Yearly Archives: 2011

More Blogger Rants

I’m trying the new template…whoa, this is weird.  The post isn’t about that, though…

I get a decent amount of blogging time in at work, and I’ve seen many posts where I’d love to reply and I attempt to do so.  If your comment system is the standard, in-page Blogger variety, it’ll pop back and tell me that I don’t have permission to access that page and tell me to log in (even though I’m already logged in).  When I attempt to log in again, it already recognizes me as being on.  Very annoying.

Interestingly enough, if you’re using the sort of Blogger comment system that pops up the small window, I can leave a comment no problem. 

Anyone else having these issues?  Blogger just doesn’t like me.  I hate it because by the time I get home, I forget to go back and comment, or I just give up.  If you tweet, I’ll typically just reply to you on there.

Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Teacher gifts!  I didn’t get into the profession for them, but they sure are nice!  Or at least, I imagine them to be nice!

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Teacher gifts are a funny thing.  Haywee reminded me today that we got into the wrong age bracket if we wanted teacher gifts, when I was talking about a friend of mine making one of those cool crayon monograms for her son’s teacher.  I can imagine that’s true, since buying a gift for one teacher is much more economical than seven teachers.

It also seems to be a socioeconomic thing, and a cultural thing at that.  My mom had gifts for our teachers every year, but that’s probably due to the fact that she was a teacher too, and understood.  It was never anything crazy expensive – maybe a personalized ornament, or in our later years, a loaf of artisanal cinnamon raisin bread from a local bakery.

The school we attended (and my mom worked at) is 74% Asian and per greatschools.org, only has 11% of students on free or reduced lunch, if that gives you an idea of the crowd.  Megan Dub-Yuh recently noted that in Korea, she gets gifts from students and parents all of the time, for non-holidays as well as holidays, and she teaches older students.  That was on par with my mom’s experience.  She used to bring home a box or two (maybe even three) of gifts from her students.  BOXES.  Like, as in the kind you get reams of paper out of!  I used to go through it all, help her unwrap, and try to cherry pick (you can imagine how well that went over).  She used to get mugs, dolls from Asian countries, bath and body products, boxes of See’s Candies, and even a $50 g/c to Nordstrom one time.  She hauled.  But she’d been teaching since 1976 and was well-loved throughout the school community.  Couple that with a good 150 – 180 students and she was bound to clean up.

That sort of experience doesn’t happen in my world.  In California, I had a significant number of students from lower income families, and since leaving, I have high numbers of either military or low income families.  Throw in the fact that I don’t have large class sizes (in comparison to general education teachers), and you can see why I don’t tend to get gifts.  The funny thing about that is that we put more time and effort into your child as their case manager than a general education teacher does, since they only see them 50 minutes a day.  SpEd teachers have to build a relationship with a student and their family, in order to better serve them and meet their academic, social, and emotional needs.

No matter though.  There’s many things I’d rather have than a gift you felt obliged to purchase.  As a teacher, I’d rather have:

  • A student with good work ethic – every day.
  • A student who keeps trying, even if they need encouragement some days after defeat.
  • A student who was taught manners – please, thank you, ma’am, etc.
  • A student who comes to school prepared to learn – with a pencil and a willingness to participate.
  • A student with respect for authority and rules.
  • A student with a positive attitude.
  • A heartfelt, genuine sense of appreciation from parents who recognize that we do have their child’s best interests at heart.

That’s what I’d like, not only for the holidays, but for every day.  If you can’t spring for seven Starbucks giftcards, no matter.  Give me the gift of a well-raised child, and I will be thankful, even when they’re struggling academically and need more than an extra bit of help.

 

Right Now

I am…

Watching: Nothing.  Unless you count the letters zooming across my laptop screen as I type.  Wheeeee!!!

Eating: Nothing.  I’m at school.  Breakfast was a serving of vanilla Light & Fit yogurt and a bowl of Smart Start cereal with 1% milk.  That’s how I roll in the morning.

Drinking: Nothing, although I’m kind of kicking myself for leaving my bamboo water bottle in my classroom.

Wearing: An argyle print fleece pullover from Lands’ End, khaki pants, and a 3/4 length green top.  Oh, and don’t forget my chartreuse P.F. Flyer high tops!  Yeah, it’s that kind of a day.

Avoiding: Doing something more productive, like working on an answer key for the 10th graders final, or cleaning out my email inboxes.  I’m supposed to be here for tutoring, and I’m not avoiding that because no students are present.  *twiddles thumbs*

Feeling: Headachy and ready for a nap.  Two and a half more days to go until I’m on winter break!

Missing: My muffin and our warm bed.  Go ahead and add Mexico to that list too.  Did I mention that my Colorado family is heading on a cruise to Belize that leaves from New Orleans this week?  Yeah, I wish I was going on vacation.

Thankful: For opportunities coming our way.  I’m thankful for DH’s new job, which is keeping him busy.  He misses his downtime, but I’m thankful that he’s employed.  I’m thankful that I get a winter break, and that I can do with it as I please.  I’m thankful for amazing friends, whose generosity and love never ceases.

Weather: My temperature gauge said 10 degrees on the way to work.  It looked like it was going to snow again last night, but the skies are clear now.

Needing: I’m pretty content right now, but I could go for a nice, long nap.  I also need more notecards to work on my CDC flash cards.  I need to find time to wrap a few presents and make a WalMart run too.  You can imagine I’m not racing to go there anytime soon, but I need to.

Thinking: About how much I wish this week would fly by.  I’m done with all of my responsibilities for the week, so I’m really just waiting for the students to hand me their completed finals so I can input their grades and be on about my way.  I’m also thinking about how I haven’t heard from my unit as to whether or not I may have orders for break.  I need to follow up on that.

Loving: Revlon’s Lip Butters.  If you haven’t tried these yet, you need to snag one at the local drugstore.  Doesn’t matter if you’re a high-end makeup wearer or not, these are fantastic!  I found a stocked display at the local PX and picked up Peach Parfait and Tutti Frutti and they live up to the hype! 

Dear Santa…

[Who’s up for sharing their wishlist?  Just a sampling, no need to get crazy.  Let me begin!


1.  Aveda’s Rosemary Mint gift set, with shampoo, conditioner, and soap.  I got to try this when I stayed at the Renaissance in Nashville two summers ago and I still dream of how heavenly and luxurious it is.  The scent is divine and it made my hair so soft.  I keep saying I’ll splurge on them, but I never do.

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Crate and Barrel “Classic Century”

2.  A new dinnerware pattern.  Why am I dreaming of dinnerware and china?  Who knows.  I’m a goober like that.  I pinned all of my “One Day!” patterns so I can keep them handy.  Unrealistic, financially, although the pine cones seem more attainable.   
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Stetson “Pine Cone,” circa 50s-60s

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Buffalo China

3.  A Kindle.  I actually got one of these last year, but I had also gotten an iPad, so when my grandma expressed an interest in reading on a Kindle, I handed it over.  I may have even gotten a little emotional later, not because I was a whiny little child, but because it came from my dad and he addressed it to his “Reader Rabbit,” which is what he and my mom used to call me as a child.  Fast forward a year, and clearly I’m not reading much on my iPad.  I would love a dedicated e-reader with no bells and whistles.  Give me not the option to play Words With Friends, and I may actually read!

4.  Running gear!  All sorts of running gear!  I have gloves, tights, a long-sleeved shirt, a hydration system, a replacement heart rate monitor, replacement shoes, fancy “race day shoes,” trail shoes, a nicer looking RoadID for everyday, you get the idea.  Love me some running gear, especially if it motivates me to get outside on a chilly Colorado winter day!

5.  New sage boots for my ABUs!  A practical gift, and may not seem like much fun, but I’ve tried them on and they feel amazing.  If I’m on orders for a lengthy period of time this summer, I may have to buy them.  In the meantime, I have two pairs of issued boots that serve me just fine.  If I were active duty, you’d better believe I’d own these things already.  One weekend a month doesn’t necessitate new boots though, so I’ll just covet in the meantime. 

And what’s my super large, “never gonna happen” item?  Why yes, that would be a new car!  Say that in your best Bob Barker voice and imagine the music, noises, and excitement.  If I were in the market to replace my vehicle, I’d be looking for a Chevy Traverse.  Doesn’t need to be new.  I’ll gladly take a loaded, pre-owned vehicle.  🙂

 

Christmas is All Around



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I haven’t watched it this season, but it’s coming!  Love Actually is one of my most favorite holiday movies!  Ensemble cast and British humor at its best!

I absolutely love:

“There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?”  That costume was TDF – I love the bubble wrap on the underside of the octopus tentacles too!

The scene where Hugh Grant dances to The Pointer Sisters.  There’s a reason why that song is on my iPod.

Mr. Bean gift-wrapping.  ‘Nuff said.  Reminds me of my good ol’ days at Williams-Sonoma!  We weren’t that fussy, but they definitely have standards for wrapping styles.  I would gladly pay for wrapping if it were Mr. Bean behind the counter!

I cry every time I watch the scene where Jamie proposes to Aurelia.  So, so sweet.

I love the version of “All I Want For Christmas” they do at the end of the movie.  Trumps Mariah Carey’s any day! 

Billy Mack?  Game on.  I start singing from the get-go.

Who else loves this movie?  Such an amazing storyline.  I love how so many of these ensemble cast movies try to come close, but never quite make it.  Can you believe this movie is already 8 years old?



Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters1.  A student in my 5th period class called out, “Oh!  It’s December 12th!”  It hit me – on this fateful day, six years ago, DH and I moved into our first apartment together.  We didn’t have much money [Gee, that story sound familiar?], we had been denied on our first two attempts, and we’d finally found a place that would accept our application on my salary alone.  It was a humbling experience and we were thankful to have a place to live, together.  I hear it was something in the neighborhood of 650-750 square feet.  It had one bedroom, one bathroom, a single carport, and a single open parking space.  While we swore it would be temporary, we stayed for three years.  It just made sense, especially when DH left for Korea and then Bragg.  I loved that little apartment – everything fit perfectly.  We’ve been moving up to bigger homes at each home since then, but I miss our smaller spaces.



Torres Mazatlan @ VI Resorts

4.  As we’re getting closer and closer to winter break, I’m trying not to think of the fact that I’m staying home this holiday season.  My Christmas is typically spent south of the border, in Mazatlan, Mexico.  The (family) group heading down is dwindling, down to three people, despite the fact that our accommodations are huge this year.  I wish DH and I had the money to go down.  He hasn’t been there in years, and fell in love after his first visit.  It just doesn’t make sense for us financially, and I don’t want to go without him this year, since he’s home.  A quick search on KAYAK reveals that it’d be $575 a person right now – yeah, that’s not happening.  *sigh*  Hopefully next year!

5.  I mentioned before that we’re not buying presents this year…then I remembered that I purchased my official AF photos for the grandmas and my dad, and we found a little sum’n sum’n for my dear friend Trinnie.  Their family does so much for us, it’s hard not to want to gift the boys.  I even saw a “My Auntie is the Best” onesie for Baby Tony!  It was really difficult to stick to “the plan,” which was footed pajamas.  I love having wrapped presents under my tree – maybe tonight I’ll bust out the paper.  🙂   

Milspouse Friday Fill-In #66


Things have calmed down a bit, so here I go, joining in on the MFF fun!  Head to Wifey’s to get in on the action.

1.  My favorite song of the season is Wham! “Last Christmas.”  Seriously, best song ever!  I’m also a big fan of “Christmas Shoes” because it makes me cry and reminds me of my mom, and the Love Actually version of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

2.  My mom is someone who inspires me because she was a remarkable woman.  She was an amazing teacher who touched everyone who walked into her classroom.  She balanced being a mother and having a career effortlessly.  She was fun, classy, and respected.  I tell people she was “like me times ten,” but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.  😉

3.  If I had $100,000 to give to a charity, I’d give it to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Wreaths Across America, and the USO.

4.  If I had a theme party, I’d make it a 70’s/80’s roller skating party!  Trinnie and I have been wanting to have one forever now.  Our DJ would be spinning nothing but the jams, and you’d better come in period costume!

5.  If I had one wish for my kids/future kids/some young person I care about, it would be that they set high expectations for themselves and never falter in their drive to achieve and pursue their passions.

Best Military Assignment EVER!

Well, a volunteer assignment, that is, and only for a couple of hours!  Yes, on 24 DEC from 1600 – 1800, yours truly will be sitting here:


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If you can enlarge that picture you’ll see that I’ll be an official NORAD SANTA TRACKER!!  Yes!  I got an email over UTA that told us about how we can volunteer to be one of the people who answers the phone when kids call in to check in on Santa’s whereabouts.  I’m beyond ecstatic about this prospect.  DH had just asked me what I wanted to do for Christmas, but knowing how he is/we are, I knew we wouldn’t have much in the way of plans.  I can’t think of a better way to get into the holiday spirit.

Apparently they do a lot of live news briefs, and I put myself down as being willing to be interviewed.  As a service member, I have to come in my duty uniform as well, although it seems they allow us to wear Santa hats with our uniform.  AFI 36-2903, be damned!  😉

Ok, off to do the happy dance!

Busy, busy, busy!

So much to catch you all up on!  I meant to do it yesterday for Miscellany Monday, but never got around to it now that I’m back at school.  It’s Tuesday and here we are, with 13 more school days before winter break.  I can do this, I can do this!
Thanksgiving break wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped it’d be.  Are you suprised?  You shouldn’t be – that’s the way things go.  I did do a number of things though:

  • oil change
  • clean living room [in preparation for Christmas decorations]
  • run Fort Carson’s Turkey Trot 10K [I even saw Kellee Lyn of I did manage to prepare my first ever Thanksgiving dinner and it was a success!  We have scads of leftovers, like everyone else, largely because I figured I’d make two boxes of Stovetop stuffing since my husband said he loved it so much.  It was just DH, DD and I.  Our riced potatoes turned out awesome, the turkey brine was a huge win.  We just did a turkey breast, so the leftovers went into dinner last night.  I got to use a ton of my Franciscan Autumn to set the table, and my “good” vintage silverware set, so I was pleased with how the table looked.  I don’t entertain too often anymore, so I love when I do have the opportunity to pull out all of the stops.  I even picked up a couple pieces for my silverware set, thanks to Google search.  Who doesn’t need a new gravy ladle and serving spoon?  🙂 

    The weather was beautiful all week, which was a pleasant surprise here in Colorado.  Too bad I spent most of the first part of the week feeling sore from the 10K, which is just a little pathetic by my standards.  It hurt to go up and down the stairs.  I did get out there and run on Thanksgiving while the turkey was roasting though!  Nothing like a 5K around the neighborhood to “earn” your dinner!

    DH and I spent a lot of quality time together this last week – lots of movies, lots of snuggle time, a couple outings, etc.  We don’t get a lot of that and during the week I’m pretty consumed, so it was a great week for bonding time.  We need that time together, and we’re both in a much better place right now because of it.

    I’m not a huge Black Friday person, largely because we haven’t had the funds in recent years and we’re not traveling/spending the holidays with anyone.  DH and I don’t really exchange gifts, and he isn’t big into holidays [so he claims, yet he’ll put up my Christmas tree to make me happy].  I still love browsing those ads though, and I’m always up for temptation by a favorite company!  When I heard that QVC was doing a TSV on the new DH and I went to an antique mall I’ve never been to before, where my FIL has a display case.  We popped in to pick up FIL’s checks and of course I had to browse.  They were doing a discount for customer appreciation and many booths were having sales on top of that.  I was checking out some of the military collectibles in one booth when I spotted it – the decorative Lackland pillow sham, which I recognized only by the letters “AND!”  I’d been wanting one of these and it was priced at $10 before the 30% off.  Score!  I have shams from Fort Leonard Wood (where DH trained), so it makes me happy that we can chronicle both of our experiences in pillow form.  I also fell in love with a new/old dinnerware pattern [notice a trend?] – Stetson Pine Cone.  My dear Aunt Trisha, whom you may remember as the beloved great Aunt I lived with out here in Colorado, has rustic, pine cone decor in her cabin (thanks to a piece of hard-to-find dinnerware from the 30’s).  I know if she were still alive I would’ve bought these for her.  Pansies remind me of my mom, pine cones remind me of my Aunt Trisha, two of the most special women in my life.  What’s cool about this pattern is that it was sold at the grocery store in the 50’s and 60’s.  I don’t believe there’s a lot of pieces in the collection, but I could see myself incorporating it as my Christmas dinnerware pattern.  My mom had Spode Christmas Tree – anyone else grow up with a special holiday dinnerware pattern?      

    This week is a busy one here at work.  I’m doing the usual morning and after school tutoring sessions (for a total of six sessions), plus detention monitoring on Wednesday after school.  It makes for a busy week when I don’t get home until late, make dinner, and then work on my CDCs.  UTA is this weekend and I need to have my CDCs done.  I’m in the middle of the longest (and last) volume, and I’ve been highlighting and taking notes in the margin, so it’s a tedious process.  We all know how difficult it is to be motivated when you have a husband who wants attention, dinner to be made, and a DVR that needs catching up on.  It’ll get done though!  It’s going to be another productive night, and I should be done tomorrow!  Thankfully the last two units are short, so after tonight it’s downhill from here.
    Thursday is the big day – er, night!  My Lady Antebellum concert, courtesy of the Air Force Reserve and the Get1Now program!  Get1Now is the program that replaced getting a cash incentive for referring friends to the local recruiter.  I’ve enjoyed it so far – you can get all sorts of prizes (mainly electronics) and there are concert opportunities in addition.  I got a new iPod Nano a few months ago and now I’ve got Lady A tickets for free!  The seats are pretty good too and I knew from following AFR FB page that they typically do a meet and greet prior to the show!  Be still my heart!  I’m going to be thisclose to Charles Kelley!  DH is supposed to go with me, but there’s a chance he may have to sit this one out.  Haley is ready, eager, and willing to take his place.
    I was fortunate recently to win a giveaway from Olivia @ Simply Sunshine and Daisies for a copy of My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software.  I’m super excited because I have a fairly detailed, albeit incomplete, scrapbook documenting DH’s time in the Army.  I’ve wanted to do something for my own military career, but I’m reluctant to invest in scrapbooking materials that are going to gather dust with the rest of my supplies.  Digital scrapbooking would be ideal for me since I’m on the computer most of the time anyway.  There’s not a whole lot of AF-specific stuff out there, but there are some resources here and there.  I’m hoping to get my download code soon so I can start scrapping, although I probably don’t need the distraction this week.
    All in all, a pretty great break – bring on round two!  Hope everyone else enjoyed the holiday!