Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Chatter

~ Santa was really good to me this year. The two best gifts...1) A new golf bag!!! 2) a wireless Internet router!

~ I decided to hang out with E on Tuesday night instead of going straight home for Christmas. Everyone has been giving me such a hard time. (I kinda like it...)

~ Everyone was home for Christmas this was so nice to have us all together.

~ Dad had to work nights through the holiday.

~ I have arranged a way to be "favorite aunt Jill" for the next few years. I got Bryson a little basketball goal that he can play with for the next 2-4 years! Great toy for the baby...and great for drinking games for the adults!

~ The swimming pool at the rec center in Burlington is about 4-5 degrees warmer than the pool at the Y. You would be amazed at how much harder it is to swim in a few degrees warmer water. I miss my Y!

~ Santa still comes to our house. The youngest in our family is 21 and Santa still brings presents and we all get so excited to open presents!

~ We opened gifts on Christmas Eve around 4 in the afternoon so dad could be there with us. Of course since Santa still comes to our house we all had to go in different rooms so that he could deliver the gifts. Jamie told dad to yell "ho, ho, ho" when they were ready for us. About 1 minute later dad yells out "Jamie, Jamie, Jamie!" HAHA!!! (My idea :))

~ I wrapped all of my gifts in Victoria Secret bags this year. It was so funny to see my brother open his present wrapped in pretty pink bags that smelled good!

~ We got a new game for Christmas this year (we always get a new game, we love games). This year we learned how to play "Buzz Word." It is a fun game...I am undefeated! However we did have a ping pong tournament too...I was defeated (many times).

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Because Everyone Else Does"

One of the childhood favorite responses is "because everyone else..." I remember using those words to try and stay out later, or get the newest CD, or desperately try my parents for anything. And the usual response is "well...if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you want to?" As I have reached adulthood (sometimes that's still debatable) I have found myself uttering the would-you-jump-too phrase. But I still find myself saying...well, everyone else gets to. There are times in life when we should definitely NOT do something just because everyone else does, but there are also times when I think it is OK to "run with the pack."

Here are some things we should NOT do "because everyone else does"

~ Buy homes that are too expensive

~ Wear legging with a big shirt/dress and furry boots. (That style is not for everyone folks!)

~ Get a boob job. (or a face lift, or liposuction, or botox)

~ Be in a more serious relationship than you are ready for. Just because your friends are getting married and having babies does NOT mean that you have to!

~ Sing loudly. There are some people who really should take up a non-vocal activity.

Times when I believe that it is definitely OK to follow the crowd.

~ Vote. No, I don't mean voting for the same candidate, I mean voting in general. We should all vote.

~ Learn how to use cell phones and computers. It's the technological age may not like it, you may wish for simpler times in the past, but it's here. Deal with it, and learn!

~ Try something new. Whether it's a new dish off of the menu or learning ti-kwan-do, trying new things can open doors to whole new worlds.

~ Read. If millions of people like a book, there's a really good chance that you might like it to. Take the chance. What do you have to lose.

~ Get out of school on Friday before Christmas. Everyone else is done with school and enjoying their break with family...Me, I'm still in school. UNTIL TUESDAY, DEC. 23!!! How I wish our school would "follow the crowd"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ I have most of my Christmas shopping done, with just a few spare items left to get. The problem is that I hate shopping on weekends during this time of year, so I'm not so sure when exactly I'll be getting the last few things.

~ My 7th graders are still undefeated with only 4 games and a league tournament left. I am finally seeing some improvement in how we are playing together as a team. It has gone by so fast!

~ My brother Joe got his buck this week. He is excited, and I am excited to get some of that deer meat. (Yes, I eat Bambi...good burgers!)

~ It's cold! (I could probably post this on every Sunday Chatter from now till March...)

~ I love to eat out at restaurants. I love the atmosphere and trying to decide between old favorites and new creations. It's just too bad that I'm cheap, I'd be going out to eat all the time...or I guess that's a good thing.

~ We have to go to school the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas. How ridiculous. Our school starts earlier in August, we get out the same time (or later) than other schools, AND we have to go those two extra days before Christmas??? Our board must think that quality learning goes on those two days...HA! (Movies, talent show, dances...what a waste of time!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008



Dishes done.

Last load of laundry in progress.

Floor vacuumed.

Bed made.

Candles smell great.

Any bets on how long this lasts???

Friday, December 12, 2008


My house is a mess...I need to clean it. If someone can figure out a good way to motivate me to fold laundry, do the dishes, vacuum the floor, and clean the bathroom I would really appreciate it.

My problem is that I have zero motivation to do anything in the evenings work related. Maybe once basketball is done in January and I have my afternoon's off, I'll be able to keep things picked up during the week, so the weekends aren't spent knee deep in a weeks worth of crap.

What I really need is a bigger place to live. That way I have more places to keep my crap and I won't feel like everything is spilling out of the few cabinets and closets I have. So if anyone has a lead on a nice rental that has a garage and won't cost me a month what I could pay in a house payment, that would be great!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama!

Today is my mother's birthday. She is turning...well, a lady never reveals the age of another lady :). We will celebrate at my sister's basketball game and dinner after. It should be a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Yesterday was my little brother's 23rd birthday. Joe, the third born to our wonderful family, has been dubbed "Scruff." I don't know why I call him that, just something that started a while ago. I'm not sure if he likes it when I call him that, but I do it anyway...and will continue to call him Scruff until we are well into our 70s.

Out of all my siblings Scruff and I are probably the most alike. We share similar temperaments, likes/dislikes, are very competitive, we both have undefeated state basketball title (although my game was more exciting and we were 4A not 3A), and tend to be a little more layed back (although Jamie and John might disagree).

There are so many wonderful things about him, I thought I might share what I most admire about Scruff.

~ His laugh. He has this deep belly laugh that just makes everyone in the room want to know just what is so funny.

~ His athletic ability. Joe is so talented in every sport he decides to try. He played football, basketball and baseball in high school, played baseball at Pratt CC and Emporia State U, and has recently taken up golfing. I believe the guy could decide he wanted to become a curler and he would have success.

~ His loud voice. Something else we share, we both have volume control issues...although mine is all the time, and his just happens after a few beers...

~ Joe cannot tell a lie. He's a dead give-away. I love it!

~ His people skills. Scruff is someone everyone knows and or they want to know. He's who you want to hang out with at a party, at work, or at church.

~ His love for Bryson. Little B is just over a year and Joe is learning and growing as a parent and doing the best he can to be a good example to B.

This list could go on and on. It is true how much closer you are to your siblings as adults than you were as kids living in the same house. I hope things never change!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

State "Trivia" Assessments

Teachers of all kinds are required by the state to teach certain information to students. It is outlined in our state standards what specific criteria the students are required to learn. Those of us who teach core subjects (math, reading, social studies, and science) also have to pay special attention to those that indicate "testable material." I teach social studies. According to the state, those "testable indicators" consist of material that should be vital to students understanding of history, geography, economics, and government. Now, I love my subject, and I believe that having knowledge about social studies will make a person a more well rounded and intelligent adult. can be a full functioning adult, with a job, family or whatever you choose without that knowledge (not that I recommend it...). Tonight I have spent the better part of my evening creating a PowerPoint lecture for my kids that is filled with random trivial history that the state has deemed "testable." This is not the first time I have been frustrated with what KS thinks students need to know...Honestly can we be a full functioning, well educated adult without the knowledge of the following events?

~ The Sand Creek Massacre
~ The Monroe Doctrine
~ Benjamin "Pap" Singleton
~ The Court case of McCullough v. Maryland

Seriously...trivia questions that show up on a state assessment, and frustrate me. Why? These tend to be the more boring historical topics that the kids will memorize for the test. What a waste of time!

***Author's Note***
I spent probably about 10 minutes at the beginning of class today being drilled about my social life and E (who he is and what he does), so I guess not everything in my class is based on state standards... :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Procrastination is...

The fact that it's Saturday night and I haven't touched any school stuff all week, and I have plans tomorrow so I won't get anything done on Sunday. (Monday morning will be an early one)

I just did dishes from Monday, today.

I waited until I was out of EVERYTHING before going shopping at wal-mart resulting in a VERY expensive bill.

I paid my phone bill today over the phone because it is due today.

I haven't mailed my rent yet. It's due on Monday.

I have a cavity, and I've had this cavity for a while now...still no appointment for the dentist

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Start of Turkey Vacation

I love's one of my favorite holidays. My break officially started Tuesday night after I got home from practice by cleaning and packing my stuff for the next two days. I am very proud to report that it only took two bags! (One doesn't really count cause it's my swim bag and I take it everywhere)

We had bball practice this morning at 8:30 and I was excited for the extra time to sleep in a little, and did I use it. Nope. I woke up EARLIER than normal...5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. So I layed in bed till 7 and then just got up. Hopefully sometime this break I'll get to sleep in some.

After practice I made my way to Emporia and met my brother and his friend Brent for 18 holes of golf. Joe has been playing consistently since he moved back home, and Brent plays golf for OU...I've played once since August and that was two months ago. Needless to say, I sucked it up. But it was still fun!

The three of us hurried home after we were done because we knew what awaited us...French Dip sandwiches and cheesy potatoes. Soooo good! Now, I'm painfully full and have been laughing until my face hurts for most of the evening...what a great start to my Turkey Vacation!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ I am happy to report that I am smelling better. (meaning i can smell things around me, not that I actually had B.O.) The allergy attack that came on Tuesday only lasted for Tuesday, I am now just making sure I'm downing the OJ and getting enough sleep so I don't catch any sickness.

~ Thanksgiving is this week!!! I am so excited for family, turkey, and traditions.

~ Which brings me to my next point. Thanksgiving is this week...In fact, Thanksgiving is in the month of November (best month of the year). Of course I'm not pointing out anything that isn't obvious, at least I thought...I don't think the local businesses, my neighbors, or the radio station are aware of the fact of Thanksgiving because there have been Christmas decorations and songs playing for the last two weeks (a the least). I LOVE Christmas and will be putting up my decorations the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving!

~ I used to think that girls who spent money on bras from Victoria Secret were crazy, you can get the same nice looking bra at Walmart or JC Penny's for half the price. I stand corrected...VS is definitely worth the money. If you haven't tried a VS bra, you are missing out. (Plus they are really pretty)

~ My Birthday was Wednesday this week, and I probably had one of the best weeks ever! I got to celebrate last weekend with my parents, the kids at school treat a teacher's birthday like a national holiday, and again this weekend with E. What a great way to turn 26!

~ I have poor circulation in my hands and feet. It is now that time of year where my fingers and toes will be sooooo cold. My nails actually turn a purple color that has gotten me some nice compliments on my nail polish...when I'm not wearing any.

~ I feel sorry for the Chiefs...

~ My hair is officially longer than it has ever's so pretty! I do need to get it trimmed, but I think I'll wait just a little longer :)

~ In order to make sure that I don't over-indulge with all the Thanksgiving yummies, I am taking my scale home with me...obsessed much?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sniff, Sniff

The wind must be blowing...I had a flair up of my allergies today. I swear, the older I get the worse my allergies get. The right side of my nose has been running non-stop today along with an annoying tickle that causes me to sneeze, and you know sneezes are always accompanied by two or three more. Along with my nose, my eyes have been watering and bloodshot all day causing me to look either hungover or like I've been crying. My nose is sore from the scratchy Kleenexes. All of this combined makes me want to just fall asleep... So tonight I will be heading to be early and hoping that tomorrow with bring a change in the wind.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ I went home this weekend to watch Bamer play basketball. (She plays for Emporia State University). The games were a blowout, as the other teams couldn't even compete with ESU! Today Bamer was high scorer of the game! Way to go!!!

~ I also got to see little Bryson this weekend. I haven't seen him since Labor Day weekend. He's gotten soooo big! He has such a fun personality and a big smile that is usually followed with a great belly laugh! He said "Jill" today (or some variation of it!)

~ My MS bball girls are 3-0...makes me nervous for everyone we play. We haven't really been tested by a good team yet, so I'm excited to challenge the girls.

~ At practice on Friday, I got in and played a little with the girls in a new drill that coach came up with. It was soooo much fun! I really do miss playing.

~ At home this weekend mom made my birthday cake! I call it the "Coconutty upside down cake" and I think I've asked for it for the last 10 years. Soooo good!

~ The shower head I have sucks. I hardly spits out the water, so today I had my dad pick out one that he thought would work for me, and I installed it ALL BY MYSELF!

~ Shaving legs in the winter...WASTE OF TIME!!! I step out of the shower and it grows back. Who decided that women should shave anyway...must have been a man!

~ I sent my Christmas list to my mom this week. I started out just making my ultimate movie list...all the movies I would ever want...and then just added other gift ideas and sent that to mom. There were probably 100 things on the least she'll have lots to choose from.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Coach I have an ouchie"

MS Bball girl: "Coach this spot on my leg hurts"
ME: What spot?
MS Bball girl: This right here...
(There is no spot)

MS Bball Girl: (At the very end of practice before conditioning) "Coach I talked to the Dr. about my legs hurting and he said I needed to cut back on the running"
ME: But didn't you just run in the scrimmage all practice?
MS Bball Girl: Yeah
ME: should be ok, right?
MS Bball girl: Well, the Dr. said I should cut back on running
ME: Well, then I guess you can't play tomorrow
MS Bball Girl: But...I think I can play in the game
ME: Then I think you can run

MS Bball Girl: (Sobbing) My (hic) jaw (sniff) hurts (sigh)
Coach W: It's hurting so bad that you have to sob like that
MS Bball Girl: (no words, just hic, sniff, sigh and nodding her head)
Coach W: Well if it's hurting so bad why are you moving it around with your hands, that can't be good for it.
MS Bball Girl: (Shoulder shrugs)
Coach W: Well, if it's hurting that bad you should go see a Dr. right away. Call your parents.

I think we need to implement the "Tom Hanks" philosophy: "There is no crying in basketball!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sunday Chatter

Sometimes it seems like the only thing I write in here is my weekly Sunday Chatter...maybe I should rename the blog to just that...

~ Basketball season has started. I went from coaching girls how to block volleyballs on Saturday to boxing out for a rebound on Monday. We had our first game on Thursday and my 7th graders started out their season with a win. We still have SOOOO much to work on, but that will have to wait as we have another game tomorrow. This season will be over before I know it!

~ My house is clean again! I finally had a Saturday morning where I could dedicate 3 hours to laundry, dishes, and the toilet :)

~ Over the course of the last year I have been working to try and lose some weight. I have lost a total of 35 lbs. and right now am just hoping to maintain over the dreaded holiday season (my favorite foods all at one time) before trying to lose a little more. It is possible!

~ I am dating a guy who, when asked what he wants to do for his birthday, says he wants to go to a WSU volleyball I know how to pick em or what?!

~ I am turning 26 in November...strange how I feel better about turning 26 than I felt last year about turning 25.

~ Every Sunday morning while I am driving the 15 min. drive to church I call my mom and we chit chat for a few minutes. It has almost become our "Sunday Ritual." So much so that she now answers the phone at 9:30 when I call "hello Jill" already knowing that it's me. Well this morning I ended up missing church and didn't call mom. By the time I got to my phone there were 4 missed calls from her. I think she enjoys our ritual!

~ I need new glasses. I would love to wear them more often but they are about 2 1/2 prescriptions behind. Right now I only wear them on Sunday/Saturday mornings when I really don't have to see anything. I think I'll wait till after Christmas Season to spend the money on glasses.

~ I have a cavity. I can feel it, and I HATE the dentist!

~ I have to start coming up with my Christmas list. So far the list is pretty much the same as last cards and movies. Am I that boring??? I better start getting a little creative...maybe some golf shoes :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ Our girls got 4th at the state tournament this weekend. Very exciting to be one of the top 4 teams in 4A in the State...(although we should have had 3rd)

~ I got to spend some time with my good friend Andy's been forever since we've spent some time together. He is always good for long conversations and interesting projects.

~ Volleyball season if officially over now and I quickly have to shift gears to middle school girls' basketball. I am looking forward to basketball season and working with some of the girls I teach everyday. It will keep me busy...and I enjoy being busy!

~ I made a new recipe tonight...chicken and wild rice soup. Really turned out pretty good!

~ Tomorrow I have to go to the "girl doctor." It's not like its completely horrible, just annoying. Plus...I have decided to find a new Dr. in Wichita rather than my usual from back home, so there's always a little to be nervous for with someone new.

~ Election Day is Tuesday. I have spent the last 3 weeks in class teaching my kids about our election process (just skimming the surface, there's soooo much to it), how important it is to vote, the issues, and what it means to be liberal or conservative. I have really enjoyed teaching it, but I will be glad when Wednesday comes and the Election Craziness is over!

~ It is officially November...I can't believe how fast the year is going. In a few weeks it will be Thanksgiving (I LOVE Turkey Day), then less than a month it will be Christmas, then 2009! I just can't get over how fast time goes, and what a blessing each day is!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another Week of Practice!

Yesterday was sub-state volleyball. It is an 8 team tournament, single elimination. You lose, your done. And not just for the day, for the year. It's the last chance. The winner gets to advance on to the state tournament next week. Our girls (I am an asst. coach) went in there seeded #1 with every chance in the world to take the win and continue on with our season. They played really really well. They met all expectations, and now we have another week of practice, get to leave on Thursday night and stay in a hotel, and all the teachers LOVE us because in-service has been cancelled so people can come to Salina to watch! What a great weekend! Although it also means another week of my house being a mess...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ I had a great week. I have found that when I go to Church on Sunday my week seems to be better than it could be. I think there might be a pretty strong correlation there.

~ My sister came to Wichita this weekend and we went out to dinner Friday night with Ethan, and then did some major shopping on Saturday. I spent a lot of money, but that's what happens when none of my clothes fit and I have to buy smaller sizes... :)

~ I am in love with the new 3 Musketeers Dark Chocolate and Raspberry cream!

~ I was up at the school today, on Sunday, working on planning a new unit for the Election. I forget how much work I put into my first year of school when every unit of study was new and made from scratch. I spent 4 hours today on an 85 minute lesson. I thought I got so much accomplished until I realized that all that work was for one I feel a little silly for spending so much time on it. Sometimes I wish I wasn't a perfectionist with school. But on a good note, it should be a really good lesson where the kids learn a lot! (They'd better, cause if it flops I'll really feel stupid spending so much time on it.)

~ I am loving volleyball season, I always do, but by about mid October I am looking forward to November and my weekends being a little more free. There are three weekends left in October and I'm at a volleyball tournament on all of them. (Which means more Sundays at the school...)

~ I spent a lot of money this weekend on new clothes (as mentioned earlier), meals out, gas, and other things I probably didn't need. I like to think that I am doing my part to help stimulate the economy! (At least that's how I justify it!)

~ I went swimming today. I have been trying to go on the weekends when I can, but it has been a while since I've been. It felt good, but I can tell that I am out of shape. It's amazing how fast the endurance goes away.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Wednesday

You know those days where it seems like the world is against you. Nothing works out the way it should and you come home needed either a very big bowl of ice cream or a very strong drink (I usually chose the drink). Today was definitely not one of those days. :)

I had a fantastic day today. I got to sleep in because I am actually planned for the week and didn't have to set up my classroom for anything special. So I got to wake up at 6:30 rather than 5:30...big difference. It was a good hair day. I got my mail to see that my city bill was much cheaper than it usually is. The lesson that I had planned with the kids worked out really well, they learned and were just as fun as ever. THEN...I find out from my principal right before lunch that my 8th graders last year made the standard of excellence on their Social Studies state assessment. For those of you who are teachers you will understand what a BIG deal this is. Especially for someone who was giving the test for the first time, the year before I'm up for about stress. My good day doesn't stop there. I go to volleyball practice and my C team girls have probably the best practice they've had all year...we actually beat the JV team in a scrimmage type game. I was so proud of them. They are getting so much better, I find myself having to set even higher expectations! I love days like this :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Little Bryson

My little nephew, Bryson, turned one this week. I cannot believe how fast the last year has gone, or how big he has gotten. It has been so fun to sit back and watch him grow up through the pictures his mom posts. As I picked out his birthday present (an array of bath toys his mama said he needed) I started thinking about the time before he was born and how all lives have changed since.

When my brother found out that he would be a father, it was not the "picture perfect" scenario that everyone wants. Joe was going to school at Pratt and had just started baseball practice at the end of January. I was in my first year teaching at Cheney about an hour away, and was coaching basketball on a Monday night. After a game I saw that I had a missed call from Joe and naturally called him back. It was late, I was tired, and already laying in bed planning on wishing him a good night and talking to him later. The phone call lasted much longer than expected. He told me that Andrea was pregnant and that he was going to be a father. My heart sank...this is not what I expected. He was the LAST person who was ready to have a child. All his dreams of playing baseball out of state, trying to get through college, and living the life of a normal college student were going to disappear. I was devastated for him. I held my composure during the phone call, being as supportive as I possibly could and told him I loved him and I would talk to him again tomorrow. After hanging up the phone, I cried and cried...I was so sad for him. I prayed that night...for the first time in a long time.

Within the next 9 months everyone slowly started to come to the realization of the situation. Ready or not it's coming and whether we were happy, sad, mad, or still in shock a baby would be here soon. I watch Joe and Andrea grow up considerably in that short time. They picked out a name, planned baby showers, and moved to the same town. I waited anxiously for the phone call of my new little nephew...and he came on October 1, 2007. I looked at the pictures that night and saw my brother become a different man. It was obvious the pride he felt holding little Bryson and how proud he was of Andrea and all that she had went through.

In the last year, I have watched Joe and Andrea deal with so many ups and downs of raising a new born. And you know, the aren't perfect...both of them make mistakes. But that is true of anyone trying to raise a child. They have grown up, learned through mistakes, and loved Bryson with all their hearts. Whenever people meet Bryson, the reaction is always a good one. He is such a HAPPY baby, good with people, and loves attention. His parents have done a great job, and it would be impossible to think of life without him.

The last year has been a whirlwind of firsts for Joe, Andrea, and Bryson. And the great thing is...each year will bring more and more "firsts" with it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Simple Things

In this fast-paced world many times we get so caught up in the major things (economy, election, work) going on we forget to stop and enjoy the simpler things in life. I like to think of myself as a "simple things" kind of girl. It's the simple things that really mean the most and make me happy. For example...

~ Not having to set the alarm on Saturday mornings. Yes, I still get up around 7 or 7:30, but for someone who usually gets up at 6 or even earlier that's sleepin' in.

~ Hugs. Nothing like a big old bear hug to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...and depending on who is doing the hugging, it can bring a goofy smile to my face just to think about it. :)

~ A cup of coffee in the morning. Simple and satisfying.

~ Sales. I'm not too much of a shopper, but when something is on sale and it actually day is made!

~ Friday night dates with pizza and a movie! So simple, yet perfect during this busy time of year.

~ Clean sheets on the bed. How I wish I could afford a maid to clean my sheets and make my bed everyday for me! Alas...this is why it is a simple thing that makes me doesn't happen as often as I would like.

~ A baby's laugh or smile. Even the Grinch's heart would melt to that.

~ The fact that Thanksgiving and the general "holiday season" is coming closer. I love that time of year and can't wait for all those feelings it brings.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Love Hump Day!

I love my Wednesdays...During this part of the year my schedule gets crazy. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I'm off coaching volleyball somewhere, which means I'm getting home after 9 at night (that's an early game night...sometimes it's later). Friday mornings (and some Tuesday mornings) I'm up for 6 AM practice with the girls. But Wednesdays are mine! Due to religious classes throughout the area being on Wednesday nights there are no sporting activities, and we have to be out of practice in time for the girls to get there. Wednesday night is the only night I have to come home, pick up my clothes off the floor, do laundry, cook, make my bed, grade some papers, enjoy a TV show or two, and just chill out before it gets dark. Tonight I am painting my fingernails and catching up on my laundry. Every girls dream...

PLUS...another great reason to love Wednesday...only two more days until the weekend, and I love my weekends even more :) Then again...who doesn't???

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ The older you get the more interesting football is to watch...maybe I just have a longer attention span now, or maybe it's because I understand more of the rules now.

~ I did something this weekend for the first time...I took a guy home to meet the family. Technically Ethan has already met the family (except for John, who is never home at the same time), but this is the first time I've ever brought him to my home town. It was a great weekend!!!

~ I have a mystery bruise. On my right forearm, no idea where it came from.

~ Tomorrow is an in-service day, as much as those days usually annoy me, I am actually looking forward to it because it means I can relax tonight instead of grade papers and try to have everything planned. I might be singing a different tune after tomorrow though...

~ I am in love with these coco dusted almonds, just enough chocolate plus the crunchy good!

~ Apparently people who were born on Halloween are creepy...(This was explained this weekend by my sister before she found out that Ethan's birthday is Halloween...haha!)

~ My brother Joe has finished his training to become some kind of building inspector guy for Power Plants. He will travel around the country working one outage to another. This is all necessary before he can get a permanent position somewhere closer to his family. I am happy for him, but will be sad not to have him around once he gets going.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Goodbye to Tony and the Gang

At the beginning of the summer I started watching The Sopranos. I enjoy mobster type movies so after watching a couple episodes I was hooked. I have a Netflix account so every week I would receive my two DVDs in the mail and enjoy watching season after season without the months of hiatus in between. Tonight I finished the final episode. Like all good TV shows I wish it wasn't the last...I keep waiting to find out what happened next. So, thanks to Tony, Sil, Christopher, Pauly, Carmella, Meadow, AJ, and even Janice (the most annoying character) you made my summer very entertaining!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Prayers for Bird

My friend Bird called this week to tell me that she has postponed her wedding. Unfortunately her grandfather has become seriously ill and it is very possible he could pass within the next week, two weeks, or month. This is the first close family member dying that she, and her family, has had to deal with. She just couldn't chance having a wedding and a funeral in the same week. My heart goes out to her having to make all these decisions in such a short amount of time, plus the stress and pain of dealing with the death of a loved one.

There will still be a wedding, but when it happens it will be a happy affair for everyone involved. I pray for her and her family during this difficult time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Chatter

~ I did something today that I said I would never do...I bought expensive jeans. I have always been able to find jeans at a decent price (less than 40) and laughed or scoffed at my sister who would spend 70-80$ a pair. I can justify my purchase though...I had a 20% off card, I spent more than 50$ so I got a 10$ gift card, and my jeans have NO holes in them. (Why pay good money for jeans that already have holes???) PLUS!!! They are a size smaller :) Soooo worth it!

~ It was homecoming week at school...I hate homecoming week. Might as well cancel practice the entire week.

~ Victoria Secret bras really are worth the money...and with coupons you can actually get them at a decent price!

~ Dad and Joe came up this weekend to help my aunt move. We went out to dinner at Old Chicago. The food was great, the beer was cold, and the company couldn't have been better!

~ My C team volleyball girls had a great night Tuesday. They played really well, came out 2-1 and I was so proud to finally see some of the things in practice show up in a match.

~ I am loving the cool fall weather. This last week has been beautiful. I wish it could be like this all the time.

~ I am having golfing withdrawals...I haven't been out in over a month and I miss it. Funny how I have only played for one season and I'm already wishing there was more time to play! Plus I got a new driver and 3 wood I just can't wait to try out :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Top 10 Reason to Live Alone!

I have lived with a lot of different people over time, and I have not yet had a roommate I didn't like (well...not including my siblings growing up :) ) For the last three years I have been living by myself in a small house. As much as I loved living with my girlfriends, I would not want to have another roommate again (that is until I get married). There are just some things that I've gotten used to living alone...

10. I can keep the temperature of my house whatever I want (as long as I'm willing to pay for it)

9. I can cook whatever I want for dinner and not have to worry about who doesn't like onions or peppers or mushrooms.

8. No one sees when I trip and fall.

7. I get to choose the smell-good candles that I want to light. None of that citrus stuff!

6. If I want to spend a Sunday afternoon curled up on the couch watching movies and taking a nap, I don't have to worry about sharing the couch or TV.

5. The house doesn't have to be clean constantly...although I do like it that way, it just doesn't always happen.

4. I can be as loud as I want in the morning when I wake up and am showering, blow drying my hair, and getting ready for school.

3. I don't have to wait to take a shower.

2. I can listen to whatever music I want to, however loud I want to listen to it.

1. I can walk around in my bra and underwear anytime I want to!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Teaching: A Young Profession!

I am convinced that one of the main reasons that I became a teacher is because I don't want to spend all day everyday with adults. Once a month I am pulled from my classroom and required to work on integrating my social studies curriculum with our Communications classes. It usually ends up as a glorified planning day. Today was one of those days. I spent the entire day working on a list of vocabulary for my 7th grade class. I literally mean all day. When I'm in the classroom teaching I know that sometime during the day (at least once) some kid is going to make me laugh. The silly comments they say, or goofy looks they give me when I do or say something unexpected, and all the random conversation before class officially begins. They keep me young, and I hope after I've been teaching for 20 years, these kids still make me feel like I'm 25!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Chatter

I decided that I like the random bits of chatting I did last Sunday, and thought it would be fun to try and do that each week. (I said try...)

~ Busy season is here. I spent my entire Saturday at a high school C team tournament, and was looking forward to spending my Sunday on the couch and relaxing. Only to be reminding that I promised I would officiate the Homecoming activities "boys volleyball games."

~ I have to go grocery shopping...Thursday night I ate Spaghetti Ohs and a hot dog. I have a real job and make too much money to be eating Spaghetti Ohs.

~ Coaches who have the pleasure of coaching the Freshman teams should get bonus pay...

~ I have a cup of coffee each morning, only one cup. I never really notice a big "pick-me-up" but if for some reason I don't have one, I am dragging.

~ There are movies that I can watch over and over and over again. This is something I get from my grandpa. Movies like, The Rock, Harry Potters, Ocean's 11, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure (which is playing now). I can probably say all the lines along with the actors, and yet I still look forward to popping popcorn and sitting down to my old standbys.

~ I have been netflixing the Sopranos and I am down to the very last season. What will I do when it is over? I need to find a new show.

~ I have a very pretty black dress that I bought a long time ago. It was 1/2 off and just too pretty to pass up. I want a reason to wear it, and it is too fancy for Church. I'm hoping that the rehearsal dinner to Bird's wedding will be the perfect occasion to wear it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


One of my best friends is getting married in less than a month. Bird. Actually her name is Bridget, but in middle school it was decided that her name sounded like "Bird-Sh*t" and since that was not allowed in school, it was shortened to Bird.

Bird and I went to school together from the fourth grade on. However through middle and high school we were what I like to call "sports friends." We played on the same team, went to the same church, and were polite to each other, but we weren't the "Friday night" friends.

Then college came, and I went to play volleyball at Hutch Juco and she went to KU. While I played volleyball and gained a personality, Bird would occasionally come to Hutch to visit her boyfriend at the time (who played basketball). We would get together every now and then when she was in town at a ball game or go out to lunch and catch up. Eventually she moved on to Emporia State and I was looking to transfer there after Hutch. I needed a place to live, and she had a room open in the house she was living in. As fate would have it I moved in with her in the fall of 2003.

In two short years of living together we went from "sports friends" to "bridal party" friends. Now she is getting married and I get to wear a very pretty Burgundy colored dress while we drink the night away dancing all the cheesy wedding dances. (I better have lots to drink before we get to the hokey poky)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Chatter

Just some random thoughts tonight...

~ When you cut your legs shaving it will bleed and bleed and bleed. It will of course always happen when you are somewhere else (I was at the Y) and a band-aid is not readily available.

~ When it is March and a warm day of 68 hits unexpectedly people will bust out the shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. But when it is an unexpected cool 68 in September we are bundled in sweatshirts and jeans. I love Kansas!

~ Middle school kids will be more motivated for a Jolly Rancher than for 5 points extra credit.

~ I want a puppy. A yellow lab to be exact, but I can't have any pets at the house I currently rent, plus it has no fence. Is it wrong that out of all the reasons I should find a new place to live...and there are MANY...the fact that I want to have a puppy is the one that motivates me the most. (I already have a name picked out...Meadow)

~ If you trip and fall in your house alone with no one around to see...did it really happen?

~ I bought a pair of really cute jeans in May. I have worn them three times...last night i could pull them off without unbuttoning them. Now I have to go buy a smaller pair. What a cool problem to have!

~ Gas is going back down...what do you want to bet it's just for the upcoming election and they sky-rocket right back up after the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November! Am I a pessimist or a realist?

~ It amazes me how our concept of time changes as we get older. As a kid a two hour drive might as well have been an entire day spent in the car. I can clean my entire house in less time now than it used to take me to clean just my room when I was younger. The thought of waiting an entire YEAR for Christmas to come again was almost painful and now I can't believe that my little nephew is almost a YEAR! Time really does fly.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Coaches...we have the opportunity to change the lives of kids more than we even know. I have had my fair share of different types of coaches. I've had the push-over, the hard-ass, the "paycheck" coach, the first timer, and the life timer. I have had coaches compliment my every move (not as cool as it sounds), coaches who could never find a positive thing to say, coaches who would chew my butt at half time, and some that would literally throw things at me, and coaches who inspired me set high goals and strive to achieve them.

Now that I coach, I try to take things I've learned from ALL my coaches, whether it be things I should do or things I should never do. I love coaching. I love being on the bench during games and seeing improvement throughout the season.

However there is the downside to coaching that isn't mentioned as much. I'm not talking about the parents or administration (that's obvious)...I'm talking about the hours we lay awake thinking about decisions we make, how to improve that one player, and how to teach a kid to be competitive (I have come to realize that competitiveness can't be's something you have in your gut).

This week I was kept up by a decision I made. I played "Mean Coach" one day this week. There were a couple of girls who were having attitude problems. (This is nothing new to girls athletics, but has to be fixed). Bad attitudes on the court can be like a cancer in a good team. It spreads from girl to girl slowly killing a teams enthusiasm and performance. I was tired of seeing and hearing about these I took care of it. I was not nice. I might have even said a couple words that are not "school-appropriate." Needless to say it ended in the girls crying...which was not my goal. I never want to make someone cry. So at the end of practice I pulled them aside and calmly explained myself. I was impressed with them. They took my criticism, apologized for their attitudes, and later that night at the football game came up to me and said "Hi" a couple times. This morning at practice, both girls had a great day...their game and attitudes were much better. I still don't know if chewing them out was the right thing to do, but I am impressed with the way these girls were able to bounce back and make an effort to improve.

Bottom line...coaches/teachers/parents will always analyze the choices we make. We, like everyone else, are constantly learning from "trial and error."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Tag" You're it!

My Cousin Casey has graciously "tagged" me in some blogging game. She comments on her blog how little she knows about blogging...well, get in line Casey! I learn what I know from you!!!

I am apparently supposed to tag people after I answer these questions...but since the only person I know on here is Casey and she tagged me, I think I'm off the hook! But it looks like here I go!

Four places I go over and over:
~ The School
~ The bathroom...I'd give anything to have a bladder like a man and be able to pee ONCE a day!
~ The gym. It's volleyball season
~ The Y (although this has dropped off considerably since school has started)

Four People who email me regularly:
~ The District Office...there's always something wrong with my paperwork
~ My Mom
~ Ethan :)
~ Parents...

Four Places I would rather be right now:
~ On a boat at the lake
~ Upstate New York
~ Traveling and visiting my friends in Canada, England, Wales, and Australia
~ Swimming

Four TV shows/Programs I watch over and over:
~ The Sopranos
~ Friends
~ Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Are you smarter than a 5th grader, and any trivia game show
~ That 70's show

Four things I have for breakfast:
~ Cup of Coffee
~ Cereal
~ Toast
~ Scrambled Eggs

Four animals I love:
~ Dogs
~ Puppies
~ Dogs
~ Puppies...I will have one someday!

Four Beaches I've been to:
~ Galveston, TX
~ Myrtle Beach, SC
~ Brant Lake (Beaches made for lakes count...right?)
~ Melvern Lake

Now you know a little more about me (and probably more than you wanted on a few of those responses...)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

November in August?

I noticed something this week in class...there are students home sick! I couldn't believe it. It is only the second full week of school and I'm already having to make sure that absent work gets home to kids. I mentioned this to the class, and I found out that apparently strep and the flu are going around in the elementary school (which ends up effecting the middle and high school too). This usually happens at the earliest in November...and it's still August! I reminded the kids to make sure they got their vitamin C and get to bed early.

Taking my own advice, I went to bed at a decent time last night. And woke up feeling like crap! I have been sneezing and blowing my nose all day...literally all day (my trash can at school is filled with used Kleenex), my throat is sore, and I feel the "chills" coming on. I am still dumbstruck. I HATE being sick and I HATE missing school so it will take a fever or throwing up to call for a sub tomorrow morning. So in the mean time...I will down some OJ, take some sudifed, and get a good nights sleep.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Fever

For the last two weeks I have been helplessly addicted to my TV from 7:00-11:00 PM. The 2008 Olympics in Beijing kicked off with an exciting opening ceremony, and throughout the last two weeks the "water cooler" talk has been of little else. I love the summer Olympics. I find myself sitting alone on the couch yelling and cheering for the swimming relays, giving my own "expert" opinion as to why Nastia Lukin should have received the gold on the uneven bars, and watching with excitement as May and Walsh take their second gold.

It is so exciting to see some of the more little known sports gaining attention during Prime Time. Sports enthusiasts all over the country settle themselves in to discuss the techniques of fencing and what exactly the rules are for rowing. Even those who couldn't tell the difference between a soccer ball and a volleyball get caught up in the Olympic Magic!

Many athletes dream of some day going to the Olympics and representing their country competing for gold, however very few get to see that dream come true. As a coach I see all kinds of athletes come through the gym each year, all having something different to offer. Yes, there will always be those "God-given talented athletes" who's name appears in every article of the newspaper as the top scorer, and they are to be celebrated. But what about the athlete who continues to go out for the sport they love year after year, knowing that they will rarely see their name in the paper or be offered that scholarship. They are there for one reason...the love of the game and a desire to be a part of something that requires a TEAM of people. They are the true athletes. They push themselves to run hard and touch that line, for little or no recognition.

So here's to all our athletes, the Olympic Champions and the Senior football player who goes in for one snap all year. You inspire me! (And keep me up much later than I like to be :-) )

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Guy Friends

For some reason, I have always been able to make friends with guys easier than girls. I do have many women friends, but my really close friends who I keep in touch with the most, go to for advice, and have the most in common with are all men. My interests and attitude tends to be more "guy like." I hate the girly drama that tends to follow women when we travel in packs, and I just don't put up with it. I am not a fan of chick flicks, for the most part (there are a few classics that I enjoy), but the more car chases and things blown up there are the more I like the movie. I like to drink beer and don't like the "girly drinks." I hate shopping. Well, I don't hate, hate it...but I shop like a guy. I go in, get what I need and get out. I cannot shop all day...eww! I enjoy sports and teach in a male dominated area (social studies...very few women). And there are many more examples. One or all of these tend to make it easy for me to strike up a conversation with a man, that many times, leads to a long friendship.

I have come to appreciate my guy friends more and more over the years. Especially since I've started dating more. Any time I need advice or have a question, they are right there with a very honest and easy to understand answer. I trust what they say, because I don't get the "ohhh, it's OK, he's just being a jerk" answer from guys...I get the "Oh calm down, you're worried over nothing, stop over-reacting!" I know that what they tell me may be blunt, and I may disagree, but it is honest to goodness no BS!

Now, just because I have interests along the same lines as men that doesn't mean that I'm not a full-fledged woman (and proud of it). I love to wear cute clothes, I have WAY too many shoes, I've had my wedding planned for years, I am addicted to pedicures, I over-analyze situations, and I am really picky about the decor of my home. I do believe that once I find a good balance between my tom-boy side and girlie side some lucky guy will get to enjoy the best of both worlds!

Monday, August 18, 2008


My sister, Jamie, is 4 1/2 years younger than me. It's funny to me how I used to think she was soooo much younger, and how now that we are older that gap continues to shrink. I call her "Bamer" and I have been using that name for her since we were kids. I don't really remember how I decided to change Jamie to Bamer, but never-the-less "Bamer" stuck, and I rarely call her anything else.

Jamie and I didn't always get a long growing up. She saw me as the "bossy and demanding, mean older sister" and I saw her as the "annoying, bratty baby sister." It's not hard to see why we fought growing up, we are very different. It amazes me how siblings can be raised by the same parents and turn out so unique. I could go on and on about the things that we differ on or don't exactly see eye to eye, but instead I thought it would be fun to list some of the things she "gets from me."

~ Through college she has learned to cut back on some of her spending and now tends to think like I do when it's time for grocery shopping. (Although now that I have a "real job" I have relaxed on my penny saving and will shell the extra cash for some things)

~ We both enjoy a good night out with friends, but when given the choice, most times will prefer to be in bed by 10!

~ We both tend to have a certain talent for working with kids.

~ We both enjoy cooking and trying new recipes...especially meals that are BOTH good for you and taste good.

~ We both have a deep appreciation for a really good dessert. (the more chocolate, the better!)

~ We both LOVE spending time with our little nephew Bryson! (However, we do fight over who is his favorite...ME!)

~ We both spent many summers earning money by life guarding at the local pool.

~ Apparently we chew our gum the same...I never noticed, but I've been told this.

One weekend I was visiting Jamie and we were cooking dinner together, she turned to me and asked "Jill, do you think we would be friends if we weren't sisters?" The question kind of caught me off guard and I answered honestly..."I don't know if we would become great friends, but I don't think we would be rude to each other. We would probably pass in the night and not give the other much thought." She seemed to agree (we are both well aware of how different we are). However I have had more time to think about this question...probably more than she knows, and I have a new answer. I have many friends, they are great. But I have only one sister, and I wouldn't trade 1,000 friends for my baby sister, Bamer.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Week

The first week of school is over...

I am so glad that we start off with a three day week at the beginning of the year. I couldn't be happier to be back to work, nor could I be more tired. The first two days of school are nothing but rules and classroom procedures (we have block scheduling so I see 8th grade and 7th grade on every other day). By the end of the day on Thursday I had given my "Worldly Expectations" presentation 6 times! Today I was excited to actually get to teach something, and it went great! I am absolutely exhausted. My feet are not in "Stand-all-day-long" shape, I have not conditioned myself to be able to fall asleep before 10 yet (so 5:47 comes really early), and my voice is a little strained. Needless to say that the weekend gets here with perfect timing. A nice way to ease everyone in to the school routine. As Garfield knows all to well, Monday will always come, and a whole week of school will come with it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Over the summer I got back in to the habit of exersizing. I've always been what I'd call "moderatly active" since I stopped playing volleyball in college. I go through spurts where I'll exersize and lose a few pounds then stop and gain some back. You know the cycle...

Now with school starting my daily swimming routine will have to end. I won't be able to be as active as I was during the summer, but I am going to make sure I keep up some type of physical activity each day. (success at the scale is one of the best motivators to keep going!)

One of the ways I will do this is with Debbie. While at ESU my roommate and I would work out to Debbie and her Slim in 6 program. Debbie has 3 levels; 1: Start it Up, 2: Ramp it up, and 3: Burn it Up. I have been doing Debbie 1 off and on over the summer when I didn't feel like driving to the Y for a swim. So today I decided to up it to Debbie 2. I hate Debbie! Ramp it up is over twice as long as Start it Up and I'm hurting. Squat after annoying squat, leg lift after painful leg lift. The only comfort that I take is that I can yell at Debbie through the entire workout. I can yell all kinds of mean and nasty things to her, and her feelings will never be hurt. She is still there the next day when I push PLAY smiling and egging me on. (However, I do not hear her because I mute it to hear my music). I know that tomorrow when I move slowly to put on my shoes she will be there ready to "Ramp it Up."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Things to look forward to

I have been ready and waiting for August 13th for the last two weeks. The first day of school. Most kids are trying to squeeze out as much joy as they can on their last day of freedom, while I am anxiously waiting their return. I happen to be one of those lucky people who get to do what they love as a profession. That doesn't mean there aren't difficult days along the way or annoying paperwork that can seem to bog me down at times. So I thought that I would write a little about some of the things I look forward to with the school year. That way when those bad days and weekly papers to grade start to drag on me, I will have this little reminder of what makes my job GREAT!

~ The "Hey Miss A!" calls from the kids down the hall.

~ Those kids who come in my room before school starts to read the sports section and see if I saw the over-time KU game last night.

~ Dressing up (I love my sports clothes, but sometimes a girl just needs to feel pretty!)

~ High Fives!

~ The look on the nervous 7th graders as they see what I'm all about.

~ Hugs...nothing better to bring a smile to my face.

~ The little sarcastic remarks and joking around about how loud my voice gets or how wild my hand movements are.

~ Finally making a connection with that stubborn kid I've been working to reach, and seeing the smile when they have success.

~ Spirit Week: Nerd Day, Crazy Hair Day, and the best one ever...Pajama Day!

And what's great about my job, is that each year more and more things get added to this list! I can't wait to see what new things happen this year :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Overrated and Underrated

I came up with this idea for a blog (at least I think I did...I apologize if you have seen this before or written on this topic) to write about some of the things that I think are either "overrated" or "underrated" in our society. Cause lets face it...some things get WAY too much credit.

TEXTING: omg! u r so kewl, u no u r my bff! lylas. lol! ttyl. I am a horrible texter. Don't get me wrong, it can be handy to send a short message here or there, but I refuse to hold an entire conversation by texting. I worry about the conversation (not to mention spelling) skills that the next generation will have. Will they even know how to go up to a person and strike up a new conversation?

TALKING ON THE PHONE: I am a talker, and those of you who know me, know this all too well. I love long conversations whether face to face or on the phone. It can be hard to detect sarcasm, joking around, and actual feelings while texting or typing on the computer. Pick up the phone so I can hear your voice.

SUBWAY: No enough meat. Bread is hard. Will not make the sandwich the way I want it. (I mean how hard is it to make a turkey and roast beef sandwich...they refuse)

MR. GOODCENTS: Tons of meat and cheese. Bread is so soft. Pasta if you're not in the mood for a sandwich. I wish we had a Goodcents in town, but then again...I would be eating out way too often.

BRAND NAMES: Just because the label says Nabisco does that really make the food better???

ALWAYS SAVE, BEST CHOICE, KROGER: Saves you money for the same great taste! (most of the time....there are a few things I will shell out the extra money for...Jiff anybody!)

LATE NIGHTS: Don't get me wrong, I love a good night out with friends as much as the next person, but how many times can you do that before it starts to get old (or you do!!)

EARLY MORNINGS: I am an early bird. I get some of my best work done in the morning. Nothing beats a beautiful sunrise or the smell outside when you first get up!


FRESH POPPED POPCORN: I have a StirCrazy popcorn popper. Add a little salt and pair it with a Diet Dr. Pepper, hard to beat!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Coaching School and the Roulette Wheel

The past few days I have been in Topeka for the annual Coaches Clinic. This is my second year getting to go and I love it. Coaches from all sports from all over the state get together share and learn new techniques of the game or strategies of how to "get through" to our young people. Only with coaches will you see people getting together and telling information to the competition that can help them beat you! In the business world we would by "Corporate Spies."

One of the many perks of coaches clinic is that Topeka is within 20 minutes of Harras Casino. Now, I am not a big gambler. Before this week I had been gambling twice in my life and both times just played the slots and watched my 20$ disappear. So I've never been really excited by it. However, last night I took a shot at the roulette wheel. This was so much more fun than those annoying slot thingies. I took out my 20$ and played for over 2 hours. I was down to only 4$, up 45, breaking even, and ended up leaving the night 40$ richer than I started. Gambling is so much more exciting when you walk out a winner...

I will never be a compulsive gambler. I am too paranoid about watching my money disappear. But for 20$ I had some really good entertainment (those people in there are hilarious) and ended up making money.

Now, back to the "real world" as I start in-service tomorrow, and in 5 days will be back in the classroom with this years crop of teenagers. I can't wait!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

School Supplies

I went back to school shopping today. I have been putting it off for a while do to the fact that I hate Wal-Mart. No matter what time of day I seem to go, it is constantly crowded (I'm not much of a crowd person) and they have 50 check out lanes but only 3 open! Why go to Wally World then? Simple...I need A LOT of things cheap! So I made my way through the automatic doors and into the jungle...

Since I am a teacher my school supplies list is a little different than most parents shopping for their 3rd grader. I needed 6 pairs of scissors, 72 spiral notebooks, 18 rolls of masking tape, a stapler and automatic pencil sharpener (that will no doubt be broken in two weeks by my middle schoolers), more pens and sharpies than I bothered to count, and two very large bags of Jolly have no idea how much a little piece of candy can motivate a teenager! I successfully navigated my unbalanced cart through very thin isles, kids crying "mom...loooook attt thisssss," and tired looking employees, and managed to find everything on my some (I might have mentioned I have a thing for school supplies). Tomorrow I'll spend a good portion of the morning putting everything away so I can be all organized for the start of school. Sadly, that organization will be lucky to last until then end of August...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Favorite Things!

I got this idea from my cousin's blog. Just a few things that top my list at the moment (it is constantly changing!)

~ Seedless Watermelon! Nothing beats it in the summer time :)

~ The lap pool at my local YMCA. The water is the perfect temperature for lap swimming, no better place to escape.

~ "It's good for you," my new Pampered Chef cook book. Great recipes and all a little on the healthier side :)

~ Netfilx! They had me at "No late fees!"

~ My new Tommy Hilfiger sweat pants. I bought them when it was 100+ degrees outside just because they were SO comfortable.

~ The Sopranos. Great show.

~ The 20th of every month, Pay Day!!

~ The old Disney Movies. Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and probably the best ever...Lion King. "Wall-E" doesn't hold a candle to those.

~ School Supplies. I can't walk down that isle in Wal-Mart and not buy something...Occupational Hazard???

~ A good beer on a hot night. Enough said...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Buy Now Pay Later

I received my first credit card in the mail today, and after calling the number and going through many "for ____ please press 1" it is finally ready to use. It took me a while to convince myself that I can be trusted with this little piece of plastic. I like to think I manage my money pretty well -- making it through college with no student loans, paying my bills on time, and always managing to save a little a long the way. But to have the temptation of "buy now, pay later" has always scared me away. I finally decided that I can resist attractions of things I don't really need and only spend on a few of the things I really want as to make sure I pay off my bill each month. (Those interest rates are ridiculous!) So wish me good luck as I head out with the pretty new plastic in my wallet!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Mama Calling"

Caller of the best additions to cell phones since...well, cell phones. The phone rings (usually making me jump) and I can instantly see who is trying to get a hold of me. At least 5-6 times a week...and sometimes phone reads "Mama Calling."

I love my mother, we talk almost every day. She usually calls me just to see how I'm doing, and we end up talking for a while, mostly about nothing. However, there are times when I see "Mama Calling" that I sigh...what now? What can I possibly say to her that's new, nothing has happened since last night!

No matter...We still find things to talk about, and I hang up the phone feeling all caught up on small town gossip, PE lesson plans, or the latest on my little nephew. And what do you know, I'm calling her the very next day to see how she's doing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Days

I am a teacher, a middle school teacher to be exact. Whenever I tell people that I teach I usually get one of the following responses...

~ Oh, we need good teachers (not that they usually have any clue whether or not I am a good teacher)

~ I wish I would have been a teacher, but I couldn't live on that salary (it is possible folks!)

~ Ohhh (usually followed by a grimacing face) I don't know how you stand those hormonal teenagers...I love that age! Maybe it's because I'm younger than most of their other teachers, maybe it's because I have a sense of humor and will laugh with them, maybe I'm still a teenager at heart, whatever it is...I seem to click with that "awkward age."

One of the big perks of teaching is obviously having those wonderful 3 (well...actually 2 1/2) months off. I love my job, but I really enjoy summer time. For the first time in 10 years I took the summer off. No job. I was really concerned with this decision do to the fact that I live in a very small town with literally NO ONE my age who is not married with kids. Not the ideal place for a social life... But I was still optimistic figuring that I could fill my days with swimming at the Y, getting things done around the house, and working on a pretty big "to-do" list for the classroom.

Turns out, summer was great. Swimming 5-6 days a week, spending time with family and friends, camping at the lake, watching episodes of Sopranos (a new found addiction, thanks to great recommendation from a friend and Netflix), and updating/organizing school stuff. For the first time summer has been relaxing and not just "flown by" in a rush.

Someone said, "All good things must come to an end." I'm not sure I believe that..."good things" just evolve into "new things." Summer is ending, but school is almost here and I am ready to be busy again!

Entering the Blogging World!

I am ashamed to say that I am finally catching on to this "blogging" thing. I have heard people around me talking about "this blog" and "that blog" and sadly just nodded my head pretending to understand what they were talking about. Not that this is a complicated addition to our fast paced technological world, nor would I consider myself incapable of understanding, I just didn't have a reason to be interested. That is until last weekend. My cousin Casey and her kids came to visit and she showed us her blog. I was amazed! I constantly find myself returning to her page to read anything new she has added, and even go back to older posts. I kept thinking when I have a family and have something to write about, I'll do this...

Then I realized, I don't have to have a family to write about one of the millions of thoughts that seem to be running through my head So, here I am. New to the blogging world and excited to try something different. So, for those of you who stumble across my page and take in a few words, I hope you enjoy!