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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last day of August hey hey hey hey!

I am ecstatic about a new month. Fall means football, fairs, fashion changes, and all sorts of festivities. There's no denying that I love summer, but it's over and it's time to move forward. Know why else I love September? I will get paid for the first time in way too many weeks!!

Please note that I started this job on August 2nd...
Notice how I have to work almost two entire months without a paycheck? I basically feel like I have been working for free! Good thing I have my hardworking hubby to pay the bills. :) I can't wait to receive a paycheck of my own so I can feel like I am getting up at 6:20 every morning for a reason.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Color Me Crazy

Monday.

We had a wonderful time in San Antonio this weekend. I always love the river walk! We ate a lot of great food, walked the majority of it off, and I even got a little shopping in. But now the weekend is over and it's back to school. Still with 5th grade this week... still greatly anticipating my own students. Someday it will surely happen!

Today I'm having hair issues. Seems like I have those pretty often. Back in May I decided that I should dye my hair a little lighter than usual because it likes to lighten up during the summer and have a strange two-tone thing going on. I thought it was a genius idea and that I would finally have one shade all over for once. Nope. By June (before the wedding, mind you) I had enormous roots going on. The light color made my natural color look almost black. I let it slide because I hate dying my hair. I think hair cuts are extremely awkward because I don't like having to small-talk with the stylist, so in order to avoid adding an extra hour at the salon (and the extra $100), I usually just dye my hair myself. Unfortunately my hair has gotten so long that I have to use two boxes of dye now. ANYWAY, back to today's hair issues. Every time I have seen my hair in the mirror, the dark now 4-inch roots seem to be at battle with the hideous reddish-yellowish post summer ends. I can no longer ignore what is going on and today I will be going to buy new dye. So that I can dye it one shade darker and no one will even notice tomorrow. The joys of being a woman!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Weekend!

WEEKEND!! It's been a crazy first week and I am more than ready for a weekend. We are off to the marvelous San Antonio for some fun on the river walk. Doesn't get better than that! Have a great one.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sticky Keyboards, Mice, and Desks, Oh My!

What do you get when you cross a germaphobe with 60 children a day? A very large cleanup time. I have now had children in my room for three consecutive days. Paper on the floor. Eraser droppings. Sneezing. Coughing. I won't go on. I think adding 28 computers into the mix doesn't help anything.

This is sanitizer row. (Pardon the terrible pictures taken by my phone.)
Probably not nearly enough to do the trick, but I don't have a sink in my room. Everyone has to squirt before touching the computers and are SUPPOSED to do so again if they sneeze, go to the restroom, etcetera.

Once the last class leaves the room, I run over to my secret sanitizing stash. Don't mind my miniature pantry.
The first thing that I do is take a Clorox wipe (which, by the way, I do not know how I EVER lived without. I use these things on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.) and wipe off the handle to the door. After that I allow myself to clean off the desks, keyboards and mice on only one row of computers. I have to limit myself to one row per day because otherwise I would have no life. I figure if I clean each row every four days, things can't get completely terrible. I have to touch the darn things twice a day to power them on and off, so I definitely don't want to be any more grossed out than I already am. I also try to spray Lysol around the room a couple of times a day.

What will January and February be like? I can only imagine. I hope you don't think I'm crazy now, because this description is actually pretty minimal in the broad scheme of my germaphobeness.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1.5 > Me

Whew. Long day. Today was the first day that I have shared my classroom with children. Fifth graders all day and man are 5th graders big! I sure do miss tiny kindergarteners. Things went well... no one got in major trouble and all followed instructions pretty well. One thing I did learn is that I don't think I could ever teach 5th grade. My attention span is far too limited! These kids have to spend an hour and a half per day on each of three subjects. Now, when I think of time in terms of an hour and a half I think of the good 'ole college days when Tuesday/Thursday courses were an hour and a half long. Man oh man, how I preferred the MWF 50 minute classes.

Of course, I am only helping the 5th grade math teacher at the moment as her classes borrow my computers. Maybe time will go by more quickly when I start teaching. Luckily, my own classes will only be a mere 45 minutes. Which will TOTALLY go fast, right? Even though I will be doing the same thing 7 times a day? (Is it obvious that I have spent too much time in classrooms full of 6 year olds where we got to change subjects every 10 minutes?) Ethan always accuses me of having absolutely no patience. I would agree. But... I can hope that once everything gets started I will get accumulated to repeating the same thing over and over and I won't actually feel like a middle school teacher. Lord help middle school teachers, am I right?

Sit me in a classroom for too long and I'll start daydreaming about pretty fonts that I want to use on my blog,*


cute fabric that I wish I knew where to find so I could make cute projects now that I am actually beginning to have a structured life again,*

whether or not I will find any cute "professional" clothes in San Antonio this weekend,*

and the cupcakes that I made last Sunday.*




*All things that I did NOT think about during school today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Silver Fox

Thank goodness for conference hours! Maybe I will actually get to blog again once in a while. Yes, I technically could  blog at home. But let's face it, I'm not very good at that.
Yesterday was a good last day of summer. I accomplished some things around the house, laid out in the back yard in the 101 degree heat without a pool - ugh, made cupcakes!, and then Ethan and I went to get snow cones. I hadn't had a snow cone all summer, so I thought it would be fit to have one on the last day of summer.
I had silver fox. It was yummy for sure.

The first day of school was pretty quiet. I don't start having students until tomorrow and those will be 5th graders. They will be coming to my room for the next couple of weeks because the laptops for their math class have not arrived yet. I will not be able to start teaching the 2nd-4th graders until the laptops for the 5th graders arrive. It's a little frustrating because I am really ready to meet my kids... but at least the 5th grade math teacher and I are going to get to work together for a few days. We actually grew up taking ballet together so it has been nice knowing someone here! We should get a lot of the kinks worked out by the time we start teaching our classes separately. Now, back to lesson planning.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello Children

I will miss summer. Of course, nothing will be very different minus the fact that kids will be back in school. I've already been working for the past three weeks. But still... I have always measured "summer" by the days that public school is not in session. Even when I worked a job that didn't celebrate summers. I'm getting a little bit nervous but mostly I'm just happy that I finally finished my classroom! I've worked straight through the weekends since I got my keys two weeks ago. Now I look around and I'm really not sure what took me so long!

I will be teaching a course called Reasoning Mind to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders. It's a math program that our new superintendent brought to the district this year. The students will be in my room three times a week for 45 minutes. That means I have ELEVEN different sections of kids. I have no idea how I'm ever going to remember that many names! I went to a week-long training course for Reasoning Mind and was able to learn a lot about the program. It is computer-based and tailors to every child's specific needs. It has been implemented in Dallas ISD and Houston ISD and has raised students' knowledge of math and improved their interest in the subject. I am really excited about what it will do for our students! It feels a little weird to be utilizing computers in math class, but I'm guessing this is how school will be all the time in a few years.
I spent hours making these horses because I couldn't find pre-made ones ANYWHERE (not even online!). I already had my mind set on a horse race, so the only option left was to make them myself. The horses will be racing across the room as the year goes on to show classes their progress in the program.
Crossing my fingers that it will be a great first year!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

All Things New

Apparently it is really hard to keep up with my blog when I am not working a job that allows me to sit in front of a computer all day long. Or maybe I'm just extra busy... I'm really not sure which. Either way, in the past 6 weeks I have gotten a new husband, moved to a new home in a new town, and finally gotten a new job! Sometimes I think about all of that and am in awe of how many things have changed. I am definitely loving where life is going, although it has been a little weird to live in Abilene again. Sometimes I feel like things are pretty much the same as they were in Lubbock... just a different city. Which is good. One thing I do fear is football season. I have a feeling it's going to be pretty tough to be in Abilene and not at a college football game. Ethan and I really need to make some friends here so hopefully we will get to work on that asap.

I finally got a teaching job!!! This was the third summer in a row that I spent applying for teaching jobs. I had almost decided that it was a lost cause. But then one day a couple of weeks ago I got a call from a principal, had an interview the very next day and found out later that day that I was going to be hired for the position. I will be teaching third and fourth grade math! The school that I will be teaching at is the school in our neighborhood so that's an extra plus! It worked out perfectly. I have started decorating my classroom but still have a long way to go. School starts in just a little over a week so I am going to have to step my game up. I start new teacher orientation tomorrow. Goodbye mini-summer vacay!

Also in the meantime we have been trying to continue to fix up our house. We have just been so busy that it has been a veryyy slow process. I think I am procrastinating unpacking all of the boxes because I'm not ready to continue with the painting.

Here are before/afters of a couple of the rooms. Please excuse the random boxes!

The kitchen was my number one issue with the house. Don't get me wrong, I love me some red and black, but this was overboard to say the least. I thought we were NEVER going to get all of the red covered up.
Scary, right? Here it is now:
Dining room before:
Dining room after:
Living room before:
Living room after:
Everything is coming together much better than I originally expected. We still have a long road ahead, but it will be 100% worth it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Living Amidst the Chaos

Wow. The past couple of weeks have REALLY been a whirlwind! We made several trips between Abilene and Lubbock to move all of our stuff and paint and do some remodeling to our house. I never realized what I was getting myself into when I said that I wanted to paint everything before we moved in. NOT as easy as it sounds, let me tell you. We painted six rooms in a week and are still lacking the bathrooms. We also painted all of the doors and are in the process of painting the door frames and the trim. Last week we got all new floors so this place has really made a transition! I still have several blinds to hang, and a LOT of unpacking and touching up to do. I am so excited to see what everything looks like when this place is finally complete!

70% of our earthly belongings hung out in the garage for a few days. We couldn't decide if it was sad that everything we own fit into a garage, or if it was sad that we had enough stuff to fill up a whole garage after being on our own for only a few years.
We finally got the garage clear on Friday. Now, we live amongst rooms such as this one...
and this one... (which is probably the closest to a complete room that we have right now. yikes.)
Here's to another fun-filled week of organizing!