Sunday, October 3, 2010

Paperwork, Paperwork, and More Paperwork!

This picture says it all. I have been consumed with all sorts of paperwork since school started back. In fact if there is anyone out there who has absolutely nothing to do, I have a stack of papers that need to be graded and recorded. My school day usually begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends around 5. Of course that doesn't count the couple of hours I spend at home working each evening and weekend. So needless to say, blogging has taken a backseat. I'm hoping to get more of a balance between work and home.

Since it has been so long since I have written, the only way to wrap of the last month is to make a list. So here it goes...

1. Survived turning 40. It was so much easier than 3o. I guess this means 50 should be a piece of cake! ha!

2. Started my weekly Beth Moore Bible study on Revelations.

3. Found Dr. Pepper slushies at Super Target!!! (PTL)

4. Signed up for a Guided Reading workshop (starts in October) Weeknights are a little busy right now.

5. Enjoyed a wonderful date with my husband compliments of my awesome 2nd graders.

6. Went to Arribas for just chips and salsa ( seriously, I think I could live on the them).

7. Great lunch with a friend (thanks for the gift card to Starbucks. I will enjoy the Pumpkin Spice Latte as soon as the temperature dips below 100)!

8. ADK fall kick-off (Meeting again this week. Thank goodness the meetings are only once a month).

9. Shopping day with my mom.

10. Decorating for fall.

Hope everyone has a great week. Time to get back to the paperwork!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Here's My List

I can't believe we have been in school for two weeks now!! It's funny how I seem to be getting in a grove, but instead of leaving at my targeted time everyday, I am usually staying 1 1/2 to 2 hours after school!! And I don't see that changing much in the future. There just seems to be a lot to do right now.

I thought I would use bullets to show a few highlights of my week.

- Survived the first 2nd grade birthday of the year. I never knew cupcakes could be so messy!!

-Attended my first F.A.C. meeting. Lots to learn.

-No recess for two days. We had an excessive heat warning.

-Dunkin Donuts taste really good at 7:30 in the morning!

-Slowly but surely I'm getting better organized at school.

-You never really appreciate air conditioning until you don't have it!!

-Attended the fall women's kickoff at church.

-Five Guys has replaced In -N- Out as my favorite hamburger.

-Literally found $20 outside my front door.

We have had a pretty good weekend. Yesterday I ran several errands before having dinner with my brother. I stopped at Bath and Body just to buy some soap and found they had all of their fall scents out. Oh my, they are wonderful! I truly believe that fall is the best season. There was also a freak rain storm last night in Phoenix that caused a 69 car pile up. We can upon it about 10-15 mins. after it happened. I have never seen anything like it. I'm just glad we were not part of it. That would have really dampened the night!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week. September starts Wednesday!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week One is Done!

I had a great first week of school! I'm really loving 2nd grade. I just hope I get to stay in this grade for awhile and not be moved around. I guess time will tell. One of my lovely homeroom mothers came in on Friday to stuff our Friday folders. It was a huge help for me. She was so sweet and brought me in a lemonade from Starbucks and a homemade goody. I really appreciate her kindness.

The MOTH (man of the house) treated me Friday night to some delicious pizza from Streets of New York. It was so good. I was either really hungry or that was the best tasting pizza I have ever had! Either way the leftovers tasted pretty good on Saturday too! We walked around Desert Ridge for awhile, but I was so tired I could not wait to get home. I'm hoping that is not a sign of my age, but rather completing the first week of school! ha

Saturday morning I went with my brother to take his new cat Marco to the vet. If anyone has cats only, I can not say enough about taking them to a cat only vet. We have found a great place in Scottsdale that we feel does an excellent job. Marco is a very sweet cat that seems to adjusted well to his new home. He is one lucky cat!

Last night we had a wonderful dinner at our friends Jason and Laura from church. I'm going to have to get her recipe for salmon. It was fantastic! We had a great time playing games and enjoying each other's fellowship.

And added bonus to our Saturday evening was a very nice rain shower. I'm not sure at this point if it cools things off or not, but at least the plants had a nice drink.

I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday. I need to start getting ready for church.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Survived the First Day of School!!

Wow!! I can't believe it has been over a week since I blogged. I guess school has kept me pretty busy. I have had a great start in 2nd grade. I was wondering if I would remember how to work with 7 year olds, but I guess it's like riding bike. You never forget. I have 23 students which is very nice. I realize how fortunate that is. I can only hope it stays that way. They are very sweet and excited to be at school. Tonight was parent orientation. My 2nd grade team is so prepared. They already had a power point presentation prepared which made it very easy talking with the parents. One parent told me that their daughter said this was the best start they have ever had in school (Ok..I know they are only in 2nd grade, so they have not had many first days, but still).

I think I will sleep good tonight. It's raining!! I love the sound and smell of rain. And when you have not seen a drop in months it's pretty sweet thing. Hopefully it will help cool things down.

This is all for now! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Last Weekend Before Heading Back to School!!

I spent a few hours here on Saturday cleaning my room. It was totally a family affair!!

Can't pass up on great sales!!

Seriously the best salsa ever!!

I got a chair and a little table for my room here.

Looking forward to a busy week! Just have to remember to set the alarm!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let the Countdown Begin

Let the countdown begin. I'm down to my final days, hours and minutes before I go back to the life known (at least from August to May) as teacher. This last week of summer has been very busy, but fun as I have been able to spend time with friends, work in my classroom and watch few good movies.

This morning I dropped off a load of supplies at school before heading out to have lunch and watch a movie with a friend. I'm meeting with the 2nd grade team tomorrow and didn't want to make tons of trips from the car to my room. After spending about 45 mins. at school, I headed over to Laura's house. We watched Anne of Green Gables and enjoyed a yummy lunch of roast beef wraps. I really thought I was at the movies. She had all the snacks you could imagine (of course without the movie theater price)!! Thanks Laura for a fun afternoon.

We saw the movie SALT last night. It was pretty good. I'm not a big Angeline Jolie fan. However, I would see a sequel. And yes there will be one! I think I have seen every movie I wanted to this summer. We love going to movies in the summer!

My cousin posted some pictures of her classroom in Kansas. She did a really good job putting her room together. In fact, I like it so much I asked her to run by the store where she bought a few particular items and get some for me. I told her I was not above stealing or I meant to say borrowing some of her ideas. I can't wait to get them in a few weeks.

I guess it's time to go to bed. 7 will be here before I know it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where Did This Week Go?

It can't be Friday already!! I'm suppose to have two more weeks before school starts. I need to find out where Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday went. At least I can't say I have been bored this summer. And this week was no exception.

Yesterday, my mom and I spent the whole day doing some back-to-school shopping. I still needed quite a few things for my class (too bad I had given a lot of my stuff away back in 2007) , so the first stop was the teacher supply store. I feel like I'm ready now with supplies. I could have spent hours in that store. Too many things! Now I just need to take everything I have to school. Meet Your Teacher is scheduled for the 12th, so that is the deadline to be done with everything in my classroom. We also found some cute clothes at the mall. Macy's was having some ridiculous sells. I found a really cute pink sweater with ruffles...big surprise! Our last stop was Walmart. I had to buy 33 composition books for school. I will need a cart to help them bring from my car to my room!!! I'm just hoping I won't have 33 students!!

Today started out pretty quiet. Just hung out at home. This afternoon I ran a few errands. Tonight I'm super excited to meet some of our friends from church at the Cheesecake Factory. It is National Cheesecake Day and you can get cheesecake for 1/2 price. Can't beat a deal like that.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wow it's been a busy few days here. Tuesday night we had the opportunity to hear a friend of my parents speak at church about Christians in Germany during WWII. I love history and the 1940's is one of my favorite periods. He had just read this book and provided insights to this dark period of time.

I definitely learned a lot. It painted a very bleak picture of Christians in Germany and what they did not do to help the Jews. I can't imagine what the world would have been like if Hitler would have succeed in his plans. I'm thankful for the men and women who sacrificed their lives by paying the ultimate price for our freedom to see that it never happened.

Today was my better half's birthday. We enjoyed a great lunch at Abuelos. I seriously could just eat the chips and salsa. Very yummy! Tonight we went to the movies. He really wanted to see Predators, but I was unsure if I could handle it or not. So we compromised. We went to two different movies. He saw Predator and I saw Ramona and Beezus. It was a really cute movie and I'm just thankful I won't have alien nightmares tonight. And to top it off we both had free popcorn!! I heart AMC!

I mentioned earlier this week that I taped all of the Love Comes Softly movies on Sunday. Well, I found out today that my uncle was a distant relative of Janette Oke!!! I called my aunt this morning and she explained the connection. She told me she even has corresponded with Janette Oke!! It was great talking to my Aunt Mildred!! She is one of the nicest people you could ever meet and a great cook too!! Wished I lived closer!!

Tomorrow is back to school shopping!! I have a list that seems a mile long. Hopefully it won't take all day. I hope to work with the Burmese students tomorrow night.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday's Fun

It's been a pretty nice Monday here. The temperature has been a little more tolerable. I've just been trying to soak in the last couple of weeks before school starts. I can't believe it is getting so close.

I started my day running to the district office to turn in some paperwork. That's always an interesting experience. Then I headed to my school to unload some items I had been collecting this summer. While there, I went through my books hoping to sort them into different categories. I also made a list of stuff I will need to get at the end of the week. I will be meeting with my team on the 4th, so I want to be as ready as I can be. I made a couple of stops and finally made it home to start watching the "Love Comes Softly" series. I was so excited that the Hallmark channel was running all the movies together yesterday. I had never recorded 12 hours back to back before, but the DVR was up for the challenge! I stayed up pretty late last night watching 2 1/2 movies. And I can't wait to see the next one. I loved reading these books 20 years ago.

My brother also brought some coconut M&M's back from Hawaii. I was pretty much planning on giving them away since I'm not the biggest coconut fan. But since I really enjoyed the coconut cream pie Marie made, I decided to give it a try. Oh my goodness!! They are so good!! I'm trying to talk my parents out of their bag!! (I just found them at Quick Trip!!)

I tried making a new recipe from Jenks West Elementary PTO's cookbook. Of course the book is a few years old, but the recipes are pretty tasty. Tonight I made spaghetti casserole. It was good, but probably won't be something I will make during the week once school starts. It took way too long to make. I was really wanting to find something different than spaghetti, but also easy and quick. While good, it would definitely be a weekend meal for the amount of preparation it takes.

It's back to movie watching. Have a great night!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shoes and Chocolate = A Girl's Best Friend

It's been a busy couple of days here. Yesterday was my last day at Sylvan. The kids were really cute and kept me on my toes. One of the little girls, who is 7, said to me, "If I wasn't a girl, I would marry you because you are so pretty." I think it was a compliment!?! Last night we went and heard J.D. Hayworth speak. He is running for the U.S. senate. It was neat getting to know him on a more personal level. When I was younger, I wanted to be the first woman president of the United States. I'm not so sure I want to do that now.

Saturday is laundry day around here. Six loads later we headed out. Costco, In-N-Out for lunch, and Marie Callenders to pick up a coconut cream pie for the man of the house's birthday. I offered to make a new coconut cake recipe, but pie won out. Of course I was quite upset that I couldn't get my kitchen dirty!! ha! I have never made a coconut cream pie, so I had made a call yesterday to see if Marie could help me out. Thank goodness she could! We then headed over to my parents to celebrate his birthday a few days early. My mom made a delicious meal of steak (my dad was the grill master), corn on the cob, baked potato, and salad. And of course coconut cream pie for dessert. Let me just say that Marie knows how to bake a pie. It was pretty tasty.

Last week my brother was on vacation in Maui. Between my dad and us, we had taken care of his cat. I guess we did such a good job taking care of Mimi that we were rewarded for our hard work (she is not hard to take care of). He knows that I can never have too many shoes, so he found these really cute ones at the Whaler Village. I love them!!

He also brought all of us some Hawaiian tea that I can't wait to make. And probably one of my favorites, macadamia kisses. Let me just say for a chocolate/nut lover it doesn't get much better than that! I only wish you could get them here!

I have only two more weeks before I head back to school. I have started a list of things I still need to get for my classroom. Hopefully I will be able to find everything without too much stress being involved.

Time to read my book. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday's Happenings

It rained today!!! At least it did for a little while. It's funny how the rain can be so sporadic here. 5 miles away they don't even get a drop! It definitely dropped the temperature which was very refreshing. When we walked out of Barnes and Noble tonight, it felt so good. It almost felt like November! That is cool not cold!

You can now rent movies from Blockbuster at Quick Trip. I guess they are trying to compete with Red Box. Last night I watched "When in Rome." I thought it was just okay. Nothing super, but at least I didn't fall asleep through it! You never know what you will find a Quick Trip!

We had an early dinner of my grandma's meatballs tonight. They were very tasty and easy to make. I need to remember to fix them during the school year. Ran to Ulta for some new polish. I have really been drinking more water this summer, but tonight only a Dr. Pepper would do. Thanks Chick-fil-A for the drink! Made a quick stop at my brother's and then headed home. And yes I did drink a water bottle to make up for my temporary lapse in judgement earlier!

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It has been a quiet couple of days. Not a lot going on. We saw Inception last night. I thought it was okay. It was definitely a "thinking" movie. Of course any excuse to have movie theater popcorn is okay with me! I still want to see Toy Story 3. From the previews it looked like there were several movies coming out this fall that looked pretty good. We are movie junkies! I'm excited that we now have the AMC moviewatcher card. You can earn all kinds of goodies with it.

I made one of Kelly's fantastic recipes yesterday. It was chicken spinach artichoke squares. They were delicious. I wished I had taken a picture, but we ate them too fast! They would be great as either an appetizer or main dish. They were also so easy to make. Great meal for when school starts back up!

I spent a few hours at Sylvan today. It was a very busy place. Made a stop through the Wendy's drive thru for a frosty. I forget how good these are. Especially on a hot day! It does seem, however, that their sizes are getting smaller which I guess is not all bad. Less calories right?

I tackled a few projects today that were hidden under some mounds of dust. You just could not imagine the amount of dust here. It's a never ending job! I made dinner at home tonight and now it's time to run to Walgreens. Hope everyone one has a great night!


Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Monday and I'm tired. I can't imagine how tired I will be four weeks from today when I will have spent six hours with 29 second graders on the first day of school!! I kind of freaked out a few days ago when I realized that my summer vacation was just about over. Where did it go?? I hope to make the most of the next three weeks even if it is just sleeping in, reading a good book, going to movies, or enjoying mall air-conditioning! ha! I had to send my educational biography to my principal today. She wants to include some information about new teachers in the welcome back letter to parents. And tomorrow I need to go get my third I.D. badge in three years. Oh the joys of moving around!

We have had a pretty good few days here. After church last night, we went to eat with some friends. We tried a new restaurant call, "Big Daddy's B.B.Q." The pulled pork was pretty good. I even tried fried okra which I liked. It's nice to know that you can get some good B.B.Q in the southwest. We then went to Sprouts for more peaches. Unfortunately I'm still waiting for them to ripen up. I hope I don't get sick of peaches with the amount I'm eating of them! ha!

Today I spent a few hours at Sylvan. Made a stop at The Family's Attic. Stocked up on 19 books for my classroom library. I gave almost all my books away to a teacher in Ohio before we moved Arizona. That was a big, big, BIG mistake!! It's one I'm literally paying for. On to Costco for gas. Walmart for some groceries. Chipotle for some dinner. And I just finished a Beth Moore DVDs that I bought a few months ago. So I guess I know why I might be tired!

I guess I'm going to call it a day.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hot, hot and more hot. I'm really looking forward to next Sunday. It might be under 100 degrees. In the meantime, I'm thankful for air conditioning, ceiling fans, and ice tea.

So what are you to do when the temperature outside is totally unbearable?? You go to the mall!! And that is exactly what we did yesterday. We enjoyed a yummy dinner at Arribas. Thank goodness you can order single enchiladas. I don't know how I could have eaten any more.

Today has been a day of cleaning and laundry. It feels so nice to not have to think about either for the rest of the weekend. I hope to spend tomorrow reading. We needed to run to the store today, so we decided to get some lunch at Five Guys. I think I could sit there and eat fries all day long. Of course, that would lead to a lot of problems, so I guess I will have to limit myself. We then made the first of two trips to Safeway. Thank goodness it is close!

My parents and brother came over for pizza tonight compliments of Pizza Hut. I tried out a new dessert recipe on them. It is Kelly's Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. I will definitely be making it again. Kelly has a lot of great recipes. I'm going to try her Chicken Spinach Artichoke for dinner on Monday.

On a completely random note, I found the cutest lunch bag. I love everything monogrammed.

I guess it's time to call it a night. Happy Birthday to my grandma tomorrow. I would send her some chocolate cake if I did not think it would melt!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trying to Stay Cool

As I try to stay cool on this 115 degree day in Phoenix, I thought I would make a list of the things that help me stay cool.

I love adding these to my water. They have really helped me drink more water and less pop.

Very Yummy! I guess the Colorado peaches will be here in September. Can't wait! And it will still be very hot here! They are very refreshing.

Misters are extremely important! They make some attempt to keep you cool as you walk from store to store.

Okay..maybe these don't keep me cool, but they sure do taste good!

Flip flops are the shoes of choice. I found these cute ones at Target today.

Of course these are lifesavers. It's amazing how much cooler they keep your car.

Hopefully only one more day of this intense heat.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I can't believe this week is half over. Summer if flying by. I had a great time yesterday working at the Back to School Clothing Drive. By Friday, they are expecting that over 9,000 kids will have come through the doors. I worked with the Stitches of Love group. 90% of their items had been handmade. I couldn't believe how cute everything was. I even wished they had come in a few sizes larger! Every child received one new outfit (of their choice), uniforms for school, books, shoes, and underwear.

Today, I was at Sylvan and did some Sam's shopping this afternoon. We found these really good crackers, called Risotto Chips. They are made from whole grain brown and Arborio rice. They are suppose to be better for you than regular chips. And the best part is they taste really good! It's always a good thing when you find healthy food that doesn't taste healthy! hehe

I also had a meeting with a lady at our church who heads the community outreach programs. Once a week, I will be working with Burmese refugees to learn English. It is a great program that just started in March. I really did not know much about refugees before meeting with her. What these people have had to endure is just amazing. The people in the refugee camps wait 10-15 years to go to a new country!! That means living in shacks with no services that we take for granted every day here.

It is suppose to be near 116 the next few days. We stayed cool tonight with one of these yummy treats.

You know it is summer in Phoenix when it only cools down to 100 in the evening. The only relief is that the sun is not beating down on you.

Hope you are staying cool wherever you are!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Busy Day

It has been a very busy, but fun Monday. I began my day working a few hours at Sylvan. I am filling in the next two weeks for a teacher who is working at a different center. It is a reading camp which is right up my alley. I'm only working Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so I still have a few mornings to sleep in! ha! It's also good practice for getting back into the swing of 2nd grade. I ran to super Target afterwards, to pick up only one thing, but made a pass through the dollar aisle, and ended up buying several more things. I could not believe all the great stuff I found to use in my classroom.

This afternoon, we ran to Staples and Walmart. Our church is doing a Back to School Drive with the Phoenix Rescue Mission. They are asking people to fill a back pack with school supplies for an inner city student. I was able to find most of the items on the list, but need to go back to Target and get the last few things. There is definitely a need in south Phoenix. We then went to see the movie Despicable Me. I had heard a lot of good things about, so I was anxious to see it. And it was cute! Top off the evening at In- N- Out and it was a perfect day!

I need to get to bed early tonight. I helping with another back to school clothing drive with Apha Delta Kappa. It is from 7:30-noon, so it will be a very busy morning.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Life in the Desert: Part Three

I thought today, I would focus on some other highlights of Arizona that don't have four or more legs. Here are a few reasons people live in Arizona and would even consider putting up with the critters and summertime heat:

And of course you couldn't forget probably the number one reason (at least it was for my family) why people live in Arizona:

305 days of pure sunshine!

Have a good night!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Life in the Desert: Part Two

Before I continue with my Life in the Desert post, I wanted to talk about an artist that I saw at Borders tonight. His name is Elijah Bossenbroek and he plays classical piano music. He was the guest performer tonight from 7 to 9. He was so good. In fact, we bought two of his cd's, which I had him autograph! I would highly recommend checking out his music.

Okay now back to Life in the Desert part two:

Being from the
Midwest, I have always been used to critters found in the great outdoors. Opossums, mice, a few snakes, and rabbits to name just a few. Well, along with those, Arizona has a few others. I talked about the scorpions last entry. Now it's time to look at the lizard. These little guys are everywhere! You can find them in the backyard, the parking lot, the garage, and even in the flower pot! Some people might be offended by these quick footed reptiles, but they do help with the insect population and maybe even with the scorpions. I at least hope so!

Now not to mention the rattlesnake would be a true disservice to this slippery reptile. However, a few people that read this blog have some problems with snakes, so I decided to cut the pictures. Let me just say that there are 13 different types of rattlesnakes in Arizona!! MOTH (man of the house) has only come upon 1 while hiking. I was not with him at the time and the camera was in his backpack. Suffice it to say, the picture did not happen. I'm not sure what I would have done if I had been there.

Now it would not be unusual to see these folks walking down the street in your neighborhood.

They don't call it the wild west for nothing!!

I'm always amazed at the people who let their dogs and cats run free in the neighborhood. While the Javalina is a herbivore, the coyote is not! Wake-up people!!

Well, I feel like I have talked enough tonight. I will be back tomorrow with Life in the Desert: Part Three.

Good Night!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Life in the Desert: Part One

Monsoon Season is here!! Those of you that know me know that I really love a good thunderstorm. Unfortunately those are a rare sight about 10 months of the year in Arizona. However, come July and August, the desert puts on quite a show! I always thought it was strange when I use to visit Phoenix and everyone was so excited when it rained here. Of course I was coming from Ohio where it rained all the time. I was kind of sick of the rain. But after living here for three years, I understand their enthusiasm. I loved the smell of rain today!

Of course not everyone shares my excitement!

Another thing that is just part of the Arizona territory especially in the summer...

My parents have had six in the last few weeks. Fortunately we have had none! I'm not sure what I would do if I found one besides freak out. I definitely don't go bare foot when I'm at their house!! I'm hoping we live to far "in the city" that they couldn't find us!! It's probably wishful thinking!

It's time for bed. I will be back
tomorrow for Life in the Desert: Part Two.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It has been a busy day of running errands. My mom and I always have a list.

We started our day here. I was not really looking for anything in particular, but it's always fun to look around here. A few months ago, I found a shower curtain that I kind of liked, but I didn't get it. I saw it there today and was glad I had not bought it. I guess I change my mind too much. My mom found a couple of things though.

I love this store! We always go here to get our fresh fruits and vegetables. I bought some peaches and strawberries that I can't wait to eat. I found a new peach and angel food cake recipe from another blog that I want to try. I can remember years ago, picking our own peaches back in Kansas. I must say this way is a whole lot easier and cooler!

We met my dad for lunch here. I'm so glad Arizona has one of these!

Next on the list was a visit to this wonderful store. I happily left with a cute shirt and some equally cute Steve Madden black patent flats. It is always so hard to find shoes with heels that I don't walk out of.

And finally...

What shopping trip would be complete without a visit here!!!

Have a great night!