Around Here Week 8: 02/18-24

Saturday, March 23, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment. 

video still cred: Abba

selfie cred: Kitty

new classroom!

photo cred: B

selfie cred: Miss Hannah

photo cred: Becky C

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 10+ (of 1000)
boo, I got nothing new.

Reading Six Years by Harlan Coben and to be honest, I'm not loving his writing style. I'm pushing through because I'm hoping this turns into an interesting storyline. Feeling very meh about it.

Switching Valentines decor to St. Patrick's Day! And we hung up our Lenten coloring countdown sheets too. 

Thankful for my hype crew who sent me texts on Monday when I was headed into my new school for the Act 80 day. (Uch, Becky C, and Heather all texted me first thing in the morning to say some variation of "Good luck today, you got this!" love you guys. xxo)  And then on Friday - my last day at NS -  so many texts and love (thank you mum & dad, Kitty, Uch, Gigi, Heather, Becky C, Jenn V, Loni S, and Renee S - appreciate you so much for the hug I felt wrapped around me on a very emotional day!)

Physical & TB test for my new job and I went in so blasé that I laughed about it for the rest of the day. I walk in and the nurse is like here's a cup for your drug test and I was like, wait what? Are you also the kind of person that then automatically panics and is like, "did I accidentally do drugs?" LOL, I have the same kind of bizarre thoughts when I got through security scanners at stores; "did I accidentally steal something?!" hahaha, rule follower to the core. So then, I had an old fashion hearing test (like in a box with headphones and tiny buzzing sounds - wild!) then a full on physical exam and TB test. Everything went well but it was just way more intense then I was imagining and I could not stop laughing at how I just walked in there like, "hi. I'm here for a little poke" and they gave me the full monty. 

Feeling a little like my brain has been stretched to two places at once. Making lesson plans for my first week at my new school, while also making lesson plans for the first week I won't be at my current school because there will be a sub in until the next teacher arrives. I received my classroom keys, school badge, and laptop on Monday (Act 80 day) at my new school while I copied and stored files from my current laptop and made lists of all the paperwork and hardware I need to turn in on Friday. It was a draining week in all the ways (emotionally, physically, and mentally) but I just kept telling myself that soon I would be in only one school (albeit starting from scratch?!)

Wishing our Gemmi Rose a happy 12th birthday! She had the best time on Monday with her godmomma / aunt Kitty. They got their hair done, tried on prom dresses, and stopped for lunch with Aunt Uch too! We had confetti muffins for breakfast and singing before school and Mrs. Conn sang to her multiple times through the day (hugs to all educators who love their students like their own kids!) For dinner we had chicken / veggie / biscuit casserole at Gem's request with a dessert of Strawberry pretzel salad (also her request). We got her some clothes that she had put into my Amazon cart (haha! this land of preteen/teenager is wild). Then Miss Hannah took her and Violet out for a birthday dinner on Friday night too! (She is holding off until she can have a summer party)

Wishing happy birthdays to more of our favorites. It was Pappy's birthday the day after Gemma's, it was my nephew Wells' HALF birthday, and Grey's best friends (twins) celebrated their 14th birthday this week which included a super fun sleepover at their house with the most hilarious mini hoop tournament ever (thanks for the pics and videos Becky!) 

Celebrating my little sister and her boyfriend as they prepare to hike the freaking Pacific Crest Trail! Kitty and Bryan will be headed out to CA in late March to get their 6 month through hike started and then go 2,650 miles from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. I am so excited for them and can't wait to see all the incredible pictures and hear their stories. (You can follow them too at @reikitty on instagram! If you get the urge to support them, please feel free throw a couple bucks their way through Kayla's venmo ( @kankla ). Did you know PCT hikers normally go through TEN pairs of shoes!?) Our babiest sister, Uch, set up a party for them and we spent Saturday night laughing and hanging out with friends and family before those two hobos leave next month!

Taxes appointment! woohoo! check that off the list! 

Teaching my last week at North Star. It was a wild one that consisted of cleaning up, organizing, checking in on kids, grading, finishing paper work, closing up LMA passes, lesson planning for next week's sub, taking the guinea pigs home, transferring all things Prom to the new advisor, and packing up literally everything I accumulated over the course of 7 years (whew!) We did also learn a bit, through some quality Grade A movies. Spanish 1 watched the Selena movie (!!) and completed a movie guide - they were enthralled because it is honestly the best movie ever. Spanish 2 finished Pachamama and actually they really liked it. We also learned about the floating islands on Lake Titicaca (coolest). Spanish 3 and 4 finished McFarland USA (they were obsessed and whooping and cheering! Also - a great great movie!) 

Saying goodbye to my NS cougar family. It was heartbreaking and beautiful and terrible. The staff were so sweet and threw me a little going away party in the lounge with cake and posters and a card and pictures. The kids were everything. I gave explicit expectations that I did not want them to buy me gifts (do not spend your money!) but that I would accept letters and notes and handmade surprises. Most of them listened (although I had a few kids with jobs that went out and bought actual gifts and they were proud to give them to me, so I accepted and thanked them). Kids brought in handmade cards and multiple page letters and crocheted critters and bookmarks, and printed out photos...and it was all so special and overwhelming. I cried the whole way home on Friday. What an incredible gift it was to be a teacher and part of the lives of the NS community. I will be cheering you on forever. xxo.

Sporting a basketball game and Sparks soccer practice for Violet. Grey had 1 baseball pitching and two baseball open gym practices and Brandon had a  Franklin basketball game. It was a pretty slow week in sports and that was definitely okay for this week of crazy emotions! 

Making tacos, chicken & biscuit casserole (Gemma's request for birthday dinner!), taco pasta (with leftover taco meat), chicken & gnocchi soup, take out fish dinners on Friday and we ate out at the restaurant for PCT party. For desserts I made a batch M&M monster cookies, strawberry pretzel salad (Gemma's request for birthday dessert!)  and I made cupcakes for Kitty & Bryan's party.. For breakfasts I made confetti muffins (Gemma's birthday breakfast), Violet made monkey bread with canned biscuits on Saturday.

Around Here Week 07: 02/11-17

Monday, March 11, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our family just this moment. 

photo cred: Coach Bryan

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 10+ hours (of 1000)
meh, nothing new for me. 

Reading and finishing Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell and really got wrapped up in it! I made lots of predictions as I was reading it and um, they were all incorrect (hah). Because the plot was so brutal (especially for a momma's heart) I don't know that I would ever recommend it to anyone, like, 'you gotta read this' but it was good writing and held my attention and kept me guessing. 

Designing, printing, and making the kids' valentines for the school parties - with a few extras for Olive and Red to gift to their friends too (looking at you, Miss Emma, Miss Baylee, Wells, Heath, and of course - Beau Maurer - hah!) I used Canva (aka my boyfriend) and made koala cards for Vi to match her Valentine box theme and Ninja cards for Rust. The kids wrote all their classmates name on them (there should be an educational aspect, right?) and then attached a lollipop to each and voila! good to go for the Valentine/Lunar New Year party on Wednesday!

Out to lunch with Heather and so grateful that she's the kind of a friend to last minute change the date/time because she can see that I am zapped of energy but still holds us to a lunch date because she knows I need that to recharge too. (you're my zero!) Lunch and mimosas were delicious at Stonebridge Brewery and we had great conversation and laughs (like always!) Love you!!

Ripping up carpet on the stairs. I mean, exactly what we need right now - a big project (LOL, not), but it is something that really needed done and these elderly dogs are making us nuts with their inconsistent digestive systems (ugh forever). We were pleasantly surprised to find finished floors underneath our very outdated carpeting - B did an awesome job and ripped, sanded, and cleaned up to the landing so far. xxxo thanks babe.

Cheering on the Chiefs and Taylor Swift at the Superbowl! #girldad #getyouaman

So many winter holidays to celebrate! We celebrated Mardi Gras on Tuesday which means Kings Cake for dessert! And then Valentines day included a surprise breakfast visit from Pappy&Gigi who brought us heart-shaped donuts. Then as is traditional - flowers from Dadda for all the girls and flowers and chocolates for me (my prince!) This week I also organized Staff Potluck at school for Mardi Gras and then my students had a Valentines/Farewell fiesta food day on Wednesday! Rusty & Violet celebrated at their school for a Valentines Day/Lunar New Year double celebration and came home with backpacks full of treats and crafts! 

Finishing up more paperwork for my new school and for leaving my current school. I scheduled by physical/TB test and completed my Mandated Reporter training.  I had to confirm with both schools' administrations about my plans for the upcoming ACT 80 day. Then at my current school I organized requisition papers for next year and ordered the prom fundraiser popcorn and finalized the prom posters. 

Don't forget (Tab of the future) that Red and Liv both say 'my turn' like "my churn" and it's so cute you wish it was actually churn instead of turn and maybe they'll never self correct and that would be just perfect. 

Snagging a #studerkidsinarow pic since I haven't had one for about a year. oops. I love looking at the hashtag of all of them on Instagram and marveling over how fast kids grow up (building up and breaking my heart always). 

Cleaning out some of my classroom and oh boy, the overwhelm. The amount of stuff to organize, copy, prep, pack away. And the amount of memories and years of being a person in this school community that has seen years of siblings and friends and kids I worry about and love and feel proud of. I've only cried like three times this week - so I'm counting it as a win #hotmessexpress 

Sending Rusty and Violet for a sleepover with Aunt Kitty much to their delight. They made clay pottery and did all the fun, spooky, silly, magical things that is Aunt Kitty (most fun aunt everrr). The three of them even went for a visit to see Abba & Chum at their mini getaway which included an indoor pool - so those little fishies were very pleased!

Teaching Spanish 1 about Carrie the dancing dog and reviewing AR/ER/IR verb endings. Spanish 2 finished their novel Ekeko and started watching Pachamama. Spanish 3/4 finished up their Imperfect verb endings and started watching McFarland USA (love this movie!) All levels had a farewell/Valentines day food fiesta day on Wednesday. We had great participation and so many delicious things to eat (I love me some cowboy caviar and chocolate covered strawberries!) And it is official! My last day will be 02/23, so I am trying to organize, copy, and clean up as much as possible in the next week and a half. Ugh, so physically, mentally, and emotionally draining right now in this transition period. 

Sporting with a basketball game and a Sparks soccer practice for Violet. Gemma had a JrHigh soccer open, 2 sixth grade basketball games, and kept stats for the Jr High basketball girls once this week. Gem and Violet were both announced at the Varsity girls' game as youth league players too! Grey had baseball pitching, QB practice, got announced at the Varsity game, and his last two Jr High basketball games this week. Brandon had the Ken Lantzy football meeting this week. 

Making take out burgers and fries in between basketball games, sheet pan broccoli, cauliflower, and cheddar brats (mardi gras!), take out pizza (Valentines day!), Pioneer Woman skillet lasagna, blackened tilapia, and hot beef au jus sandwiches. For the superbowl - I made Philly chicken cheesesteak sammies and twice baked potatoes! For Mardi Gras, I made Kings Cake (with canned cinnamon rolls) with 8 babies baked in it so that none of my human crybabies whined about not getting a baby in their slice (hah!) For our Mardi Gras Staff Potluck I made crockpot corn pudding. On Valentine's morning, I made chocolate croissants and Pap and Gigi brought us donuts too! I made honey/pb/cheerio bars with chocolate on top too!