Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yes, I know.

A few weekends ago, I was called out.  It's true.  It's been MONTHS since my last post.   Ok, fair enough.

Truthfully, I have been busy as can BE this fall.  Among many things, I've been:

  1. In a new grade level and hard at work with my teammates building a new curriculum for our students.  From scratch.  It's a lot of work but I've seen some amazing learning going on.
  2. I've been teaching a wonderful group of teachers the Responsive Classroom approach to classroom community on Tuesday nights from 4:30-7:30.  Since it's the first time I've ever taught this ten-week course, there has been an extraordinary amount of prep work.  But for the next time I teach this course, the prep is 70% done so it should be a lot easier.
  3. I joined CrossFit. Web definition:  CrossFit is a strength and conditioning brand that combines weightliftingsprintinggymnasticspowerliftingkettlebell training,plyometricsrowing, and medicine ball training. CrossFit contends that a healthy, fit person requires proficiency in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurancestaminastrengthflexibilitypowerspeedagilitybalance,coordination, and accuracy.  We'll see.   I really like it so far!  I am trying to go 3x/week.  
  4. I've gone back to the chiropractor.  I had a groupon for some free x-rays and a massage.  When they checked my x-rays, I learned that one of my hips is 12mm higher than the other.  Everyone is a little off, but 12mm is a LOT!  It's a centimeter and then some!  So, we are working to realign me with some pretty cool techniques.  For 3 weeks in October, I was at the Essential Health Center THREE DAYS A WEEK.  
  5. Going to Chiro 3 days/week AND CrossFit 3 days/week plus teaching until 7:30 one night... see? Busy Bee...
But I've certainly had a lot of fun along the way... 

Here's a phone photo dump of all things I've been doing since the last time I posted.  Then I'll do subsequent posts with different updates.

Found this awesome ring at a Vintage store in Old Town.  Didn't buy it.  Kind of regret it.

Said goodbye-for-now to one of my favorite laughing-buddies.  We made Kristin a scrapbook of memories to take with her to San Diego.  :)

Dogs love wearing Halloween costumes.  And living in sewers following the advice of rats.

Watching the best show on tv every Wednesday night.

Finding presents in my shoes from a black fluff.

Love this picture because I am loving taking pictures of funny Owen.

Wouldn't you laugh if you were looking at this funny sweet face?

 Everyone loved the slide!  Phebe did not like being ignored but she didn't do as well on the slide.

Spending time with my Joy, the man.

My favorite picture that I've taken.  Ever.

You have no idea how much this baby loves his Mom.  And vice versa. It is AMAZING to be around. 

It snowed Halloween weekend.

I was a black-eyed P.   Also, that black eye was REALLY fun to make!!

Been enjoying the fireworks of fall.  More on this in another post.

I let my students give me input on their Work Habits grade.  I love this honesty about her courteous behavior.  She gave herself a "G" for Good instead of an "O" for Outstanding for the best reason ever.

I introduced them to the magical world of Where's Waldo?

My friend Laura, the art teacher at my school, has the BEST sense of humor.  And it showed in her Halloween shirt.  (Complementary colors)

I found surprise notes (with greeting options depending on when I found the note).

I got to see two wonderful friends show what wonderful parents they are...

As their sweet baby boy turned 1. 

 Creativity ran RAMPANT by the loving mama of a 1-year-old...  (these acorns were delicious!)

His Aunt Cait loves him so much.

Early November brought a PTA bake sale on Election Day that would help support our 4th grade trip to Jamestown.  The kids had high hopes for the amount we would raise...

I got to see a fourth grade boy expand his creative mind by making crafts with duct tape.  He made this white rose (and a purse for me) with duct tape!!

: )

Chased a gorgeous mountain sunset in a car behind my gorgeous friend Joy.

Attempted a front braid.  EPIC fail. 

 Had a day of culture at the Hirschhorn Museum in DC.  Found some beautiful gardens behind it.  This garden was haunted... how do I know?
 Because I caught the ghost...

Then I rode a carousel!

I wish this picture was staged, but it wasn't.  She nestled. 

Made some leaf fun memories with my 4th graders...

 And had a little fun myself...

More to come.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back To School

Back to School!

So, having survived the first (partial) week of school, I am so glad to be back.  Looping with the same class to the next grade level is going to be AMAZING!  It felt like we were sophomores in college, coming back knowing each other and what it's all about, happy to see each other with a short warm-up phase.

On the second day of school, I asked them to write me letters.  They could tell me what happened to them over the summer, or something they want to work on for the school year or just anything they thought I needed to know to start our year.

Here are some classics...

"I don't like bananas anymore. I only like strawberr[ies]."  Fair enough.

"Can't wait [for] what's waiting to be learn[ed]"

I'm glad you have areas for improvements, little man, and clearly I need to change my focus from butterfingers :)

 Oh, so many things... 

My personal favorite.  This letter is from a student who Always keeps things interesting. 
 Here is what it's intended to say:
"I had a good/bad 
summer.  My grandma died 
but other than that I had a 
good summer.  Is this math going
 to be fun?  If it is, then I want in 
because math is good for everyone."

It's going to be a Very interesting year...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

2 Hours

I'm two hours away from a new decade.  I understand that technically 31 starts a new decade, except that it DOESN'T.

Why does 30 bother me so much?   Everyone can say "It's no big deal" or "It's just a number" or any number of other positive things, but it still bothers me a little.

I know I'm cool.  I know I'm still young and silly. But I'll be damned if turning 30 doesn't freak me out a little.

I just said to my friend Anna, "On the one hand, I know it's just a number.  On the other, I know it's 30."

I still love birthdays though :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


**Beware, there is a lot of bragging in this post**

Last Thursday, my friend Jaime and I went to Busch Gardens.  After Tuesday's earthquake and the impending Hurricane Irene, we figured Thursday was a great day to go.  Jaime took the day off work even!

We left Alexandria at about 8:00am, had zero traffic on a beautiful sunny morning, and arrived in Williamsburg at about 10:15am.

The first thing we did was go on the Loch Ness Monster. It's tradition.

After that, we had the MOST PERFECT DAY AT BUSCH GARDENS EVER!   There were no lines.  For several rides, we just walked up and got either on the car that was there or the next one that came in.
Seriously!  We did each ride once and our favorites twice.

Back in 1992, I went to Busch Gardens a few days before I started 6th grade.  I was ten, almost eleven, and I had shoulder-length blonde hair in a green synthetic scrunchie.  After going on the Roman Rapids about a million times (I think it was the Newest ride in 1992), we noticed that my blonde hair was green under the scrunchie. I didn't care, figuring that it would wash out when I got home.  It didn't.  My mom didn't want to dye my hair so we cut it.  And then cut it again.  I looked a boy.  It's still something that haunts me!!  ha!  So, you can imagine my panic when Jaime and I wandered into a store in Italy and saw this scrunchie:

It was such an awesome day.  I had so much fun on all the roller coasters.  I laughed mostly, roaring laughter!  Until one.

I had been on all the rides at BG except for one.  Griffon. I was legitimately nervous waiting for Griffon just because I didn't know what to expect.  When we got on it, my heart was beating out of my chest.  When we started to make our ascent, and I couldn't see the track anymore, it beat even faster.  Then it happened.  Watch what happens when the coaster reaches the top of the 90 degree drop:
 IT STOPS!!  IT HOLDS YOU OVER THE DROP, STARING AT YOUR DOOM!!!   I screamed so loudly and so genuinely that I still have a scratchy voice three days later.

It was the best day at Busch Gardens.  One for the record books for sure.


Yeah, we had an earthquake last Tuesday.  I was at my school and we were interviewing a new 4th grade teacher.  Our school is very close to the road so sometimes when big trucks come by, it's loud and things shake.  So, when the table started shaking, I figured that's what it was.  But when it didn't stop, and I heard the filing cabinets in the next room shaking, I realized we were having an earthquake.

Fortunately, I grew up watching Saved By The Bell (where life lessons abound) so the first picture that flashed in my mind was A.C. Slater jumping to avoid the lockers and getting in the doorway.  So I yelled to everyone in our room, "Doorway! Doorway!"  Luckily, Mrs. Belding wasn't stuck in our elevator having a baby.

Things shook for about 35 seconds.  It was nuts!   We weren't even sure what happened.  But I got on facebook and I wasn't the only one who felt it.  Crazy!!

Here's the damage at my house:

Newspaper holders knocked down in Arlington.

Candles that fell off my tv.

Murphy took cover.

Head Nods

This post has nothing to do with summer.  It's a musing.  And I realized in talking about it with my friend Jaime, that I REALLY feel passionately about it.

There are two types of Head Nods that guys can do.  The "Sup" and the "Ma'am".  I filmed myself performing each of these so you can see them.  

The "Sup" is what "cool guys" do.  It's not really a greeting.  It's not even really acknowledging someone else.  It's borderline aggressive and seems ready to fight.  I'm not a fan.  Saying "SUP" to someone doesn't make you awesome.

The "Ma'am" is a little more cowboy.  It's much more respectful, as the head goes down instead of up.  It's modest.  Think about a cowboy doing it, not me...

Thank you, Ma'am!  What's your preference?

Pool Mooch Extraordinaire.

I should get business cards printed up with that on it!

I mean, really.  I found my way to pools this summer without spending a dime.  I love my friends for sharing!!

Here are some shots...

I started out in my yard in my beloved chair.  

 Then my friend Jaime's pool on the Potomac beckoned me...

 Then my friend Micah's pool was amazing...

My friend Kelly worked at a pool and she invited me to play, too...

Ironically, I don't have a picture of the pool where I spent the most time.  But that's probably a good thing because I used a code to get in that only residents of that pool are supposed to have.  
Top Secret information.  

And a sweet tan :)