Friday, May 6, 2011

Checking In

I've been away from Blogland for a while. The short version: I am struggling internally to figure out where I "fit" in both the Blog universe and the IF/SIF world...

...I hope that one of these days I'll be able to blog more details. For now I'm not ready to "share all" just yet. Thus, I'm just going to update on the basics:


-First a WAY belated thank you to those who voted for me in the limerick contest! I was tickled to earn 2nd place in my round of voting. (And I loved the winning limerick, so can't complain a bit.) :)

-Emma turned 6 1/2 on St. Patrick's Day. I continue to be awed as a parent. Her growth and eagerness to explore and learn new things are wonderful . (And holy crap how can her kindergarten year be nearly over?!)

-My bro-in-law and his family visited Jacksonville during their spring break. It was great to see them. Em was especially thrilled to have an entire "cousin day" at the beach and Nana's house while our relatives kindly babysat Emma when I worked during a teacher's planning day. Kicking myself, because I didn't take any pics during their visit. Doh!

-For the first time in several years, my younger sister Laurel had the same spring break as Emma and I. She traveled from Ohio and spent the week with us. Unfortunately, we had rain everyday of her visit except for one. We still managed to have a great time, but with less fun-in-the-sun than we anticipated.

Here are some highlights from our adventures during her visit:

We visited the Jacksonville Fire Museum:

Em and Auntie Laurel pose on the antique fire truck.

Em and I "climbing" the fire pole.

We went to the Jacksonville Zoo to view the special "Dino Alive" exhibit. The exhibit was neat---we walked along a pathway in the forest looking at life-like dinosaur robotics.

Em enjoyed climbing on this bamboo hut structure we passed along the way...


Auntie Laurel and Emma

2 of my favorite gals on the bridge in the Asian section of the zoo:

Of course a zoo-day isn't complete without a carousel ride!


The highlight of Laurel's visit was her last was finally SUNNY and beautiful the entire day! DH was able to be off of work to spend the day with Laurel, Em, and I. We went to St. Augustine where we explored St. George Street, rode on a Sightseeing Train, and visited the Pirate and Treasure museum. It was a wonderful day!

--At the end of March, DH (finally) allowed me to read the 5th draft of his novel!! I thought it was super. Per his request I offered some editing suggestions. The story is creative and though sci-fi-ish which isn't my usual #1 choice, I think it has great selling-potential. DH has made revisions and is again seeking agent representation to be published. I SO hope for him that things work out. I admire him sticking with it... He has a co-worker who recently self-published a book. I applaud DH for following his instinct and seeking an agent, as he has seen how his co-worker's self-publishing is not the format he hopes to become published with.

-The transmission in my car went ka-put. Argh. $3,000. My car is a 2002 Honda Civic and though we hated to fork out the $$$, I liked hearing confirmation from the mechanic that Hondas are "great cars" and there are still "plenty of good years" left in mine.

-DH and I celebrated our 36th and his 37th. I received some books from my reading wish list, a dinner out, and surprise cake from Em and DH. We didn't splurge much this year due to the previously mentioned car transmission.

-At the end of the month I chaperoned Em's class field trip to the zoo---SOOOO fun! All my pics were taken on my phone...and I am having difficulty getting them to post, so maybe another time??

-I was able to speak with Emma's teacher, Ms. H about a few things:
1. Ms. H is referring Em to the school psychologist to have her tested for "gifted" placement for next school year.
2. Ms. H spoke about how Emma and Bryce are a "great match" as friends. They are kind to one another, have supportive home lives, and play really well together. At the beginning of the year Em had a few play dates with a girl in her class, Vianna. DH and I noticed in mid-November that Em rarely mentioned Vianna anymore, but mentioned Bryce quite frequently. The teacher reported that Vianna tends to be wishy-washy with her friendships and a bit of a "drama queen" about things...said it was smart of Em to steer away from Vianna when she did. During our zoo field trip I was able to see Em and Bryce in action. I was particularly pleased to watch them when a class bully was saying rude things to them... Bryce leaned in, and whispered something to Emma. Then the 2 of them giggled and walked away from the bully. Priceless! :)

-Easter weekend I had a bit of a stomach bug. My in-laws kindly picked up Em so she could accompany them to the family feast at my sis-in-law's house. These blurry pics are the only pics I took this year.

-The U.S. was finally able to locate Osama Bin Laden. I am grateful he was found. I have mixed emotions about my own feelings and those portrayed in the media---it seems so weird to be joyful over the death of someone. Nonetheless, I am thankful Bin Laden's reign over terrorists has ended. Though like many others I have concerns for the retaliation his followers might plan.

My extremely tough school year continues....
-On Thursday my school was in a "Code Yellow" emergency status for 4 1/2 hours. This means all classroom doors are locked and no one is permitted to enter or leave any rooms without receiving an "all clear" from the office. Short version: some students from a nearby high school threatened to bring a gun on campus to attack one of the 8th grade students at my school. After school, we ended up releasing bus-riders only 2 buses at a time. (Usually when the end of day bell rings, all students are dismissed. Then all busses are dismissed 10 minutes later.) We were still locked in our classrooms 45 minutes AFTER school was dismissed. Luckily, no weapons were discovered, all students were able to leave safely, and NO ONE was hurt. The letter sent home with students by our principal and the interview she gave on the local news report stated that we were in Code Yellow status due to "rumors."

-We are in the final stretch now. The last day of school for students is June 10th. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

-I've continued my pursuit of online masters degree programs. I think I have it narrowed down to 4 programs. My biggest issue is trying to decide which would be best long-term: a degree in educational leadership, or a masters in reading. It's difficult because with budget cuts and the havoc in the education system, I no longer "know" that I will retire in the education field. While I have no current plans to leave teaching, I no longer feel this is a "permanent" career. I guess only time will tell.

WHEW! I think that is the latest... I hope you've been well, Dear Readers.


Kristin said...

I am so glad to see this update from you.

As for where you fit, don't worry about it. You always have a place here. Keep showing up...keep are important.

Carrie27 said...

I completely understand not knowing where you fit - I recently wrote a blog entry about it.

I love hearing about your dh working on his book, I want to do this, some day, some day.

I'm on my third class for my masters, and I steered clear of working in the younger grades and am working on getting my masters in adult education/technology, but mostly because I don't know where we will be and need a more flexible job.

Love all the pictures!

Anonymous said...

My goodness is Miss Em getting big! And her hair is getting so long! I am so glad to read that she is doing so well in school and finding her way - what a blessing.

I love the pictures of you and her and her with your sister - just pricelss.

And I am so glad that the lock-down at your school resolved without issue! Things like that seem to happen quite often around here and I am thankful that we have not had to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah for an update, you've been on my mind. I can't believe how grown Emma is, she looks like such a big girl. So Sorry to hear about the car transmission, that sucks! It's crazy how much things cost but I'm glad they got it fixed.

It's so good to read your update, it sounds like life has been treating you good. I can totally relate to the where you fit concept. I had the conversation with my Hubby a while back and was totally taken back when he asked me why I needed a label. I never thought of it that way but it's so true - just be you, we all love that, and that's all that matters!!