Tuesday, May 3, 2016

National Teacher's Day Celebrating

Today is National Teacher's Day.

There are about a million reasons to celebrate, but I will keep my list shorter than that.

I am celebrating:

*dedicated teachers who arrive early and stay late
*copy machines that work and rarely jam
*a library full of books (that are checked out often)
*school cooks who make a special staff meal on Fridays and deliver ice cream to our rooms to celebrate us (yesterday's fun!)
*Expo markers and whiteboards, even though I miss my good old fashioned chalkboards
*carts of computers and iPads that get a daily workout
*elastic bladders that are trained to wait until the bell and can make a bathroom trip in under 4 minutes
*comfortable shoes and clothes with pockets
*gum, mints, and Lemonheads to get me through the day
*blue jean Fridays
*coaches and sponsors who put in extra time outside of the classroom with students
*and students, lots and lots of students
     *students who try and students who don't
     *students who love learning and those who fight it every step of the way
     *students who make us proud and those that break our hearts
     *students who follow every rule and those who...don't
     *students of every shape, ability, and attitude who fill my classroom with chatter and laughter--
                did I mention complaining? Yes, there is that, too.
*mainly, I am celebrating the end of school year number 37

And that explains the gray hair.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Traditions

As a kid, I can remember rolling paper into cones, adding yarn for a handle, and filling the cone full of Mom's lilacs. We would deliver a May basket on May Day to Grandma. We'd knock on the door and run. (Of course, it was fun to be caught in the act, too.)

When K and L were small, they delivered May baskets to their babysitter. The "baskets" were usually made out of the paper cones or a Styrofoam cup.

And now it is the next generation's turn. The Bug has delivered May baskets for several years. Last year, I helped her deliver them because Mommy was in the hospital having her baby sister.  This year, the Bug and Mommy delivered. The Bug assured me that next year Little Sis would join in. She was just too little this year.
I loved this mug of flowers! So sweet.

Speaking of traditions, the littlest granddaughter received this from her mommy and daddy for her 1st birthday.
K found it on Ebay. A horse quite similar to this belonged to Little Sis in California when she was a toddler. Grandpa at the Farm made a rocking horse for the girls when they were little and used Little Sis's horse for the pattern. K is pretty sure there will be a fight for the horse Grandpa made someday.
The horse Dad made is still on Easy Street. The handle has been chewed by Baxter,
but the kids still love playing with it.
When they aren't here, it sits on a shelf just keeping an eye on things.

Some traditions are worth keeping.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy 1st

This little sweetie turned one yesterday.
Nana spent the day at State Forensics, so we are celebrating today.

Happy May Day!

We love May. The month of the Kentucky Derby, Cinco De Mayo, graduations, Mother's Day, and the last day of school. It is a fun month.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shhhh....!

I am caught up on grading. I can't believe it.

Of course, the next round of papers will be in soon, but.....

For now, it feels pretty terrific.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hey, Fashion Designers!

I have about had it with clothes designers. When are the fashion designers going to realize that women need pockets in their pants, skirts, dresses, and jackets?

Men have always had pockets. Why is that? They have important things to carry and need their hands free. And women don't?

Women have had to carry purses, which is sometimes awkward or bothersome. (Don't get me wrong. I love a cute purse as much as anyone, but they aren't practical all the time.)

At work, we can't carry purses from room to room or desk to desk. And now with cell phones, women frequently find themselves with no place to carry the phone. I have taken to wearing my SPI running belt under dress clothes just to have a place to carry my phone. (We are supposed to have it on us at all times at school.)

I refuse to buy another pair of slacks that don't have pockets, unless I am sure I will wear a jacket with pockets every single time I wear the slacks.

And while I'm griping, it would be nice if they would make women's pockets deeper. There would be a better chance of things that I put in my pockets, staying in my pockets.

So.. there you have it. Fashion 101 from Mrs. E.

Think anyone out there is listening? Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Beautiful Spring

We've had cool temperatures at night and warm temperatures during the day. Perfect spring weather! Since the rain this last week (around two inches), the wind finally turned into gentle breezes. Beautiful!

Baxter and I have been enjoying early mornings together. He is glad to be back on the streets of Tiny Town, claiming his territory as he goes. He gets me out for a walk, even when I would rather sleep in. The trade off is that I enjoy a quiet town, full moons, and the smell of lilacs.

We are off to watch the Bug play soccer this morning and snuggle with her little sister, too! Then we are headed to Big City to do a little mattress shopping and see L, CB, and Little E. This is my kind of Saturday.

If I could just finish one more set of essays, this weekend would be darn near perfect!

And now, I hope I didn't jinx the weather by talking about how perfect it has been. I think I am enjoying it so much this year, because last year there was only a day of spring and then it was summer--and hot!

Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ah, April

April is such a pretty month around here. Warm temperatures, prom, flowering trees, and the early spring flowers.

Of course, it is also the month of taxes, finishing testing, dandelions, thunderstorms, and students never in school.

So, testing is done, except that several of us are in the process of grading some of the state writing tests. We've spent one day grading and will have another grading day at the end of the coming week. The grading we are doing is online, so those results are available at the press of a button. Of course, none of us will know results until the end of November. (The computerized test can't give results sooner than that?? Really??)

Filing taxes has been interesting this year. We never have a refund. We don't pay a huge amount, but we always pay. So when we received a letter from the IRS asking us to call, we were surprised. (We hadn't filed yet.) Seems like someone had already filed on the Mr.'s number and was requesting a pretty hefty refund. They flagged it and contacted us. The culprits won't be receiving their refund, but of course, it made mincemeat out of our filing process. We filed our taxes, sent the check, and they said it will probably take until fall to clear up the mess. Thank goodness they caught it.

Regional forensics is over. State contest will be in two weeks. The students have performed fairly well this year. (And I finally feel like I know what I am doing, and what I need to do differently next year.)

I am blogging because I am behind on grading, and I am procrastinating. I am owning my procrastination. Especially today. It is dreary outside, and I could sleep all day. I won't, but I could.

A couple other updates: the littlest granddaughter is walking, little man E "kissed" me on Facetime and his lips ended up hanging up on me, and the Bug scored a couple of goals at soccer on Saturday. Also, my former colleague who was in the house fire died within a few hours after being airlifted to the burn center. Her service was on Saturday while I was at Regional Forensics. So sad. (And I hated to miss it.)

OK. Time to put a lid on the procrastination and get with it.

Or maybe, I will watch CBS Sunday Morning.

Grading? Or taking it easy?  Right now, taking it easy is winning.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Our Normal

Life has been crazy busy lately. I need a slow week or two.  Summer where are you?

Let's see...

We've had Easter celebrations that I haven't written about or even shared pictures. We had family in for dinner. Year #2 of torturing Little E with the Easter bunny. Poor kid. Someday, he will doubt our sanity.


 Sunday before church.
L and CB went home to go to their own church on Easter Sunday, 
so it was just K, CT and girls.

I had a terrific birthday. The Mr. bought me new running (walking) shoes. K and family gave me a favorite ball team's shirt and a pair of Reef flip flops. They have a bottle opener on the bottom. (Love it!.) L and family gave me a couple of cute Alex and Ani bracelets. I love them! Oh, and I bought myself a pair of OOFOS chrome sandals.
 The best part of the celebration!

Drama and forensics students ran a concession stand for the big home track meet. One night of headache was worth it when we cleared well over $500.

We've had Prom in Tiny Town with an Alice In Wonderland theme.
 Little people on the morning of Prom

I've graded State writing tests. (That gave me a headache.)

I've hiked with several friends on a U town trail one Saturday morning. (I am ready to start that regularly again this summer!)

The Forensics team has been to a tournament, and we head to Regionals next weekend.

The Bug had her first three-on-three soccer games this morning. We had a great time watching her play.

The Mr. bought me a new rake. Our yard is full of twigs from all the wind we've been "enjoying." I raked dead grass, leaves, and twigs today.

Weight training a couple days of week might kill me.  First of all, the getting up at 4:40 is tough. Then, the muscle ache from the seldom used muscles is deadly. (Nothing like not being able to walk down stairs or go from sitting to standing.)

It seems like we've had a lot of sad news lately. Sweet SIL lost her mom right before Easter. A cousin's young son is recovering from a terrible car accident. A former student died unexpectedly last week, several students were involved in an accident that could have been a lot worse than it was, and news reached me today of a former colleague who is in critical condition after a house fire. I think most of us are ready to holler "enough."

Right now, I have several days of grading staring me in the face. I just can't seem to catch up. I keep telling myself that summer is coming. I just wish it would hurry up!

One of these days I'll have time to write again--and then I won't have anything to write about.

So, in other words, things are running about normal on Easy Street.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

58 to 59

A year ago, I was somewhat dreading turning 58--the age mom was when she died. Today, I am quite happy to turn 59. (OK. Happy might be stretching it.)

I am taking birthday cake to my classes today. They can help me celebrate that 58 is over--and I'm not 60 yet. I'm calling this the 30th anniversary of my 29th birthday. (Let's face it, anyone over 30 is old to them.)

We celebrated with the girls and grands over the weekend.
 
"I am increasing in value."

"Do not regret growing older; it is a privilege denied to many."

So true. I need to remember this every day in the year ahead.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Heading Back

Spring break is over, and I am headed back to the grind. This is a weird week. Monday and Thursday are the only normal days. Tuesday and Wednesday, we are running a strange schedule to accommodate the State English test; therefore, the rest of our classes are only about 30 minutes long.

This year, I am only teaching half the sophomores. The state testing is still a really big deal, but I am not feeling quite the stress/pressure that I usually do. (I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not.)

I'd be dreading the crazy week and state testing, but we also have a four day weekend at the end of this week for Easter. I guess this is one way to rest up from Spring Break. (!)
I don't often quote Bob Marley, but this week I am loving the life I live.

Spring Break+Back for 4 days+State Testing+4 day weekend= Not Bad!