Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

--Em School Update: I tried to meet with her teacher after school yesterday, but she had already left for the day. I ended up speaking with the director. (I agree with other commenters-as a teacher, I would prefer a parent come to me directly BEFORE going to my principal. However, the director, Ms. K was near the front desk when I asked if Em's teacher had already left for the day or not. So when I walked by, she called me into her office and asked what I needed.) I still plan to speak with her teacher, Ms. T. next week to discuss things. The director informed me that Ms. T and another teacher had both called her that morning because several students in their classrooms had seen or heard the news and were telling other students about it. Ms. K said she directed the teachers to:
--Verify that a little girl named Summer was killed by a stranger on her way home from school
--Explain that Summer is in Heaven now
--Say a prayer for Summer
--NOT focus on "stranger-danger" type lessons, so as not to scare the children
--Say, "Yes, it's very sad" (or something similar) and steer the conversation elsewhere if kiddos continued to bring it up during the day

I am saddened that multiple parents allowed their 4 and 5 year olds to view the news this week. However, I am comfortable with how Ms. K handled the situation. And being a teacher, I know we often have "teachable moments" that are not necessarily related to our standards or curriculum.

My only remaining concern is whether or not the news was viewed in the classroom. However, I will speak with Ms. T about this directly...

--Pumpkin Patch: Today we had a wonderful 80 degree sunny day. DH, Em and I travelled to C.onnor's A.cres farm to experience the hayride, pumpkin patch, corn maze and fun. We had a great time! I was thrilled with our fun fall photos. (And just as an FYI, Em dressed herself in her orange and pink outfit today.)

Em on the PVC Pipe Slide

Queen of the Haystack

Bonding with Daddy

Family on the hayride cart (which DH says should have been advertised as a "tractor ride," rather than a "hayride," as there was hay on the floor of the cart, but not on the benches where people sat to ride. Valid point!)

Haystack Sliding (Em wore herself out---she must have climbed up and slid down this haystack 40 times. She LOVED it!)

Em enjoyed a "Cow Tractor Ride"

Daddy and Em walking in the Corn Maze

Em loved making "angels" in the corn box

Pumpkin Patch Girl

I love this time of year! We had a wonderful time!

Friday, October 23, 2009

End of Quarter 1


To the tune of REM's "It's the end of the world..."

It's the end of the quarter as I know it.
It's the end of the quarter as I know it.
It's the end of the quarter as I know it, and I feel fine.

Well, mostly fine. Tired. Overworked. Behind on blogging due to catching up with grading. But fine overall. :)

Today is the last day of 1st quarter. Monday is "planning day" (no school for students) when my grades are due, and I'll work on next quarter's ideas/thoughts/planning schemes.

Sad: A 7 year old in a neighboring county was killed this week. After 2 days of an Amber Alert for missing children, they found her body in a trash landfill. So very, very tragic. I was saddened by the news. And then...

After school yesterday, Emma told me she had heard a "very sad story" at school. She proceeded to tell me about a little girl named Summer who got into a fight with her brother when they were walking home from school, so Summer ran away from her brother. "And do you know what happened, Mommy? A stranger got her and killed her. And they found her in a dumpster."

WHAT?????????? How does my 5 year old know about this? When I asked her where she heard the sad story, she said they talked about it in school today with their teacher. She said her teacher told students the story and then told them strangers might "look pretty" or "seem nice" or "say they want to give us candy" "but we should NEVER go with them!"

While I appreciate the stranger-danger lesson, I am appalled that my child was told about a girl being killed and left in the trash. Am I being too over protective? I think my 5 year old is still too young for such specific details.

What pushed me over the edge was when we were getting ready for bed last night. Em came into our room and said, "I'm sad about Summer." She then shared the story with DH. And told him they had WATCHED THE NEWS ON HER TEACHER'S COMPUTER at school today. WHAT??? We are very upset. DH tried to meet with the director of Em's school today when he dropped her off, but the director wasn't in yet.

Obviously Em is dwelling on this. I think it is a lot for a little girl to take in. Hell, I'm 34 and I can barely absorb it. Maybe I'm being too motherly, but I am angered that my child was exposed to harsh news without us being asked or informed. Do you think I'm overreacting?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


ARRRRGH! That is how I'm feeling today....

--School: I don't get alone time in my classroom. During my planning period one of the teachers who has too many students in her Read180 class, sends students to my room to use the computers. It's only 1 or 2 students, but still frustrating to not have time to decompress, turn up my music, etc. like I would if I were alone in the room.

--After school there is a teacher and group of students in my room for the after school tutoring program. They are nice kids, respectful towards me and the room. I know it could be much's just that I don't have MY OWN SPACE anymore. (This should be resolved in a few weeks once the A.C. in the other teacher's room is fixed.)

--Weather: 93 Degrees. Record setting temperatures this week. What the heck??? It is autumn now, NOT summer. Mother nature, if you could please cooperate and cool down a bit, I'd really appreciate it.

--Exercise: I am feeling blecky and I know part of that is due to my complete and total lack of exercise since the school year started kicking my butt. Sighs....gotta force myself to fit some kind of work out back into my life. (Pathetic moment of the week: I ate a D.airy Queen D.illybar IN BED while watching "The Biggest Loser" last night. Good grief!)

--Family Dynamics: I don't know if DH is overwhelmed with his novel, or what. His Dad called a few times last week to check on Em. DH didn't bother to call back. This drives me nutty... I think it is disrespectful.

--Babies: I'm tired of wanting another child and not getting PG. I'm tired of friends hurting from longing for a child. I'm tired of second guessing myself and wondering if I'm not PG because God or Fate or Karma or Whatever think I would suck at having 2 kids. I'm tired of thinking, "I wish she had a sibling" during times when Emma is whiny and/or struggling when she doesn't get things her way. Why can't I just be content with what I have?

--Oh the I read the disgruntled tone of this message, I think much of it is due to P.M.S. Drat!

(Thanks, Dear Readers....a more cheerful tone next time, I promise.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Over the Top

The past week has flown by...

--Em was diagnosed with a virile infection. However, the doctor didn't prescribe antibiotics, she just recommended keeping Em out of school for an extra day. Thus Em and I stayed home both last Monday and last Tuesday. She was feeling better by mid-morning on Tuesday and was running around, jumping off the furniture....totally could've gone to school as she didn't have a fever anymore. Oh well. I was able to get some house cleaning done in between games of Old Maid and Candyland.

--My class sizes are finally leveled! In fact, my huge class of 29, is now my smallest at only 15! (The other half were given to our new Read180 teacher. Yay!) Now I'm working on reeling in the behavior and changing the habits my students developed by having too large a group. YES, I expect you to use the computer software EVERYday now that we have a reasonable student to computer ratio. Sheesh.

--Nothing else new at work or home...

--The sweet and wonderful Mrs. Gamgee over at Hobbit-ish Thoughts and Ramblings honored me with the "Over the Top" award this week. This fun meme helped put my brain in focus mode, as it was difficult to provide only one-word responses.

Here are the rules for the Over The Top Award:
USE ONLY ONE WORD! It’s not as easy as you might think. Copy and change the answers to suit yourself and pass it on. It’s really hard to use only one-word answers so try your best!
(And I agree with Mrs. Gamgee---parenthetical input does NOT count towards the word count! Smiles.)

Tag 6 other bloggers and let them know that you think they are 'Over the Top'!
1. Where is your cell phone? pocket
2.Your hair? blonde
3. Your mother? comforting
4. Your father? protective
5. Your favorite food? Mexican
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favorite drink? P.epsi
8. Your dream/goal? Ireland (I've always wanted to visit)
9. What room are you in? Classroom (it's my planning period)
10. Your hobby? scrapbooking
11. Your fear? heights
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Content (at least more so than I am now)
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Male
15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. Wish list item? House (I'd like a larger one)
17. Where did you grow up? Ohio
18. Last thing you did? Taught
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pets? two
22. Friends? some
23. Your life? decent
24. Your mood? decent
25. Missing someone? family
26. Vehicle? H.onda
27. Something you’re not wearing? pants (ROFL. But I AM wearing a skirt!)
28. Your favorite store? K.ohl's
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When was the last time you laughed? 27 (Aren't you following along?) ;p
31. Last time you cried?
Grey's (When I watched Grey's Anatomy last week, I was choked up by Izzy trying to save a cancer patient.)
32. Your best friend? Aaron (also known as DH, but that would be 2 words)
33. One place that I go to over and over? School (Also known as "work")
34. One person who emails me regularly?
35. Favorite place to eat? Mexican (Remember #5??)
And now my tag-ees!
1. My Expected End

Monday, October 5, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

I'm home today with Emma, as she had a fever of 101.5 this morning. We're resting the day away, as we were unable to get a doctor's appointment for her until 4 p.m. (Which I'm assuming means we'll be home tomorrow as well, as she'll probably have antibiotics prescribed and they'll need to be in her system for 24 hours before she returns to school.)

This morning we've watched TV, cuddled in my bed, and hung out. A little while ago I asked Em if she'd like me to read to her. She responded, "Yes, but can I sit on your lap?" My sweet girl...newly turned 5...where has the time gone? YES you can sit in my lap! Let's savor it while you're still small enough to fit on my lap. All too soon you'll be sitting BESIDE me when we read. And then you'll be reading independently and won't have much reading time with dear ole' mom anymore.

This was a "perfect moment," for two reasons. First, because I cherish time with my sweet girl. And second, because I love that cuddles from Mommy still help Em to feel better. Sighs.

To read about other bloggers Perfect Moments, click HERE.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Getting into a Groove

School: My classes are supposed to be leveled tomorrow. While part of me still has an "I'll believe it when I see it" type attitude, part of me thinks it REALLY will be done. On Friday my class of 29 was already showing up as only 15 students on my online roster. Crossing all fingers...

DH: My sweetie started his own blog last week. He created it as a writing outlet and (I think) as a possible web connection with other authors. I'm a follower, but am not listing him on my blogroll as he is still thinking through how much he wants to mix his "personal life" with his "writing life" on his blog. Check out his first post, and wish him luck on his writing journey, if you wish:

--Without any suggestions or persuasion from me, I was tickled when DH decided to re-vamp his current novel and market it as a "teen lit" novel, rather than "adult." As an 8th grade reading teacher, I'm excited (and hopeful) to think that my students could one day benefit from his first novel. :)

--He let me read the 5 page prologue and I'm "hooked" and ready for more! But, I'm not allowed to read MORE until he has revised/edited. Sighs...waiting (impatiently.) :)

--Fever of 101.7 yesterday. So it was a stay in bed, watch movies, hang out at home kind of day. She seems to be feeling better today...only a slight fever (99.2.) I'm hoping with continued medicine throughout the day that we won't have to miss school tomorrow. She had a slight cough yesterday, but I haven't heard any coughing today...hopefully we started the medicine quickly enough.

--At Em's weekly gymnastics class, they always begin with everyone sitting in a circle. Then each child introduces him/herself and answers the question of the week. Em's coaches cracked up when Em's answer this week to "What's your favorite movie?" was "Grease!" (Of course!)

Books: Despite updating my books-read list on my sidebar, I've been awful about posting about books I've read...

This weekend I read The Awakening and The Struggle, the first two books in the Vampire Diaries Series by L.J. Smith. I enjoyed them and am anticipating reading the 2 sequel books in the near future. (And as I've started watching the "Vampire Diaries" show on the CW network, it was neat to read the books...which of course are WAY better than the show.)

The past few weeks I re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. LOVE this book. I enjoy the entire HP series, but I think Hallows is my favorite. Action from start to finish, satisfying ending, and excellent closure to links and context clues from the first 6 novels in the series.

Last month I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was one of the recommended summer reading novels for 8th graders at my school. It's a novel about a 9th grade girl who becomes outcast from her schoolmates after enduring a trauma. It takes 3/4 of the novel to learn what the "trauma" is. I appreciated the storytelling and the way the author guides the reader to "side with" the main character. I recently learned that "Speak" was a Showtime film staring Kristin Stewart ("Bella in the "Twilight" films) as the lead. We no longer have a net.flicks account, so I'll have to see if the movie is available online or at the library...

DH and I both read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I enjoyed the novel, but DH didn't care for it. And I was completely floored by a trauma that occurred near the end of the novel...broadsided. Did NOT see it coming. Made for very interesting reading! I'm anticipating viewing the movie adaptation of this novel as well.

I have now read 52 books this year. My goal at Kristin's 2009 Book Challenge is to have read 75 books by Dec. 31st. I think I will meet my goal. Woot-woot!

Autumn: We've been able to sleep with our windows open for a few nights now. LOVE this time of year...we've had temperatures in the 70's and 80's during the day, with lows in the 50's or 60's overnight. Perfect!

--Em and I used a recipe my Mom invented this summer...we made some AWESOME oatmeal brownies this week. Super yummy!

--We started putting Halloween/fall decorations around the house. Fall is here!