Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snow Puppy?

Well, Minnie didn't get to go out in cute, pink boots and do snow angels in the yard like Ellen did, but she did get to jump around and get plenty chilly outside!

We woke up late this morning and were shocked to see so much snow on the ground! The reports yesterday said we might have a dusting of snow, but it's been snowing most of the day and I think we've gotten close to 4 inches of snow!

Here is scruffy Minnie enjoying the white stuff outside.

I love the way snow looks when it covers the tree branches!

Poor Minners ... the snow went all the way up to her belly. She came in with snow covering all her legs. She was NOT happy when I had to dry her off.

After we got ready, I dropped her off at PetSmart to be groomed. I had plans to go work in my classroom while she was there, but I got smart and realized that the heat wouldn't be on and I would never last in my room. Instead, I went to Mom & Dad's for a few hours so Mom could help me grade some papers.

Here is the yummy breakfast she made us when I got there. I never make breakfast for myself, so this was a real treat!

Look at the chairs outside! This was right when I got to their house. It continued to snow for about 3 more hours! YUCK!
Here is the giant pile of papers we graded. It wasn't fun, but I got a lot done. Even though Mom is a slow grader, I appreciated all her help!

PetSmart finally called and told me Minnie was ready to pick up! I'm not sure how excited she was to have LESS fur on the day we get the most snow this winter! Oh well! She looks much cuter and I can actually see her eyes now! She may not look very cute in this picture ... she wasn't very happy with me and wouldn't let me get a good pic of her!

How did all of YOU enjoy your Saturdays? Did you get to play in the snow at all?

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Monday, February 23, 2009

The fashion police were out last night!

After watching the Oscars last night and doing my own version of playing fashion police, I was super excited to hear & read what the media had to say today!

This morning on The Today Show, Meredith & Al did a piece on the Oscars. I thought it was strange that they chose Al to be on the red carpet doing interviews. He chose Heidi Klum's dress as his favorite. Lemme guess why! ;)

Tonight I just sat down to read the Project Rungay. Of couse, they did their own recaps of the Oscar fashion last night and I just about spit my water out when I read the following about Beyonce & her ridiculous dress!

Beyonce in who the hell knows? Probably her mother with the glue gun again.

Lorenzo spent all night putting the pictures together for this post and writing little notes under them. Under these pictures, he offered the following:

"This is offensive."

That about sums it up. This dress is a hate crime.

I agreed with Tom & Lorenzo on a few of their favorite dresses: Tina Fey, Natalie Portman & Anne Hathaway! I did NOT agree with their thoughts on Jessica Biel and Tilda Swinton, I didn't like either of their dresses. Be sure to go check out what they have to say!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've been (self-)diagnosed with Grocery Store Sensory Overload

It's true! I read about this disease in a book.

Okay, it was less of an informative medical book, and more of a fun, girlie novel. :)

I started reading "Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair" thanks to Mitzi & Jill passing it along my way. While I am not any of the things listed in the title, it's a pretty good book so far. I'm only 70 pages & 18 chapters in, and it's going so quickly, that I can pick it up when I have a few minutes here or there which is nice.

In the book, Laurie talks about how she has Cooking ADD (will start to cook something on the stove and completely forget about it until the smoke alarm is going off) and she has Grocery Store Sensory Overload.

I laughed out-loud at this part, because it is totally me! Here's what she has to say about her trips to the grocery store:

"I know I should go to the grocery store instead of the 7-Eleven, but I can't be trusted in that place. Left to my own devices I will spend a hundred dollars and arrive home with items that when placed together do not even make one complete meal. I'll buy Shake 'n Bake but forget chicken, buy milk but forget cereal, buy lunch meat and no bread. It just happens. The grocery store is big and the selection is vast and I come down with a case of vertigo every time I walk through the perfectly oiled sliding glass door.

And I love lists. I am a list-making fool. So I make lists for the grocery store on Post-it Notes, and on the back of the light bill, and even in a notebook bought solely for the purpose of holding my many lists. But even if the list makes it to the store (shocking rare incident, but it has happened), the list is not in the same order as the aisles, and I still have to walk around and everything is so pretty and appetizing and ... look! Lucky Charms cereal! Lunchables with mini tacos! Oreos with chocolate filling! Hey, I'm an adult and what fun is it to be on your own and paying bills and doing things like wearing panty hose if you can't buy Oreos? I would be denying my power as an adult if I didn't buy these! It would be a travesty! In fact, by purchasing Double Stuf Oreos, I am declaring my independence!

And dammit if an hour later I'm not standing at the check-out with coffee filters, beer, four frozen Lean Cuisines, a big packet of Oreos, and seventeen other items that make no sense."

Just this week I was at my neighborhood grocery store and ran into some of these same issues! I had a list, but of course, things weren't written down by the store layout. I had to make my way back to the first aisle 3 or 4 times for things I forgot to get while I was there. I've been shopping there for 7 months, you'd think I'd have this figured out! I was good, and I bought things specifically for recipes I wanted to make, but when I got home I wasn't in the mood to cook, so I felt like I had nothing to eat.

I think this means that we need to start up with our food swap again. Too much to do during the week to take time to cook a real meal for myself. Blech!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Leave Leukemia & Lymphoma in the dust!

I need to ask a favor of my readers ... I need to you help my good friends, Mitzi & Jill. They are on their way to completing a large goal and they'll be doing a lot of good for charity along the way.

This summer, in June, Mitz & Jilly will be running in the Seattle Marathon! I don't even like to drive 26.2 miles in my car ... but they will be RUNNING the whole 26.2! Last October, the two of them ran the Kansas City half-marathon and it motivated them to train for a whole one. I was cheering my girls on from the virtual side-lines because for the KC race, I was helping Ashley & Drew celebrate their BIG day! I hope to be able to cheer them on in person this summer! That is the goal I'm setting for myself.

They are training for the run with Team In Training, which is a division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They will be working to raise $4,100 each to help fight these blood cancers. If they raise that amount, they will be able to fly & stay with the team to be fully prepared for the big run. The great thing is that most of their raised money goes directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Here are a few facts about Leukemia & Lymphoma and TNT for those of you that aren't familiar:

  • This group has been around for 21 years!
  • TNT is the world's largest endurance sports training program, providing coaching and support for people to cross the finish line at marathons, half marathons, triathlons and 100-mile cycling events.
  • Since it started, over 360,000 participants have raised more than $850 million for lifesaving cancer research and to help blood cancer patients live longer, better lives.
  • Every 5 minutes, someone new is diagnosed with Leukemia or Lymphoma. Every 10 minutes, someone dies from one of these blood diseases.
Here is how you can help to make a difference!

Mitzi is running for our good friend, Andrew Naylor, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few years ago. He had a difficult battle and now thanks to research & treatment options, he now has a clean bill of health. Jill is running for the team's honor patient, Greg Kutey, a local husband & father three kids who is fighting his own battle.

Here are the links to the girls' websites where you can make a donation. Any amount helps! Both girls were asking for donations of just $14 today in honor of Valentine's Day. Of course, you can donate more than that if you'd like. If you look at their pages, you can see that the girls are well on their way to making a difference in the fight toward ending these blood cancers! Every dollar makes a difference!

Mitzi's Team In Training Site:

Jill's Team In Training Site:

I've been told that if the girls surpass their total goal of $8,200 ... they'll take me with them as a traveling member of the Campaign Committee. After all ... they'll need some someone to take pictures, blog about the run, and encourage them to eat more pasta (as if any of us needed an excuse to do that)!

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for any donations to them ... I want to do what I can to support the girls to show them how proud I am of their hard work!

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Happy Valentine's Day to all my girl friends!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I give this girl an "A" for her report on Kittens!

I saw this on BoingBoing, and couldn't stop laughing! It even made me forget about the fact that my head feels like it's going to explode!



The whole video is like one big LOLcat!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Did you lose your sack lunch?

If you haven't heard, the weather in Kansas City is AMAZING! Whatever is going on in the rest of the country to give us this 60-70 degree weather ... I hope it lasts!

Last night I got home from work when it was almost completely dark. However, because I'd been at work past 6pm every. night. this. week. I decided that I would make it up to Minnie by taking her on a L-O-N-G walk! We hadn't been on this route since early in the fall. It tires her easily, but it's great because she takes naps most of the rest of the day. When I was walking in the dark last night, it was difficult because you never know what you should be avoiding on the sidewalk or in the curbs.

Today, we went on the same walk again. I always knew there was a lot of trash on the side of Antioch, but to see it in the sunlight, I was shocked! What was most interesting was what seemed to be someone's lost lunch. I started walking and saw a nectarine with a bite out of it, then a 1/2 eaten sugar cookie, later there was a piece of bread, then some lavash chips, and on one of the side streets before we turned around, I saw a bunch of grapes that were strewn all over a drive-way. Our walk was 30 minutes and the lunch items stretched throughout the entire walk! Of course, Minnie wanted to eat every bit of it, so I had to pull her past them!

I hope tomorrow is another nice day, so we can get yet another long walk in. How are all of YOU enjoying the nice weather?

Here's Miss Minnie after the walk, panting in the living room. She got an ice cube to cool down, but I think she was too tired to eat much of it!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Overly overwhelmed

The last few weeks (okay, months) have been really overwhelming and chaotic. If you are a 4th grade teacher or a teacher in my district ... or a teacher anywhere in the country, you will understand.

The amount of stuff that gets piled on our plates is ridiculous, and sometimes I wonder if I have any time just to teach. That is what I'm supposed to be doing, right? The last few weeks, I've been staying late at work at least 3 of the 5 days. The last 3 school nights I've gotten home around 6:30 and still felt I could have stayed for 2 more hours if I didn't have a dog to take care of.

Even Minnie noticed that I've been working too many long days. Last week, I came home to find a hole that she so kindly chewed in my bedroom carpet. She has since been confined to the back hallway, the only place in the condo with hardwood floors. I wonder if she is sorry since the hallway has no natural light, no windows to look out of to bark at the cars, no comfy bed to sleep on and no Animal Planet to watch all day.

Tonight, I stayed at work to just get a couple stacks of papers graded (125 papers to grade = 60 minutes of grading) because I need to send home progress reports this Friday. I really wanted to stay and get my "corner" organized. What used to be clean is already a giant mess! It really takes a Saturday afternoon up at school to get things filed away and organized. Who wants to do that after you've already worked 50+ hours in that mess all week!?! I realized the other day that part of the paper-trail mess for teachers is that the papers literally multiply! I start with one original copy, then I make 25 copies for my students. I then get rid of them when I pass them out, but they come right back to me waiting for me to grade them. It's never ending. I can have anywhere from 50-250 papers waiting for me to grade on any given day. When is there time to do that?

I feel like I'm a first-year teacher again. Can't get caught up with grading, I haven't seen my plan book in months (shhhh!), I have lots of paperwork that is required to fill out and I feel like the Kansas State Assessments are creeping up on me and we are nowhere close to being ready! I just wrote all the dates down on my calendar today: 4 State Assessments, some of them with more than one section, it is about 12 hours of testing that starts in just about a month. I had a tiny panic attack tonight when I was driving home, when I realized that it is FEBRUARY! When did that happen??? We aren't ready for our tests that start on MONDAY! Ahhhhh!

Looking back over what I just wrote, it is all very scattered and scrambled and may not make a whole lot of sense. That is what my job feels like right now! Just had to get some of this off my mind, so writing about it was the best way to vent.

How are the rest of you teachers staying sane right now? Any tips for me?

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

You wanna know about me?

A bunch of my friends who blog were posting in response to the blog "tagging" that was going around. You are supposed to write 6 things about you that others may not know about. Both Jill and Heather tagged me and Mitzi and Kat posted their unknown facts. At the time that I was tagged, I couldn't come up with 6 things about me.

Lately on Facebook, a bunch of my friends have been doing the same thing, but this time it was 25 random facts about yourself. Well, last night, I finally sat down and came up with my 25. I thought this would make up for not completing the post from earlier this year.

Here they are for those of you that aren't on Facebook with me!

In no particular order:

1. I've never seen any of the Star Wars movies. Have zero desire to see any of them.

2. I realized last night that one of my biggest pet peeves is having to shop for anything (groceries, shoes, clothes, random crap) with a coat on. If I have a shopping cart, then that is a bit better since I can take it off and not have to hold it.

3. I would eat ice cream for every meal, every day if it didn't make my ass grow exponentially larger. The only flavors I don't like are anything that tastes even a little bit like coffee. I'm not fooled easily by tiramisu or mocha flavors ... they have coffee taste in them, too!

4. The only award I've ever won was a pretty big one. I went to summer camp for 7 summers in Texas. At the end of every summer, they give an award to the camper that lives up to the camps "ideals". Well, this little girl from Overland Park won it my last year. It's called the Ideal Waldemar Girl award. Was a big deal for the day I got it and once you get back to Kansas, it has lost it's meaning :)

5. I have "totaled" two cars from hydroplaning. Once the first week of college and the second time about 4 summers later in Kansas City.

6. I would stay at my job forever if I didn't have to leave for family OR getting the boot from my job. My building staff seems more like a family than a bunch of colleagues.

7. My favorite place to be in the entire world is on top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy. The views are amazing!!

8. I only want daughters. Not really, but I'm such a girlie, girl ... that I get excited about being able to buy ruffly & pink baby clothes. I've already decided that because I only want daughters, and two of them ... I'll get 2 boys and then "try" for a girl and get another boy! :)

9. Since I graduated from KU in 2003, I've moved 7 times: House in Lawrence TO Mom & Dad's TO apartment on Quivira TO Mom & Dad's TO Jenny's TO Molly & Erik's TO my condo!

10. I bought a condo this last summer ALL BY MYSELF! I had a great Realtor (thanks!) and great family & friends (thanks!) to help me talk through all my worries and reassure me that I would find another place when the first condo fell through. BUT ... I'm proud that I did this basically on my own. It was one of the things I've done that I'm proudest of.

11. I know I'm crafty and I think I'm pretty good when it comes to most crafty activities. I do get frustrated though, when I realize that a new skill isn't as easy as I thought it would be.

12. I've lived in Overland Park almost all my life. I have no desire to move.

13. When I used to play M.A.S.H. when I was in elementary school, I always chose a VW Bug as one of my dream cars. Now that I have a Bug, I love it. It has never driven to a place further than Lawrence and my friends say it smells like Crayons. Hmmm ...

14. I HATE putting away laundry. It is my least favorite chore. I would rather just wear all the clean clothes out of the basket until they are all dirty again.

15. I have 20-27 kids each year in my class. It isn't in my contract or my teacher's manuals, but I work hard to teach them manners, how to admit when they've done something wrong and how to be kind to other students that are different than themselves. Teaching those skills is what makes me most proud.

16. I bought Minnie as a 25th birthday present to myself. It was the best thing I've ever done! She's made my life so much better and I love to see her waiting for me to greet her when I walk in the door. [Don't think I'm crazy. Those of you that are dog people will understand.]

17. I became Aunt Betsy on December 3rd of this year. Emilie said it best when she said that "Aunt" was her favorite title so far!

18. I'm almost debt free. Well ... minus the condo I just bought. :) Just a bit more on an old credit card and a little more on my student loans. My goal is to be finished with both by the time the next school year starts in August!

19. I'm TERRIFIED of speaking in front of large groups of people. Yes, I'm a teacher who doesn't like to speak in front of others. Doesn't make sense. The absolute worst possible scenario for me would be if I were forced to do karaoke!

20. I have started 2 blogs in the past 2 years. Please check them out: AND

21. If I weren't a teacher, I would love to be a photographer ... or a professional gift wrapper! :)

22. I've never driven myself to the airport. Thanks, Dad!

23. My haircut = $40. Minnie's haircut = $40. She gets her hair cut more often than I do, sad but true.

24. I used to be obsessed with celebrity gossip. I lived for the day when my US Weekly arrived in my mailbox, and I spent every night catching up on the celeb smut on OhNoTheyDidn't. I don't have time for that anymore ... canceled my US subscription and rarely get on ONTD.

25. I have a damn good memory. I remember exact conversations that I've had with people all the way back to elementary school.

Feel free to share any random facts about yourselves!

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