here are some pictures of a couple of the fun activities we did this week:

We cut out pictures of three dimensional shapes and made posters with them:

We also used tangrams, which I have always loved! I had the kids make the patterns beside the papers as an added challenge. They LOVED it, and it is so nice to see them working so well together in groups!

2. We took the Geometry test today and EVERY SINGLE ONE of my first graders got a 4 on it! (That's at least 90%). I am so proud of them!

3. I had this today on my desk when I got to school:

4. I got a new front-loading washer and dryer, which is absolutely amazing! And I got all of our laundry done, which is also actually pretty amazing.

5. I get to talk openly about moving up to third grade next year, since it's official! Oh wait, you didn't know? Yep. I'm moving up to third and I'll have my kids from last year again next year. There's this very special little boy who I worked really well with last year and he is my favorite kid on the planet. I got to tell him and his mom yesterday afternoon and it was so exciting! He'll be in my class and that's good news for all of us. He told his mom on the way home that day "I've waited for this day for two years!" The next morning he asked her if it was for real or if it had just been a dream. How sweet is that? How can that NOT make me happy?

6. Wednesday after work I got a bee in my bonnet to organize things. So I cleaned out and organized my pantry, kitchen, utility room, guest room closet, and office. I spent almost 3 hours working on it and I got rid of 7 bags of junk!

7. Thursday night was Open House at school, and I had a great turnout. I had 18 of my 21 kids show up with their parents! They were so proud to show off their hard work, and I was too! I had laid out a bunch of our games and activities for them to teach their parents, bound and placed their America books on their desks, hung a bunch of songs around the room for them to sing to their parents, and prepared a scavenger hunt for the kids to go through with their parents. Of course I didn't get to snap any pictures of my room DURING Open House, because it was like a swarm of locusts entered at 7pm, but here are some pics from before:

8. Today was a fantastic day. My kids were hilarious. 'Jake' got in a big fight with the pencil sharpener and yelled at it because it wasn't "listening to him." Then he tattled on it to me, saying that "that dumb thing won't even do what I tell it. It needs to use better listening ears but it's too clogged up with scraps to be able to hear." I also discovered one of my boy's writing samples was extrememly politically incorrect. It said:

"I'm proud to be American because if I was Chinese or Japanese I would speak like this "cho cho chicooka cho." And that would be very very very weird. Also other countries usually start lots of wars. And we have NO more slavery. And also we have a lot better food."


9. We had an assembly today at which Ronald McDonald came to talk to K-2 about not bullying and making friends. One of my girls got chosen to go on stage and, subsequenntly, I did too. Right after I had finished telling Tracey about how I was a little freaked out by the guy. So we had to play this game where I kept losing (it was TOTALLY rigged, BTW, lol). All of the kids thought it was HILARIOUS. Especially when he stuck the "bully" - a foam circle with a mean face on it - on my back and then made me look for it. Nice. It was still fun, though. And my kids were highly excited about me being on stage, so it was worth the humiliation.

10. After school today we had Girl Talk for the 5th and 6th grade girls. We do this every Friday in the Spring, and we always have a fun activity planned for each meeting. The point is to help the pre-adolescent girls prepare for and deal with the issues involved with growing up. Today we brought in a hip-hop dance instructor to speak and then teach us a routine. It was awesome! And since I used to dance in high school, I picked up on it pretty quickly. So then all of the girls thought I was cool and were talking about my mad skills. Because you know, it's very important to be cool amongst the 5th and 6th graders....yeah.

So there you have it: 10 reasons that this long and difficult week was still great! Oh wait...

and 11. I got paid today. Can't forget that one.

11 great reasons to be happy. I hope you can think of AT LEAST 11 reasons why your week was fantastic! Have a wonderful weekend :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Buzzard Whisperer

Howdy, all! (Read on for a story about the "Buzzard Whisperer")

Spring Break has been wonderful, but I am sad to admit that it is over now. As always, since I was a little girl, it has come and gone too quickly.

My break started right after work last Friday when my parents came to visit. We had a great weekend together and then I went home with them for the week. During the week I did a project that I have been wanting to do for a long time: I went through my grandmother's recipes and typed up all of my old favorites, and then scrapbooked them into a cookbook to bring home. I am so excited to cook some of my favorite foods from when I lived back home!

I also finished my second course of grad school, which means that I am ahead for 3 weeks, which is nice. I also logged 5 more of my 38 activities for my internship plan. I'm feeling pretty good about that stuff! On Thursday evening I got to spend some long-overdue time with my best friend Emily. We go way back to the second grade when I moved to San Antonio. Even though we went our separate ways for college, our friendship survived. She's that friend that I could go a year without talking to (not that I would want to) and then pick right back up like no time had passed at all! That's what I love about her :)

I ended the week by traveling to Bryan with my family to visit my grandparents and meet Kevin to pick me up. We spent all day Saturday riding 4 wheelers through the mud and getting hideously muddy, swinging on vines, hunting hogs, finding wishing rocks, and rescuing buzzards...which brings me to my story:

The Buzzard Whisperer
Once upon a time a family was riding 4 wheelers around and they came upon a deer stand, which at first glance was empty. Then they noticed two HUMONGOUS birds flying around inside, trapped. The windows fold inwards and they were able to fly in but not back out.

So all 11 of us sat and speculated for quite some time about how to free them. First we tried to shove a stick through the window to hold it open. My dad and grandaddy got the two sides propped up.

We all drove our 4 wheelers back far away, turned them off, and waited silently. The buzzwards did not come out. Maybe they were too weak and tired. Or maybe it was the 4 people that we banging sticks around the metal stand trying to "encourage" them to fly out. Maybe.

So anyway, nothing happened. Finally my mom decided to climb the ladder, reach in, and unlock the door to the stand. As she walked across the field, we had a bunch of "tips" for her. My Uncle Larry instructed her to "remember not to lay too still if she got knocked down the ladder." Get it? Buzzards? My dad commended her on being "The Buzzard Whisperer," as she stood back and sweetly pleaded with the buzzards to free themselves after unlocking their door.

They stayed cowering in the corner, giving my sister an opportunity to snap this picture. I was the lookout, meaning I was going to scream and run in the opposite direction if the buzzards charged at her.

We finally gave up and them and continued our 4 wheeling adventure, but when we checked back later they were gone. So that's the end of the buzzard rescue story.

Later we rode over to the HUGE pine tree, which is my favorite tree ever. It is seriously the biggest tree I have ever seen. Here's a couple of pictures (please disregard the fact that I look like a complete hick - we were in the country!!!"

We had a big catfish fry for dinner and the food was amazing. Finally, I was able to snap a few pictures of Bella in the bluebonnets just before the sun set.

I know, it's corny to take pictures of your dog in flowers. Anyway, Kevin and I headed back to Flower Mound this morning. We got back, unpacked, detailed my car, cleaned the house, and started laundry. That's the point at which my old washer (which has been threatening to give out during any load), did. Kevin and I got our washer and dryer used a couple of years ago and have been stretching them as long as they would last, and today the washer cleaned it's last load. Well actually it SOAKED it's last load, and then left it floating in the tub.

We bought an LG front-loading washer and dryer set, which will be delivered on Wednesday. Let's hope my three loads of laundry can wait until then! I am soooo excited. Does that make me completely domestic? Oh well.

So back to school tomorrow! I need to get to bed so I can be physically and mentally ready. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Butt Sniffer - part 2

I usually don't find time to blog during the week because I'm too busy, but today was too good to pass up!

Some of you may remember the time that I had to sniff my students' butts to determine who had peed in their pants. Well as it turns out, I have a prodigy. My very own 'Jake' has decided to follow in my butt-sniffing footsteps.

Today I picked my kids up from PE and was told that 'Jake' had touched and sniffed E's butt during a game. You may remember the time he sniffed her hair at the water fountain. Well apparantly he has escalated to full pervert mode.

I took my kids back to class and sent all of them in to sit on the rug except for him. Here is the little convo that we had in the hall:
Me: "What did you do in specials today that was innapropriate?"
Jake: (looking dramatically guilty) "I sniffed E's...uh...shirt."
Me: "Oh. I heard something different. Did you sniff her shirt, or did you sniff her BOTTOM?"
Jake: (hesitates)"B."
Me: "B stands for bottom, right?"
Jake: "YESSSSSSSS! (falls to the floor)I'm a LOSERRRR!!!!(grabs head in both hands, collapses into a tiny ball, and sobs loudly).

And that's the story of the butt sniffer. Have a great night.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tantrums, Vomit, and Murder Threats...Oh my!

That was my day today. Between Jake and T, they were sent into the hall 9 times today. And I don't just send them into the hall for anything. They must really be harming others and/or disrupting my class by screaming or crying to be sent into the hall. Jake was in rare form today. My favorite tantrum was probably the one where, because he got a color change for being disrespectful, he threw himself out of his chair and onto the floor. From there, he proceeded to lay on his back with his knees bent behind him, arch his back, thrust his pelvis into the air, and screech out like a dying cow.

Then a little while later K kicked another student in the butt while walking down the hall, and then told that student that he wished he had a knife so he could kill him. What??? So of course he got a color change. He then slammed his little body as hard as he possibly could onto the rug (after punching my color chart), beat his hands on his legs, shook with anger, and stared daggers into me. Then he punched his right hand into his left repeatedly while he stared at me and said "I wish I was a MURDERER."

Oh great. Murder threats from 7 year olds - exactly what my life has been missing.

After I had ALMOST made it through the entire day, it was time to pack up. 10 minutes left in the day. I was home free, right? WRONG. While the kids were in the hall getting their backpacks one of my boys ran into the classroom yelling "A puked in the hall! A puked in the hall!!!" Wonderful. I went out and looked, squinting my eyes behind my fingers (I hate throw-up so much). Yep. Definitely large amounts of throw up right outside my doorway, between mine and Emily's students' lockers - where they were all trampling around. So we got all of that taken care of and ended up the day.

It may have been a bad day today, but I had a wonderful day on Wednesday. Now I know that my class is capable of that, and I am praying for more days like Wednesday and NO MORE like today! And plus, there are only 57 days left of school anyway :)

After school we headed over to a teacher's house for "milkshakes" and to wind down after the long week of TAKS testing and what-not. It was really fun, and I truly enoy hanging out with the ladies from my school. They are a really special group of friends! We had to leave there shortly after 6pm because the hostess had dinner reservations, but we took the party to another friend's house. When all was said and done, happy "hour" lasted almost 5 hours. Bliss.

So the day ended on a happy note and, really, that's all I really ask for.

I hope you all have a great weekend. My plans are to watch TV, cuddle with my husband, watch more TV, eat, and sleep in as much as possible. No more, no less. If there was ever a week that called for a lazy weekend, it's this one!

Monday, March 2, 2009

How could this NOT make my day???

Last week I had a couple of very rough days. My kids were as out-of-control as I have ever seen them. They were being disrespectful, disruptive, and downright annoying! I came into my classroom Friday morning and found this note in my basket:

(click on it to see it larger so you can read it)

Right then, it was all worth it. That made my week, actually. I added this to my HABD (Had A Bad Day) folder, which another teacher from school suggested to me a while back. I have things like encouraging notes from parents and cute letters from kids in there. I have to be pretty selective so that I don't over-fill it, considering I get at least a couple of pictures a day!
Today I had my lunch date with T. It was so much fun! We have a little pact that if he makes it through a whole week with 2's (perfect) on his behavior clipboard, then I will eat lunch with just him in my classroom the following Monday while watching a movie. Last week was the first time that he did it! I thoroughly enjoy my time with each of my students one-on-one, but especially with him. He's like a little grown up trapped in child's body, and he is so interesting to talk to. I didn't think I would enjoy my cafeteria lunch that I ate while sitting criss-cross on my rug with a 7 year old, watching Charlie Brown. I'm glad to say that I was wrong!
Some funny stuff from today:

1)A conversation I overheard while the kids were doing their March calendars this morning:
K: What does Spring Break even mean anyway?
A: It means no school.
K: But what does it MEAN?
A: Hmmm. I know! It means that it's SPRING, and Mrs. White gets a BREAK from us!
...Amen, sista!

2) T informed me that he once found a 4-leaf clover. Apparantly he had good luck for 2 weeks, until it "shriveled up and died."

3) While working with D during tutoring this afternoon we had this conversation, during which he was completely serious:
D: I looked on your desk for very dangerous things, but there were none.
Me: What kind of dangerous things?
D: Like super dangerous bombs, or huge guns, or other explosive things.
Me: Oh....ok...well thank you for doing that.
D: And also in your purse. No guns in there.
Me: Why would you think I had guns in my purse?
D: It's a good thing to be sure.
Me: Ok....well.... thank you for keeping our classroom safe. I appreciate it....
The Tattle Book has somewhat died out, which I guess is an indicator of a decrease in tattling, and thus a good thing. However, it is sad because I got so much personal enjoyment out of it! Here are a few new posts:

1)D was men to us to A and A. and D tuk A pesl and he tuk all of the cntrs. in math. an THAT IS A PROMISE. From A and A. (there is a large crying face drawn by their names). D has written under it: "PS: This is wrong."

2) I wen and I wus talkn and T mad a fist at me and tld me to hush.

3) O and A were ooooo! Me and A but O do this to me ooooooo!

4) By D 2/26/09 ----------> (I like the date) "G said that I was the meanest in the world. G told me not to copy her and then she looked at my own paper!"

Unfortunately, that is it for the Tattle Book.

I am currently watching The Bachelor finale with one of my good friends, and I love it!!!!