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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #9

What is this little cutie thinking?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Love You!

What can I say? I LOVE MY FRIENDS. Reading all of your wonderful comments really made my day--which was a special bonus on a busy Monday. I'd love it if you'd all resolve to leave comments more often, just to say hi, since I miss you all (except you, Alicia--I see you all the time!) and want to keep updated on your lives too. Real posts to come, I promise, but I just wanted to thank you all for the encouragement!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are you out there?

Based on the lack of comments on my last few posts, I'm wondering how many of you are still reading. Have I lost my readership because of my utter lack of posts in the past few weeks? I mean, I did really well this week--three posts in three days! (four in four once I post this) But I know I've been largely absent for the last month. Maybe I need to get back on the NaPoBloMo "posting every day" horse. Maybe.

I've been thinking a lot over the past few days about priorities. In spite of the fact that I have mountains of grading to do, my motivation to get it done vanishes as soon as I walk through the door in the evening and see my sweet little girls. The panic reappears the next morning as a shower, when I start thinking about the coming day and realize that my workload is growing ever heavier as I neglect to do things at home at night.

But isn't spending time with my family more important? I had a meeting this morning for a volunteer ministry at church, and they kept talking about how the church can only be effective if they partner with the family. That led me to think--am I being effective with my family? And why was I sitting in this meeting when I should be home loving on my kids? Lately I feel like the kids are just getting my leftovers.... tired mommy who doesn't feel like cooking dinner (or doing anything except zoning out and cuddling in front of a Disney) movie after arriving home. I am SO grateful to have Kristin here; she has been so awesome about playing with them all day and taking them on fun outings that they don't seem to be any worse off for all the changes they've been through lately. I'm also thrilled that Ben is now home from his many business trips, so we are going to be able to start settling into a regular routine and hopefully bring a little normalcy back into our lives.

All of these thoughts are swirling around in my head right now, combined with a heavy dose of Into the Wild, "Not Waving But Drowning," "So Much Unfairness of Things," Things Fall Apart, "The Lesson," "I Stand Here Ironing," High Fidelity, and college application essays. So things are a bit convoluted. The bottom line is, I'm feeling rather overwhelmed. I feel kind of pathetic airing all of this on the blog, but I love my friends and sadly, have not seen or talked to many of you since my life became insane. If any of you are still reading, send some love and positive thoughts my way, okay?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #14

I know this is last week's, but I liked the prompt here better than this week's, and since I didn't do it then, I figured it was still fair game. :)

And I am doing my part to spread the blogging obsession.... all of my students created blogs this week, and today their assignment was to do Friday Fill-Ins. I realize this is not terribly intellectual, but it does give them practice posting and leaving comments for each other, which is what I was going for.

1. The last meal I had a restaurant was Monday night at Chili's; my sister was our waitress.

2. Sleeping in class is something I strongly dislike (so don't do it!).

3. The full moon is something that my 2 1/2 year old daughter is always very excited to see.

4. "You would!" is one of my favorite local expressions.
5. Sometimes it's best to be willing to laugh at yourself.
6. Prince Caspian is the best movie I've seen so far this year (but I've only seen 2 in the theater).
7. As for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going out to dinner with my mom when she visits from out of town, tomorrow my plans include participating in our neighborhood garage sale and block party, and Sunday, I want to take a long nap!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

13 Funny Comments

Here are 13 of the weird things that have been said to me, both by students and by staff, since I started teaching at University:

1. "I would marry Gatsby if I could.... the book, not the man." - Alicia (aka "LaMags," as the students all call her)

2. "I have a question..... how did dead baby jokes get started?" - senior boy (note: nothing even remotely relating to these heinous jokes had ever been mentioned in my class before this)

3. "Wait, what did Miley Cyrus do? I'm looking that up after class!" - freshman boy, during a class discussion of what is and is not appropriate to post on the internet

4. "This restaurant is a total meatfest. I'm keeping my card on green all night." - male teacher during faculty dinner at Fogo de Chao--if you've been there, you understand.

5. "Everybody be quiet! I want to read!" - senior boy, after I told the class that their first novel (High Fidelity by Nick Hornby) has a lot of sex and profanity in it

6. "I think dementia is setting in.... maybe she should just be a crazy cat lady." - senior girl, describing the character of Miss Brill in the short story by the same name

7. "Well, if you liked it that much, I guess I do too." - junior girl, in response to Alicia's overwhelming enthusiasm about F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. ".... but I'm really not a pedophile." - graduated female. She was apparently telling Alicia that there are some cute freshman boys at UHS this year, but they walked into our classroom in the middle of the conversation, and this was all I heard.

9. "I need more 10s!" - junior girl, referring to her scores on homework (10/10 being perfect)
"You do not need any more A's!" - Alicia, in response
"Yes I do!" - junior girl
"Look, you're perfect and everyone knows it. Now shut up." - Alicia
"You're mean. I hate you." - junior girl
(all said good-naturedly; earlier in the week, Alicia proclaimed that she loved this girl and would "marry her whole family" if she could)

10. "I'm having a moose!" - Suellen (this actually has nothing to do with school, but since she said it to me while I was at school, I figured it could count)

11. "My mom kept telling me not to play with dolls when I was little, and that didn't work out so well." - senior boy (this comment seemed just as cryptic to me as it does to you. When I asked him to explain, he just laughed.)

12. "Sorry I missed class on Friday. I was being diverse." - various seniors, meaning that they had attended a diversity workshop hosted by the school, and therefore had missed class

13. "You got Chucked!" - everyone, referring to our headmaster's (Chuck's) propensity for sucking people into lengthy conversations and thus making them late for classes that they are either supposed to be attending or teaching

Wordless Wednesday #8

Any suggestions on the caption?
(We can thank Aunt Kristin for providing the photo!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Week at UHS

WOW has it ever been a busy week. I promise that I do intend to keep blogging, and I even hope to do it more often, but I have just been completely snowed under by this week. Even as I type this, I have a rather large stack of grading (yes, it's only the first week of school, and yes, I am mean and gave homework every night) sitting next to me, begging for my attention. But for all of those of you who have emailed, Facebooked, and texted me this week to wish me luck and check in with how I'm doing, I love you very much and felt like you at least deserved an update!!

MONDAY - The last day of "summer." When I arrived at school to work a little before 8:00, the only other person in the building was the other new teacher. Various others came and went throughout the day, but when I left at a little after 6:00, I was the only one left there. Even after putting in all that time, I still felt ill-prepared for the start of the year. The two weeks I'd had beforehand were just not enough time to prepare curriculums for three new classes, one of which is AP.

TUESDAY - First day of school! First day of school! I was surprisingly not nervous. It seemed very natural, which just reconfirmed for me that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. I really liked all my kids, and classes went well. The huge down side was that I developed a migraine along about third period and since I had neglected to take any migraine pills to school with me, it just continued to get worse all day. I hadn't realized that we were going to have a faculty meeting after school, so I was rather distressed when the end of the day came and I had to troop off to that. During the meeting, they changed the schedule for next week AGAIN (this would be like the tenth change, and I am still kind of confused as to what's going on) (remind me sometime to write a post all about how weird our schedule is), causing me to cover my face with my hands and moan a little. Although this would have gone unnoticed at a public school, since there were only like 15 of us in this meeting (32 staff members total, including secretaries, financial folks, etc., plus coaches weren't at the fac meeting), the assistant head (because we don't have a principal; we have a headmaster) laughed at me and asked if I was going to be okay. I managed to choke out, "I quit! I'm going back to public school!" and the rest of the staff had a good laugh at me. In fact, for the rest of the week, I had teachers coming into my room and telling me that was the funniest thing that had happened in ages. I didn't mean to be funny; my head just hurt really bad. Anyway. Later in the same meeting, the assistant head launched into a long spiel about how someone needed to take on planning prom, and he knew it was a miserable job, etc, etc, and more out of self-preservation than anything else (aka "I need to go home and take a migraine pill right now or I am going to curl up and die"), I volunteered to do it. Alicia (with whom I share a classroom) has not yet stopped laughing at me for both quitting and volunteering to be charge of prom during the very same meeting.

WEDNESDAY - A good day. I actually remembered some kids' names, and they actually talked during class discussion. Craziness. My smallest class has 13 kids (although only 11 were there all last week, as two were finishing up summer commitments) and my largest has 18. That's right, all my public school teacher friends--you are now allowed to be wildly jealous. :) My evening involved sitting in stopped traffic for almost a half an hour while trying to get home from the local Walmart, which is made rather challenging by the fact that basically all of the roads in Brownsburg are closed. Ben spent the evening downtown at the convention center, setting up for GenCon and visiting with all the rest of the geeky gamers. :) Bryn and Shay seem to be holding up okay with my absence, largely due to the fact that their daytime sitter is Aunt Kristin, who they adore. Bryn is rather clingy in the evenings though.

THURSDAY - Again, no complaints with school. I'm surprised at how fast I am adjusting. I remembered yet more kids' names. On the home front, we are now up to three houseguests for GenCon, although I had yet to see any of them. Ben left the convention for a while to take the girls to the zoo with me in the evening, as it was open late for a special event. They had a really good time, in spite of the fact that not all of the animals were out. Bryn insisted on taking her stuffed Horton the elephant (from Dr. Seuss) with us, which was not a big surprise, as she has been carrying it around a lot ever since seeing the movie "Horton Hears a Who" with Suellen last week. In fact, Bryn even volunteered to walk so that Horton (who she class "Porton") could ride in the stroller in her seat. Very cute. When we got to the elephants at the zoo, she ran to the stroller, got Horton out, carried him to the fence, lifted him up so he could "see" over the fence (like we do with her), and said, "See Porton? More elphants!"

FRIDAY - In spite of the fact that it was just my first week back, TGIF. I really don't think I could have handled getting up with an alarm for even one more day. Good day at school. Ben and houseguests MIA at GenCon all night. Kristin was off to Chicago for the weekend. Derek and Chris came over for dinner, bringing a delectable homemade lasagna with them. Alicia and Suellen "stopped by" to drop off a movie, and we all ended up hanging out. Very fun.

SATURDAY - Mostly spent sleeping (sleeping in, napping) in order to make up for my severe sleep deficit from the rest of the week. Lots of time hanging out with the girls. I took them both to the grocery store with me, which of course made the trip far more lengthy than it needed to be. Andrea, Gwyn (who was in town so her husband could go to GenCon), and I had planned to have a girls/gaming widows evening, but our husbands decided that they actually wanted to see us--yay! :) So Andrea, Rob, Gwyn, David, and Mike all came over here and we grilled out. Good fun with good friends.

SUNDAY - Since Ben was off at GenCon (last day!), the babies attended the 9:30 high school service with me and sat in on my small group (rather distracting, but still cute). Then I went to the 11:00 church service while they went to the nursery. Our head pastor is back from a month-long sabbatical and wow, was it good to hear him preach again. Tonight the girls and I are off to a picnic with my Mom to Mom group from church. I imagine this will be rather bittersweet, as I won't be able to participate in the group this year, since they meet during the day and I'm back at work. Hopefully that pesky grading will happen sometime tonight, then back to the grind tomorrow morning. Ben will be out of town on business for the majority of this coming week, so it looks like another hard one. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Day

(To be read in a Nemo voice....) First day of school! First day of school! Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Have Fun!

Bryn's latest cute thing is that whenever she says "bye-bye," she follows it up with "have fun!" She has probably heard us say that to her a hundred times, so I'm guessing that's where she picked it up. What makes it so funny, though, is that now she has started adding commentary to the end. For example....

The other night, I was taking Bryn and Shay to the library. Kristin (my sister and live-in nanny)was lying in her bed watching TV, and Bryn shouted, "Bye-bye, Aunt Tistin! Have fun in bed!"

A couple of weeks ago, Andrea and I took our kids to the zoo. When leaving, Bryn said happily, "Bye-bye, dolphins! Have fun swimming in the water!"

And my personal favorite..... Friday was a teacher work day for me, so Kristin brought Bryn and Shay up to school to visit. She also picked up lunch for me and Alicia (who I share a classroom with). After our visit, when Kristin was pulling out of the parking lot with the girls in her car, Bryn waved at the building and said, "Bye-bye, school! Have fun with my mommy!"

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #13

1. You know you're old when you'd rather take a nap than socialize.

2. My heart is divided between home and school.

3. To have my lesson planning completely finished is what I need RIGHT NOW!

4. I have felt the joy of hope, I have known the depths of loss.

5. Gah, won't these people.... actually, no complaints right now.

6. Post a comment as soon as you can!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to dinner with friends and a possible solution to my future daycare dilemma, tomorrow my plans include NAPPING and Sunday, I want to show off my husband and babies at the UHS pitch-in.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wordless.... Thursday

Meant to put this up yesterday.... this is where I've been spending all my time lately. :)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

One Word

I got survey in an email forward from my friend Cathy, and it intrigued me enough to fill out and post here. I will eventually get around to doing a post about my past two days of teacher training for University, but right now, my brain is fried and I'm feeling the intense need to relax for a while. So here we go...

USING ONLY ONE WORD.....
1. Where is your cell phone? nightstand
2. Your significant other? Ben
3. Your hair? brown
4. Your mother? Tina
5. Your father? David
6. Your favorite thing? naps
7. Your dreams last night? school
8. Your favorite drink? cherry
9. Your dream/goal? love
10. What room you are in? living
11. Your hobby? books
12. Your fear? distance
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? contentment
14. Where were you last night? restaurant
15. Something that you aren't? athletic
16. Muffins? chocolate
17. Wish list item? time
18. Where you grew up? Peoria
19. Last thing you did? story
20. What are you wearing? clothes
21. Your TV? dusty
22. Your pets? barking
23. Friends? invaluable
24. Your life? chaos
25. Your mood? sleepy
26. Missing someone? daughters
27. Your car? Jeep
28. Something you're not wearing? socks
29. Your favorite store? Target
32. Your favorite color? blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? lunch
34. Last time you cried? fight

A) Four places that I go to over and over: library, school, Kroger, church
B) Four people who email me regularly: Alicia, Cathy, Kathy, spam
C) My favorite four places to eat: Bonefish, Agatucci's, [P.F.] Chang's, Avanti's
D) Four places I would like to go right now: bed, Michigan, [Camp] Tecumseh, Ireland
E) Four TV shows I watch all the time? Friends, Buffy, Angel, [The Secret Life of the American] Teenager

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Fill-In #12

1. If I could travel back in time, I'd go to my own life. History is interesting and all, but what I would really love would be to go back and relive some of my own good times--high school Clan outings to Maid-Rite or nights spent sitting around with friends in the Butler dorms.

2. Give me a long, uninterrupted night of sleep or give me a nap!

3. I am listening to Emily J and Alex C's gleeful laughs as they run around my house (I'm babysitting today).

4. Somewhere, someone is thinking "I'm so glad Amy posted a new blog!"

5. I'll always be Bryn and Shay's mommy, even when I go back to work. (I've actually experienced a great deal of paranoia lately that they won't love me anymore when I'm not with them all day every day--I know this is just an irrational fear, but still.)

6. My idea of a good time includes being able to relax without having to worry about "getting stuff done."

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to family yard work (not so much looking forward to actually doing it, but looking forward to the end result), tomorrow my plans include lesson plans for school, more yard work, hopefully a nap, and church, and Sunday, I want to get caught up with my Focus small group at the 9:30 service, work in the nursery during the 11:00 service, get some school work done, and spend quality time with Ben and the girls!