Saturday, December 24, 2011

Marie Christmas!

I’m going to start this post by complaining.

This year, my outside lights are sparse and intermittent. We've got to replace a post on our porch (a repair we can't currently afford) so hanging the wreaths from the 2nd story windows is unsafe. I used the strings that would normally wrap our banks of trees to line to top of our metal fence and it is—well, underwhelming..

Our attempt to have a live tree led to a cypress that can’t hold heavy (or really, anything but paper light) ornaments. Because we usually have a pre-lit tree, the only lights we have are the garden dragonfly lights, and they cover about 1/3 of the entire tree. So barren of bright lights and shiny ornaments, plus a noticeable lilt to one side, our tree looks more Charlie Brown than Griswold.

Our decision to make this year more about quality and quantity has also backfired, at least when you look at the pitiful few gifts wrapped under the crooked tree. And while I hope my kiddos appreciate how lucky they truly are, the idea that they might have that disappointed feeling of not getting the one thing they truly wanted is weighing heavily on me.

And the topper? Not 100% sure the Eldest truly “believes” anymore. And I am 100% sure I’m not ready for that.

But… and you knew I would have a big but :) … Rascal woke up this morning at 6AM, bounded into our room and exclaimed with sheer glee, “Merry Christmas!” Even when we explained it was merely Christmas Eve and not quite yet the big day, his only response was to be even more excited because he had additional anticipation time. Da Boyz are both looking forward to spending time with their grandparents and are delighted with the various baubles and trinkets of holiday cheer sprinkled around our home. And the other day, the Eldest gave me a big hug and said, “Mom, no matter what, it’s going to be a great Christmas.” He’s right.

Family, friends, love- what it’s all about. I hope you all have a “Marie Christmas”!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love some giveaways!

$25 to Amazon or Starbucks? What's not to like?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the conundrum of being a teacher

While my Mister and I enjoy many aspects of our life, having a lot of disposable income is not something we know anything about. We are both teachers, and that means our total household monies are in the 5 figure range. Think about that for a minute. We, TOGETHER, make less than many "businessmen" make alone. By about a third (or more). (MUCH more.) (SO MUCH MORE.) Why am I not complaining?

Mostly because there are days when I realize, "They PAY me to do this!" And I don't mean weekends, summers, and holidays off (anyone who knows a teacher knows-- there really ain't no such thing as "off" time to a teacher!)-- I mean that the joy I get on a daily basis from my job is so great that it can be hard to remember it's not a volunteer activity.

Sure, there are days when I realize, "They don't pay me ENOUGH for this." And there are days when I realize, "They paid me, but that plus more was spent on things for my classroom." There are days when I feel like I must apologize to my own kids because they came second to my students when the decisions about where the "extra" money would go that month. Days when I hope my teacher husband doesn't tally how much I spent on my room; days when I resent how much he spent on his.

But today? And most days? They PAY me for this. You may not have any idea how that feels. Your salary may be aMAZing, but I know how it feels to realize that they PAY me... for THIS. It's fantastic.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's quiet... TOO quiet...

I just realized that I am home by myself. Mister went to get some plants from a teacher colleague and since it's Rascal's former kinder teacher, he went along too. Thankfully not "pants optional"*. And, although I didn't hear the exchange, Elder jumped in the car, too. So here I am, in my Home Alone.

Assuming Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern don't come crashing through the back door, I am going to enjoy these few precious moments of solitude and quiet... but not too much. Turns out that I like having my family around me! I can't count how many times we reach out for each other; for hugs, pats, just little brushes of togetherness. How my heart squeezes when I see Da Boyz look at each other, really LOOK eye to eye, and smile for what seems to be no reason at all. The freely spoken "I love you"s that weave in the air around us All. The. Time.

They will all be back soon. There will be bickering over Wii strategies, debates over whose turn it is to feed the pooches, complaints about the dish pile and dog fur tumbleweeds... the usual. And I can't wait.

*"pants optional"= summer clothing mode. Don't ask. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot enough for ya?

"I was going to complain about how hot it is... then I realized that at least: 1.) it isn't 115 degrees; 2.) I'm not 5,700 miles from home; 3.) I'm not dressed in a full BDU uniform and helmet and carrying 70+ lbs.; and 4.) there is very little chance that anyone will shoot at me or that I might drive over a bomb in the road today! Thanks to all who serve in our fine military! God Bless y'all. Re-Post if you agree!"

This has been the FB status of many folks I know lately. It always surprises me how quickly such things spread, and in circles of mine that have absolutely no common factor (other than...well, me). What else do we have in common? It's HOT. Other than my sisters in the NW of our country [lucky!] we are all sweltering in our respective ovens. Chocolate chip cookies smell AWESOME as they bake; people? Not so much.

And while viral status updates are generally annoying (and I am firmly in the "99% who don't have the guts to repost!") this one struck a chord with me. I do not have any super-close-to-me folks in the active military right now-- dads of former students, yes, but there are several degrees of separation there-- yet the sentiment of this rings true with a lot of my core beliefs:

A: you are blessed, and so am I
B: complaining has its place but it is less helpful that accepting; less beneficial than trying to solve the problem
C: I am so very grateful that there are men and women in this world who will wage war for me/fight fires for me/stop crime for me. I don't have the moxy for such jobs; I am supremely appreciative that someone does.

Repost if you agree! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Put me in, Coach.

6... 5... 4...

We are gearing up for the end of another school year. It is such a strange time of year; there's SO much paperwork and EOY testing, SO many special activities that absolutely kaboom the regular schedule, SO much heat (this is Texas, y'all!)... and as I look around at the amazing kiddos with whom I've gotten to spend so much time, I can't help but imagine what kind of grown-ups they are going to be. We've read together, solved together, graphed, diagrammed, cycled together, and now we are ready to go to 2nd grade.

Well, the kiddos are! I get to stay right where I am. :)

Now I get the opportunity to reflect on what was fabulous and what was... not so much... and I'll get a whole new crew of former kindergarteners with whom I get to collaborate and grow. Seriously. I have the best job in the world!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter 2011
{Click to view the video... "so nice".}

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sproinged Again!

Forgot to “spring forward” last night… well, maybe not FORGOT exactly. More like “didn’t bother”. Most of our clocks self-spring, for one, but mainly because…


I don’t really need to know WHAT time it is, and only need to vaguely know what DAY it is (mostly so I don’t get pinched for not wearing green on Thursday). There are some productive to-dos on our family’s list, and the very first one was:


[Of course, we’ve been waking up at 5:00 anyway (4:00, 3:00, 2:00..) ‘cause we’re stoopid like that. But it’s a bunch easier having an early wake-up call knowing that you could take a nap later in the day if you fell asleep on the couch if you wanted to.

[Also if course, we don’t stop being teachers just because we have no students. I’ve already created several PowerPoints, Flipcharts, and Back-to-School forms. Yes, I said “back to school”. It pays to be prepared!]

If you are not currently enjoying a break from your every day schedule, still take a moment to breathe in all the joys that are currently surrounding you. And if you, like we, are on Spring Break… YEEHAW! See ya at the LAKE!spring_break-12373

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring, Sprang, Sproing!

Well, it has been a while, huh?

Life’s been good, life’s been great, been having life on a plate (and all that), but realizing that there’s been no blah-g since Christmas?


Though the time between posts is frightful, the weather outside is delightful. This is one of the times of year when living in Texas is so absolutely fabulous. Yes, it’s a challenge to dress for 37 degrees in the morning knowing that it will be 77 degrees in the afternoon, but the clouds are so fluffy, the sky so blue, the air so fresh and sweet that a little chill in the morning seems a small price to pay for what is essentially perfect day after perfect day. Guess ol’ Punxsutawney Phil got it right this year!