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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Year's Reflections

Today, as I was cleaning our little apartment home for our "New Year's Eve Party" (aka Sam is coming over and he and Ian are going to play video games, I am sure,) I was listening to one of my favorite cd's. It's called "Hymns:Ancient and Modern" and it is wonderful. My favorite song on there would have to be "The Doxology," and I thought I would use it as a way to reflect on this past year.

Check THIS out to read up on the history of the song:

The Doxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

God, thank You for everything you have done for me and my family this past year. Helping me get through my final internship, graduation, the planning and implementing of our wedding, the establishment of our marriage, moving to Gainesville, miracleously getting the job at Borders, Ian having a steady-flexible job, my getting a job teaching, the peace You gave us when I lost that job, and the hope in the future position you have set in front of me. Thank You for all You have done. Even when I am not the most grateful, in retrospect, I can see Your hand on our lives.

Praise him, all creatures here below;

God, thank You for allowing me to take part in your beautiful creation. From Virginia, to seeing the Keys for the first time, to snorkling and realizing how intricate Your designs are, to flying up the eastern seaboard to Rhode Island, to hiking in the Georgia mountains, and to sitting in the quiet stillness at the beach, I praise You for making a creation we can marvel at. I have so many questions for You about the how's and why's of Your design, but I know the answers will come with time.

Praise him above, ye heavenly host:

It took me awhile on this one God. I had to really think hard on what this line means. I believe it means that, as Your creation, Your child, my goal in life should be to honor and praise You with all that I do, so that, eventually, my praising you becomes equal/surpassing that of the angels in heaven. I can't do this task alone, God, so for now, I praise You for how You have brought this to my attention and pointed out the meaning of this line. It might take me my whole life to get to this point, but at least I know what I am working towards.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

God, thank You so much for being my Father, for loving me only as a Father could. And thank You for sending Your Son to live and die for me, so that I might one day be with You. God, I praise and thank You for leaving us with the Holy Spirit (or Ghost,) for I do not know how I would hear that "still small voice," without it. Thank you for the direction in my life and I am looking forward to learning more about You, and Your word in the coming year.

Amen


Happy 100th Post
From Brittney at
Witheagerhands

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Grandma(s)

To my two lovely grandma's in my life, who blessed Ian and I with Christmas shopping money, I thought you would like to know how it was spent.

First, I am sure you are surprised that is spent already. Well, let me tell you what, it definately was not spent unwisely. We had been thinking and plotting what we would buy with any financial shower that came our way, and I am sure you could guess what.

You got it!

Books.

And before I tell you what books we got, I just wanted to thank you both (Grandma Hunt and Grandma K,) for instilling in Heather and I a love for books and learning. We were never dorky to you guys, for loving reading and for adoring learning new things. You encouraged us and helped us in any way you could. Thank you for that.

Drum roll please.....

The following are the books we were able to purchase (um, and one dvd,) with our Christmas money:

"The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief"
"The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945"
"Conquests And Cultures: An International History"
"The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek)"
"Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition"
"East of Eden"
"Sense and Sensibility"
"Peter Pan"
"Of Mice and Men"
"Beowulf"
"The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds"

and the dvd

"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"

And in case you (other people who are reading this) were wondering, yes, Ian and I did receive books that we asked for, for Christmas. Uhhum.... Here THOSE book titles are:

"Emma"
"Northanger Abbey"
"Mansfield Park"
"The Grapes of Wrath"
"Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes"
"Moby Dick"
"Tolkien:Unfinished Tales"
"Quicksilver"
"Freakonomics"
"Guns, Germs, and Steel"

Anyways, that is unrelated. I just wanted to let you know, grandma's (and grandpa K too!) that we really appreciate the gift and it was put to, what we think is, a good use. And I think you would agree!

We love you both so much!

Day off ...

I had great plans of finishing ALL of our laundry today and getting the house cleaned up for our week of off time and visitors.

But the evil Twitter had other plans. Let me explain.

All last night I was receiving text updates from Twitter, even some this morning. Then, magically, they just stopped! And people WERE updating because I checked online. So, somehow, the great folks at the online company have some sort of Bug up their sleeve. I spent a good 2-3 hours messing around with it. Usually I wouldn't really mind. I got it so that I could update my own blog, not read other people's sentiments.

However. Today, one of the blogs I read's little boy son become even more drastically ill and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how he was doing. Then, when I came to find out I wasn't getting the updates like I signed up for, I sat at the computer checking back in to see any news.

It was not a fun day.

I don't deal well with being frustrated. At all. In fact, it's probably my biggest weakness. If you ever see me get REALLY really angry, it's probably because I am frustrated. And I am probably frustrated because something isn't working like it's supposed to. (no for all of you judgy mcjudgerson's, that isn't code for "isn't working out like how I want it to.") I really mean it. If something is supposed to work one way, and then it doesn't that is when I get the most frustrated.

Like with the twitter
Or with our Wii, when I push a button and nothing happens, and then I die. Not fun
Or with a recipe (if I follow it directly)

Or really anything that says "Hey! I am going to work this way, so trust me!" and then it doesn't.

Seriously folks, steaming mad.

All that to say, though I love the whole Twitter thing, if they don't fix it soon I might just explode. (sorry for the dramatics....kind of.)

Also, please don't comment about how I need to work on this.. I am well aware of that. Be nice with comments please.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tweet-Tweet Twittering

Now, hold on to your britches folks, because I am about to through you through another technological loop.

It's called "Twittering."

What, you ask, is twittering? Well, let me tell you.

It's basically the web's way of letting me talk to myself, and maybe, JUST maybe, you'll get a kick out of it.

Still don't get it? Well that's okay. My lovely Grandma reads this blog so I will explain it in her terms.

See right over to the right side of the screen? It says "Twitter updates." Whenever you come to the blog, make sure you check that column to the right, because I can update that little column SEVERAL times a day, and, (are you ready for this?) I can do it from my phone!

So, when I happen to have really weird things happen to me while at work, or in the store, or while driving... you, dear readers, are going to get to learn of it first hand! I send a text to a special number, and, VOILA, mini side blog of the interesting/not so interesting happenings of my day.

For all of you computer newbies, this is all you need to know.

If you want to take it a step farther, and you have text messaging on your phone, you can get a twitter account and "add," me, and you will get my updates sent to you as texts!!!!

Oh it's so wonderful.

For instance, MckMomma's, a blog I read, had to take her baby boy into the hospital, and I spent some of my morning in prayer for Baby Stellan. But, avast, when I had to make a run to publix, I couldn't very well lug my laptop on my shopping cart. Wouldn't you know though, as I was reaching for two cans of garbonzo beans, my phone beeped! It came, bearing tidings of great joy! Stellan was fine. And I could go about my shopping, feeling relieved and considerably less anxious about the state of this little boy.

Huzzah!

Now, don't you feel like saying Huzzah also?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Been A LOOooong Celebration

I never realized how celebrating Christmas can tire you out.

Our family usually does Christmas Eve, and Christmas morning, and then it's all done, just relaxing family time.

Well, let me tell you what.

Over 72 hours of Christmas festivities and I am wiped out. I am just glad that my parents decided to combine Christmas Eve and Christmas morning into one late night activity.

This morning I woke up and feel just absolutely exhausted. I have spent most of the time snuggling on the couch under a blanket, watching my dad play with his wii. Took about an hour long nap, and woke up thinking "wow, I really need to post something." After all, I vowed to have 100 posts done by the 1st of January, 2009. I am so close to actually achieving a goal I have set for myself.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.......stay awake?

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Can Betcha..

That, on Christmas Day, I never expected to :

-Watch the move "The Coneheads." Ever, or for the first time ever. Nope, never could have guessed that one.

-Play a "fighting," video game, with my mom, sister, Ian, and myself. Nope, never could have forseen that little adventure. Lots of shrieking and yells of "Iaaaaaan! Stop it!" ( he really was much better than us. )

- Hear my 24 year old sister say the following in a conversation:

Mom: Heather, can you say the blessing
Heather: My whole life is a blessing, so really.
Mom: ..... (blank stares and then laughter ensued,) ( I prayed, haha, )

I can't wait to hear all about ya'lls Christmases. More to come in the next couple of days.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Coming Soon..

A Tale of Two Christmases

Starring

Ian
Brittney

Ian's Family
Sid
Kim
Sid Jr.
Andrew
Carli (Sid Jr.'s girlfriend,)

Brittney's Family
Jim
Marsha
Heather


And let's not forget the two VERY cute puppies that the Galloway's have....

D'Artagnon
and
Bridget!

We are celebrating our first married Christmas with his family AND mine!
We are lucky enough to have our families only 2 miles apart from each other, and are taking advantage of that little distance to spend Christmas with both of them

Our schedule:
Wednesday the 24th- Christmas eve with the Galloway's, service, dinner, hanging out, teaching mom Wii games
Thursday the 25th- Christmas day with the Galloways + mom and Heather coming over for lunch
Friday the 26th-lunch with the grandparents, Dad's flight in, "Christmas Eve" with the Cummins
Saturday the 27th- "Christmas Day," with the Cummins

It will be alot of fun I am sure, but I am sad to have to split my attention away from just "my" family. I love them and our traditions so much. But I am sure that Ian feels the same about his.

Oh yeah,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh So Sweet..

I have heard it said, that, like the "freshman 15," the newlywed 90 can be expected.

90 you say! Shocked I am sure, but that is the number of the combined weight gainage of the husband and the wife in the first two years.

I am just glad that Ian and I have not come, and will not come anywhere close to that. Especially since my sweet tooth is, is, is...

Epic.

That's what it is. Epic. But, I know that my cravings for all thing sweet and delicious are totally under control (despite what an observer might think.) Unfortunately, I have unleashed the beast in my husband and we have both been worried that it would reverse the massive weight loss he achieved 4-5 years ago. Have I not told you about that?

70 pounds. As a senior in high school. That is how much he dropped, 70 pounds. He's my hero, and I am so glad I have him around to help make healthy meal choices and to encourage me not make bad eating choices. Lucky, lucky me.

No, seriously.

I mean it.

Our good friends, John and Staz, (you know, the crazy wedding in Rhode Island, read HERE to refresh your memory,) told us something very interesting.

John, the guy Ian roomed with in Jordan and then spent a ton of time with in his senior year, who is also about the same size (at the time of his wedding in August- 6 foot 3, 175 lbs,) informed us that he has put on 55 lbs. In just 4 months!

I was shocked.

And then a little worried for them.

But overall, I am glad to know that we are doing the right thing and that six months later (That's right people, it has been over 6 months of marital bliss,) we are healthy and making smart choices.

It is oh so sweet.

And so is the fudgy brownies and cherry vanilla ice cream that we just had for dessert.

Delicious.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

My Class and I have been talking about song lyrics, the patterns that they form, and rhyming schemes that are present. More specifically we have been reading through Christmas song lyrics. Here is their finished product:

Meeting with the Principal

I just met with my principal, and found out that they have worked a little something out for me.

I will be long term subbing (so the same thing I am doing right now, same pay too,) until April 9th.

I will be in a third grade classroom across the hall from the first day of school in January until the last day in February. There is a weekend, and then on that following Monday, the second of March, I believe, I will begin in a fourth grade classroom. I will only be there for a month, or until Spring Break, but still!

Praise God for working this out! We were going to be alright financially, but this added bonus will be a huge bonus. It will give us some breathing room. A chance to save. And a chance to work on getting rid of any student debt.

Must go pick up kiddos from PE.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Note to a Miniature Percussionist

Dear Little Drummer Boy,

I have a few questions for you. Some serious, some not so serious.

Let's start with the casual questions and then I will segway into the more formal ones.

Little Drummer Boy, our music director pointed out that you are probably not real, but I don't know. Could you have been real? Are you real?

What did it smell like in the stable? I mean, I can use my imagination, but I would really like to hear some descriptive words thrown in here.

Or how about, how did it sound? Was the caucophony of animals as loud as "Away in the Manger," makes it out to be, or was it more along the lines of "Silent Night?"

What song were you playing? I would just really like to know what you were rocking out to. I don't suppose it was to Chris Rice or Michael W Smith. Maybe to Jars of Clay, that's right up your alley right?

What were you thinking when you marched in there? Were you scared, because I would be terrified. Shaking in my flip flops, wet my pants kind of scared.

You seem like the brave type.

Did they all look up at you when you came in a "rum pa pum pumming?" I imagine their attention was otherwise involved, but maybe they were just checking in order to keep Him safe.

What did you see in their eyes?
Hope?
Love?
Joy?
Wonder?

Any confusion?
Concern?
Doubt?

They are human after all.

And finally, Little Drummer Boy, what gave you the idea to play your best for Him? A little baby. In a manger, without the usual hubub of birth surrounding Him. You played your best for a baby.

No matter what, I want to play my best for Him, no matter what the circumstances.

Love,
Brittney
aka the not so talented pianist.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cards

Being out on our own now, one of the biggest things I miss during this holiday season, is receiving Christmas cards from all of our friends and family. I used to love opening them up and reading the cards and looking at any pictures that were sent.

No cards this year.

I take that back. A man that Ian met ONE day at Liberty sent us a card. Seriously. They only met and talked that one day. And he sent US a card. Nice man.

YOU people however, have sent no cards. Maybe you haven't mailed them out yet. Well if that's the case, you are alright. But, if you did send them out, and said to yourself "Eh, I'm already sending one to her parents," please please PUhLEAse reconsider.

I don't have much joy right now people. Take pity on my poor, unemployed, living in a hippie town, far away from my friends and family, self. (also, be glad I decided to spell check that last sentence because without the commas it makes alot less sense.)

That's all for my whining/asking for a lovely holiday favor blog post.

I'm just reminding ya'll that we're up here.

That's all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I love my husband!

He sure does make me laugh....

While watching TV tonight (we were watching the UFC match,) he flipped on the TV guide.

The next thing I hear from him is this...

"Oooooh!! Batman vs Dracula! Cool."

He's just so darn cute.

Christmas Particulars

I found this little Christmas questionnaire and decided to join in!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Both, but I could drink hot chocolate by the gallons and egg nog in sips only.

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa was never a real figure in our house, but the presents are definitely wrapped!

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white?
White, but when I was a child we always had colored lights. I about had a cow, when around age 16, my mom tried to add some sophistication to our tree with white lights. Now, I love them!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, I don't need a reason to kiss my sweet husband.

5.When do you put your decorations up?
Usually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this year it was on a Friday evening. We don't have a ton, just enough to appear holiday-ey. A tree and decorations, stockings, and a table centerpiece.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Probably ham. I'm obsessed with it. You can imagine how hard my time was when I worked at a Jewish-Kosher camp.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Christmas morning in general. Having to lay still and quiet in bed until a semi appropriate time, run out and wake up my sister, get anything around for my parents that we could (coffee, toast, juice,) and stare in wonder at the presents that my parents had added during the night. It was always a magical time during the dawn of Christmas morning.

8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was 2 or 3. Whenever my sister started questioning it, they just went ahead and told me as well. Santa was always a make believe character that, in telling stories and singing songs about him, seemed to just add a little more sparkle. But he wasn't the bringer of presents. And I'm glad that's how I was raised. It made me more grateful for all of the sacrifices my parents were making.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes, pajamas every year.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Lights, then "cranberry" strands, matching sets of ornaments, then mismatch of ornaments. We don't have a tree topper yet, but back at my parents' house, my sister and I took turns every year putting on our angel.

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
Only time I ever saw snow was when I was in the Middle East, visiting Ian. I liked it alot. Until I realized that I had no real closed toed shoes. How do you say "oh crap," in Arabic?

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes, and I love it! I can't really do any tricks, but I am very fast. One year my cousin fell and got his face sliced open. Still never deterred me.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
My American Girl Bitty Baby. Man did I love that thing. Ask anyone. I loved her and loved her and loved her. And I would get 1-2 outfits every year for like 4 years and all of that is saved in a hope chest for my daughter. One day she will love her a bitty baby as well. Perhaps I should send my doll in to get cleaned up and repaired. It's just a thought.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?
Jesus. And spending time with the family and just enjoying each other.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
My Momma's molasses cookies. Delicious!


16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Reading of the Christmas story on Christmas eve on the couch with my sister and dad, with my mom watching and taking pictures.

17. What tops your Christmas tree?
Nothing here at the apartment, but at home it was an angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Definitely giving, and I am not just saying that! I love finding someone the PERFECT gift that is just going to make their day. Plus, I love wrapping.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
O Little Town of Bethlehem -reminds me of the simpleness of Christmas. And Carol of the Bells- it is SO beautiful.

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?
I think yum, but very rarely do I eat the whole thing. Usually I eat the straight part, but when I get to the hook it gets too messy and I give up.

21. What do you want for Christmas?
My dream gift would be a subscription to People magazine, but that is like 120 dollars so that isn't going to happen. Ian and I really want a Wii, but we'll see. With no job, I am not expecting much and that's okay.

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
No, still developing traditions of our own first.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?
We dress up for church and then wear pajamas at home.

24. Do you own a Santa hat?
Uh, I don't think so. I wasn't called "fat head," for most of my childhood for no reason. I'd have to buy a jumbo one and that would just look ridiculous.

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
My Mom, my Dad, and my sister, Heather. And now, with my wonderful husband, Ian, and his parents and brothers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Momma Mia!

My Momma is here!!!

We had planned on it for awhile, but it just so happens to fall on the weekend that I really needed my Momma. Good food, fun conversation, and watching of The Nativity Story always is fun. More to come from our weekend later!

My Comfort

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Stormy Clouds

Yesterday was one of those perfectly delicious, weird weather, Florida days. You know the kind. The ones where the clouds roll in to stay (big, black, puffy clouds,) and the wind picks up and tosses about the "leaves" we have on the ground. The kind of day where you wish you could just crawl in bed and stay there.

Well, I probably should have done just that.

Yesterday, at the end of the day, I lost my teaching job to the "budget crisis." I'm pretty heartbroken over having to leave my kiddos (and for losing the potential income.) But I know that for every thing, there is a reason. God is in control, and though I may not know exactly why this is happening, I do have an inkling of an idea. More 0n that later.

For now, please pray for us. This isn't really the "best" time of year to lose your job, (though I think that argument could probably be used any time of the year,) and there aren't really any job prospects on the horizon.

Thanks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Interesting Reads...

I spent my evening curled up on the couch, watching TLC, and grading the November prompts for writing. The prompt was "what is your favorite time of year," but it seems like most kids just took the first season that popped into their head and ran with it. They just wrote a story that took place during that season, slapped a title on it, and called it writing.

EVEN, the kid who wrote about how Fall is his favorite time of year because he gets to use his gun to hunt deer-and then once they catch deer, he and his dad (father/son bonding maybe?) get to gut it and bury its guts in the ground.

I was kind of appalled.

Then I focused my attention back on Reba and was happy again.

On another note, my day was WONDERFUL and the kiddos were great. AND I got my insurance packet, so, pretty soon, I am going to be a married, INSURED, teacher. It's pretty amazing, let me tell you what.

Also, next week, I get my first and second paychecks.

Watch out, because I might just catch flame.

I am that on fire.

Or, at least I feel like it.

One good day down, hopefully four more to come.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

!!!!!!!!!!!!


National Championship....


Here we come!!!


Go Gators!


Gators, Nachos, and Grading

We spent our Friday night at OUR home, with our friend Sam coming over for a visit, and me falling asleep on the couch around 9/being carried to bed around 11 by my lovely husband and sleeping to 9 the next morning. Oh, it was wonderful. I would have slept longer, but said husband doesn't like to let himself sleep TOO late because he says it makes waking up early on Sunday all the harder, so his alarm went off at 9.

We spent the morning and early afternoon watching Food Network and History Channel, eating cereal (for breakfast,) and omelets (for lunch,) and spending some time cleaning up the house. It's actually gotten pretty messy because of our trip, unpacking, me being sick, and still getting used to my work schedule.

Around 2, we packed up and headed over to see Sam's new place. Not that we haven't seen it before, but that was when it was just his friend's apartment living room. Now that living room is Sam's bedroom and we went to see all of the changes, eat homemade nachos, and watch the SEC championship with his friends.

Have I said lately.....

GO GATORS!

Well, there. I said it. :) 

And now, I am on Sam's computer typing this post, taking a break from my mountains of paper grading. I've been trying to get caught up on these worksheets that are titled the "Fab 40" (because there are 40 of them,) and I have to say, adding the term "fabulous," does not make something more exciting. At all.

Anyways, I better get back to that. And see if I can sweet talk my way into ordering some pizzas. Because, no matter what, nachos is not a meal in my book.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twilight...



It's been over a month now, but I thought I would fill you in on how I was forced, (well, kind of,) to "read," the book Twilight.



*spoilers ahead*



It's all the rage, you know? That obnoxiously cook book that all the teenage girls were reading and then some college girls, and then some not so college age girls were reading. And then those boys began reading it. You know the type. Different boys. And I know. I worked at a bookstore remember? I sold it to those people in waves, and in THAT particular order.

Anyways. I swore that I wasn't going to read it. I practically took an oath that I, Brittney Michelle Galloway, would, under NO circumstances, read the book Twilight, because it seemed so utterly ridiculous.

Then, we got in the car for girls weekend and Katie and Rachel pulled out matching copies. MATCHING copies!!!!!

I was doomed for sure.

They read to themselves in the book seat, but it wasn't any ordinary reading. There were lots of *gasp!* and *oh my gosh!* and *kiss her kiss her kiss her!* and the other Katie and I were just navigating away, trying to make our way to the Georgia mountains.

Then, the Katie with the book, got overwhelmed with excitement/car sickness and couldn't read to her self anymore, so Rachel debriefed us drivers, then began reading out loud.

What a girly book. It was like, MADE for a sleepover.

Every two or three minutes, one of us would be shrieking, calling out "What?!?" or "Read more!!!!" or, when there was a particularly fulfilling part, there were girlish giggles and anticipatory clapping.

We're talking straight out of the "Sisterhood" books. THat girly.
We read it in the car.
We read it in the cabin.

We read it in bed.

We read it in the parking lot.

And by "we," of course I mean, Rachel read it ALL outloud to us.

And then, on our drive home, going 70 down the interstate (I swear that's the speed limit,) we reached the climax where Bella is thrown against a wall, and she's JUST ABOUT TO DIE, when in comes the hero!
......

There were actual screams.

And flailing of arms.

And somehow my car got put into neutral.

......

But somehow, Bella survived.

And so did we.

It was very exciting.

I am not sure if I will ever read the rest of the books. I liked the first one, but I really think that's because the presentation of the story was so darn cool.

Rachel did voices and everything.

It was amazing.










Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Hands are Full

Both literally and figuratively. Literally, because I spent most of today running around with two glasses of sweet tea in my hands. That is because I JUST found the teacher's lounge and there is free, FREE I say, sweet tea. I was one happy teacher.

Figuratively too, because it's been a really rough week. Here's the story:

On Wednesday, Ian and I hit the road to go to his parent's house. Traffic was horrible, and it took us nearly 3 and a half hours to do our 1 3/4 hours trip. We had a wonderful dinner with his parents, then headed over to my parent's house to hang with my momma for a little, then back to his house for some much needed rest.

I woke up at 4:45 on Thanksgiving morning to take my momma to the airport (to see my daddy,) and I was feeling kind of off, but I figured it was the early morning thing. Came back home, crawled into bed and slept for several more hours. Only to feel even worse when I woke up. Thanksgiving morning was fun though, hanging with the in-laws and one of my new "brothers," cooking and just relaxing. Around noon I decided to lay down for a little because I SERIOUSLY wasn't feeling good, and as I snuggled into bed, I took notice of what kind of pillow I had been sleeping on all night. A feather pillow. And then it dawned on me. It was my allergies!

Well, by that night (during our watching of the movie "Australia,") my throat was closing up and my breathing very labored and raspy. Everything went to my lungs, which I am not sure it has ever done before. I spent the next 48 hours in medically drugged haze as I recovered, but I had lost my voice, energy, and all will to eat, and gained a raspy cough.

We headed home on Saturday night because I desperately wanted my own bed, and spent all of Sunday recuperating for Monday's work.

Monday was not fun because I had no voice and just wanted to sleep, but we (including my students) made it through, and these past two days have been me on the mend and school is finally falling into a pattern.

Well, expect more from me the next couple of weeks, because I still want to reach my 100 post goal, by the end of this year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gator Game 2008

Yesterday, our friend Sam got Ian and I tickets to the last home game for the 2008 season. Though we were positive it was going to be a blow out game, (and it was,) we went and had a wonderful time!

On our walk to the stadium, which was between 2-3 miles long, a limo pulled up next to us and offered to drive us the rest of the way for 20 bucks. Sam plopped down the 20 and we hopped into the limo, and arrived at the stadium in style!


I spent some of the time playing around with my camera, testing out the "action" mode, and working on focusing on objects near or far, so some of the shots may not be very interesting, but they were just me having some fun!






















Saturday, November 22, 2008

As promised....

Pictures of my classroom- post clean up! Click here to see the pictures of the classroom Pre cleanup.
My school, the front office!

From car line, into the school.
The outside of my quad, my room is right betwen the trees.

The field that I let my kiddos run in whenever they seem like they have too much energy. It's right outside of my door.

Small group reading center- where the magic happens. Or, the learning, whatever.

My Lesson Prep table, with all of the materials I will need for then ext day or two. We're starting a chemical testing lab and it requires quite a bit of set up.

The desks, grouped in sixes, except for the middle table, which has an empty 7th desk on it.
The beautifully clean book cases, wiith all of the book spines facing one way. That empty counter/top of book case, will be our "science center," with plants and rocks and magnifying glasses eventually.
The bookcase nearest my desk, with all of my children's books I have collected over the years.
The front of my desk, with their incentives sheet. Right now, they are getting a sticker for each night they have their planner signed.
My chair and calendar behind my desk. I'm still working on my pictures back there. Since I don't have a printer I had to take what I already had printed. A picture of Katie R and I in England, and a picture of the Alderman children (minus Foofy) after ice skating. If anyone asks, I say/fib that they are my cousins. It's just easier that way. ;)

My file next to my desk. Each child has 3 different files that things have to be placed under, so having it by my desk instead of in the filing cabinent, is alot handier.


My desk, with a desk calendar (for 2009,) my plan book, open to this week's plan, my basket of miscellaneous items, a picture of Ian and I, until I get my wedding pictures printed, and, best of all, my bell.
The bulletin board behind my desk with the monkey cut outs for the jobs around the classroom. They haven't gotten very good at them yet.


Spelling words, "the land of G" paper (for gallon/quart/pint/cup conversion) and my beloved whiteboard. I am a little "anti chalkboard" because of my allergies and my student's allergies. So, during the day, I use the whiteboard, and only write on the chalkboard what is staying up there for awhile.
The alphabet line, with V W X, Y Z added, finally. The employee at the teacher supply store gave my husband a discount once he heard the story, haha.

My board, with the overhead projector semipermanently unplugged. I have never heard of using a projector with 3rd graders. It's so odd. I will use it for somethings, but not often. Also, our rotation/grouping charts, my stool, and the yellow behavior chart.
In the reading corner, the pillows to sit on, and the bookshelf with some thirdgrade appropriate books. These kids aren't the best readers and most of them are nowhere near reading a chapter book. Sad, I know.
The reading corner, with the big blue chair, and my rocking chair. Also the filing cabinent which we use because it is magnetised.

The chalkboard in the reading center where we do a graph of somesort every day. Monday is a Venn Diagram asking them which food they will have on Thanksgiving, Ham, or Turkey. They each have a red circle with their name on it and a magnent on the back, and will have a chance to come up and place it in the appropriate place.My Falling Into Reading bulletin board. Each time they get a 100 on their Accelerated Reader test (a program that creates 5-10 question quizzes on books from the library) they get their name and book title on a leaf. These are all just from this week!
The computer center that my lovely husband cleaned up for me, it was a mess before, trust me!

The built in that is still the messiest part of the room, but I don't really have a place to put all of her things that she left, so there it is.
The social studies center, their favorite, yay! Each day they get their folder out of the blue box on the left, and a book (which I have checked out of the library and layed out) on a particular state, they read for 10 minutes on that state, then they write 3 facts and draw a picture. They have learned so much! We learned about Florida, Georgia, and Alabama this week. Also, each morning we read and correct sentences about a president, this week it was George Washington and John Adams.
Again the social studies center, with the MASSIVE purple boxes with all of the supplies for just this chapter of science.
The back counter, still a work in progress......

But it looks MUCH better doesn't it?

Pile of junk mainly, except for my AWESOME math addition cards that my Daddy found for me at a Garage Sale. We use those almost every day. Thanks daddy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You better Sit your bottom down....

because this could be a long post!

Or, that could be my favorite new catch phrase.

That, and "What? I am SURE no one is talking to me or asking me questions while I am in line! No way is anyone doing that!" which is repeated about 2 dozen times a day.

That's right, I am officially a teacher.

I know alot of people wanted to read my first day account of what happened, but, honestly, I can't remember much. I remember that the kids were shocked to see their room rearranged and dust free (shocker!) and that there was alot of "but that's not how Mrs. xxxx does it!" but other than that, nope. Not much of a memory.

The past four days have been quite an adventure. I have had to follow through with plans that were left for me and integrate my own into the curriculum. I have had to establish rules and routines that the kids need to follow. Sure, there have been alot of tears (by the kids, not me. Wait, I don't know if that's better or worse), but, only four days in, and my kids were nearly angels today. They seem to have really grasped onto how I am running things.

I will tell you, my biggest concern is homework. These kids, they just don't do it! AND their parents send in lame excuses for why their child didn't do homework. Since when is saying "My child did not do their homework because I had to take his sister to cheerleading practice," an acceptable excuse!?! Or, my favorite "My child does not have his homework because I threw it away." What? Really? You threw your kids homework away. hmmm. Sounds like johnny didn't do his homework, you forgot to ask, and by the time you realized, you were driving johnny to school. So lame.

I don't even give that much homework either. It's usually about 15 minutes of spelling practice a night. That's it. All I have to say is, when they fail their spelling test tomorrow, I WILL be sending a note home saying "Gee. Looks like your laziness has paid off."

Or, maybe not.

Maybe something more politically correct like "Johnny has failed his spelling test, please sign and return acknowledging that you have reviewed the test, and his study habits with him. Also, according to my records, Johnny did 1 out of his 4 assigned homeworks. Perhaps this explains the low test score. Please encourage Johnny to complete his homework nightly."

Yeah, that sounds better.

Anyways.

I have so much more to tell you, but, since I am trying to reach my 100 posts goal, I will save those for later.

Pictures to come tomorrow!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How About Some Nervous Energy?

Tomorrow, is the big day.

I mean, the BIG day.

I finally have my own classroom.

And my own class.

I certainly did not expect things to turn out this way.

I certainly did not WANT things to turn out this way.

Certainly not.

But they did.

And God has blessed me now with a classroom, after a lot of tears and prayers and "Why God's?"

I still do not know "why," but that is alright.

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Ian and I spent the afternoon up at the school cleaning and rearranging. And by cleaning, I mean making it an actual livable space.

When Ian cleaned the blinds, it looked like a magna doodle, the difference between the clean and the dirty part. Disgusting.

Dead bugs were found in all sorts of intersting places. Gross.

And then, when Ian was hanging my alphabet line above the chalkboard, he dropped U, V, and W behind the chalkboard. Tragic.

I told him he could buy me a new one. And he will.

So the room is Kind of ready for tomorrow. The back three tables are littered with things that still need to be organized and put away, but if you stand in front of those and look forward, the room looks GORGEOUS.

But, sad to say, I won't post pictures until it's all the way done, which will probably be at the end of this week.
_________________________________________

So, I am going to use up my nervous energy around the house, which, despite some people's opinion, is sadly neglected. It's the truth.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Banana Pudding Anyone?

About a week or two ago, I decided to try making banana pudding from scratch.

Which, sounded easy to me, turns out, not so much.


Here are some/most of the ingredients I was told I needed. Note the egg separator on the counter. It took me awhile to dig that baby out, and to exactly figure out what to do with it.


This is my version of a double boiler, because that's what Rachel Ray said to do, and, I don't have a double boiler (nor see a need to own one if this contraption works.)

This is me "continously stirring" the ingredients in the double boiler. The directions said that it would become custard like in 10-12 minutes......
35 minutes later I am still stirring. No custard.

This is my DELICIOUS soap that Mrs. Angela gifted me on my last surprise visit. She has a storehouse of this particular flavor and wanted to pass on the obsession, I believe. I think it worked. Who doesn't like smelling like peppermint during the holidays?!?
I got bored with taking pictures and bored with stirring, so after 45 minutes of stirring (it had started to clump slightly around 25 minutes) I gave up and just poured it in the dish with the bananas and nilla wafers, and cooked it. Turned out great! Well, it was VERY custardy, which, it turns out, is a texture I am not very found of. But Ian looooooved it, and pretty much devoured it for days, until I threw it out due to the disgustingness of the bananas at that point.
Give me good ol' Sonny's banana pudding any old time.