Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where in the World is ... Matt Lauer!?!?

I finally got a clue right.

Every spring, Matt (yes, we're on a first name basis) goes on a wonderful, week-long trip all around the world. He gives clues the day before he gets to his next destination so you can try and guess. I love watching the first 10 minutes of The Today Show on a normal day, but during this week, it is the most exciting. I gasp out-loud when they pan back to show the beautiful place Matt has landed each morning!

This week he started in Buenos Aires and danced the tango in the first 5 minutes he was there. Tuesday, he ended up in the gorgeous tulip fields in Amsterdam. Today was the first clue I've ever gotten! Here it is: What country is an anagram of a synonym of a homophone of an even prime number.

I think even my kids could maybe get this one. The only even prime number is T-W-O. A homophone of T-W-O is T-O-O. A synonym for T-O-O is A-L-S-O. When you mix up the letters A-L-S-O, you find an anagram of L-A-O-S.

I'm already back to being stupid for tomorrow's clue. I have no idea what it is. I think I'll go google around a bit to see what others think is his Day 4 destination!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The View Out My Window!

Isn't it beautiful?? I used to have a great view out of my one classroom window of the playground and field and the trees and outside. Now I look into the new hallway that is being built, which is basically just cinder blocks.

If you remember back a few months, I talked about how I thought Mr. Kool-Aid Man was about to bust through the wall with all the noise we heard. Little did I know, that was just the start of it. The noise has continued to get louder and louder, the temperature in our rooms has gone up and down within hours, the construction has been so loud that we have to shout over each other, and dust from drilling holes in the building's current walls has filled our classrooms.

Today I got a message from my principal warning us that we might want to move things along the South walls of our classroom that we didn't want to be damaged. It isn't a sure thing, but if it rains this week, that entire end of my room could be flooded. This afternoon as I tried to teach a lesson on scarcity, the workers tore the wall and roof down on one end of my classroom. As I tried to teach, my kiddos watched the sky appear above us through a vent in my ceiling. You try teaching during that! Brenny even had a brick fall from the roof to crash through one of her ceiling tiles near her desk! Ahhhh!

I really cannot wait until our building is complete and I KNOW it will be fabulous, but I feel as if I have the right to do a bit of complaining about the work environment until then! :)

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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Teachers' "Lounge"

I love that the place we eat our microwaved lunches, rush to the bathroom, make copies and check our mail ... all in our 25 minute lunch "hour" ... is called a lounge. There is NO lounging done there.

Today, Dad gave me a copy of a book called, 1,003 Great Things About Teachers. I opened it and the first section I came to was about the teachers' lounge.

It is called, "What Do Teachers Do in the Teachers' Lounge? - Real Kids' Answers". Here they are!

  • Go the bathroom and sleep.
  • Take off their shoes.
  • Think of more rules.
  • Chew the gum they take away from you.
  • Practice trash-can basketball.
  • Read kids' notes.
  • Show each other their kids' papers.
  • Play cards and watch TV.
  • Drink wine.
  • Tell each other who has the worst kids.
  • I haven't been inside, but I know they have candy machines in there.
I would agree that a few of these are spot on ... can you guess which ones?

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Goal Setting

I think it is important to set goals, and this is something that I teach my kids to do all the time. If I insist that they set goals, why don't I do it, too?

It's been a while since I devoted any real time and energy to my Etsy page. I've decided to set my own goals since I am getting close to being an Etsy seller for a whole year. I joined last June, and I know I've made some progress, but I'd like to do more for my own business. By the time I reach my year anniversary as an Etsy seller, I'd like to do the following things.

  • I would like to "earn" 100 hearts. For those of you that aren't Etsians, hearts are the way for sellers to show that they like each other. I currently have 66 hearts.
  • I would like to have 40 sales. As of today, I have made 28 sales, which is nothing to scoff at for a person that is doing this in her spare time.
  • I would like to be featured in more Treasuries. So far I've been featured in 2, but no sales came from them.
  • I would like to do what I can to promote both my store AND Etsy in general. I think the general public doesn't know about Etsy, so it makes it hard for us to pass the word around. Since I started the blog, I've done several Etsy Deals of the Week (my items) and my Etsy Favorites of the Week (other sellers) and that has been fun. Jill and I have done business card swaps all over the country and we've hung up Etsy fliers around town. I've also featured promotions like buy one pair of earrings, have a mystery pair made for you for FREE! During October, I promised to donate $1 from each sale to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What other promotions would you all be interested in?
So those are my goals. I've got a little over one month to work on meeting them. Some of these are lofty goals, but now's the right time to get serious about it!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Crafternoon into Craftevening

Yes, I know that Craftevening doesn't roll off your tongue quite the way that Crafternoon does, but who cares!

Tonight, Jilly and Adam and Mitz came over for pizza dinner, craft time and Guitar Hero.

The Chittums had been to Sam's Club today and called to see if I was interested in $6 pizza for dinner! I will rarely turn down pizza, and $6 pizza is something you can't pass up. Well let me tell you that it was some of the best pizza I've had in a long time. We also had salad and dessert provided by Mitz. I provided the locale and the noisy dogs for background music! ;)

Jill and I had to finish a crafty project we were working on for Erik's Mom. We started about 3 weeks ago and I just finished the very last of them. I can't go into too much detail, because the recipient of the "craft" might be reading. All I can say is that they are VERY cute and a LOT of love went into making them.

To finish our evening (early due to the other ladies participating in the Trolley Run tomorrow am), we played a bit of G.H. I haven't played in what seems like months! I kicked butt in my first song and then failed miserably! Maybe this summer I'll have time to keep working on my Medium skills!

Jill also delivered a box full of potential crafts for us. Her family had an estate sale at her grandmother's house this week and she brought me a box of leftover jewelry! Surely I can turn those fabulous clip-on earrings into some fun magnets. Look for those to come on my Etsy page in the near future!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Bad Move, SJP

For those of you that are Sex and the City fans (yes, Julie, I'm talking to YOU!) you know that the SATC Movie is coming out on May 30th. It was a difficult process to get all four ladies to agree to do the movie because there has been a major rift between them since the HBO series ended.

Sarah Jessica Parker is one of the producers, so she has a major say in the show and movie. Because of that, she also gets a MUCH bigger paycheck than the other ladies, and she wrote into her contract that she would get to keep the set wardrobes for all the characters. I think I also read that she gets a bigger cut of the royalties from the DVD sales and from the show now being on TBS. I don't really think is fair.

Then, I saw this movie poster:
This poster is completely biased and if I were Kim, Kristin or Cynthia I would be pissed! Why doesn't the poster have a picture of all 4 girls. The show was really about all 4 of them, not just Carrie. Without the other 3, there wouldn't have been a show!

Even though I think this is shady, I'm sure I'll go see the movie when it comes out. Who wants to go with me??

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Changes need to be made!

Today was "Take Your Child To Work" Day, a.k.a. "How Can I Let My Kid Skip School And Get Away With It" Day.

Someone tell me again why they don't schedule this during summer? When kids are out of school? When kids have nothing to do? When parents might be able to really spend time with their child showing them the ins and outs of their job?

I had 8 kids gone today. It is VERY difficult to teach any new lessons when you are missing a third of your class. I think we may have even figured out that some kids spent the day at home learning how to be a stay at home Mom or Dad. Hmmmmm ... interesting. Maybe I should keep my thoughts to myself!

Anyone else feel the same about today?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3 in a row ???

Wish us luck. We are all off to Trivia for tonight. We didn't play last week, so we've had a week to rest up and brush up on our useless Trivia knowledge!

We've got a big group tonight ... probably 8 of us. We all wanted to get "out", but now we wish that going out didn't mean going out in the middle of a rain storm!

If I'm not too pooped when I get back tonight, I'll be sure and update with our results!

Goooooooooooooooo, Team! :)

*** ** * UPDATE * ** ***
Yes, I should most definitely be in bed by now. I got home from trivia around midnight and still had a few things to finish up before I could actually get to bed. We lost at Trivia tonight, but not by much. There were lots of really hard questions! We've decided that if we were to ever win the All-Metro championship, we are spending half of our $1000 prize on an iPhone!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Life Lessons from Teaching"

Today I rushed home from school to spend some quality time outside with Miss Minners in the sun with a good book. Well ... it's been so long since I did any "free" reading that I had to search for a book. I ended up picking up The Memory Keeper's Daughter and I'm only one chapter in and I'm already hooked.

While I was finding a book, I ran across 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done. If you are an elementary teacher you NEED to read this book! It's a very fast read and full of great stories. I wanted to share one of my favorite excerpts from the book. It is a perfect description of an elementary teacher's hectic daily life in his or her classroom!

Here's a bit of background to the excerpt. Phillip got into a conversation with his friend, Troy about whose job was easier. Troy mentioned that Phillip's job was cushy because he gets so much time off. (Just for the record, we HATE people who say that about teachers). They decided to make a list of everything they did at work in just one hour and then they could compare the next day.

"So the next day, I began to record everything that happened in class. I started taking notes at 8:30 just as the kids walked in. Here's what I wrote:

  • Ryan told me that he had to leave early for a dentist appointment, Matthew asked to use the bathroom, I started taking attendance, Ronny handed me a note from his mom, Aaron told me about his sleepover, and Michael asked what was for lunch.
  • Katie ran in late, Kevin gave me a picture he drew of Spider-Man, Peter said he didn't feel good, Aaron asked to borrow lunch money, Amanda asked me how to spell octopus, Natalie showed me her new Girl Scout patch, I picked up a glove off the floor, Kenny showed me how he could write 'HELLO' on the calculator when you turn it upside down, I ordered three boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Melissa, and Melanie ran in with a frog.
  • Everyone ran over to Melanie, Tomoya asked to get a drink, I felt Peter's forehead, Ji Soo made fun of Katie's new haircut, I began collecting their homework, Joshua asked if I'd seen his sweater, I handed Aaron a dollar for lunch, Matthew wanted me to read his story, and I taped Spider-Man on the file cabinet.
  • Katie started crying, I sent Peter to the nurse, Joshua went to the lost and found to find his seater, I refilled the tape dispenser and finished taking roll, Amanda announced that her dad is mad at her mom for leaving the car lights on, I pretended to read Matthew's story, Ji Soo apologized to Katie, I told Matthew his story was wonderful, and Ryan told me it was time for him to leave for the dentist.
I stopped writing at 8:47. Later I showed Troy my list. He showed me his. Between 8:30 and 8:47, he waited at the coffee machine for his latte. I'm not complaining. Really. I like frogs. I like Spider-Man. I like Girl Scout cookies. There are those days, however, when I just don't want to stare at braces or look at new pierced ears or pick up sunflower shells. There are days when I just do not want to button up thirty-two raincoats and put on thirty-two pairs of gloves and hats and snow boots and then take them all off then minutes later when the kids come back in from recess."

This is what I feel like my day is every day ... especially right in the morning between 8:25 and 9:05. I'm running non-stop and barely have a time to sit and figure out what I'm doing and where to start.

I HIGHLY recommend this book ... in fact, after flipping through it again, I think I need to read it again before the end of the school year! :)

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Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone! We had such a fun day at school talking about the 3 R's, and working on Earth Day themed activities. I told the kids that I did my part today by NOT leaving the TV on for Minnie to listen to today while I was at work. That's just one of the things I did, but I'm starting small. Yes, I know that may seem crazy, but I like her to have some background noise on during the day when she's there alone. She really likes Animal Planet. My kids laughed at me! :)

I also got to watch Oprah and The Tonight Show which were both "Green" shows today! Lots of good tips! What are YOU doing to help the Earth this week????

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Picture Post Catch-Up

I've had a few photos for a while that I've meant to post. Tonight's the perfect night since I am too pooped to think of anything clever to write about. I'm sure some of you are thinking that I haven't had anything clever to write about for the last few nights anyway. ;)

This picture was taken last week sometime on my drive home from work. I had to stay late at work for a bit to try and avoid the torrential downpour and I was already grumpy because I had ruined my cute white & gray zebra-striped flats while I was doing car line duty after school in the rain and mud. I know I shouldn't have stopped long enough at this stop sign to take this picture, but I HAD to! Check out the clouds!

Here's the knitting project I've been working on lately. I actually just finished it last night. It is my second dish rag. The first one took me about a year and a half to knit and I can't bear to use it since it was my first one! This one can actually be used (that is if I were to ever clean dishes) and I won't feel bad about it!

Sarah, me and Ashley at a shower Friday night! It's so fun to see these girls since I don't get to very often. I also have a picture of them hiding in my wrap, although when I went to post it today I didn't remember what that was all about and so it seemed not-so-funny anymore!

Saturday was Julie's shower! She got lots of fun stuff for their new house. I think Mike will even get to enjoy many of the prezzies she got! Here she is opening my "Patio" gift. It included serving bowls, a wine/beer tub, a cookbook, and margarita mix! Can't wait for summer!

Julie, Mom and I. J and I were both wearing super tall shoes so Mom looks miniature here! I also am still getting used to seeing my face without my glasses. I think I look completely "bare" here. That will definitely take a while to get over. We lucked out and the sun was coming out to play just as the party was wrapping up!

Good to see everyone this weekend. Off to get to bed so I don't snooze for 30-40 minutes (like I do every morning) and cause myself to be late for our all staff photo in the morning!!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bodies Revealed

We went to Union Station today to see the Bodies Revealed Exhibit. Despite all the controversy, I think it was very educational and was very interesting. My favorite part was seeing all the nervous systems. I also thought seeing the organs effected by cancer were fascinating. Behind the lungs damaged from smoking was a sign that said, "Every pack of cigarettes you smoke makes you live three hours and forty minutes less. We want you around longer, stop smoking." Next to that was a large plexiglass case that asked you to get rid of your cigarettes and stop smoking today! It was nice to see lots of cigarettes in there, but I also don't know how often they've emptied the case, if ever. It wasn't very full for being open since the middle of February.

Here's a local report talking about the controversy of the exhibit:



I found some interesting Questions & Answers about the exhibit on the Union Station website, too.

That's it for today. Must get to bed so I can actually get up in the morning for work! Have a good week, everyone!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Organizing Tip Du Jour!

As I was putting away laundry today, I thought that I really like the way that I've organized things in my closet and maybe it would be helpful to others. For those of you that have seen the rest of my room, you are probably thinking that I'm not qualified to be giving organization advice (keep it to yourself, Mom!) ... but these tips have really helped me to know what clothes and shoes I have now and so when I'm looking for something I can easily find it.

When I moved into my apartment 3 years ago, I had a walk-in closet for the first time. Before then my closets were teeny, tiny (in Lawrence) or medium sized (my childhood home) or shared with a sibling (before Molly got married). Molly took on the duty of organizing my closet for me the day I moved in (in lieu of moving heavy furniture) and I've had my closet like that ever since that day!
Molly separated shirts, pants, skirts and dresses. Everything is in color order. As you can tell, I don't really stray from a solid-colored shirt. Eventually, I'll have all the same type of hangar so everything moves easily. Below this is all of my hung-up jeans and skirts. To the right of this are the longer pants and dresses that need to have a full rack to be hung up.

I get made fun of for this quite often, but this way of organizing shoes has changed the way I get ready. In the past I've just thrown shoes on the floor of my closet. When I did that, they got dusty, lost, smooshed, or forgotten! Now I take pictures of all of my pairs of shoes and then tape the pictures to the outside of the box. Yes, I have too many pair of shoes. I just took a bunch to Good Will over spring break, but I have more to get rid of. Many of them are barely worn or in really good shape. If you wear an 8 or 8.5 and you're in town and would like to have first dibs on my give aways, be sure and let me know. I have a hard time just "throwing them away" when they could go to a friend of mine! :)

Now ... if I could just get tips from all of you to get my magazines organized (that I don't have time to read), my paperwork organized (mail, bills, invites, etc) and the rest of my life organized ... I'd be in great shape!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

"Call when you get there to let us know you are safe."

For those of you that are "The Office" watchers, I hope you enjoyed last night's episode!

I laughed out loud a LOT, cried a tiny bit and talked about it all day today at work.

I love that a big group of us at school watch "The Office" because it makes for a really fun Friday lunch when we all talk about it. Last night's episode really hit home with us because our school is going through MASSIVE construction, just like the building where Dunder Mifflin lives.

We've lost about 9 of our front row parking spots to re bar, cement piles and wires. Then, every morning when I pull into the parking lot (at least 15 minutes before our contract says we have to be there) it is almost full, due to the 5-7 construction workers' trucks. I understand that they have a job to do, but I've been working there longer, and don't really want to park on the neighborhood streets and run into the building to get to my classroom on time. So far, I've always gotten a spot, and yesterday I got the last one, because I have a small car and nobody else could fit in it.

I loved when Andy whined last night about leaving his cellphone in his car and Phyllis commiserated by telling him to call when he got to his car a mile away so they knew he was safe. Kevin stopped half-way in so he could sit on the curb and massage his feet! Too funny!

There are many other exciting things about last night's episode, but I don't want to give away any spoilers for those of you that haven't watched it yet. Be sure to let me know when you do watch it (Hint, hint Mitzi and Beth!)

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

She tells me I have a problem

I have a problem with large purses. And now I have a problem with shoulder, neck and back pain. Every morning as I slug my purse into my classroom, Mitzi tells me that I have GOT to get a smaller, lighter purse and that my "suitcase" is the reason that I'm in so much pain. Yes, she's probably right, but once you have a LARGE purse, it's hard to down-size.

Last weekend, Mitzi said to me, "I often wonder what you actually have in your purse."

So ... here it is! My own version of the Flickr groups "In My Purse" and "What's in Your Wallet".

From top to bottom, left to right:

Top Row: D&G glasses case - I LOVE these glasses!; Canon SD630 digital camera case - Takes all my pics for the blog.; Wallet - currently holds $2 and some change, a whole bunch of receipts and stamps.

Second Row: Cheap-O sunglasses; Palm - Mostly just for the calendar that I sometimes use and my addresses; Keychain - Discount cards for 2 pets stores, 2 drug stores, 2 grocery stores, 2 office supply stores, 2 clothes stores, 1 toy store, and 1 card store. Car key for me and 3 house keys for 3 houses that aren't mine.; Silver cosmetics bag - Holds my NEW CONTACT stuff. I have to carry it around with me because I can't wear them all day yet.

Third Row: My business card holder - One of my favorite Etsy purchases!; Accordian file - Keeps all my gift cards and coupons.; Zipper pouch - Holds discount cards, punch cards and other stuff I'm not sure.

Bottom Row: Lipstick & Chapstick; Flash Drive - Got to save my Master's Project last April, still carrying it around for some reason.; Mirror; Pencil.

This is the inside of my purse, actually looking organized. Nine times out of ten I can't find anything in there .... are you shocked?

This picture is to show you just how large my bag is. Maybe this summer I'll down-size ... if only for my own health! :)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two years ago

Just about two years ago, I started looking for a puppy to buy for myself for my 25th birthday! I found her at a wonderful breeder in Warrensburg, called Sleepy Hollow Dog Kennels. I got Minnie on the Friday night before Memorial Day weekend. I sent out an e-mail with pictures introducing my new furry child! Three days later, Jenny drove out to pick up Peanut! Since Miss Minners and Peanut just turned 2, I thought I'd do a bit of a "remember when" for those of you that know her now!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from when she was just a baby! She weighed 3 pounds when I got her and was completely black with tiny white spots on her neck and paws!

This was the original "wall" I put up for her. It worked for about 10 minutes and then she learned to jump!

This is one of my favorite pics! She found all sorts of twigs and plants to eat while we were waiting for our first reunion playdate with Peanut & Jenny!

The first reunion since they were with the whole litter! Look how tiny!

Looking VERY guilty!

This day was full of laughs! I always told myself that I would NEVER be the kind of girl that dressed her dog. Well, that lasted for about 1 month. Molly and I found this pink and green, striped polo at Gap on sale. I HAD to buy it. The best part of all is that the size is +/- 5lbs. It was huge on her then, but now it barely fits over her head. We could not stop laughing when I put this on her. I hope you notice in the pic that Minnie is a girl that likes to pop her collar ... just like her Momma! :)

Okay, that's it for now. Many, many more to come sometime in the future!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

I know it isn't even the middle of the week, but I'm pooped! We had early release today, which means that our kids get out of school at 2:00 and we usually have meetings until 4:00 or 5:00.

Today we went to our neighbor school to collaborate with the 4th grade team there. It is always really interested to see how people have set up their rooms, what units they are currently teaching, what they are doing to prepare for the state assessments, etc, etc, etc.

After that, a group of us from work went to Wil Jenny's for happy hour. They had $1 Tecate beers and a FREE taco bar for appetizers! Since my 2 hour "happy hour" cost me $2.20, I'd say that was a pretty successful evening!

Off to bed early tonight. Tomorrow night is Trivia, which means that I'll be up late. Maybe I can come home after school to get a nap in before I head to Tanners!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

I think I'm "over" her

I've gotten back into the habit of recording and watching Oprah every day. On Mondays she's been doing a re-cap of The Big Give from the night before. That, of course, cannot fill a whole hour, so she uses the remaining 50 minutes to talk to some sort of celebrity guest who is "giving big" in their own way and then she also gives a big, fat plug for her "A New Earth" class online on Tuesdays.

Anyway ... we all know that Oprah (and the rest of the women in the world) has had weight issues for most of her on-air life. She has done some great things to promote women who are proud of the body they currently have, not the body they want to have. In the past, guests have been Stacy and Clinton from "What Not to Wear" and Carson Kressley from "How to Look Good Naked". Both of those shows encourage dressing the body you have and loving the body you have that is carrying you through life.

During these shows, Oprah starts preaching about loving yourself and not succumbing to the media pressure to be a size 0.

Okay, here's my issue.

Every time Oprah has a female celebrity guest ... the first question she has is "What are you eating and what are you doing to be that tiny?" ARG! Just today, Mariah Carey was on to talk about her new album (NOT a big give ... other than giving herself a 1000 sq. ft. lingerie closet) and literally 25 minutes of the show were spent talking about Mariah's new diet and workout program that consisted of eating artichoke hearts, steamed zucchini and working out 90 minutes a day. When Salma Hayek was on last week to talk about her "Big Give" promotion, Oprah wanted to spend about 15 minutes talking about how she lost the baby weight.

Do me a favor, Oprah. If you want us all to love our bodies and be happy with who we are ... then can you do the same? I already know the celebrities have impossibly fabulous bodies. I don't want to hear about how they have person chefs and trainers that travel the world with them. I really don't. Just let us be!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fairy Tale Neighborhood

Every other week or so, I've tried to find a faster, easier, simpler route to and from work. Lately, I've been taking a turn on my trek home that has driven me past the greatest neighborhood. As I was zooming by, trying to get home to Miss Minners, I never took the time to really look at the houses.

Last week, I decided to take a tour through the neighborhood. What I found was the greatest collection of old Victorian (?) style homes and some more modern homes, too. What a fun place to live!

Which one is your favorite home?

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

I thought I was done with KU stuff ...

... but a friend just sent this to me, and I thought it was a great re-cap!



On another note, I got an e-mail from Molly last night that had other fun KU scoop! Here's what the note said from an "inside source" at the KU Bookstore:

"Saturday Night Live just called in an order of $250 worth of KU merchandise for their KU skit they are doing! We assume the skit will be this weekend. It is supposed to be a bar scene, so I'm guessing it will be pretty funny! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!"

The message boards are buzzing about it!

I think this is great. As Jill said last night, "I guess it helps to get some Kansas stuff on SNL with a Kansas boy on there now."

Jason Sudeikis is the cast member who is from Overland Park originally and went to Shawnee Mission West. There was a skit a while back when Jack Black hosted that was set in a bar called, "The Wheel". Jason said it was one of the first skits he wrote when he got hired. In another skit with Lebron James, he made another statement about playing basketball for the SMWest Vikings! Pretty cool.

I know that SNL ends up cutting 3/4 of the skits they practice, so I hope this is true and that it is one of the skits that gets picked for tonight's show!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Pretty Perfect Friday Night.

Long day and longer week!

Left after school shortly after the bell rang (which rarely happens) to go run a couple errands.

Came home to see the little lady and then Adam & Jill came over after they got a chance to calm down after work. Then Mitzi came over. After much talk about what we wanted to get for dinner ... we are all super indecisive ... we got pizza and a couple bottles of wine.

We watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Now we're watching season 1 of "The Office".

Then, Jilly and I started the crafty project that we are doing as a favor for Ann and Mitzi and Adam played their guitars. Adam made a new best friend when he started to sing Minnie's name into any song he could: "Hey there, Minnie (Delilah)". Mitz and Adam tried to sing as many duets they could come up with: "Endless Love" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".

Now it's time to hit the sack for all of us. Tomorrow is a day we can all sleep in, at least a bit, which will be nice.

Too bad it's supposed to snow tomorrow or it would be a pretty perfect Saturday, too! :)

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Almost Friday!

I've got lots of things to post about ... and I have pictures to go with all of them ... but ... my camera is all the way downstairs in my car.

It's too late to figure it out and upload all the pics tonight. I should already be asleep.

Tomorrow is our last day of State Assessments. For those of you that aren't teachers, students, or work in a school ... I don't think you understand what a HUGE relief this is to finally be done. At the end of tomorrow's school day, my kiddos will have taken 8 hour-long reading, math and science assessments on the computer. They are all worn out and tired of being tested. I feel the exact same way.

These tests have taken all the creativity and fun out of our classrooms, and if you are someone who says you don't vote because it doesn't make a difference ... think again! I work with many people who don't vote or vote carelessly (my opinion) and then complain about No Child Left Behind. If you don't vote responsibly (again, in my mind) then, you don't get to complain!

My class did REALLY well overall (based on preliminary scores), but keep in mind that in 4 short years, all schools and students are expected to score 100% on these tests. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Who's the Boss?

That's right! We are!

Tonight was another VERY successful night at Xtreme Team Trivia! Our team, "Hold me closer, Tony Danza" won again! We were behind by up to 50 points in the beginning, but with a couple rounds that included bonus points, we managed to go into the final round 100 points ahead of the second place team!

Here's a pic of our winnings ... which we can definitely use as a group of super poor teachers!

We got really lucky tonight. We had a great group and some good questions that we knew and noone else did! Adam & Jill, Mitzi, Amy and her friend Rachel (and my new, future neighbor), Brenda & Mike and their friend Michelle and me! Clearly 9 heads is better than our usual 5.

One of our questions actually was, "Name this TV show." and they played the theme song to Who's the Boss? Another question asked "What year did this TV show premier?" and it was the World Series of Pop Culture which Rachel was a 2nd place finalist for last summer! Rachel delivered the sad news that because VH1 fans are apparently REALLY enjoying crap like "Flavor of Love 8" and "Rock of Love" there will be no more "World Series of Pop Culture". How sad! We have also become quite the regulars, and the DJ knows us well, which is nice!

Okay ... I've been up way too late just about every night this week. I really should hit the sack ! G-nite!

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It's a good day!

Woo Hoo!
My class has completed all 3 Reading State Assessments.
Today we completed the 3 Math State Assessments.
Only 2 Science State Assessments to go (on Friday).
I'm going to SPIN for dinner ... it's been forever!
Tonight is Trivia night at Tanner's.
Only 2 more days of school this week!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rock Chalk, Baby!

I was going to be done with Jayhawk posts, but I just HAD to share these last few items tonight.

I love the guys' faces in this picture! I included this picture in my "morning work" PowerPoint this morning! The kids were so excited to come this morning and share their excitement with me. Of course, they all stayed up to watch the end of the game, which didn't make me too happy. We had our 5th State Assessment this morning. (Only 2 more State tests and 2 more district tests to go!) Even the non-KU fans came wearing KU shirts and were excited!

I just cannot believe that this is Mass Street! Just 5 years ago, I was on Mass Street celebrating that we were going to the Final Four in New Orleans and calling Byron to tell him that I was coming back down to visit! It was wild then, but there was at least room for cars to drive up and down Mass. I checked the live feed of the crowd on at 1:00 this morning and it was just as busy then as it was right after the game!
And then there's this picture! You might know this guy ... and you might recognize his kick-ass KU outfit! The back of his Tailgating shirt says, "We piss excellence!" Erik ran into Governor Sebelius in San Antonio on the Riverwalk and she commented on his pants. Tonight he was happy to share a video from a local newscast in San Antonio. Check it out! It's pretty funny ... if only the broadcasters weren't such idiots! :)

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Monday, April 7, 2008


Let me paint a picture for you.

I've had a bulletin board above my desk that is all decked out in KU stuff all year.
I have talked openly about how I am a KU grad and a HUGE KU fan all year.
I wear KU shirts and hoodies often before big games.
I have framed pictures of me graduating from KU and going to KU football games on the bookshelf by my desk.
I brought the Beak 'Em visors that my dad made for the 1993 Final Four into school today, and gave them out to the fourth graders.

Even after all of that ... today one of my students came up to me and said, "Ms. McKnight, do you like KU? You know, like the school?"

He was completely serious and the response he got was me turning and walking away. I guess he doesn't pick up on things that quickly. :)

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rock Chalk ... Etsy Favorites!

I had a lot of trouble trying to come up with this week's Etsy favorites. First I had a "new home" theme, then I was going to do something in a "spring" theme. After last night's game, it was no question I wanted to do something with KU, and I was so lucky to find that there were actually some Etsy items that had a KU/Jayhawk/Kansas/Crimson & Blue theme!

I think this KU Charm bracelet is very unique! I can't even imagine the hours of work that went into it! The designer, CharmU makes jewelry in many different college color themes, but I was happy to see that this bracelet was one of her featured items!

WOW! What a cute Jayhawk table! I love the sunflower theme to it, too! It's hand-painted and is sealed with varnish, so it would look great on an outdoor patio. There is also a KSU Wildcat table by the same artist ... but guess which one has more views! :)

I had to do a little self-promotion today! I know these aren't KU themed, but these crimson beaded "Apple of my Eye" earrings are to die for! I think they are so beautiful and make the perfect gift for a girlfriend, mother, sister, or teacher!

I've got this new thing about knitted hats! I have some beautiful magenta yarn that I wanted to knit into a hat for this winter. Well, winter has come and gone and my knitting has fallen to the wayside, but THIS hat makes me want to still make it! This knitted cap is for a newborn and has the cutest crocheted red flower on the front. You HAVE TO go look at the link for the store to see the cute baby that is modeling this hat!

These red, white and blue lampwork beaded earrings are perfect for the KU fan in your life! Aren't they cute with the little white flowers on the beads? I have a hard time wearing loud Jayhawk jewelry, but these would be perfect to wear on game day!

Last, but not least is this custom-made college themed Jayhawk bracelet! I love all the different types of lampwork beads. One of the other great things about this bracelet is that it's designer is from Overland Park! What a small world! :)

As always ... feel free to let me know if you see something of mine that you would like in a different size or color. AND ... go browse around on Etsy! It's always nice to help local artisans out!

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Beak 'Em, Hawks!

Just to get everyone ready for the game tonight!



This video is the perfect pump up we all need! Go get your KU gear on and head out somewhere fun to watch the BIG WIN!

(p.s. If you are heading to Lawrence to watch, I've heard that they've brought in 7 extra police forces to help deal with the crowds, drunkiness, and drivers! Be careful!)

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Before and After!

I know someone who got a super-cute haircut today! Check it out!

This is Miss Minners about 2 weeks ago. This morning she was about 10 times more scruffy than this picture, if that's possible. Since Minnie's haircuts are the same price as my own, it is difficult to budget in for both of us to get a haircut in one month! If you saw her, you would see how necessary it was for her today!

Here she is when we finally got home. The girls at PetSmart gave her a pink(!) bow on the top of her head. We've had bandannas in the past, but never a bow. I think Minnie loved it as much as I did! I'm shocked that she hasn't even tried to pull it out!

Once she settled down, and had plenty of time to play with Peanut (they've been separated this week) both dogs crashed on the couch. I think Minnie works herself up when she's at the groomer. I can imagine that she shakes and cries and is very excited by all the other dogs there. After being there for 4 hours, she is almost always too tired to do anything for the rest of that day. Here she is passed out on the bed.

Isn't she the cutest?!?!?

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Let's have a tea party!

I am so very lucky that I teach in a school where our parents are willing to do just about anything they can to help us and they show how much they appreciate all that we do for their children!

For those of you that have a lunch break where you can go out to eat, or often have lunch paid for by your company ... you are lucky! We have about a 20 minute lunch break every day. We all cram in our tiny teacher's lounge and take turns warming up our lunches with the 2 microwaves we have. Once a month, our PTO brings in lunch for us. This is a real treat! Some of my favorite lunches they've brought have been the soup bar and just last month we had taco day!

During conference week and Teacher Appreciation Week, our parents plan lots of goodies for us! We've had a masseuse come in the past for 10 minute neck massages (they are heavenly during those long weeks), snacks and water bottles delivered to our rooms, catered dinner on the nights we have conferences, etc.

This week was one of the greatest!

  • On Monday night, there were lots of soups and breads out for us. I had a chance to pop into the lounge during a tiny break and have some yummy tortilla soup.
  • Tuesday we had a wonderful dinner of chicken sandwiches, and the best cornbread salad I've ever had!
  • Wednesday, the lounge was stocked with breakfast and snacky foods. We also had left-overs from the night before, so I had more of the yummy cornbread salad.
  • Today was a real treat. One of my kindergarten friends popped down in my room and said that the tea party was ready. I hadn't even noticed that some of our mothers were working away in the library making everything beautiful! They had decorated each table, made flower centerpieces in tea pots of all sizes and colors and had hot tea and juices at each table to enjoy with our lovely pastries, scones, mini quiches and sweet breads.
I know not all schools are like this, so I never want to take it for granted. We all appreciate everything the parents do for us, and we can't thank them enough!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm all growed up!

This is my HUGE news! To those of you that regularly read my blog, this isn't that HUGE to you, but to those of you that read every so often, here's the news:

I'm VERY close to being a 1st time home owner! I have signed about a zillion loan and contract papers, given earnest money and already started decorating my place in my mind!

I've found a condo conversion (they used to be apartments) in Overland Park (very close to downtown OP) and my scheduled closing date is the sometime during Memorial Day weekend! If I can have possession of my condo on that weekend, that would be fabulous! I'll be in Chicago the weekend before, finishing school the week after and going to the lake the weekend after that. I'm trying to make the end of my school year as hectic as possible!

So ... here's a little tour of the model condo so you can get a feel for what my place will look like!

Here is what the entrance to my condo looks like. You will enter through these tall privacy fences and my condo is the 2 stories you see here behind the fence.

This is what my patio will look like once you get in the fence. It'll be GREAT for Miss Minners and I'll have plenty of room to get some tomatoes and flowers going for this summer.

This is the view of the kitchen right as you walk in the front door.

Half-bath on the first floor. You can see Dad walking down the stairs in the mirror. The basement is for the laundry room and storage.

View of living room and dining room (they are connected).

Looking into kitchen and front hall from living room.

Second bedroom upstairs.

Full bathroom upstairs.

Master bedroom!

Second closet in Master bedroom (this was a major selling point for me)!

So ... there it is. Sorry if my GIGANTIC news wasn't so shocking to some of my readers. This is very exciting to me, and I can't wait to get in there and get settled. Everyone will have to come visit this summer!

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