Thursday, May 22, 2014

teacher wear.

Pleather pants: Express
Tunic: Anthropologie
Sandals: Target

I guess this is one way to make pleather pants appropriate for the classroom, right?
Yay, me!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

fun with first graders.

These photos are from the time when that student asked me if he could use my camera to take my picture and I told him to remind me at the end of the day {crossing my fingers he would forget}.
He didn't forget, of course.

Well, it's the end of the school year and I'm certainly getting a healthy glimpse of what that means as a teacher.  The end of the school year - that's when everything happens: testing, meetings, musical rehearsals/performances, field days, move-up days, etc.  I'm getting a peek into my future!  The students definitely sense that summer is drawing near and their energy levels have peaked.  I tried to give a lesson the other day and it was met with moans and groans before I had even began.  Fortunately I'm a mom, so I have some backbone.  I encouraged them to sit through it and participate and then they were rewarded with a dance party.  I needed a dance party.  

In such a short period of time, I have really fallen in love with these first graders.  They exhaust me, it's true.  By the end of the day I am falling into my bed, drained, wiped, spent.  But I have certainly enjoyed getting to know each of their unique personalities and watching them learn; the little gentleman who opens the door for me and waits for me to walk through, the silly kid who tries to photobomb all of my pictures, the sweet girl who gives me all of her drawings, the goofy gal who wiggles her loose tooth in my face because it grosses me out, the history buff who spits out facts to me about the Civil War and Thomas Jefferson, the blonde who thinks she looks just like me, the shy girl who tells me she likes my shirt, my necklace, and my hair, and the funny dude who wants to tell me everything about Minecraft.  They are all just so darn awesome.  

I am content.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

oh happy day.

May.
So far, May has been pretty good to us in Pittsburgh.
I mean, besides that nasty cold germ we've been fighting.
Other than that,
lovely.

LOVING the flowers in our yard right now.  The trees are starting to fill in with leaves and soon our backyard will be a private oasis.
FEELING fat-but-energetic.  I'm walking every evening now, in between the daily thunderstorms.  Now if only I could stop eating cake.
BAKING strawberry shortcake cake and going all out with dinners this week.  I'm rediscovering our Pioneer Woman favorites.
SLEEPING well.
DREAMING of lazy days by the pool, working on school work mixed with napping.
HAPPY because I passed the PECT exam and now I am legit to student-teach in Pennsylvania.
EXTRA HAPPY because that exam was actually pretty easy.  I mean like really easy.
COVETING a large, fancy sunhat.
EXCITED to be turning 40 in just a few weeks!!!
RELIEVED to be feeling excited about turning 40 in just a few weeks.
LOOKING forward to everything my 40th year has to offer.  This is the year my dreams come true...because I worked my butt off to make that happen.
ENJOYING a new walking buddy, a sweet neighbor who is old enough to be my mom, except that our daughters are the same age.  Yesterday we walked along discussing, favorite ice cream flavors.  I mean, that's not something you just talk about with anyone.  
AVOIDING the PTA.  There, I said it.
THINKING about new paint colors in the dining room.  Lighter and brighter just sounds better.
FOLDING laundry like the warrior I am.
SITTING in my favorite spot on the couch has been replaced by so many other things.
WISHING last year's summer clothes hadn't shrank while in storage all winter.  Or maybe possibly that my bum didn't grow.
CONTENT with my family and where each of my children are in their life journey.  Life is not always easy.  Sometimes we make mistakes, even big mistakes.  Sometimes we are afraid to talk about our human tendencies.  But help is right around the corner, in this house.  Love will always be here.  And so will a plan B.  There's always hope.  There are always second chances and fresh starts.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

stopping to reflect on our home.

I keep telling myself that things will slow down next week, but then next week comes and things aren't any less busy.  April and May are trying to kill me, I swear.  But I'll keep plugging along because I just know that mid-June has all kinds of nothing going on.  Nothing sounds so nice sometimes.  

Today I am writing up two lesson plans (three actually, now that I've extended one to last another day).  To a teacher, two lesson plans are laughable, I am sure.  But to a student-teacher who has her Pennsylvania PECT exam next Tuesday, two is a lee-tle, tiny bit stressful.  My mess is taking over the lower half of that bottom picture up there.  It doesn't look like much, but there's a cat puppet up there who has plans for teaching the first graders all about -ed endings and papers are scattered everywhere on the couch as I plan a Science lesson for observing guppies and pond snails.  God bless the Internet!  I don't have to come up with fantastic ideas on my own!  God bless Pinterest too!!!  

I am pausing, however, from all of the planning because it's good to relax the brain sometimes.  In my spontaneous moment of relaxation, I got the beds made, the furniture dusted, the floors vacuumed, and the laundry folded.  I also had a rare opportunity to look up from all of my madness and just scan over my house.  Like when I used to do after we first moved in.  Back in those days I'd catch myself staring at our new house in disbelief.  Is it really ours?  Do I really live here?  Gosh it's a nice place.  My, how we've managed to put together a lovely home.  Boy, do I feel blessed.  Today, I had a little of that good, good feeling.  I just stood and looked over our home.  Our home.  It hasn't changed much in a year; proof of my dedication to school I guess.  But it really doesn't need to change right now.  Photographs don't need to be rearranged, the furniture is fine where it sits, and the paint colors are still going strong.  I'm way more relaxed about that stuff.  And waaaaay more relaxed about backpacks and coats and shoes and folders, and water bottles.  It's kind of funny how things can change.  We realize what really matters (sometimes).  :)

Back to work...

Friday, May 2, 2014

outdoor school with my kid.

WOW!!!  What a fast-paced {shower-less} past few days out in the natural environments!  McKenna's school does something pretty cool in the 6th grade.  Like so many middle schools, the 6th graders go away to outdoor school, but at her school it's a parent-child thing.  This is something that the kids fundraise for beginning in 5th grade and spend so much time preparing for in the weeks prior to the trip.  It's like a rite of passage for the kids in our district and it's so very cool to be part of the experience.  For me, it was a chance to bond with my daughter, observe her with her teachers and friends, and also get to know the other parents.  One thing I learned while seeing McKenna in action during her lessons was just how smart that girl is.  I mean, she just really knows her science.  Give her an owl pellet to dissect and she's in heaven. :)

The trip was such a whirlwind.  I don't think I have ever crammed so much into 2.5 days in my entire life.  The rain couldn't keep us down.  It kept us cold, but not down.  We hiked uphill both ways, we sang camp songs, we camp-fired and s'mored, we sat through lessons, we ate like kings, we laughed and laughed, we sat rarely, we slept in bunk beds, we forwent showers, we played games, and we whined only a little, tiny bit when our warm layers weren't enough to keep us warm.  If I had any sliver of energy left, I'd do it all over again.

Thank you, Mckenna, for letting your mom hang with you for a few days!
You are amazing.
Let it go.  Let it go!

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