August 17, 2017

Classroom Stuff and Things 8/17

Thanks for the acknowledgement and positivity on Monday! It's a stressful season because it's all about change right now. We ran into a major hiccup shortly after I posted this and I started to wonder why I'd shared in the first place. Often times, things change before I can get an official blog post written about what we're doing next! Anyway, I think things are resolving and s l o w l y falling into place. Maybe. 

Because it wouldn't be a school year without classroom pictures....

True story: I took pictures last year, completely forgot to post them, and then all of a sudden I didn't care because I was bogged down with...stuff...and things.

Today is the third day of school for kids. This is what things looked like at the beginning of the week.

If you're like me, you love nothing more than looking at classroom pictures.

New things I'm trying:

A math word wall. I'm also going to be posting the vocabulary words for each chapter. I feel like that might help cement understanding.

Mailboxes. I've used them once in 8 years. This is my second go-around.

Hanging important info for kids at their eye-level.
Separate turn-in boxes for each subject.

A clip chart. I wrote a whole post about this. I'll get that published eventually. 

Overall, I'm hopeful. So far I'm at 28 students, and I do expect the number to go up. 
I've noticed that I have some very sweet and very quiet (and hardworking!) kids this year and I'm so grateful for that. Last year I only had a few that fit into that category, but I have gotten several visits from past students this week and, for that also, I'm grateful.
That's more or less the reason why I keep at this whole teaching thing.

If you have a classroom, I'd love to see your pictures!

And there's pictures from Missouri and other years in Colorado too on this blog, but it's early and I'm tired and I have other teacher-like things to do.

August 14, 2017

Can't even

Oh these last few weeks.

No filter

Scott keeps telling me not to be stressed out because everything we're trying to do is his stress, not my stress. But his stress is my stress #becausemarriage.

So, over the last few weeks, every outdoor tool and/or piece of equipment we use regularly has broken. This includes but is not limited to: lawn mowers (plural), swamp cooler, vehicles, pressure washer, sprinkler system...there's more I'm sure but keeping track is depressing. He has fixed all of these things as they decide to stop working.

In addition, we are trying to finish the new bathroom in the basement because we may be having some friends stay with us and they need functioning living accommodations. We are in the process of buying a second house (again, can't even) and we are doing a major swap/sale/trade of vehicles. We currently have 3 trucks and an SUV.

As well as...with the constant rain/hail of late, our dirt road has surpassed "mud puddle" and turned into "lake".

After picture is forth-coming

Scott bought a water pump, hooked it up to a generator, and is trying to remedy the solution under the suspicious eye of neighbors who are, I can only guess, okay with "lake". But when some saw what he was doing, they were very happy and offered whatever they could to help. We spent the weekend pumping water. He did at least and I helped the best I could because his stress is my stress. We also ate a lot of ice cream.

See the blue truck in the picture? That's our Nissan from Alaska. We got it back from Pennsylvania and it's my new ride until Scott fixes my SUV because there's an issue (never again, RAV4) and he can't fix the SUV until we have a garage and we won't have a garage until we close on this house (I won't even tell you where this house is yet because that adds another layer of complication). We're excited about the house for many reasons and are looking forward to a fresh bit of change but we can't close on the house until the end of September so that adds yet another layer of complication.

This is really just a story of cause/effect and complication. We have a good life and things aren't that bad but man. If I'm quiet, this is literally why. It's too much to explain but this is a rough summary.

Oh, and school starts tomorrow and I'm overwrought with nervousness. Today is the hard day though with meetings/planning and then Meet-the-Teacher in the evening. It'll be a 14 hour day. Brilliant way to start a week, right?

August 11, 2017

5 Friday Bachelorette Things

Now that we've all had time to process the horror of Monday night, here's my thoughts:

1. I do not think Bryan was a wise choice, based on what we saw as viewers. And Rachel was really mean to Peter in an unnecessary kind of way.

2. I think Peter will be the next Bachelor, absolutely.

3. Podcasts you could/should listen to if you want to rehash the finale: Rose Pricks is funny, AfterBuzz is informative, and Here to Make Friends is kind of all-encompassing but their political correctness shows. They won't say anything bad about Rachel because they want her on the podcast.

4. I think Rachel is smart. I don't dislike her. And I know she knows a whole lot that we didn't see #becauseediting. BUT from what we saw, she made a poor choice. Either the producers gave her a bad edit or she really made a poor choice. That's my position on the subject (that no one cares about).

5. And because reading live-tweeting is reallllly amusing:

A Lauren Conrad gif is ALWAYS appropriate. I miss The Hills.

Also, random: GoT was amazing on Sunday night. 

We allllll know 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers are the real winners. Bryan's run is done.

Thoughts? Who is watching Paradise?

August 10, 2017

Breakfast suggestions, please.

I've been told (repeatedly by doctors) that I need to eat a certain way in order to reap the benefits of feeling good and maintaining the best physical state for me. I know this. I mostly ignore it because I don't like it. It's science, though, and it's just something I don't want to do because it's unpleasant.

Because I've discovered (through the forcible prescription of a high-protein diet) that I operate better on high-protein, low-carb, it's something I need to get back in the swing of doing. You see, back in May and for part of June, I was more or less forced to eat protein and only protein. I did this through protein bars and protein shots and protein smoothies. It was more or less awful and I hated it. I haven't been able to look at a smoothie since.

Since I was medically allowed to quit that diet and go back to normal life, I've been all over the place. In addition, my skin has been all over the place (I'm working on some changes on this front too) and I feel like I can't make good choices anymore about what I'm supposed to eat and what I'm not supposed to eat. So it's been a carb-fest for the last six weeks. And we won't even talk about the literally hundreds of Sour Patch Kids I've consumed this summer.

My plan was to go back to what I've been doing for the last year and just strayed from recently:

Protein smoothies
Greek yogurt
Cheese sticks
Bars with a lot of protein

The problem is arising in the fact that I drank a protein smoothie every day for almost an entire year, and now I can barely choke them down. I don't want to make them, I don't want to smell them, and I certainly don't want to drink them.

I need a new breakfast option, something high in protein and more or less easy. What do you eat for breakfast? Any suggestions? I don't do hardboiled eggs so that's always a roadblock when asking for this kind of advice.

Any help is appreciated!

August 8, 2017

July Books 2017 (and the recommendation problem)

I didn't actually intend to read in July.

Lately, I've found myself pushing to finish books or to at least delete them/get rid of them if I never intended to finish them. It was like checking off boxes. This has been happening for yearsssss now and it's a hard cycle to break. Of course I like to read! This isn't even about reading though; it's about my perfectionist tendencies of "completion" and "done" and "accomplishment". It's about checking off the boxes and I hate that. However, as soon as I told myself I didn't have to read anymore, I stopped reading for about two weeks (seriously, not a word) and then I found myself feeling like reading wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

I have discovered, through this process of manipulating my thoughts about reading, that I need to read books I actually want to read and not read books because someone else recommends them.
For instance, I saw a Facebook friend post that The Nightingale was one of the best books she'd ever read. This person is a librarian so I know she takes books seriously too. However, I read The Nightingale two years ago and I didn't think quite as highly of it. Some books get better in hindsight but this is one I'd probably give a C- if I could go back and rate it again. On the flip side, I didn't like the audio of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society at ALL, but I would think trying a paperback might be okay because maybe it just wasn't for me at the time.

So, reading a book because someone recommends it, I've learned, isn't something that usually works for me.

Without even really trying, these are the books I kind of fell into in July.

For the Birds by Denise Grover Swank A-
This was good. My co-worker and I had both pre-ordered it (it came out July 11th) and we both really enjoyed it and exchanged some text messages including heart-eye emojis about it and I would highly recommend the series, but I don't know that anyone has ever taken me up on it.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid B-
Not going to lie: two hours into the audio, I was bored stiff. I was thinking I'd made a huge mistake...that everything I knew about TJR was a lie. I turned it off for almost a month and had no desire to dive back in and I was dreading writing this post because I'd have to be all "DNF" and I couldn't even find more than a couple of bad reviews on Goodreads and then I'd have to be that person.
Eventually, I tried again.
The story got a little better and it got slightly more interesting and I didn't hate it anymore. I will say that I didn't like Evelyn and never really rooted for her and Monique was even worse. I could see shades of the typical character TJR usually writes in Monique but I didn't like her or feel for her.

And every time I heard "Celia", I just pictured this:

TL;DR: It was a solid story but I didn't love the characters. Harry was probably my favorite one but he was pretty two-dimensional.

Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day...No Matter What by Angela Watson A
I actually paid the $10 for this book, because that's how much I wanted to read it. If you are a teacher, there are too many takeaways for me to list. I took a lot of notes. Essentially, it explains things you can do to give your best to your classroom while getting the most out of it for a balanced life. Only a teacher would like it, obviously, but it was fascinating to me. It wasn't written in quick "Buzzfeed"-style list form with impractical advice. It was definitely a deep dive into the topic.

Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1) by Francine Pascal (this atuhor uses ghostwriters) D-
I grew up reading Sweet Valley Kids and Sweet Valley Twins. In middle school, I started reading Sweet Valley Jr. High (a modern version of Sweet Valley Twins) and Sweet Valley Senior Year (a more modern version of the regular Sweet Valley books). I spent all my money on Sweet Valley books when I was younger and I don't think I ever actually purchased a Baby-Sitters' Club book...I just read those from the library.
Long story short, I got a wild hair to read the original Sweet Valley book, the one that started it all, so I bought it on Amazon for $3 and it included a note from the author:

In short, this book was awful. So terrible. It was the on-steroids version of what the characters would eventually morph into. Jessica was awful. Elizabeth was a wimp. Mr. Collins was slightly creepy. But mostly, Jessica was awful. And the descriptive writing was a little bit terrible.
If you have daughters who would be interested in the books (because a great serial never goes out of style), I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Jr. High books or the Senior Year books. I owned most of them but they've disappeared over the years. Thank goodness for Amazon. I just ordered this one because I feel like reading it again.

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford and First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg in preparation for the first week of school. Both were new to me and good for, I hope, the coming weeks.

Re-reads for the month:
Can't Stay Away (see explanation above about Sweet Valley books)

And because I was doing a hunt for certain vocabulary words, I re-read:
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Those are novel studies I already do ^


Linking up with Jana and Steph!

August 7, 2017

Monday funny stuff.

Because it's Monday, I'm feel a teensy bit overwhelmed, and I don't feel like actually writing about anything. Plus, I have a million (or 6) errands to run and it won't. stop. raining.

Tomorrow is Show Us Your Books! 
Spoiler alert: I told myself I wasn't going to read in July and I actually read a lot. 

August 4, 2017

5 Things I Did This Week.

1. Finished this book about teaching and I cannot recommend it enough. Unshakeable by Angela Watson.

2. Watched Scott get the trailer unstuck. It had been sitting in the garden since May.

3.  Three classes at the gym. Cardio Tone on Monday, TRX on Wednesday, Kettlebell on Thursday.

4. Ate way too much junk food. The problem with doing intense workouts is that I'm always hungry and I make terrible choices when I get too hungry. I need to get back into my usual routine. I'm working on actually developing a new workout routine (one in which I actually get into a routine again), but it'll depend on Scott's schedule this fall. I don't want to spend all my waking hours out of the house.

5. Watched one giant storm demolish the prairie.

Obviously this was right over our house. Because why not?

This was a really long week, right?

August 3, 2017

Stuff and Things 8/3

I definitely reserve the right to throw these posts in whenever I feel like it.

+My sister-in-law had posted this picture of Jett on FB long ago and I recently came across it.

+We recently decided that Jett is probably allergic to peanut butter and so that makes me feel terrible. I've been feeding him peanut butter for years. Or maybe the hacking and coughing is a horrible coincidence. Either way, no more peanut butter. A lot of dogs are actually allergic to it. 

+I'm scouting out (ha ha) new boarding locations for the dogs. I have two prospects and I just need to go check them out. I feel awful that I put so much effort into this before but now we just can't take them back to the place they stayed at while we were in San Diego. I mean, they BOTH got respiratory infections. It cost us $400 at the emergency vet and many sleepless nights, listening to dogs cough. I was nearly ready to take Scout in to see the regular vet too, last week. He started to improve and Jett didn't get any worse so I decided not to. They were both taking cough medicine for a few days there and, seriously, that's not okay. I can't say it wouldn't have happened elsewhere but I also can't recommend the place we took them to either now. 

Moving on..

+I have this thing for Chris Hardwick. Anyone else? I think he's hilarious and fun to watch, as a comedian and as a host. 

+The weather this week is not ideal.

+Scout is angry because I make him sit in the basement when he's wet (shoddy drywall done by previous owner...Scott is going to redo it completely).

+My coworker posted this on Facebook. I *think* she's referring to me because my room is "done-er" than hers, and she was literally unloading her car the other day, but it's NOT Pinterest-y. 

+It's funny how after so many years at this military thing, you just know things.

On a somber note, my friend Kim had to put her 12 year old dog, Roxy, to sleep on Monday. It's terribly sad and she's a mess over it. If you have any advice or prayers to spare, send them please :/ 

No link-up, but share a stuff and/or thing about your week in the comments!

August 1, 2017

Airing of Grievances (August 2017)

1. People who apologize for watching certain TV shows bother me. Watch reality TV if you want. Don't apologize for it. I've come across posts saying they can't believe they watch The Bachelorette or Housewives or something because it's so "bad". Don't try to act like you're above it. We've all read People magazine at one point, right?

2. People who act like dark chocolate is sinful and aren't they "bad" for eating it? It actually doesn't taste very good at all to me.

3. I've switched from The Today Show to GMA because watching Savannah Guthrie makes my skin crawl and hurts my ears. I know many people are bothered by Matt Laurer but, for me, it's Savannah who is the dealbreaker.

4. Bloggers who do not disclose affiliate links. This is nothing new, but lately I've noticed that some bloggers post affiliate links on their FB pages or in their FB groups and a lot of the people in those groups aren't bloggers so they don't know the sneaky ways of bloggers in general when it comes to this issue. It's totally motivated by playing off of the inexperience of those in the group and I've lost so much respect for a few bloggers when they pull that.

5. People who make a big deal about how much they need their coffee. And then you find out they only drink decaf.

5. The Nordstrom Anniversary sale. I found it fascinating to read the posts and imagine how much money people were spending on clothes. I also don't understand the need to buy designer-ish clothes in bulk once a year. Most of my work clothes come from Target, JCrew factory (clearance only), and, once in a while, LOFT (clearance only). By the end of the day, my work clothes are sweaty and smell like a school, so I refuse to buy expensive ones. But the part of the Anniversary Sale (I suppose this is a proper noun now?) that bothers me the most: bloggers link to the the item through an affiliate link, never describing it or showing a picture in their post. That is the ultimate in shady behavior.

My only purchase was these Sanuk Yoga Mat flip-flops. They weren't even really on sale, but they were cheaper at Nordstrom than on Amazon.

Any grievances to air? (we should make this a monthly post, right?)

July 31, 2017

Bachelorette Tweets

When we were driving back from California two weeks ago, I only agreed to drive if I could listen to my podcasts, which is how Scott came to be listening with me. After a particularly funny Rose Pricks episode, Scott's been randomly saying "Mung beans!".

He's turning into a fan. 

I have very little to do with my time these days so a favorite Monday night activity has become reading the live-tweeting of The Bachelorette while I watch.

Tonight is the Men Tell All and that's going to likely be boring, so here's some funny stuff from last week. 

Who do you want to win? 
I'm Team Peter but I have a feeling he'll be the next Bachelor, so I'll settle for that. If Rachel makes a poor choice (in all her intelligent wisdom), she'll have to live with that and we reap the rewards of having a decent Bachelor (i.e. not Nick). 

(I'm way too emotionally involved in this.)