Friday, May 30, 2008

Whew, well thats over

It was a long day, with super excited children, both here at home and at school.

I had 4 moms come to help with the party today, all of which are the disgruntled moms. LOL

That being said however, they all made a point to tell me what a great job they thought I had done, and how much they and their children enjoyed having me.

I was asked by every one of them if I was going to be back teaching at the school next year. I put on a happy face and told them honestly no, and that I would be out in the toolies.

They were all insulted for me that I didn't get the position for the fall. They all said that I had earned the position, and that they thought that the prinicpal made a huge mistake by not hiring me.

Then in the next breath, they said, that I should be glad that I didn't get the position because they couldn't see how anyone would want to continue to teach at the school, with all of the BS that has happened. LOL

I know that the one family is moving with the Air Force over the summer.

2 families are considering home schooling for next year.

2 other families are considering the Catholic school here close by (and "not because they are Catholic")

And a further 3 parents have said that their leases are up over the summer, and they are considering or already are looking else where to live, because they do not want their children to continue at this school, because of all of the problems this year.

I was also told that each of them have neighbors and friends that have had issues with the principal and things that happened this school year that none of them are happy about.

"The principal caters to the Title 1 kids, like they are the only students in the school, and she lets them walk all over her. She needs to grow a back bone, and teach those kids that they have to be responsible for their own actions, not teach them that because they come from that neighborhood, or background that they can get away with what ever they want." Direct quote from a mom who is very active in the school, and happens to be an aunt to some of them that she was refering to.

I recieved a lot of hugs, and hand written notes from the kids.

I also recieved a gift card from one of my most challenging kids and his mom, thanking me for taking the time to care, when I walked in with 6 weeks left.

I also found out today from the other long term sub that the principal really did lie when she called me to come in and finish out the year. When she said that it was an audition, and to get me used to the school for the fall.

The other long term sub talked to the teacher coming in to the position last night after the faculty meeting. She asked her how long she had known that she had the job.

2 1/2 months!

Which is before I got the phone call to come in and finish out the year.

I was livid when I heard that, but not all together suprised.

What amazes me, is that the principal stood there this morning and smiled and said hello.

She also came in during the morning to point out all of the crap that the new teacher brought down with her from Atlanta and already deposited into the room, for the kids to try and get into, that I had to keep telling them to stay out of.

Then she came in during the party, and started having a wonderful conversation with a bunch of women that wanted nothing to do with her. You know she had to feel uncomfortable, because honestly all of the moms ignored her. She kept trying to have a conversation with them, and they would answer her question, and then turn back to whomever they were talking with previously.

I was asked by the one custodian if I would be there on Monday, and I laughed at her. I don't get paid for Monday, so heck no!

When I told the other third grade teacher good bye this afternoon, she mentioned something about Monday as well. I told her that I was not going to volunteer 8 hours of my life for nothing, not after everything that I had learned in the last 24 hours. She looked at me kind of strange, and then she figured it out.

I told Jerry that I had given a lot of hours that were unpaid to the school in the last 6 weeks, thinking that I had a chance at a position, only to find out that when I was called to come and finish out the year, the position had already been offered. If I would have been given the position, I would have gone in on both Monday and Tuesday, plus the grade level Title 1 day, and I would have done a lot.

But I am not going to go in Monday, voluntarily, after the way I was treated.

I did a lot this week to get the room ready for the new teacher. I cleaned out file cabinets, I organized the library (which was all over the floor yesterday when they brought her down to see her new room), I organized everything there was to be organized.

But I am the first to admit that I did not do everything to get everything that is supposed to be done for the summer done. They didn't ask me too, and I didn't volunteer to do more than what I had done. I am sure I will end up with a phone call some time in the next week or two looking for something, but a lot of the things on the end of the year check list I never had to begin with (grade book, lesson plan book (she already has copies of all of my lesson plans), text book inventory).

I have to say though that I was thanked more by faculty and staff members today for everything that I did, than I expected. They saw that I tried, they saw that I gave 110% and I was told over and over again today how much they appreciated it, and what a great turn around they had seen in the kids.

The only people that didn't see it, and didn't recognize it, were unfortunately the ones that mattered, they didn't even acknowledge everything that I did, or tried to do over the last 6 weeks.

And that hurts more than I can even put into words.

Trying not to be upset

I am trying not to be upset, and I am trying to tell myself that I knew that this principal was a flake, but I am upset.

You see when I was asked to finish out the year in this class I was led to believe that I had a chance to get the spot for next year.

Then the principal never mentioned it again. I mentioned it once in passing, and she said that she was considering it.

But then she never ever gave me any feed back about what she saw the times she came into my classroom. NOT ONE TIME did she say, I don't like this, I think that this would have been done better this way, none of that, none of the GOOD principal things to do, especially if you are really considering a teacher.

To top it off never once did she have the courtesy to say to me, Mrs. C, I have decied that I am no longer going to consider you for the position for the fall. She interviewed people for the position, and didn't even ask the grade level members to sit in on the interview. So the grade level chair who knew how badly I wanted the position couldn't even say anything to me (which I know is not her position to do so, but she would have.)

I believe that she lied to me when she asked me to come in and finish out the year, and I think that she had this person in mind the entire time. The person that she introduced today is from Atlanta and has a job this year up there, so she couldn't take over the class. So the principal I believe lied to me when she said that she wanted me in place for the fall. Especially since when she introduced the new teachers for the fall, she made a BIG HUGE DEAL out of the fact that the new teacher was the LAST interview that they did, and how WONDERFUL her recommendations were, and how WONDERFUL her telephone interview was.

It was all I could do in the faculty meeting to keep from crying. The other long term sub, the other third grade teacher, and all of the specials teachers were sitting with me, and they all looked at me in shock, because none of them knew that I didn't get offered the position. The specials teachers all said that they thought it was a given, because I had worked so hard with those kids, and had walked into an impossible situtation and had made such a positive impact in the short time I was there.

When the faculty had to share challenges and rewards that they had faced this year, the grade level chair made a big production out of thanking both of us that are doing long term subbing positions. Everyone clapped and agreed, but the principal had a look on her face like what ever.

I hate to tell her this, she has 15 sets of parents who do not approve of many of the choices she made this year, as far as this class goes. I have had so many compliments about what a good job the parents think I have been doing, and only one complaint (and that was made to me, and it wasn't even really about me, it was about the changes in teaching style from the first teacher, to the second, to me).

I know that everything happens for a reason, and there is a reason why I did not get the job. It just is hard to see what it could possibly be, especially with our finances the way they are.

I know that going out and teaching where I will be teaching will be a good thing.

I know that I have a job for the fall.

I know that I will be the best third grade teacher that this state has ever seen, because I am going to put my heart into it.

I told Jerry tonight as we came home that I was going to prove this prinicpal wrong, and I was going to be THE third grade teacher to beat in Georgia as far as test scores go, because I am going to work my ass off.

I just wish that I didn't feel like I was a worthless lump that was tricked into doing this thankless job for the last 5 weeks. I am the first one to admit I probably would have taken the long term job even if I had known there was no chance in H&ll that I was going to get the job, but being tricked into it makes it that much worse.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen~ Dream Summer Edition

Thirteen Things That would make this a dream summer!

Today in writing I challenged my students to write about their Dream Summer's. What would make this summer the perfect summer.

I did a word web with them to get them started off, and realized that as I did so it would make a pretty good Thursday 13.

1. Visiting Matt and Angela in California.
a. Angela's baby shower
b. Meeting the new baby
c. Disneyland with the kids again
d. Taking the kids to watch Matt and Greg Surf, and perhaps even letting them try (DJ wants to go, and he is only 3! But he saw a TV show the other week with Surfing on it, and when we said Matt does that, he started saying he wants to surf like Uncle Matt.)
e. Seeing an old friend that I have not seen since high school who lives there.

2. Visiting Arizona with the kids
a. Visiting my parents
b. Visiting old friends
c. Take the kids to the Grand Canyon, Prescott, Flagstaff, Slide Rock

3. Visiting Iowa
a. Visiting my grandparents
b. Visiting relatives
c. Taking the kids fishing
d. Visiting the Field of Dreams
4. Visiting Friends, we have friends all over the world and it would be great to go and visit any of them.

5. Baseball games (I am hoping to get to take the kids to see the Braves, but with money being so tight, I don't see that happening)

6. Go to the beach

7. Visit Atlanta (see baseball games)

8. Sleeping, probably wont happen as much as I want it to!

9. Swimming, with my three fishes I see this one happening a lot!

10. Walking the dogs, its how I plan on keeping up with my walking!

11. Visiting Museums, there are several in Macon that I would like to go to, plus more in Atlanta, Savannah, Athens, and Columbus.

12. Hiking, I want to try and take the kids to Stone Mountain and other places to hike.

13. Reading Fearless Fourteen comes out in 18 days!!

Come Back next week and check out my 13 + more books that I would love to have for my classroom library!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The students are just as ready for the school year to be over as I am. Today was a wild ride!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I think I have a fish on my hands

DJ has fallen in love with the swimming pool.

If we would take him he would go and stay there from the minute we get home in the afternoon until the pool closes at night.

Yesterday the girls took him up there for a while, then I stopped by. I think he spent 3 hours in the pool yesterday, and wanted to go back last night. Then today Kelsey took him back for over an hour.


If you had decided not to finish out the school year with a class, would you...

Show up on the last week of school to get lesson plans that you have had 4 weeks before and after school to get?

Interrupt learning, when it is less than 30 minutes until lunch?

Make inappropriate comments to the students about their state testing scores, that oh by the way you shouldn't have even been allowed to see?

Make comments on behavior of students that you don't know about?

Disrupt learning further by asking the entire class for a hug?

AHHHHH So frustrating!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Slim Down Summer Check in Friday

Christie is still sponsoring the Slim Down Summer over at
Total steps walked at work this week, 50,000.
Total swims: 2
"Unhealthy" Meal Choices: 2 (McDonalds)
Jeans sizes lost: 2 (Happy Dance)
Pairs of shorts that I can not wear to work any more because they are too baggy: 2 (almost 3)

Number of pounds lost, not a clue! LOL

The Win A Wii with 5 Minutes for Mom Nestle contest

Those wonderful gals over at 5 Minutes for Mom are on a contest streak once again. This time the challenge they want us to show "The Kid in Me!"

So I thought about it for a few minutes and realized that the pictures my students took last week at field day of good ole Mrs. C getting in the action were perfect!
So without further ado:




Now I say to you my readers and friends, why don't you head over to 5 minutes for Mom and enter? While you are there, check out the entire site. :)

If you decide to enter, let me know so I can check out your entries too! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Uncle Bobby's stone

My Aunt Donna and Grandma went to the cemetery today and took pictures of my Uncle Bobby's headstone.

It is so pretty it brought tears to my eyes to see the pictures.



If you look really closely at the picture of the farm on the back you can see my Uncle Bobby walking between the buildings on his farm (its an picture they had taken from the air of his farm.)

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things That are stressing me out

1. My computer. Tuesday night when I was teaching the battery gave out, and would not take a charge. We took the battery out and ran it just off the power cord. Then last night it just stopped working all together. Needless to say posts may start to be few and far between until we can get it fixed. Jerry is supposed to take it to the computer repair shop to see if they can fix it today, but who knows how long that will take.

2. The house in Florida. We are just loosing money hand over fist with it, and I am not sure what steps to take next. The mortgage company's only suggestion was to list it on the market, and take a loss, which we have done (FSBO), but we haven't even had any nibbles on it, let alone shown it.

3. The Prius, we turned it in to the financial people last night. We can't afford to make the payments until I have a full time job in the fall. I tried talking to them to make arrangements for the payments, refiancing it or something, and they wont work with us. Even though until January of this year we had made all of our payments on time, and above the minimum payment.

4. Only having one vehicle. Right now it will not be a big deal, since it is 3/4 a mile to the school I am subbing at, so I walk every day (well until now almost every day, from here on out every day). But next year, unless a miracle happens and I get a teaching job here in the county, I will be working 25 miles from the house, not something I can walk to. Plus I am not sure how we will work out this summer, its a little far to walk the 10 miles one way up there.

5. July and August. Our source of income is about to drop a bunch with the school year coming to a close. My last subbing paycheck will come on the last day of June, then we will have 2 months where I will not have any income from subbing at all. Not having that money in January and February is what got us in such bad shape finiacially, July and August might just put us over the edge.

6. Kelsey's grades. In the last month her grades have started to drop. I think it is due to her not having to have them up for Drama any longer. I can't seem to explain to her that she wont be allowed to participate in the fall if her end of the year grades are low.

7. Pre-K for DJ. He has been accepted into the program here at the neighborhood school, but if I am teaching 25 miles away, leaving the house at 630 and getting home at 430 we either have to put him in day care, or have him go to the school where I will be teaching.

8. The fact that there are 4 open positions here at the school I am subbing at, and some how all of the parent complaints about all of the changes in teachers in this classroom has become my fault, so I am not even in the consideration for the positions. This would be the perfect school for me to teach at, DJ is already in the pre-k here, I know the staff, and I know what will be expected out of me next year as far as lessons, and behavior management go. Plus I could walk to and from here every day, save the enviroment, save on expenses, and get in shape. But its not going to happen, so I know that I need to just let it go, but its hard and it hurts because I don't think that the principal has seen the good that I have been trying to do, or the good that the parents have said that I have done, she just sees and hears the bad or wrong.

9. Lowes. I am not eligible for a raise until September, and am barely making enough money there even if I do get 40 hours a week to pay for day care for DJ (even though I think that we are going to pay Kelsey to watch him). With only one car, I am not sure how I am going to get there and get home every day. Techinically I suppose Jerry could walk to work on base, but its a bit of drive for him even, plus not the safest route dealing with the traffic, nor his recent health issues.

10. Tutoring online. I love it, but last night for example I had 2 students who spoke no english, in the same session. Plus the computer problems. I am supposed to have my formal evaluation so that I can get my year raise (that was due last October) either this week or next, but with the computer problems who knows.

11. Jerry's health issues. They still do not have concrete answers for us, and he is still having issues with vomiting up blood.

12. My job for the fall. There are several workshops that are being offered for teachers at the air museum that I would love to attend, but I can not afford to pay for them out of pocket. Plus I am nervous and stressed about the drive every day, and how the kids are going to do with that kind of time away from home after two years of my being home or close to home again.

13. What is going to happen to my students over the summer. I know that the majority of them will be fine, but there are a couple that the future looks scary for. It worries me, even though I have only been with them for 4 weeks, they are MY students, and I worry about them.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My first injured student :(

I can hardly believe it.

I have taught for basically 12 years, and I have managed to go this long without having a student injured or hurt on my "time", and today I blew it.

We have been working on this poetry unit for the entire time that I have been in the class.

Today the kids were asking if they could cut out the poems that I had printed early on and tape them into their reading response journals.

I told them they could, because they were so excited to have them.

Sounds innocent enough right?


All of the scissors are kept on the teachers desk, so the kids were getting them and using them.

I remember one of the students saying that we were out, and grabing the "adult" scissors, but I told them not to move from my side if they were going to use them.

And I saw her put them back on the desk.

A bit later one of the girls came up to me and said that the one boy had accidently cut her with the scissors. She showed me her hand and it looked like a paper cut, until I went to wash it out.

It was a fairly deep cut. Its a good thing that the sight of blood doesn't make me sick.

I put gauze on it and we all went up to the office (it was lunch time any way.)

When her mom showed up was when I discovered that they were using the adult scissors, and one of them slipped (she was holding the tape that she cut too long to start with, for him to cut into smaller pieces.)

I feel horrible!

It probably required her to get stiches, which makes me feel even worse.

I know it was an accident, and I tried to explain that to her mom, by the time they left I think she understood. But still.

I am almost too scared to do the food pyramid activity that we have planned for tomorrow afternoon. I know one thing the adult scissors are locked up tight!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Well they got a kick out of it

I showed the kids all of the pictures that they took on Friday.

Oh boy was it a hit!

They loved watching the slide show that you can do on Kodak Gallery. I heard lots of "hey thats me!" and "I took that picture!"

I also had a parent conference today, where I got to hear more of the things that have gone wrong this school year, and how awful all of the parents think it is.

I just keep reminding myself that they are not talking about me, that they are made at all of the changes.

But its hard.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Field Day through a third graders eyes... ETA pictures

I took my camera with me on Friday to field day.

I was brave and I let some of the kids take pictures, and it made me laugh tonight when I was going through the pictures.

Some of the things that they took pictures of were absolutely fall over laughing funny!

And then some of them, I was wondering who took the picture, and why we had grass, and sky pictures... ;)

But as Jerry said you never know what sparked their interest when they took the picture.

I will try and share some of the ones that don't have faces that you can make out (have to protect the kids). :)

There are a couple of the teachers/staff vs. the kids tug of war matches that I let the kids use the camera, that I can probably share, without too much fuss. As soon as the 300+ picture are done uploading to the kodak site, I will use photobucket. :) Can't run both uploads at once.

Ok here are a couple of the pictures from Friday. I used photobuckets new editing feature to blur the faces other than my own. ;) I think the kids took most of these:

Teachers vs 5th grade tug of war

One of the boys and I (I promise he doesn't look like this, and he is smiling!)

Frogger race


Me at noon, hot tired, and ready to be done:

5 things meme

I was tagged by Be this Way to do this Meme:

Five things found in your bag:

1. Lesson Plans (ok so my bag right now happens to be a back pack)
2. My #8 phone case, which is too big for my phone so I use it as a wallet.
3. Health Book Teachers edition
4. Keys, and school ID
5. Harcort Math Book teachers edition

Five favorite things found in your room:

1. My grandmother’s antique dressing table, and dresser, the bed is in Natalie's room.
2. Family pictures
3. My quilt that my grandma made me.
4. My bed (ok so I love my sleep, especially lately)
5. Books, lots and lots of books.

Five things you have always wanted to do:

1. Hike the Grand Canyon, all the way down.
2. Go to New York City
3. Go to Moscow.
4. Meet the President, and get to actually spend time with them.
5. Meet the head of the Department of Education

Five things you are currently into:

1. Third Grade curriculum for the state of Georgia
2. Working
3. Uno, with the kids
4. Blogging.
5. Fuzzy socks.

Five people you’d like to tag:
Um I think most of the people that I would tag for this have already done this one. So if you haven't go ahead and do it, and then let me know you did! ;)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel?

Isn't the sunshine....

Its a train....

Nuff said about the last 24 hours.

Right now I am trying to figure out how to keep our heads above water for the next 3 months until school starts for the fall and I get paid.

It doesn't look good. We are at our eyebrows right now. I wanna cry.

If we could sell the house or even rent it out at the $2000 a month that our mortgage is, rather than paying $700 a month out of pocket, we might be a step ahead, but we aren't.

4 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 story,home for sale in Crestview Florida.

3 bedrooms, bathroom and loft upstairs, master bedroom/bath, living room, kitchen and dining room downstairs.

Home sits on a large corner lot with privacy fence surrounding the back yard. Very quiet neighborhood, with all culdasacks, limited amounts of traffic.

Less than a 5-10 minute walk to the new elementary school and middle schools that are being built (construction to be complete in 2009). North Okaloosa Hospital, and soccer fields are 3/4 mile from home.

This home is convenient to Eglin, and Hurlburt Air Force Bases, NAS Whiting Field, less than 25 minutes to the white sand beaches of Destin.

Seller will give buyer $6,000 towards redecoration, or closing costs on a full offer of asking price.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some days I just have to remind myself

About what all these kids have been through this year.

I am the third teacher they have had since August, not to mention any number of other substitutes that they had when one of the first two teachers had a sick day.

This week is one of those, where I felt every single adjustment, every single change that these poor kids have had to deal with.

I at the request of the principal, have been making parent communication a priority. I write at least a :) :l or :( in the agendas every afternoon. If I send home a :( there is always a comment about what happened, and in those cases for the most part I try to call the parents the next day to touch base.

Tuesday morning, there was the bathroom incident. One of the boys was flicking water off his hands, and hit another boy. This led to a kicking match in the restroom, and the rest of the boys to come running out telling on them. Which in turn led to referrals, notes home, phone calls and ISS on Wednesday for both of them.

Wednesday, all day, S, one of my boys, had a really hard day. Every time I turned around it seemed like he had a smart aleck comment to make, or had to talk about about almost everything. I have talked with his mom a couple of times since I started in the class, plus have met with the other adult staying with them. I know that his mom wants to know if he is struggling. I wrote a note in his agenda about his day, but he didn't take his agenda home. Plus when he got home, all he did was complain that I made him miss his entire recess (not true, but what ever). When his mom didn't see his agenda she came up to the school to get it, knowing that it probably meant that he had, had a hard time. No one in the school told me about this, I found out about it when she stopped by the classroom Thursday.

Thursday morning during writers workshop, one of the students noticed that S's mom was standing just outside the door, watching the class. I went to go talk to her, and she expressed that she was just watching S. (Mrs. S was teaching the writer's workshop again today, and I was observing, more on that here) After the lesson was done S's mom asked if she could talk to S, then asked to talk to me. She witnessed him goofing off, rolling his eyes, and just generally not doing what he was supposed to do. Then has asked if she can come and sit with him one day next week , and we are going to have a conference on Monday.

Wednesday afternoon, I had the students clean out their desks. I cleaned out the desks of two of my students who are not in the room at the time that we did it. The one little girl had a poem that she had written, that broke my heart. Just put it this way, it worried me enough that I kept it, and took it to her other teachers on Thursday morning (I would have taken it on Wednesday, but never had a chance to get away from my class). Then I spent the rest of the day Thursday reassuring her that she wasn't in trouble for what the poem said, and that if she needed anything she was to tell Mrs. S, Mrs. L, Mrs. T, Mrs. K, Mrs. C or myself (after she had talked to the counselor about the poem, and come back in the room crying).

Also this week we have the book fair going on. One of the boys (one of the two from Tuesday) brought money so he could get a tornado tube. He was $0.50 short so I pulled the $0.50 out of my bag, grabbed his money and ran up to the library to get it for him, when I was taking the poem to the other teacher. The other boy from Tuesday saw this and was upset because I wouldn't give him the money to buy a PSP game that they had for sale. I explained to him that I am not made of money, but $0.50 wasn't going to break me.

Then a while later our head custodian (who's son happens to be in my class), came up and told me that Mrs. M (the former long term sub) had given the librarian $15.00 for the kids to spend $1 each at the book fair. So I sent the students up one at a time to purchase their $1 item. When I went to send the second student (the one that wanted the PSP game)I gave him $0.50 so that it would be fair, went up and "COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING I WANT!!!!" (both of the boys are from lower income neighborhoods) . Then came back and POUTED for the next hour or so. His only saving grace was that he started doing the math in his head, that he could get a poster, if he could find another dollar at home. The wheels were turning, and it was neat to watch the process.

"If you will still loan me $0.50, and I still have the $1 from Mrs. M in the account, all I will need to do is find 4 quarters, or 10 dimes, or 20 nickels and I will have enough money to get a poster."

Yeah, I gave him $1.50, I am a sucker...

Then there was the fact that I wrote a note home asking that he finish his math homework. He was having a rough time. I still can't figure out what the deal was over the math homework. But he was so upset about it he was crying. I actually asked the principal to check in on him Friday morning at breakfast, because like I told her, it had to be something more than just the fact that he had homework.

Thursday I also had one little girl who I think took money out of one of the other student's bags. I think she put it back, and I couldn't prove it if I had to, but she was the one back there right before it was noticed as missing. And she was the one back there right before it was found.

Plus I have gotten more, Mrs. M never had us do it that way. Or Mrs. G did it this way. This week than I have the last two weeks.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Can I just say the power of prayer and positive thoughts is pretty darn awesome?

Confessions Of A CF Husband: WE'RE HOME!!!

I have followed this little girl's journey, since the start, and have blogged a lot about them, as seen here here, here, here here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here
here, here, here, here, here, and well thats just the first month that I was following there story. (trust me if you click on the Confessions of a CF Husband, 65 Roses 4 Patty Sue, in my labels you will see many more).

I think that I can safely say that their journey for the last 18 weeks, has inspired me. I check Nathan's blog at least once a day, and I have it in my reader so that I know when something new is posted.

I will continue to pray for this family, for Gwyneth's continued good health, and for Tricia to continue to do well with her new lungs.

13 games to play at field day!

Thirteen Games to play at Field Day!

Our field day is tomorrow, so here are 13 games that elementary students can do for field day!

1. Tug of War. We are having 5 boys and 5 girls on each team, which for my class only leaves 5 students out of the mix.

2. Sponge relay. Take a huge sponge dunk it in a bucket of water. Then hand it over your head to the next person, that person goes under their legs, to the next person who goes over their head to the last person in line, who in turn runs back to the front of the line, and starts the process over.

3. Shoe Tie relay. All students take off their shoes and go sit down at the start line. They have to run one at a time to their shoes, put them on, tie them, and run back to tag the next person in line.

4. Hula Hut Relay. They make huts out of 6 hula hoops, then they all have to crawl through the hut, without knocking the hut down. I am not sure how this one works, as I have never seen it, but the kids know how to do it.

5. 50 yard dash, I think this one is self explanatory.

6. Chopsticks, I "think" this is how its played, it sounds right, but again I haven't seen this school do it. Each child will need a pair of chopsticks, and each child or team will need two bowls and a number of marbles, maltesers, smartees, peanuts or marshmallows.

Place the bowls about 6-8 feet apart, on tables or chairs. Put the objects in one of the bowls. When you call "start", each child must pick up one of his objects, using only his chopsticks, and carry it to the empty bowl. He then returns for the next object, and so on until he has moved all his objects safely across and is the winner.

Hands must not be used at any time! If an object is dropped, it must be picked up and put back in the first bowl. You are only allowed to move one object at a time.

You can make this game easier by varying the objects. Marbles are hardest, marshmallows are easiest!

If you are playing with individual children, we suggest at least 10 objects to make the game last a decent time. For a team challenge, you might want only 3 or 4 objects, depending on the number of children in the team.

7. Icebreakers, take off your shoes for this one, you use your toes to grab marbles out of a bucket of ice water!

8. Potato sack races. teams of 5.

9. Ball relay Each player will get a scoop. The object is to pass the ball relay style from scoop to scoop down to the end line and back. They may throw or pass the ball from scoop to scoop. All players must have a turn. The players may not touch the ball.

10. Egg and spoon race Hand on the spoon must be behind the line, students place the egg on the spoon (it is easier if the egg is lying down); the other hand is behind their back. If the egg falls off the spoon, students will retrieve the egg after marking their place with the spoon, and return to where they were when it fell. (Judges watch that they are not walking and holding the egg on the spoon). They pass the egg and spoon to the next player

11. Frogger– Each team gets three hula hoops. One student is the frog; the other three must get the frog down the lane and back by placing “lily pads” (hoops) for them to travel on. If a frog steps out of the hoop, they must begin again from the line they are moving away from.

12. Balloon Shaving-students must "shave" a balloon without popping it.

13. Water Balloon relays.

Now just to hope that the rain that they are predicting for Friday stays away until after Noon!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PTO Meeting/Chorus Concert

Tonight the school I am subbing at had its last PTO meeting of the year, which also had a chorus and Prek-1st graders concert.

Three of the students in the class I am in are in the choir, so they asked me if I would come.

Since our internet has been acting a fool since the storms, and was not up and running so that I could teach on line. So I went up and watched them.

They did a good job. I am very proud of them. I told two of them that tonight, the third got out with out me seeing him, so I am going to have to tell him tomorrow.

Now I am sleepy and going to bed.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Urgent prayer/positive thought request

Please join me in positive thoughts and prayers for baby Jacob. He has T-18 and has been through a lot in the 120 days that he has had on this earth. Please pray for him and his family.

Monday blues...

Happy Monday!

It has been a long day.

I am tired and kinda grumpy.

Last week I volunteered to give the county reading assessment, because it needs to be done by this week. All I need is someone to show me the "proper" way to give it. Meaning the way that they want it done here in the county. The assessment is similar to the other reading assessments that I have given, but every place wants their own "stamp" of approval to it.

The principal decided that the literacy coach should give it. OK thats fine, less stress for me.

Today I saw the literacy coach who asked me how things were going (she came in and did the first two days of writing for me), and I asked her if they had talked to her about doing the assessment. Which of course no one had, and the assessments are due to the county on Thursday. So she went and checked with the API about it, then asked me if I had a time that was better for her to pull the kids out. Since we only have 3 days, I told her to get them whenever was good for her.

Then this afternoon when we went to the computer lab (which is where the literacy coach's office is), she told me that the principal wants her to run my writing workshops this week.

Which confuses me.

I know that the only lesson the principal has watched has been a writing lesson, and that I didn't go by the script, but one would have thought that she would have given me feed back, if she didn't approve of the way I did the lesson. But she has never said 3 words about it.

I don't know if I should be insulted or not, but I am thinking yes.

I am trying to be a duck, and let it all roll off my back, but its hard.

Jerry's mom was still in town today. She took us out to dinner at Logan's, which we had heard good things about. Except we had the waitress that can not multi-task (we had to ask for peanuts, bread, refills on tea, and it took her 15 minutes to bring us a to go box and to collect the credit card that C wanted to use to pay), and they were out of a lot of the menu items (baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, to name a few).

After dinner we said our goodbyes, as she has to get back to Mississippi tomorrow so she can go to work on Wednesday, she will leave here first thing in the morning. She retires from La-z-boy at the end of the month.

A couple of pictures from tonight:



Sunday, May 11, 2008


Can someone explain to me why my MIL felt the need to drive over here today?

A 6 hour drive

Without telling us ahead of time? Well I shouldn't say without any warning, she hinted at it yesterday to Jerry and he told her that it wasn't a good weekend, since I had to work, and they had plans today (shopping mostly, but were not at home).

Our phone has been out since the storms, and about an hour ago I noticed I had an email from my mom, titled Jerry's mom, in which my mom told me that Carolyn had been trying to get a hold of us and to call her cell phone because she was in Warner Robins.

Luckily for me she is staying up in town at a hotel.

So I don't have to rush around trying to clean DJ's room, or our room for her to sleep in.

But I don't know how she is going to entertain her self tomorrow. Kelsey has finals preps, and Natalie can't miss anymore school, Jerry and I both have work. I know, I know she is a grown woman, she will figure something out.

She is staying until at least tomorrow night so that she can take us out to dinner, which is nice. She said that she had planned on taking us out tonight, but couldn't get a hold of us. Um Jerry made steak, Salmon, and baked potatoes for dinner, which made my day, so I think we would have been disappointed in eating out tonight.

The funny part is, neither girl even asked if they could stay home with her tomorrow. Normally they would have been all over that.

Happy Mother's Day/Storm Recovery

Happy Mother's Day!!

I hope all of the moms out there have had a wonderful day.

I woke up this morning at about 5:45 thanks to the thunderstorms. When I got up, I came in and got on the internet, and checked out the weather channel. Neither one said anything about a tornado.

Then I left to go to work, and the road from our house to the main road in town was green from leaves.

The next main road that I turn on, had limbs down, and you could see where the city had just cleared a big tree.

At Lowes we had one tree down in the parking lot, and the garden center had plants off a few tables.

About 20 minutes after I got there, news started trickling in that one of the stores in Macon had been hit, and hit hard, as well as the city of Macon.

They started asking for volunteers to go up and help with clean up, and running the store. K my department manager came out to the garden center to ask a couple of the guys if they would go, and I told her that if she could spare me off the register, I would go up as well.

We left our store shortly after 10, and got home about 5.

I spent the majority of the time using a shop vac, vacuuming up the 4 inches of water that was on the floor of the store. My wrist HURTS after that.

I rode in the car with K, and three of the guys from the store. The entire time K was driving, after we got to the I475-I75 interchange, we were pointing out the windows of the car, saying OMG did you see that tree? There are wooded areas that look like toothpicks. The signs along Eisenhower Parkway going towards the Macon Mall, are all bent in half, and in the roads. There is no power in that entire section of Macon (Lowes has backup generators).

I am thankful that our area didn't get hit like that!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

third grade

I have fallen in love with the third graders, which makes me more resentful that I didn't get this position in March, they are just such a great group of kids, that have had no stability since October.
The sub that has been in there, took it as she was just a sub, not the teacher so she didn't put any effort into the job (and then wondered why she wasn't offered the position when it was interviewed for, and was asked just to stay on as a sub.)

There are things that have happened in this class that either should never have happened, (like moving on to 2 and 3 digit multiplication when half of them still don't know the basics), and no parent communication, and here I am with 4 weeks of school left (last week) trying to pick up pieces.

I am just doing the best I can at this point, but have already had parents thanking me, because I have written notes home almost every day, and called a few, plus had a parent conference.

I just wish that I thought that the principal was seeing all of the effort, and appreciated it. But since there was no effort on the administrations behalf to thank any of the long term subs for our hard work during teacher appreciation week, I don't think that she sees it. The other long term sub in third grade has most of the work done for her, the teacher she is in for did all of the lessons, copies, and what not for the rest of the year, all she has extra to do is grading papers, but still its not easy taking over for someone for 5 weeks.

The principal does pop in observations several times a week, but twice this week when she came in, we had just finished "formal" instruction, and the kids were starting to try something on their own. The one time I had just sat down to try and grade something when she walked in, and she caught that a couple of them hadn't listened when we went over the instructions so they weren't estimating, which made me feel dumb, but honestly we had just read the directions and what not.

Jerry keeps telling me not to let her get to me, but its hard. I know that she has 3 or 4 positions open for the fall, 1 third, 1 fourth, 2 sped, and possibly 1 first and 1 second, and since its the neighborhood school I would still like to be there. I know that unless something goes wrong I have a job in the next county over, and I know that DJ can go with me, so I am trying not to get stressed over the principal, but its still hard.

I am exhausted right now, and that is probably adding to how I feel about all of this right this minute.

I taught all day yesterday, then closed at Lowes, getting home about 11 pm. Then I had to be back at Lowes for opening at 6 this morning. I could have probably changed my schedule where I didn't open, but I wanted to get off at 3, because I wanted to pick strawberries this afternoon.

Of course by the time 3 pm the storms were starting to roll in. We still don't have any rain but it looks nasty out there.

A Slim Down Summer update, I think I am going to have to retire the shorts that I wore to work today! They are starting to fall off!!! :) This makes me very happy!

Happy Mothers day to all of the moms out there! I will be at work all day tomorrow!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Confessions Of A CF Husband: BIG NEWS!!!

Confessions Of A CF Husband: BIG NEWS!!! This is such incredible news!!! Keep praying for continued improvement for both of the girls! :) But they could all be "home" as soon as next week!

Thursday 13~Happy Birthday Mom edition

In honor of my mom's 60th birthday today, I want to share 13 things/memories of her.

1. When I was in Girl Scouts growing up and she was our leader, we would ask to go camping. Her favorite line was: My idea of camping is the Ramada Inn.

2. The year that I graduated from High School, my mom graduated with her degree in Elementary Education (and she has taught 4th grade ever since).

3. I remember going home in 5th grade upset because my Girl Scout leader said that they were moving and she wasn't able to be the leader any longer. Mom stepped up the plate and took over. :) She continues to be active and work with the troops in the town to this day.

4. My mom and brother drove 26 hours to visit us in Florida when I was pregnant with Natalie. Too bad it didn't bring on labor like I was hoping! ;)

Last year at Matt's Wedding:

5. My mom came to visit us twice in England, once with my dad, Aunt Donna and Uncle Mark, and once with my Grandparents, Aunt Donna and Aunt Carol.


6. My mom is about to become a grandma for the 4th time!

2005: Photobucket

7. Mom is very active at the school that she teaches at. She is the Teacher's Union President, as well as in charge of the school student council (and is spending her birthday tonight with the Junior High Student council students at a conference in down town Phoenix).

8. My mom has walked the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk, 3 times in Phoenix.

9. My mom has traveled with students to Japan on an exchange student.

10. My mom (well my parents, but it was her idea), has had 2 foreign exchange students, Mina from Japan in 1989-1990 (who she visited on her trip), and Susu from Finland in 1990-1991.

11. My mom has sold Mary Kay since I was about 6 years old.

12. Mom was with me when I delivered Kelsey. :) She took two days off of work to be with me while they induced me.

13. My mom drove me back and forth to Camp Sombero on South Mountain, and Camp Maripai, in Prescott more times than I can count, so that I could be a counselor.










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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Subsitute teacher = second class citizen

This week is teacher appreciation week.

If you can read this, thank a teacher. :)

Any way, the school that I am working at this month is doing all sorts of stuff this week for the teachers.

Yesterday was breakfast. Which was nice, there was a ton of food, fruits, doughnuts, bagels, juice, coffee, tea.

Today was an hour long Italian lunch, brought in. The classes were supervised by aides and non-homeroom teachers so that the homeroom teacher could have an hour to eat and socialize. The classes were at lunch for 30 minutes of that hour, so it wasn't too much for the others to do (plus they all got lunch the hour that they were not in a class, so either from 11-12, or 12-1).

The original schedule for lunch came out, and every class was covered.

Then yesterday afternoon (when I had a migraine), a new schedule came out. This time for the two of us that are long term substitutes finishing out the year for other teachers, both have N/A next to our names for who is to cover our classes so we can eat.

Huh, guess we don't count.

So I went and warmed up my Lean Cuisine that I had taken yesterday and didn't eat, then walked back to the cafeteria and got a lemonade. One of the cafeteria ladies asked why I was eating that, when they had real Italian food down the hall.

I told her that I wasn't on the list, so I didn't want to think that I had the right to go and eat, since I was just a sub.

I did walk down to where they were having lunch, because I didn't feel like eating alone.

Where a couple of the teachers made a big deal out of the fact that I had a microwave meal, when there was plenty of food.

Which made the principal run next door to get the other long term sub to come eat. (with 5 minutes left in lunch time, before she and I had to get our students, because there was no one to watch our classes).

I think if I hadn't gone down there to eat, the other long term sub wouldn't have been invited over. Well then again, she does have a certain attribute that I do not. Oops I did not go there.

Any way, dessert was good, because thats all I ate.

I don't remember what tomorrow is, nothing with food, I don't think, which is a good thing. LOL

I have decided that this principal loves doing drop in observations. Yesterday before my migraine hit she came in and observed the poetry writing session that we were doing.

The lesson was on finding poetry in hidden places.

The county has this entire poetry unit done up for you, scripted even, so that all you have to do is read the script and go along if you wish.

I vary from the script on almost a daily basis, and yesterday was no exception. The script says for you to list your hidden things as: swimming, dog, cat, etc.
Then to "write" the scripted poem on swimming.

One of the students saw my script, and asked me if I was just reading. So I winged it for the rest of the lesson. I still went over everything, but I didn't do the swimming poem (which was cheesy and I wouldn't have done anyway.)

The concept behind the lesson is great, and I think the students did well with it.

I have no idea what the principal thought, because she has not said anything, even though she has had plenty of opportunity to since then.

I did learn later on that she spent time in the team leader for the grade level's room after she was in my room.

So who knows.

I have two parent teacher conferences this week. One requested by the parent so that she can meet me face to face (as recommended by the principal in her letter home), and the other due to a possible retention.

How I am supposed to run that conference when I just met the child 9 days before, is beyond me.

I did write a note letting the principal know that I had set up the conference, and when it was, because she has to be there for the retention meeting. I hope she knows more about why they are recommending it than I do. I also asked that the team leader of the grade invite the EIP teacher to come as well (since I do not have email to do the inviting myself.)

I spent 90% of my planning today on the phone calling parents about the progress reports that were sent home late last week. Setting up the two conferences, plus....

I had a parent who refused to write a note to me about the lost progress report, because her daughter lost it between getting it back from her mom, and putting it in her backpack.

I had a parent basically tell me that I never check planners because I didn't get her child's field day money, the money that she found yesterday at the bottom of his book bag, instead of in his planner where she put it. The planner that by the way I have been putting behavior notes in since day one of being in the class.

I never posted my slim down Friday results last week, because the internet was down on Friday night when I got home.

I am not sure what I did last week, other than a lot of walking in my classroom. I know that each day in my classroom, and at school I am probably averaging 4 to 5 miles, because adding in the walk to and from the school has put me at 7.3 and 7.75 miles yesterday and today (I wore my pedometer both days). It is about 0.8 miles to school from the house if I don't cut through the park, and about 0.7 if I cut through the park (which I did with my migraine yesterday). So overall, I am getting a work out by walking.

Now that the pool is open, I want to start going every day that I can. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday for sure (providing that my hours at Lowes allow for it on the weekends).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

favorite motherhood moments

The gals over at Five Minutes for Mom, are sponsoring another contest. The challenge is to post one of your favorite motherhood moments - it could be a funny story, an essay, a photo or whatever else captures your memory best. Go on over and enter!

Here is my favorite moments:

The summer of 2005, after we moved back to the states from England, my 95 year old grandmother was diagnosed with brain tumors.

We made plans with my parents and brother to travel to Iowa at Christmas time to visit. In late October my grandma's doctor told my dad that grandma's time was short, and that we needed to consider traveling up to say our goodbye's earlier at Thanksgiving.

My Grandma had never met DJ, and my Grandma had a soft spot, special love, in her heart for little boys. Probably because my dad and all of the cousins were all boys. But my Grandma told everyone and I mean everyone about DJ, and how she couldn't wait to meet DJ. She showed his picture to everyone that went to visit her, and would ask a couple of the nurses that looked like Kelsey, why they hadn't brought DJ to visit when "she" came to visit (she mistook 2 of the younger nurses for Kelsey on a fairly regular basis in the last month before we were up to visit).

One of my favorite motherhood moments is this one, introducing my grandma to DJ.



Later that same weekend we took a short drive from Burlington to Iowa City to have Thanksgiving with my mom's family, and introduced DJ to my Grandma and Grandpa.

Time for a swim

When I got home tonight, the kids were over at the neighborhood pool. So in we all ended up.

It was a nice relaxing swim. Even if it was cold to get in!

I see many hours in the pool in the coming months!

And hopefully next time, I will think to take the camera.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I am rather irked tonight.

I put in a request for consideration to be moved from being a cashier to one of the two departments that I have level two training in (windows and walls/paint, and outside garden).

They wont even consider it, because I can only work weekends. The new store manager says that to go on the floor I have to have open availability.

Which is crap if you ask me, because there are other employees on the floor that can only work Saturday and Sundays.

Then today I find out that one of our cashiers, who is loud and obnoxious and slower than a snail, was given the windows and walls/paint position that I put in for.

I didn't even get a chance.

I hate that place.

Is it August yet?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mississippi River

Today in writer's workshop, we made heart maps to give the students ideas on what they could write poems about. They were to draw a heart on their page and then inside the poem write things that are important to their hearts.

My heart’s “list” looked like this:
Mom and Dad
Matt and Angu
Mississippi River
Gulf Coast

After the students had time to think, and write I gave them just a few minutes to rough write a poem from their heart maps.

I heard over and over for the first few minutes that they couldn’t think of a poem, that they couldn’t do it.

So I did one on the board while they did one on their paper, and this is the result:

Mississippi River
Fast Moving
Lazy Days

Summer Heat
Summer Haze

Barges Rolling
Steamboats Beat

Fireworks popping
Rides swinging

Mosquito’s biting

Then after we came back from specials I made a few adjustments to the poem to show the students how to work with rough drafts and sloppy copies:

Mississippi River
Fast Moving
Lazy Days

Summer Heat
Summer Haze

Barges Rolling
Steamboats Beat

Rides swinging
Mosquito’s biting

Sun Setting
Fireworks popping
Tired Children crying

Going home
With the River flowing
Through our heads

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Third Grade

1….Cursive Writing is HARD (direct quote!)

2....You are not born knowing how to multiply.

3... Children who's parents take the time to help them practice multiplication pick it up faster.

4... 8 year olds can be MEAN.

5. They are still young enough even at the end of the year to want hugs.

6. They still love to be read to.

7. Getting down on their level and doing work with them (on the floor) makes them feel loved.

8. Having three teachers in one year is not easy, on them or on the last teacher (me).

9. Poetry is everywhere you look.

10. Magic Tree House books can be too hard, depending on the student, some love it, some don't. But I still love the books, and still encourage them to read them!

11. The Trumpeter Swan is a big hit. They can't wait to hear what will happen next, and love prediciting!

12. 15 minutes is not a very long break (recess)


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