Sunday, February 28, 2010


I've missed a few weeks and need some virtual accountability. I'm going to church this morning! No if's and's or but's. Just need to get this butt in gear.

Today also includes:
getting dressed
going outside
putting laundry away
an if needed trip to grocery store
making chili (deciding between white and regular, although I've never made white before)

Big goals...I know.

And now as I stare across the room wondering how to get the first two goals accomplished I see an ominous dark spot on the wall and fear I may also need to kill a bug today. Guess that might get me going a bit sooner.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


So I have no plans of switching jobs or applying for another position. But I did start thinking if I didn't update my resume or at least keep a list of a few committees and programs I've worked with I'll start forgetting them. So I did that this afternoon. It was interesting to see I've worked with some groups for all 3 years of teaching and some for just one. I'm happy with what I'm involved with, but curious to see what else I might someday become involved with that I'll be able to write on a resume.

On a side note I had a momentary panic this afternoon when I received an email that my request to move over on the salary scale was denied because I was 1/2 credit short. I had counted those numbers so many times they had to equal 16! I thankfully got ahold of HR and found out I had written one course number wrong and it was an easy fix. I can't believe I did that! At least it was fixed and all is well. *sigh*

Of course the minor change in pay will be nice. However, even as exciting is the fact that I set a goal 2 and 1/2 years ago to get to a certain point and met (in my opinion) it with some serious scheduling and hard work. I have an Excel spreadsheet keeping track of everything and had written Jan 1, 2010 as my goal date when that seemed like forever in the future. I'm just a month off and so thrilled! Setting goals works, (with hard work of course)! I doubt I would have felt like the work and time was all worth it or felt a greater purpose without setting an ambitious goal for myself.

That being said, I'm a bit sad that I'm finished and not sure what goal to tackle next! I'd say I'll relax but doubt I'll be satisfied with some greater purpose.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fresh Snow

What if there was something like fresh snow for our heart and mind and soul?

I love how snow covers up all the flaws outside and makes a beautiful white display of all things beautiful. Sometimes it can hide tiny imperfections like the dead grass, cracks in the sidewalk, or a pothole but the world always looks beautiful after a snow.

I'm jealous of the ground when it snows as it receives an immediate make over. The flaws still exist and if your foot goes in the wrong spot the imperfection will once again stare you in the face. But for a few hours until the sun beats down or a few days until the temperature rises all is covered by a beautiful blanket.

I know Christ's death on the cross does this for me. I just wish it felt the same way as a fresh snowfall. Blaring obvious, changing my daily habits, and making that which it covers beautiful. (There is always the chance of cancelled school with snow but I'm ok that this isn't a precise part of Christ's plan)

So I'll take the snow as a sign that it is meant to remind me of Christ's unabashed love for his bride. Even if I don't get to have the snowfall wash over me and make me white as snow, I can enjoy everything around me where it has (and thank God for a warm home so I'm not in the snow).

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I've found I often gravitate toward biographies or autobiographies to learn about the interesting people from around the world. Autobiographies are particularly interesting because the author has the editing eye to determine (again, obviously) what was important and not so much in their own story.

I've always been a big fan of Bill Pete books for their adorable but unusual characters that are classic ideas but presented in a unique way. I had no idea he had been such a working force in the early Disney company! I am excited to review movies for his touch such as the Jungle Book, Dumbo, and Cinderella's mice! He struggled with the atmosphere at Disney but worked there for 25+ (?) years. Deciding to work on his own interests he began writing children's books and this is where I am more familiar.

The Dark Side

So years after they were published I've decided it's time to read Harry Potter the series. I finished the first two yesterday and kicked myself a bit because I didn't bring books 3 or 4 home from the library. Alas, it will give me some easy reading for the next week or two. The first two had a similar style and were (obviously) an easy read. I can see a bit about why some people might think they aren't ok for kids to read, however, a kid reading is better than one who is not in my opinion. Kids that already have a tendency to look for the misfit, odd, dark, or otherwise counter culture could find it here, or in any other number of ways. I do appreciate in the first two books that the characters, as kids, were able to actually act like kids and not hyped up over-sexed pre-teens. I'm guessing that pattern won't continue as the pre-teen becomes a teen.

Overall the first two had a similar plot sequence, and book two spent a fair amount of time re-stating information from book one. Helpful for the casual or forgetful reader, annoying for the reader closing book one while opening book two.

Obviously a quotable line from the end of the 2nd book is when Dumbledore informs Harry that "It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." Though Harry has many similarities to Voldermort, his desire and choice to pursue the good and not the evil distinguishes him. I think this could be key for kids as well as adults to understand. The most brilliant mind, unused, is useless. And the person who seems the least able, with the passion and desire, can become great with the choice to try.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Here is a wordle of my blog thus far. Always an interesting summary and way to look at writing. Most repeated words become the largest. It appears as though since many words are the same size I haven't focused on one main topic just yet.

Notes of success:
I have poetry packets printed and ready for assembly. The time consuming job of punching and using the binding machine may be my goal tomorrow so the students can use them on Friday!

A long week continues (as I'm here in a class) but the end is near and so is the 3 day weekend!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm I have to work?

This week is going to be a marathon work week. I have 2 nights with classes until 7:30 and tonight until 7:30 helping with a a parent night at school. Then Friday is "valentine's" day so that will be an epic day of drama and otherwise irritating activities I fear. There is a lot of fun activities going on but the sheer exhaustion of working 11-12 hour days several days in a row with no (it seems like) end in sight is tiring.

That being said I'm writing down my to do list so I make the few hours between two activities useful.
  • Grade 4-5 sets of papers
  • organize math chapter 8 copies
  • file professional development papers into binder
  • start hole punching poetry books for binding :)
  • organize copies
  • file away book orders

and try to stay focused and feel productive to get something done!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Utensils and Cards

While on a super saving grocery trip this week where I saved at least 30 dollars using coupons and sales I also found Mr. Fork and Mrs. Spoon to use as salad tongs for a dollar each. I added our toast tongs just because they matched. A good day for salad everywhere!

Now just to remember not to leave them sitting in water so nothing gets warped or ruined. I also had the rocks handy because I decided to wash/rinse/or dust most of our decorations yesterday. That included 2 vases with river rocks, candle holders, picture frames, and who knows what else. The happy couple will live with the rest of the serving ware but got a fancy home for picture time.

Also exciting today was making Valentine cards for various people that I will see / mail to / or send some other way. I had one or two from

other times so I had a mix of cards to finish, make, or otherwise get ready to use. I'm a big fan of the ones I made. I didn't have the right size / color of paper to make the ones for my students yet so that will have to be another post.

Valentine's version 1

I've had (though my memory isn't super precise here) a variety of Valentine's Days. For a preValentine's Day moment I had a few friends over to just let them know how important friends are in life and got to share tea, lemon wedges (aka lemon bars in a spiffed up form with fluted edges from a tart pan) and biscotti with them.

Growing up mom always had little Valentine's treat bags with "stuff" like notepads and fun pencils that we would get that morning. We usually also got fancy breakfast which was exciting. Nice work mom.

That being said I feel as though Valentine's day can lead to people feeling fairly unhappy because they aren't being loved by the person they hoped for or in a way they wish would happen. I'm guilty of this as well, however, have done my best to take steps in the right direction. Step one is to do my best to make sure that friends and family know I love them. Can't guarantee it's their number one wish for Valentine's Day, but I know I enjoy finding out other people love and cherish I better do the same. Step two is to try to keep a handle on all things super over romantic. Life isn't a movie, so don't cheapen your life by trying to make it like one. That being said I hope I'm happy with however my Valentine's Day turns out. (I've had some really cool ones, and some less than stellar.) So, step one in Valentine's Day has been in the right direction for me!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Yesterday I was able to spend time with a good friend and pursue on of my favorite hobbies - baking! We made cranberry pistachio biscotti and mocha chocolate shortbread. As you can see from the picture (similar but not exactly the same as mine....aka Internet not Karin picture) I find the biscotti recipe to be the winner between the two. Not just because when taking one of the mocha chocolate shortbread's out of the oven I dumped the entire thing in between the door and floor of the oven. ...smooth...

I find that I enjoy my time with people the most when we are actively doing something and can have a conversation within the context of completing something, useless or useful. Then, as any good friend will do, when posed a hum-dinger of a question you have a few seconds (while measuring flour for the 4th time) to ponder your thoughtful response. Sometimes I find myself answering too quickly and then changing my thought mid-way through my sentence. I hope to become more aware of what I'm speaking before I say anything. Perhaps this is a bad habit teachers have when their entire job is teaching and talking for the whole day.

I do find it curious that I seem to be focusing on food for the majority of my posts thus far. It can be a big part of life, but I would in some ways like to think there is more to it! Other items I would like to do include making lists (of lists of what I want to do), cleaning, organizing, creating (most anything) and reading. Today I didn't get to make my list yet, did finish creating what I'm going to call my poetry workbook for this year, and did a bit of organizing at school. Loading the dishwasher and leaving messes elsewhere in the kitchen may not qualify some people for cleaning but for me it counts! So overall, except reading I plan to fulfill all my wildest dreams (lol) today. I may even finally finish Abigale Adams tonight. It's been fun but I'm ready for some fiction and action!

Tomorrow's to-do list (since I didn't make my list yet I might as well here)
clean everything (this means everything that looks messy, ie kitchen, floors, stuff in piles, and if I become extraordinarily motivated my clothes and night stand with piles of clothes on it)
bake 1-2 treats (Valentine's oriented)
decorate for the holiday of love
grocery shop the deals
Have a peaceful and productive Saturday!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yoga and Dinner

I went to yoga after school. It felt great and we worked harder than other weeks which I really enjoyed. I find a lot of peace when doing balancing poses and have to completely clear my mind and focus on keeping in the pose.

Some groceries after work and now baked chicken and potatoes are in the oven. I fear there might be too much liquid but I certainly do not enjoy dry chicken or dry potatoes so we'll see what happens when the timer goes off.

It is interesting that over the weekends I often have little to no energy or care to get anything done. Then I come home from work and have several projects I want to complete, laundry I want to do, and cleaning that doesn't seem so awful as it did on Saturday or Sunday.

Goal this week is to post a picture or two from life around here. Not hard, just one more item on the to do list.

Monday, Monday

I never can seem to wake up early and get to work early to do the many things I have to do. Instead I wake up late, find something else to do except get ready, rush to get ready and rush to work. Yoga this afternoon will be wonderful as long as I don't forget my workout clothes.

And as always, I love my job and am so extremely thankful for it! I actually do enjoy going to work to see what I'll be getting to do there each day!

Today includes (apparently) a fire code inspection so removing posters off walls would be 1st priority when I get there. Also I'll be submitting a book order where kids pay for books and I get points to spend based on how much they spent. Then yoga! wahoo!

Anyhow; delicious milk and Cheerios are calling my name!