Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School!

I was worried that a summer full of grad classes would make me not ready to go back to school,  but I'm happy to report that was not the case.  I'm ready for my kiddos!  My job is changing slightly for this year, and I'm so excited.  I'm going to team teach one class.  I'm thrilled about it because it's back in language arts... my LOVE!  It's also with a good friend who is an awesome teacher.  I think we're going to be a dynamic duo!  I also am going to have 5th graders for the first time.  I know from having them in the play this past year that they bring energy and enthusiasm to whatever they do, and I'm ready for a big jolt of that!  This post has a lot of exclamation points!!!  Guess that means I'm excited.  Good sign.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer. Meh.

I'm taking grad classes.  All.  Freaking.  Summer.  It really sucks.  Yes, I want this degree.  Yes, I'm doing it in an economical way that I can actually pay for without a loan.  Yes, I'm learning some things.  SOME things.  Yes, I know I waited way too long to start this darned thing.  But (pouty face), I want a summer!  I have so many things I wanted to read and plan and do, and these classes are seriously cramping my style. 

Plus, I have seriously mangled my back.  I've been on major anti-inflammatories and muscles relaxers for over a week.  It even ruined my last night that Jeff was here.  It's starting to royally get on my nerves.  I'm going to try the chiropractor this week, and I'm going back to the doctor.  I've self-diagnosed on the interwebs, and I either have a pinched nerve or spinal cancer.  That's the trouble with self-diagnosing on the interwebs.  It's not good for hypochondriacs like me.

I need an attitude adjustment.  I think it's going to come in the form of being with Tracy and the girls next weekend for three days.  I need some Tracy time.  And some Christy Creme.  I've been working really hard to eat healthier.  I've actually lost about 16 pounds, and I know Christy Creme is not on that diet.  I'll get a small cone instead of a medium.  I promise.  Tracy and Christy Creme.  Just what Dr. Tena ordered.  Not that I've looked ahead on the Christy Creme sherbet calendar or anything, but if anyone was wondering, the flavors when I'm at Tracy's happen to be raspberry, blackberry, apricot, and lime.  Not a pineapple in sight.  See?  It's meant to be.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's What's For Dinner

I saw a recipe a few days ago for smoked salmon-wrapped asparagus, and tonight I made it. Deeeeeeelicious!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Here's the view from tonight's walk. We decided to walk to the Sloats' house where we played some backyard volleyball, ate watermelon, and laughed a lot. I love summer so much. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Benefits of Suffering

Andrew and I are trying to live more healthfully. We've been eating cleaner, and we've been trying to walk every day. The hidden bonus of all of this is that we've seen the best sunsets. I'm a sucker for pink clouds, and I'm getting an endless supply. Here was our view tonight. Gorgeous. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Washington, D.C. Highlights

Last week I traveled to Washington, D.C. for National History Day.  I had 3 students qualify for the first time ever!  I learned and remembered a lot over the course of a week.  Here are the highlights:

1.  When your students are upset about not making finals, you have to hold it together.  You can shed a tear on your own later.  These same kids can also teach you a thing or two when they shake it off and start immediately thinking about what their project will be next year.  They're not thinking about IF they make it back to Nationals, they're thinking about WHEN they make it back to Nationals.

2.  Having 2500 like-minded kids in one place is a pretty powerful thing.  It's great for our kids from Fairfield, IA, to see that there are LOTS of other kids like them in the world.

Awards Ceremony Parade of States

3.  There are lovely people, all over the U.S.  Brad from North Scott (they dominate Iowa NHD every year) made sure I got to NHD in the first place.  We figured out the Metro together, and he was just an all-around helpful guy.  Plus, his daughter was a part of the only project to place at Nationals this year!  Sue from Columbus, Georgia, guided me across campus that first night a the University of Maryland.  I kept seeing her smiling face throughout the week. 

4.  Washington, D.C. is awesome.  Awesome.  AWESOME.  I actually feel sorry for people who live there because I bet they just become accustomed to the wonders all around them.  I saw many things this trip that I'd never seen before: Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, World War II Memorial, Ford's Theatre, and the Library of Congress.  I was blown away by all of them.  I was blown away by every other thing that I'd even seen before.  It's an amazing place.

Library of Congress

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

U.S. Capitol

5.  Seeing Washington, D.C. through the eyes of kids who have never seen it before just filled my heart.  They were overwhelmed, and I was overwhelmed by them being overwhelmed.  It was very, very cool, and it makes me tear up just thinking about it.

6.  Coming home to a fiancĂ© is pretty great too.

my sweetie

Monday, May 20, 2013

One Month More


This is the parody of Les Miserables' "One Month More" that I wrote for Faculty Follies this year. I love snow days, but the kids are really ready to be done. It's not easy having school until June 7 when you're supposed to get out in May!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Is it all too much? Am I too enveloped? Do we ever cherish it all enough? Does pride always go before a fall?

Saturday, February 16, 2013


So many children in the world without a family. So many restrictions and so much corruption preventing their adoptions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lenten 40-Day Photo Challenge

Today on Facebook, I saw an interesting post.  It started with this picture.

It made me curious, so I went to the website.  I'm not Catholic, but I like the idea of reflecting in an out-of-my-comfort-zone sort of way for Lent.  Sometimes I give up something, but this caught my eye.  This Lenten season, I'll be reflecting on each of the words/phrases you see to the right, and I'll be posting a picture along with that reflection.  If you want to play along, take a picture that goes with your perception of the word.  If you tweet or are on Instagram, include the hashtags #40days & #rethinkchurch.  Or, if you blog, post it there.  Comment on this post so I can follow you too.

Today, the phrase is "Who am I?" And, here's my picture.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow Day #3

On Monday morning, I walked in just a sweatshirt and was actually too warm.  It was over 50 degrees before the sun even came up.  Tonight, the temperature is 5 degrees with a wind chill of -16.  Yeah.  Welcome to Iowa.

Yesterday we had a snow day, our third to be exact, but only the first since the New Year.  I'm busy with musical rehearsals, and like always, we can never afford to miss a day.  This morning we had a late start, and that's much more my style in January & February.  If my school day didn't start until 10:00 every day, I'd be the happiest camper alive.  Even just that extra 45 minutes this morning before the alarm went off was a gift.  There's a big difference between 5:45 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. in this night owl's book.

Now I'm procrastinating leaving school.  I need to venture out into the arctic tundra and go home.  Maybe I could just sleep here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book of Mormon

Yesterday, I saw the touring show of The Book of Mormon in Des Moines.  It pushed the edge of the envelope in just about every way imaginable.  I laughed, I was touched, I was offended, I was giddy, I was grossed out, I was breathless, and I was very glad I saw it.

There was a lady two rows down from us who walked out.  To some extent, I can understand why.  The show is offensive in so many ways.  I can't even begin to count how many.  But... one thing I never understand (something similar happened when I saw Rent on Broadway) is if someone is going to spend that much money going to the theater, why don't they do a little research first?  Maybe they have a lot of money... so much money that an $80 ticket (or way more if you're actually in New York) for two hours on a Saturday night isn't a big deal.  Maybe they don't watch TV or read the paper, but The Des Moines Register has printed at least two different articles on the show and what people can expect.  I just don't get it.  Do your homework, people!

Anyway, here's the message I took away from the show:  When it comes to faith, we don't have to believe every single little thing we're told, without question, for our faith to be uplifting and to make a difference.  Our faith can change our lives and the lives of others.  Some of it might sound ridiculous or impossible, but to me, that doesn't matter.  Elder Price sings "I Believe" in the show before he has learned that lesson, but it's such a great number.  And, the little Sound of Music spoof at the beginning made me grin.


Sunday, January 20, 2013


I wish I could credit this, but someone posted it on Facebook with no credits.  It spoke to me so much that I wanted to post it here on my blog.  This picture is what it's about.  When we support each other and lift each other up, great things can happen.  Barack Obama didn't get here alone.  No President has ever done it alone.  None of us ever do.  We walk the roads others have built for us.  And then, hopefully, we take our turn laying a few bricks ourselves.  

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