Sunday, August 30, 2009

Well, as usual the weekend just flew by. We have had a nice visit with my in-laws. We spent most of Saturday running around. We had lunch at 5 & Diner. This is always a yummy place to eat, but you always feel like you eat way too much when you are done. We ate kind of late, but breakfast still sounded good, so I had an egg with bacon and a pancake. Then, we drove them out to Pinnacle Peak and to Fountain Hills. There is a large fountain that goes off on the hour in the center of town that is fun to watch. You can actually see it from the air when you fly into Phoenix. We came home and had my pork roast for dinner. After church today, we grilled hamburgers for lunch. I had to have a MoJo yogurt later. It is especially good with fresh strawberries and pieces of cookie on it. I try to tell myself that it is yogurt, so it's good for you. Of course the cookies kind of ruin that logic. We then drove to the Biltmore. It is such a lovely area with some beautiful homes. It's kind of funny how these homes really don't look like they should be in the southwest. We capped off our evening with popcorn at my parent's.

I think I have my lunch ready for tomorrow. I'm really trying hard to prepare it the night before. I just have not gotten into a good morning routine. It is still hard to get up at 6. It would probably help if I went to bed earlier. I have a class this week that will be meeting from 4:30-8:30 on Tuesday and Thursday. Those will definitely be some long days.

Hope everyone has a great week!


Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Friday!!! And it is hot! It was 113 degrees today!! We were under an excessive heat wave today, so the kids had to stay inside for recess. That just makes me laugh. Back in the Midwest, it was the snow and cold temperatures. We. also had to put a new battery in my car this week. I was just thankful that my car decided to die in the garage and not on the 101!

I think I'm starting to get the hang of my new position in school. We were able to visit another AVID school in the Phoenix area on Tuesday. There were definitely some pros and cons. We loved how they did their tutorials with their sixth graders. We will be implementing a similar program soon at our school. I'm excited about the possibilities.

I'm going to be taking a two week reading class starting next week. It will meet on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4:30--8:30. I'm also looking into getting my ESL provisional certificate. I would probably not start that until January. With the position I have this year, I can take advantage of these classes.

My in-laws are visiting this weekend from Kansas. We went to one of our favorite pizza restaurants for dinner. I'm not sure what all we have planned, but I'm sure staying close to an air-conditioner will be a must. I put a pork roast in the crock pot that will have for dinner tomorrow. 20 hours later, it should be delicious.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Well, I have been a bad blogger this week. I guess with school starting and new routines, I just got behind. However, I did make it through my first week!! Yeah!! Everything went great! Or at least there were no major problems that I could see. I'm really excited about the AVID program. It is so new in the elementary level, that there is a lot we are writing for ourselves. I did find out that in November I will be attending another AVID conference in San Antonio. I'm always looking forward to learning more. We had open house Thursday evening. I think the turnout was pretty good.

We are going to have a weekend that is below 100 degrees!! We had some light rain last night and I think there is a chance for even more today. This is suppose to be Arizona's monsoon period, but we are far from the levels of moisture that we should be at.

We are having dinner with my brother tonight. He is making pulled pork enchiladas, so we are really looking forward to it. Of course, anytime I don't have to fix a meal, I'm really looking forward to it! I need to get some extra work done around here this weekend because my in-laws are coming next week. Company is good. It means you can't get lazy!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I can't believe it is Monday night!!! Where did the weekend go? A fellow teacher asked me if I had a nice weekend. I know we did, but nothing stood out in mind. Oh well, that is a good thing ( I think). Saturday was spent at a hair appointment and cleaning. Yeah for cleaning!! Not really, but it sure does feel good to have a clean house. I bought a pork roast on Friday and I was very disappointed when I went to put it in the crock pot Saturday afternoon. It had a really bad smell to it!! I had never smelled rotten meat before and let's just say I won't forget that smell any time soon! I was brave and bought another one. So, 20 hours later, we had delicious pulled pork. My brother had told me to cook it for 20-24 hours. It definitely made it very tender. This was a very easy meal that we will have to try again. I'm trying to plan our meals one week at a time.

Today was the first day of school. My morning was very busy. It went very smoothly getting all the students to their classes. The afternoon was a lot quieter. Of course in a few weeks that will change. I'm looking forward to working with these students. Our school day ends at 2, so today I left at 2:30. That felt weird. I'm used to a later day. I took advantage of the time and went to a teacher store and Staples. There is always last minute things you need.

We grilled hamburgers and corn tonight. You can't beat corn on the cob grilled. It was very yummy. I guess it's time to clean the kitchen. Hope everyone has a great evening!


Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Friday!!! I can't believe I finished my classroom today without feeling anxious or rushed. I guess the panic attack occurred yesterday, but today was smooth sailing. I can't thank Marti enough for sweeping and thoroughly cleaning every service area in my room. Marti is a good friend of the teacher who I will be working with this year. She gave up her time the last two days to help us. She even brought in her own shop vac!!!! I was able to leave at 2 today and meet my friend Vikke for lunch because of Marti's help. I think the biggest challenge to Monday will be dismissing 700 children safely from the campus.

I met Vikke and baby Lola for lunch today. We had a yummy salad at Paradise Bakery. Baby Lola was all decked out in a cute bow and an adorable onsie. She is certainly growing and changing. Afterwards, I went to a cute store Vikke had recommended. She had bought some cute flip-flops there last week that I had to check out for myself. Needless to say, we both now have the same shoes.

We met my family for pizza tonight at Oggi. It was so good. We are very fortunate to have some great pizza restaurants here in Phoenix. Then we did our weekly grocery shopping at Frys. I think that Fridays have become our grocery shopping night. It was so quiet and definitely not as hot. I love shopping, but grocery shopping is another story.

Well, I'm going to go finish my book. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I had a very busy day at school. I'm not sure you can tell by the disaster I left in my room, but all the same it was busy. The morning was pretty much devoted to meetings. Unfortunately, I spent most of the afternoon trying to put up a bulletin board outside my classroom. I had it all planned, but like most good intentions I hit a few road blocks. Of course it does not help that I am a perfectionist. When it was finally up (or so I thought), I was still just shy of the border needed to go around it. Oh well, we will finish it another day. My room was also very dirty. So with some Clorox wipes and elbow grease it is starting to feel a little more sanitary. I will try to take some pictures on Friday to show what if any progress I have made.

I think I will go read some of my book. I'm really enjoying Sundays at Tiffany's. Have a great night!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

I guess the last weekend before school starts (for teachers at least) is winding down. I must be getting older, because the time is flying by. And the Arizona heat has returned. We enjoyed some really mild temperatures the last few days. The cooler temperatures are getting me anxious for fall. Of course fall in the southwest is a lot different than fall in the Midwest. It is probably one of my favorite seasons wherever I am.

Yesterday we went with my parents to Prescott, Arizona. I enjoyed the drive except for the 20 miles of winding road between Wickenburg and Prescott. I have already put everyone on notice that I will not go that way again! I have terrible motion sickness, so all I can say is that Dramamine is my best friend and I never leave home without it. We enjoyed great barbecue at one of their local restaurants. They serve corn on the cob as a side. I love corn on the cob and never miss a chance to eat it. If I could have a garden in Arizona, I think it would be made up of entirely corn!! We then walked around a craft show they were having in the town square. I think I enjoyed watching all the dogs more than crafts. I have never seen so many people out with their dogs. Pushing dogs in strollers was really cute! We finally drove to a campsite near a lake that ONE day I might be inclined to camp at. I have to admit, it was pretty. On our way home we stopped at an outlet mall. We thought we hit a gold mine because after 5 all meals in the food court are five dollars. It doesn't take much to get us excited does it? We got home around 7.

Today we went to church and then spent sometime at the bookstore. I was needing a new book to read, so two friends suggested Sundays at Tiffanys. It looks good, so I'm anxious to start reading it. I need to get some laundry done, so I will close for now.


Friday, August 7, 2009

I had a great Friday. I started my day by stopping by my new school to see my room and to drop off a couple of boxes. I was pleasantly surprised when the assistant principal took me to my room. I have never had so much storage in a classroom before. I went from none last year to lots this year. I'm not complaining because you can never have too much. I also have a sink. I know for those non-teachers out there you are probably asking why would anyone get excited about a sink. Let's just say that it will come in handy with children moving back and forth. I also had to get a new I.D. badge. I will not use keys at this school; you just scan you badge and the door opens, so that is nice. Less stuff for me too lose!

I then met my mom at Desert Ridge. Desert Ridge is an outdoor strip mall. We both needed to get some things at JoAnns and Bath and Body. Between the two of us we bought a total of 7 hand soaps!! Midnight pomegranate is my favorite right now. Afterwards, we enjoyed a salad at B.J's. I'm not sure why, but the last couple of days we have not hit the century mark with our temperatures. I can't believe how much better 93 feels verses 100 plus!

It's time for bed, so I better close.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It has been a quiet day here. I did some cleaning. I have also started to prepare my classroom, well at least mentally. I plan on going into school tomorrow and checking my room out. I have not seen it, so I need a visual reference to plan my classroom environment. This year my room will probably look very different than it ever has since my role has changed. I am excited about this new opportunity, but it will feel different. I have always enjoyed getting my room prepared for the new school year. I always felt this was a strength of mine. I definitely believe that classroom environment is vital to learning no matter what the age. I am working on gathering some pictures that relate to me and making an about me board. I found some cute ideas that will help me introduce myself to this new group of students I will be working with.

I'm also happy to report that Lucy and Ethel are STILL alive, so they will be having a new home next week. We ditched the snail (he was already dead) and they seem to be a lot happier. It has been awhile since I have had a class pet, so we will see how this goes.

I also signed up for some classes coming up that are offered through the district. I always feel like I never have time to take advantage of these, so I'm looking forward them.

I think I'm meeting my mom tomorrow to run some errands. On Saturday we are taking a "stay-cation." I heard this cute term used to describe vacationing close to home from one of the other blogs I follow. I think we are heading to Prescott and scout out some places to camp. Yes, you heard me correct. I did say camp. Of course everyone has different definitions of camping, so we will see. haha

I hope everyone has a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We just got home from visiting my husband's grandmother in Tucson. She is doing remarkably well in her recovery from hip surgery last month. Everyone is still amazed that she really is 94 years old. Since she and her sister (she lives in the same retirement center that Gr. T is recovering in) don't get out, we decided to take some of their favorite Mexican food to them. There is a yummy restaurant in Tucson called Mama Sanchez's. We picked up some carnitas and chips and salsa. Gr. T. does not have much of an appetite right now, so we were hoping this food might be something she would enjoy eating. We spent three hours visiting with them. I love listening to their stories growing up. They have definitely seen a lot of changes in their lifetime, some good and some not so good. I think it's great that they can be together during this time. We made another trip to Mama Sanchez on our way out of town for our dinner. I think I could eat chips and salsa until the end of time.

The storm clouds were moving in as we were leaving, but unfortunately they did not follow us back to Phoenix. I can't believe we have two more months of 100 degree temperatures!!!

I guess that pretty much sums up our day. I need to go through the school boxes tomorrow. Have a wonderful night!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Only seven days until school starts!!! I can't believe how fast the summer has gone. It definitely has been a busy one. I hope I can really enjoy these last few days of my break. I fixed some of my new tea tonight, fresh cherries white tea. It is so good. I have decided that I have been drinking way too much pop. My new goal is one pop a day and the rest drinking water or tea. Maybe I will even be able to drink less pop over time. You have to have a goal right??

Last week, we were able to take advantage of a few of the sights of San Diego after my classes each day. I think one of my favorite places to visit was La Jolla. I loved it for its shore line and of course the sea lions, who call it home. I also loved Coronado Island. The beaches were awesome. It was also fun to walk through the hotel del Coronado. I had been there twenty years ago, so it was neat to see it again. I heard on the news today, that San Diego had felt an earthquake. I had wondered what I would do in an earthquake. I guess I was just one week too late. The one thing I especially appreciated was the cooler temperatures. Most days were in the mid to high 70's!!

Today, I had my cleaning appointment for my teeth. I always hold my breath that I don't have any cavities. I love my dental hygienist. She is so sweet and feels bad that I have such bad luck with my teeth. I think I might be a hopeless case, but she always gives it her best shot!

I think we are planning on visiting Grandma T. in Tucson on Wednesday. She is still recovering from her hip surgery last month. Hopefully she will be able to go home later this month. I would like to bring her something, but I think she probably just appreciates the company. Unfortunately, she is blind, so that definitely limits her mobility.

Well, I guess this is all for a Monday.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It is finally Saturday and I'm tired. We made it back to Phoenix last night from a great week in San Diego. It had been quite a few years since I had been there, so lots of things had changed. The official reason for my visit was to learn more about the AVID program that my school will be implementing this year. AVID is an acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It tries to take students who have the potential and desire to go to college, but through personal issues may not go. We heard some awesome stories of kids, who either have no families or have had no one in their families ever attend college, have full rides next year to four year universities. Believe me when I say these kids have big goals. I have no doubt that we will be hearing about their accomplishments in the future. Several of them spoke on the difference AVID made in their lives and they would not be here today if it was not for AVID program. While this program has been in high schools and middle schools, it is now finding itself in 4-6 elementary schools. It is never too late to start talking about college. This is especially true for kids who are at risk. Our school will be implementing a lot of strategies and tools that will help at risk students become even more confident as they prepare for middle school, high school and beyond.

Well, I need to do some laundry. More posts coming from a great week in San Diego.