Saturday, February 27, 2010


A lot has been happening since I last wrote. My last day at school was Tuesday the 23rd. It was one of the hardest days I have ever had. I had to say goodbye to my students and then to my friends, all in one day. Those kinds of days are just supposed to make you stronger, right???

Wednesday morning I got up early and loaded the last of my things into my car, cleaned up after myself at Debbie's house, and hit the road for Houston. It was a strange feeling knowing that I wasn't going for a visit this time, but for real. I got to the apartment in time to get a few things done before Kevin got home. It's weird because we didn't take hardly any of our stuff out of storage because it is all wrapped up and packed nicely. We are living out of boxes and suitcases instead of dresser drawers and I have hardly anything for my kitchen. We are renting a washer and dryer instead of getting ours out. Our apartment is very tiny (and disorganized for right now), but it doesn't even bother me very much. Two things that I have learned from this whole experience are that God will provide us with what we need, and I cannot be in control of everything.

I spent Thursday morning signing paperwork with Klein ISD at Human Resources, and then went to meet the faculty and my students at Haude. I was there again yesterday observing and working on understanding the curriculum and writing lesson plans. My students have not had much consistency all year, and they are completely out of control, to say the least. I have seen more disrespect, attitude, and lack of courtesy for others in the last 2 days than I have ever seen at Northwood Hills. I have my work cut out for me!

Yesterday (Friday) after school Kevin brought the rest of my boxes up and helped me set up my classroom. I moved every single thing in the classroom around and completely rearranged it. At first I was worried about (again) the lack of consistency for the kids. However, I think that a major change is a good way to start off our new beginning on Monday. Kevin built shelves and moved things while I unpacked and worked on bulletin boards. Six hours later I had a completely different classroom! I did my best to bring some color in (I forgot to take "before" pics, but there was NOTHING on the walls and no color at all). I also tried to maximize instructional space and make the environment happy for the kids. I think it all worked out well, partly due to the fact that I have a HUGE classroom and a lot of neat stuff! Here are some pictures:

This morning I got up early and worked through my graduate school assignments, which I have not been able to touch all week. I also did laundry, responded to 16 emails from my previous students (I set them up with epals monitored email so that we can stay in touch), finished my lesson plans for next week, and worked on my grad school portfolio. Now I am about to head back to bed for a nap while Kevin unpacks some boxes (he was sleeping all morning)!

Tonight we are going to Chili Cook-Off (apparantly a HUGE deal here in Houston). We have tickets to a booth and are looking forward to some great food, friends, and music. It will be nice to relax for the first time in a long time. And tomorrow we are going to go back to the church where Kevin was baptized and then go look at our house (they are working on ground plumbing and slab) and walk our dogs around our new neighborhood for the first time. Fun!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The BIG Update

I wrote the other day about how I had some news to share, but that I wasn't able to yet. As you know, Kevin has started a job in Houston and I was planning on staying at my school for the rest of the school year. I have been living with Kevin's mom in Fort Worth, and the drive has been very long and has added 2-4 hours to each of my already long days.

This, combined with the fact that I was apart from my husband, made for a very difficult situation. About 2 weeks ago, an opportunity literally fell into my lap for a third grade reading/language arts position in an excellent district and school just north of Houston. I took a day trip down there (long drive!) and interviewed. The next Tuesday I was offered the position, and I will start next Friday.

This all happened so fast! The Lord has taken care of everything for Kevin and I so far, and I had to take this opportunity because I feel like it is the next step that He has provided. It has been an incredibly dificult and emotional decision because I love my job so much. I have some of the best friends and colleagues that you could ever imagine there. I also teach the most smart, funny, loving, and adorable children that I have ever met. My heart has been torn between being with my husband and being at my job. Once I broke it down and looked at it simply, the choice was clear. I need to be with my family.

My principal has been more understanding and supportive than I ever could have dreamed. It has been hard on her, just like it will be on a lot of people involved, but everyone is handling it so well. We have found a great teacher to take my place, who happens to be moving down from Mississippi at the exact same time to be with her own family in Dallas. If you ask me, that doesn't seem to be a coincidence.

The reason that I needed to wait until today to write this news is because this is the day that I told my class the sad news. I wanted them to know first before too many people found out about it. It was a ery emotional day for all of us, but I know that they will be okay and they are in great hands at my school.

I will be working on Monday and Tuesday, and then will use Wednesday to make the move. Kevin and I already have a small apartment down there while they are building our house. Thursday I will sign paperwork at HR, Friday I will meet my kids and spend the day observing at my new school, and then I start teaching on Monday!

I have been working until almost 8pm every day this week because I'm trying to make this transition. It's tricky leaving in the middle of the year, because my kids are so used to all of my supplies, creations, routines, etc. I have been working on very detailed notes about every, single, teeny-tiny thing that I can think of. The poor new teacher is going to be so overwhlemed. I also wrote full lesson plans (as if for a substitute) for the first week I am gone. I have been recreating bulletin boards, posters, my small group files, and anything else that I want to take with me. If I didn'f I would feel as if I was robbing my students. I just started packing my classroom tonight, and I still have a lot to do.

After our emotional conversation today, I played a game with my students to lighten the mood. Everyone ended up leaving happy! During the game, my back was to the white board. Apparantly the kids who were eliminated were writing me notes on it. I took pictures of their sweet, sentimental notes after school. Here they are:

Do you see why I am going to miss them so much? They are amazing little people!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A (kind of) Update

Howdy, all!

Kevin and I have been super busy lately, so I apologize for the lack of updates. There are some (great) things going on with us that we are not quite ready to talk about, but we will be soon. So stay tuned.

As many of you know, on Thursday it snowed here! In Fort Worth (where we are now living with Kevin's mom), we got almost 12 inches of snow! It was crazy. Kevin and I built an awesome snowman; I thought you might like to see it :)

We played in the snow for about 5 minutes at school on Thursday, just long enough to let the kids create some memories! We had a blast and took some adorable pictures. Unfortunately I cannot share them with you because of confidentiality issues, but I love them!

I learned a valuable lesson that day: When surrounded by 23 eight-year-olds, do NOT throw the first snowball. Under any circumstances. Let's just say it wasn't pretty for me. I ended up tripping and falling, and as I laid in the snow they continued to pelt me with snowballs as I screamed for mercy.

Later that day we had our Valentine's party. It was a loud, chaotic, fun day. I love those.

I'm going to write again later this week when I have some more time and share some things with you. Until then, have a fantastic week!