Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I just (tried to) make a pretzel jello dessert and as it is setting in the fridge, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't completely screw it up. I'm a little pissed about it... I followed the recipe that I got online, a recipe that had 4 stars and great reviews, and I'm pretty sure that it looks all wrong! I think the jello went straight to the bottom of the pan and now the pretzel crust is turning to mush (Super! Who doesn't LOVE soggy pretzels!? Oh, yeah, most people...).

And so, I'm slightly hesitant to bring it over to my parents' house as our contribution to the Thanksgiving feast that will commence in about 4 hours. Maybe I'll try to cut out a square and taste it before we leave... Yeah, that's how I'll decide.

So that's how my great Thanksgiving morning began going downhill. But then it hit me... who cares? It's pretzel jello. If it sucks, we wont bring it over. Or maybe we will and no one will eat their serving. Yes, wasting the $8 to buy the ingredients I didn't have in the kitchen could be a little frustrating, but overall, it's no big deal. At least I had the $8 to spare, right?

Sometimes I get so caught up in all the crappy things that happen that I forget about all the awesome things that I have to be thankful for (Scratch that... it's probably way more than sometimes). And so, I have decided that I'm going to really try to be grateful for what I've got, instead of annoyed at what I don't.

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.

I'm thankful for my sister, and her sweet baby girl.

I'm thankful for my awesome friends.

I'm thankful for my family. 

I'm thankful for my job(s).

I'm thankful for my husband's job!

I'm thankful for our home, even on days when it feels nothing less than tiny and inconvenient.

I'm thankful that I've got food in the fridge and clothes in my closet (and, lets be honest, clothes on the chair in my bedroom.. sorry J!).

I'm thankful for every gift God has blessed me with. And I'm thankful that He is always there, with his arms open, full of love and grace, because only He knows how much I need it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"I smell snow."

There's something magical about the first snow of the season... the first few snows for that matter. I've always loved watching those big, puffy snowflakes floating in the sky. Like I'm living in a snow globe or something.

Living in Michigan at this time of year is both a blessing and a curse. It's still technically fall, and Thanksgiving is not for another few days, but the temperatures have been low and we've had at least two (very small) snowfalls thus far. Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind, and so I can't decide whether I should trade in my light fall jacket for my winter coat.

But it's all good. I don't mind. :)

There are very few things that I actually dislike about this time of year. I could do without scraping off my car windows, the icy roads, and the slush that continues to ruin my comfy suede boots. And the Christmas music... It's a little early for that, especially since the majority of the Christmas songs they play on the radio are pretty much a million different variations of the same songs. Or have really cheesy and awkward lyrics about Santa. Anyway... I do love the classics, though, like Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra.

I love the smell of crisp, winter air.
I love drinking hot chocolate and hot cider after a day spent out in the cold.
I love getting to spend the day snuggled up in bed at home on a snow day.
I love the hustle and bustle at the shopping malls.
I love watching The Nutcracker ballet and my favorite holiday movies.
I love all the generosity and hope that this time of year brings.
I love all the extra time you get to spend with family and friends, even if it means driving to four different houses for holiday parties all in one day.
I love watching the snow fall, creating a world of sparkly white.
And I love the crunching sound that happens when you set foot on freshly fallen snow.

We haven't had enough to actually stick to the ground just yet, but it's coming soon... I can feel it.

I can't wait. :)

Winter Poem
by Nikki Giovanni

 once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower 

Monday, October 24, 2011


I can't believe it's already October 24th! Next Monday is Halloween, and I have NO idea what I am going to be for the school parade! I need to come up with something good in like 6 days! I was Alice In Wonderland last year, and although I wore leggings with the dress to the Halloween parties I went to (I'm not that scandalous), I'm not sure that I'd wear it to school... haha. I'll probably go with a witch. Or maybe a cat? But I hate cats... I love dogs, but, unfortunately, it's not as easy, nor as cute, for an adult to dress like a dog. Lol. Any ideas??

Oh, by the way, I got a JOB!! I haven't written much of anything lately, so I guess I never made the update. It's not a full time classroom teaching job, but a teaching job nonetheless!! I'm a Title 1 Literacy and Math Instructor at an awesome elementary school. It's technically part time (Most days I don't go in until 11-11:30), so I'm still working 15ish hours a week at the office, but at least I get to teach every day! In my own classroom (which I share with the other Title 1 teacher... but, still, it's mine...)! At the same school! With the same kids! Every day! Or week, rather... I have 24 students in 8 different groups that I meet with 2-4 times a week, so I only see a few every day. Anyway, I love it! And it's a great learning experience. Planning is a bit difficult, but I'm still in the process of figuring out the best method, so I'm hoping it'll get easier.

One of the second grade teachers at school turned me on to this one particular teacher blog, and I've been blog stalking for the past week or two... I can't get enough! I've found several that are simply amazing and have great ideas (often free ones) to share! My faves are on the "Blogs I Fancy" list on the right of my page. I'm slightly inspired to start one of my own, but I don't think I'll be doing that just yet... though if I have something really cool to share I just might do that. 

On another note... J graduates the fire academy tomorrow! I don't remember if I mentioned it before either, but he joined the local fire department and started training around March/April. After a long and super hectic summer, and a lot of studying and training, he is now officially a nationally certified Medical First Responder and Firefighter! Wooo! Only problem: I cannot decide what to wear tomorrow! It's not particularly fancy or anything, but I want to look cute of course... these are the times when I miss my Roomies! I need Randee to pick out my clothes again...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kids are funny...

One of my favorite things about being a teacher has to be listening to the hilarious things that the students say. Here are some of the gems I've heard lately:

Boy - "Mrs. K, is your favorite singer Lil' Wayne?"

Me - "Thank you, Table 1, for following the directions so quickly."
Table 1 (in unison)- "Represent!!!"

Girl (from a class across the hall that I subbed for a week prior) to a friend who was about to enter the class I was subbing for that day) - "Oooh... you better watch out! Your guys' sub is sooo meeeaan!!

Librarian - "What is something you should always remember to bring to the library?"
Boy - "Your 6-inch voices?"

Girl to Boy - "He [referring to another student] totally just farted on your chair."

Boy - "Did you see how I just started belly dancing?"

Boy - "I regret what I did to my friend. I am so sorry. I promise I will never pants anyone ever again as long as I live!"

Boy - "Well, the idea I had for my story was a boy wants to be just like his dad, the king, who was also a knight. The only problem is that he doesn't have a leg so he can't really do anything very well... like jousting"
Me- "Oh... well... is there going to be an accident or something where he hurt his leg?"
Boy - "No, he was just born that way."

Boy - "I dedicate this book to my friends and family and Oprah and Lil Wayne."

While doing an activity about proper and common nouns:
Me - "Write 4 places you'd like to visit on the lines below..."
Boy - "Jersey Shore!"
Me - "List 4 people you admire..."
Boy - "Shakira!!"

During a presentation on substance abuse (smoking, drinking, inhalants - like sniffing glue - etc.) given by the police liaison:

Officer - "...So you just look for the words toxic or non-toxic on the container. If it says toxic the fumes are harmful to your health and can kill your brain cells. If it says non-toxic it isn't harmful."
Girl - "Ok. Well, what about my hand sanitizer?" (holds up a pocket-bac from Bath and Body Works)
Officer - "That's probably ok to smell a little bit, like when you put it on your hands, but you probably shouldn't be breathing it in right from the bottle all the time."
Girl - (eyes wide, looking very concerned) "Oh... Ok." 
Officer - "Any other questions?"
Boy - "What about scratch-and-sniff stickers?"

This one was an answer written by one of my students on his homework assignment in response to the following question: Why do we see different constellations in the night sky during the spring than we do in the fall?
"I.D.K. I forgot to bring home the science stuff."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Heart of Life

I've been listening to John Mayer's Continuum album a lot recently, and I must say that it is one of my all time favorites... I always come back to it, and I never get sick of it. If you haven't listened to it, I suggest you do. The two singles from the album aren't even the best songs on there... I love that. My personal favorites are "Bold As Love,"  "The Heart of Life," "Slow Dancing In A Burning Room," and "Dreaming With A Broken Heart." (Ok, ok... I know those last two titles sound a little depressing, but they are just so real, and the music and lyrics fit so perfectly together, that I can't help but love them...)

Anyway, this song really stuck to me while I was listening to it yesterday, and it just keeps popping into my head. And I always feel good when I hear it.

No matter how crappy your cards are, no matter how many lemons you've got and no matter the timing of it all, you can get through whatever mess is in your way. You might need some help dealing with it at times, but God will give that help to you-- that's what friends and family are for.

Life, at its core, is a gift. And it's good.


The Heart of Life by John Mayer

I hate to see you cry
Lying there in that position
There's things you need to hear
So turn off your tears and listen

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
Then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who's misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good

I know it's good...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowy Day!

So, I started my long-term sub job for Erika on Wednesday last week! And I've been teaching full-time for all of three days. There was no school on Friday or Monday (for records day and professional development). We had a full day of school this Tuesday, and now we're on our second snow day... which would be super awesome, except I haven't been back in the classroom long enough to really appreciate two whole days to catch up and relax. I haven't even started to feel overwhelmed yet! Don't get me wrong, I loved sleeping in past 5am these past two days (yeah, I have to leave between 6:15 and 6:30am to get to school when I want to--bleh!!), but now I'm bored...

Here's what I've been up to:
I've slept in, paid some bills, planned out the next reading unit, vacuumed the house, and washed and put away dishes. I've put away the laundry we did on Tuesday night, picked up around the house, wrote my name on and organized all of my [future] classroom books (yay!), watched Ellen and The Today Show, made a list of groceries to pick up when the roads are less treacherous, and now I'm on my 9th episode of Gilmore Girls (Season 4, Episode 21). Gah, I wish my hair could look as good as Lorelai's... if only I wasn't hair challenged or, even better, had a personal stylist.

Thank goodness I've got somewhere to be this evening...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Am I productive or what?!

My poor husband, J, had to get up early today so he could meet up with my dad and help move my uncle into his new place. And then he had to come home and shovel the driveway... (he secretly likes to do this because it's "a good work out" and he likes being outside--I think he's crazy). So, I decided there were a few things I needed to accomplish while he was out of the house...

Things [I was supposed] to do today:
  • wake up early, perhaps by 9am
  • wash dishes (it never ends!!!)
  • vacuum the living room entire house
  • clean the bathroom (i.e. sink, tub, counter top, toilet, and floor)
  • swiffer-mop the entryway
  • put away the pile of clothes on the chair in the bedroom -- Note: I read that it's better to have a chair (or something) to throw you clothes (and other random things) on so they don't end up on your bed. Apparently, doing so can wreak havoc on your marriage by making your bed stressful when your bed should be reserved for stress-less sleep and, well, you know... ;0)
  • sort through laundry in preparation for a romantic trip with the hubby to the laundry mat tomorrow afternoon (bow-chicka-wow-wow)
  • shower and get ready to go out for dinner

Here's what I've actually accomplished so far today:
  • wake up at 10:30am - check!
  • eat breakfast - check!
  • watch the last six episodes of Gilmore Girls season three - check!
  • drink coffee - check!
  • stalk some blogs - check!
  • eat lunch - check!
  • play on facebook - check!
  • clean the coffee pot (i.e. run vinegar and water through it and then run it again and again until the vinegar smell is out) - check!
  • start Gilmore Girls, Season 4 - check!
J got home not too long ago and is now shoveling the snowy driveway. I suppose I should get started on that to-do list... or at least the getting ready part. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Belated Resolutions and Other Things

So, you know how I said back in November that I was aiming to post about once a week? Let's forget I ever mentioned that. ;)

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I finally started substitute teaching a few months ago on the days I'm not working at my office job. I was nervous to go down to part time since guest teaching isn't exactly the most reliable job out there, but anyway, I did it and I'm glad. Mostly I've been subbing for elementary grades, but I have had a few middle school jobs, as well. Anyway, I love it (yes, even the middle school ones)! It's so nice that even though I haven't scored a real teaching job, I still get to do what I am passionate about, even if it's just a couple days a week. Not only is it fun, but it's so rewarding and each time I am reminded of the reason I love this profession. It's even worth it if I get stuck with one (or more) of those rude and uncooperative students that all guest teachers secretly fear meeting. I am super excited because Erika, the teacher I worked under while I was student teaching, is expecting her first baby at the end of February, and asked if I would be her long-term sub. It'll be a long drive, but the experience will totally be worth it. I can't wait!

Within the past couple weeks or so, J has gone on a major health kick... when I asked him what he wanted to have for dinner this afternoon, he said, "Something healthy and good." Haha! We ended up having salad, sweet potatoes (YUM!), and fish for dinner today. Anyway, this is sort of exciting because getting Justin to eat healthy foods used to be a bit of a challenge. I would literally have to trick or force him to eat veggies at dinner, unless they were covered in a cheese sauce of course. So, needless to say, I am pretty stoked about this... the past few months have not been kind to my figure, and I need to fit into a cute little bridesmaids dress by July, so I'm hoping this sticks.

I know I already did a New Years post, but I never actually made any resolutions... here are some of my goals for this year:

1. Be healthier... I'm going to concentrate on eating healthy and getting some sort of exercise somewhat regularly. I have a great yoga DVD and I just got Jillian's 30 day Shread so I would like to find time to implement those into my schedule at least a few times a week. Hopefully J doesn't mind me taking over the TV and livingroom.
2. Be more spiritually focused.
3. Re-organize my teacher things.
4. Be better at keeping up with housework. (I'm a major procrastinator when it comes to all things relating to cleaning... it doesn't help that J is also lazy and his way of helping is telling me not to worry about it right now and asking me to cuddle with him on the couch. Anyway, so I procrastinate until it grosses me out and I go on a cleaning-craze that takes hours and hours out of my busy schedule. Super fun!)
5. Blog more... I think I put too much pressure on myself to write something good or meaningful, so then I just don't do it at all. I'm resolving to write for me, not for anyone else. So, if you get bored with or are unimpressed with my blogging, feel free to navigate elsewhere. <3

Alright, I'm going to get ready for bed. :) 

Sweet dreams!