Friday, February 27, 2009

A Gospel Choir And A Birthday Dinner

Recently we had a raffle at our school to raise money for more Smart Boards. Every teacher or grade level came up with something fun they could do with the students like go ice skating or spend an afternoon making cupcakes together. Then the students bought raffle tickets for whatever they wanted. For example, my friend Candy raffled off coming over to a student's house to read them a bedtime story. :) (She teaches kindergarten.)

Anyway...one of the things that was raffled off was tickets to a gospel choir concert. The choir is made up of teachers and staff.


Fifty students won tickets to the concert and guess who is in this gospel choir? Me! There are seven of us and I think it is going to be so much fun. Today was our first day to get together and pick out the songs we were going to sing. My sweet friend Jena, one of the teachers at our school, is the minister of music at her church (her husband is the pastor)...


and she had so many songs to pick from. I can't believe that we are going to able to sing songs like Shout To The Lord and Shackles at my school!! How great is that? Since it will be after school and it is voluntary, we are able to sing whatever we want. Tell me if this doesn't make you want to sing praise to God?



Tonight was my niece, Rebeccah's, 19th birthday, so she had a big group of friends and family get together at Olive Garden to celebrate. She is a freshman at Liberty University and she is such a sweet girl with a really wonderful group of girlfriends. Here are Ashley, Laura, and Lindy with the birthday girl.


We just heard on the news tonight that it is supposed to snow 3-6 inches here on Sunday. What on earth??? It will be March! That is against the rules. No snow allowed in March! haha I just don't want to have to make up any snow days on my spring break. My tickets to NYC have already been bought! I think God may have other plans. I will let you know what happens.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spoiled

So the spoiling continues...it is still Teacher Appreciation Week and today I got these GORGEOUS peach roses from a sweet little girl in my class.


Yesterday we had a luncheon and the PTA made all kinds of delicious salads for us. We had volunteers come and watch our class so that we could have a leisurly lunch and enjoy ourselves for a few minutes.

One of the things we had was a really yummy mango salsa. I got the recipe and I made it tonight for dinner. I made talapia and had it on the side and it was sooo good!


I thought I would share the recipe with you!

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled and sliced (make sure it's ripe!)
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small green or red pepper, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
1 T. lime juice
2 t. chopped cilantro
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. hot sauce

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips.


Tonight I left out the black beans, chili powder, and hot sauce since I was putting it with fish. But it is just as delicious with everything in it and served with chips!

Tomorrow is my favorite day of the week! I hope you have a great Friday!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

I'm not Catholic or liturgical...I'm just good ole' Southern Baptist so I've never really observed Lent in a formal way. But I love the idea of a season that prepares your heart for Easter. Even though I won't be getting ashes on my forehead or formally giving anything up for 40 days, I will be thinking about and focusing on the sacrifice that Jesus made for me from now until Easter (and hopefully every day)! I don't take that sacrifice lightly and I think this whole season is so holy and special and meaningful!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Symmetry Surprise

I had the craziest thing happen at school today! We are studying geometry in math and I was introducing a lesson on symmetry. I use my Smart Board alot, so I wanted to pull up some pictures of symmetry to show my kids what it was and how you could find it in nature and all around us in the world. I entered symmetry into Google Images and started showing them pictures like this:





Well, as I was scrolling down, the most INAPPROPRIATE picture came up and oh. my. gosh....my class just erupted in squeals and giggles. Meanwhile, I was about to have a heart attack trying to get this image off the screen quickly! I won't elaborate here (enter symmetry into google images and scroll down to see what I'm talking about!!), but needless to say it took me alot of explaining and downplaying to finally get my class calmed down. How on earth that picture got through our heavy-duty screening system I don't know. Half the time I can't even pull up a classroom website I need because everything is so controlled! Well, something definitely slipped through the cracks this time!! I hope I don't get a mailbox full of e-mails tonight! :)

Tonight it was girls night out since Steve was out of town. We had to get our weekly Mexican fix. haha Here I am with Lindy getting ready for some quesadillas and enchiladas!


It just so happened my assistant and her family showed up there too! I love her!

After that big Mexican dinner, I was wishing I had a cool gadget I saw earlier this week. Have you ever heard of the instant button for jeans? Neither had I until yesterday when I saw it on The View. It is a button that you can insert into your jeans to expand the waistband (like if you eat too much!)


Okay...this is something that is right up my alley! I am always unbuttoning my jeans after a big meal. haha I could totally use one of these! And vice versa, if you wanted to make your waistline smaller, you could move the button over the other way to tighten your jeans around your waist! Ba da ba ba ba...I'm lovin' it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Three Things

Just three things today...

1-Today was the beginning of Teacher Appreciation week at school. It was flower day so my kids each came in carrying one or two flowers for me and my assistant. This is the beautiful bouquet I ended up with.


I love fresh flowers! Five of my students were absent today! Obviously there is something going around. I hope I don't get it!!


2-Did you watch the Oscars last night? I didn't watch much...I watched the Amazing Race instead. But I was so glad Slumdog Millionaire won so many awards. That was a great movie I thought. I saw the cute kids that were in the movie being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest and I thought they were precious!


3-A few weeks ago I ordered Cooking Light magazine and I got my first one today! It has lots of really yummy looking recipes in it, so I am looking forward to trying some of them out. Trying to keep my family healthy! :)



That's all for me today. My goal is to get to bed early tonight and get the new week off on the right foot. I hope you all have a great week!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Doin' Nothin' All Day!

I finally made it to Saturday! This week has been extra long for me. I think I was a little over-booked. But today I am all about RELAXING!! I usually hate to waste a day doing pretty much nothing, but I am not going to feel guilty about it one bit today. This morning, Steve and I went out to breakfast and finally got a chance to talk over some coffee, eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns.


Then we headed over to Super Wal-Mart and got our shopping done. Since then, I've been catching up on magazine reading and watching all my Ti-Vo'd shows. I even snuck in a little nap in between Jon and Kate Plus 8 and Giada's Weekend Getaways! haha

Laura and Lindy went to Columbia this weekend to spend the weekend with Ashley. And it looks like Steve is going to be out tonight with some friends, so I am thinking I might order out (there is a little Thai place near by that is sounding really good!) and getting a girly movie. We have Netflix and I love it. Last weekend we found out that if you have an X-Box, you can order movies online and play them instantly through the X-Box if you have a Netflix account! I tried to watch Nights In Rodanthe last night.


It is a Nicholas Sparks book made into a movie. But I coudn't stay awake and it was super-mushy...not really my type.

I am getting really excited because Steve booked our Spring Break plane tickets today. My girls and I are going to NYC together again. We did that a few years ago and had so much fun. So we decided to do it again this year! Mark has a different Spring Break, but Ashley has the same one we do since she is student teaching. We are going to see Jersey Boys...


and shop and eat at lots of yummy places. I LOVE New York! :) Yay!

Recently we got our February issue of Sports Illustrated. (Steve and Mark have a subscription.) I'm not crazy about this issue, but it got my attention because one of the main featured models is one of Ashley's friends from middle school!! Her name is Brooke Decker, but she goes by Brooklyn now. She is in full body paint in this Sports Illustrated edition. Pretty shocking!


She used to live on the next street over in the same neighborhood that my parents live in now. She is a top SI model and is totally living the life of the rich and famous these days. I think she is still engaged to Andy Roddick. But every time I see her, I think of her as a little middle school girl with a gap between her front teeth and about taking Ashley over to hang out at her house! She has come a long way!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reading and 'Riting and 'Rithmetic


Life has been busy, busy this week at school. Teaching is such a wonderful career and calling, but it is sooooo intense. The days are long and the expectations are high. You have about 25 little lives that you are in charge of for a good part of the day and if you are a good teacher, you take that seriously and want to do the best job you can. So that requires lots of hours spent making your lessons the best they can be with lots of tweaking and trying.

This week I came across some really great websites that are helping me be an even better teacher.

One of them was Hedgehog Books.


Even if you're not a teacher, but you are a parent looking for good books for your children, you should check this one out! It has such great ideas for every reading level!

Have you ever read this book?


I have had it for a long time and I am finally getting around to reading it. It's about a first year teacher's experience in an inner city Chicago classroom. Well, the author has a blog called Planet Esme! It's about children's literature. Her blog recommends a book-a-day to read aloud to your students. Love it!

Then there's The Crafty Crow. It has THE cutest ideas for children's crafts. Look at these from last week...

A Valentine tree...

A snowman pencil topper...



Chicken Spaghetti is a great site because it lists tons of children's authors who have websites of their own. That is a such a wonderful resource when doing an author study! My favorite children's author is Cynthia Rylant (I wish she had a website!). She has SO many good books! These are a few of my favorites:










And the last one is just a site that I think is pretty cool since teaching writing is such a big part of what I do. The site is called Two Writing Teachers and I think it has good ideas and links that are helpful.

We had a school raffle recently and tomorrow afternoon the second grade teachers are taking the winners ice skating after school. Wow...it's been a long time since I did that!

Then Friday night is Movie Night at school. All the kids bring their sleeping bags and camp out and watch a movie in the school auditorium.

Like I said...busy, busy, busy!! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Weekend

I have had the best Valentines Day weekend! Friday was a fun day at school. My class loved their party and it was so simple! They just had fun eating lots of sugar and opening their cute cards. They were so sweet to give me boxes of chocolate hearts and precious little cards. I love them!

Cupcakes

Not just cupcakes...Peeps, too!

Remember these?? Fortune tellers! Isn't it funny that second grade girls still love them?




Looking in their Valentines bags to see what they got...






Steve took me out to dinner Friday night at Bonefish Grille. We got their Bang Bang shrimp for an appetizer. Then we split an entree. Even with just that, we were about to pop! It was fun.

Saturday we got up early and I made blueberry muffins with a big bowl of red strawberries to go with them. I gave my girls some cute underwear from Victoria's Secret and a Starbucks card. Mark got candy and a Barnes and Noble gift card. Then we headed out to Ashley's day of trying on wedding dresses.

We went to two stores...J Majors and Poffy Girls. She tried on so many. I think I took over 70 pictures! Here are a few. She didn't want me to show you a front view (even though you can see the front reflection in the first picture) in case she picks one of these! :) But you get the idea.







She looked so pretty. I know I will probably cry when she walks down the aisle in one of these gorgeous dresses.

We went to lunch together at Jason's Deli while we were out.


When I got home from my day, Steve had bought me these beautiful pink roses




and he told me he was taking me out for dinner even though we hadn't really planned on it. Laura and Lindy were having a party at our house with about eight girls, so he thought we should just go hang out somewhere for a little while. We ended up going to Brio's Italian restaurant and just getting appetizers and a salad and chatting together.

I am very blessed to have such a sweet husband. We have been together for almost 30 years if you can believe that!! We started dating when we were both 15 years old. And he has always been so thoughtful and sweet. He never lets a birthday or a Valentine's Day go by without showing me and telling me how much he loves me. I LOVE HIM! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentines Fun


Tomorrow is our class Valentine's Day Party. Today we made those cute little Valentine card holders with paper hearts and stickers all over them. We just used bags, but the kids had so much fun doing it. Do you remember Valentine's Day parties in elementary school? We used to get a shoe box and cut a hole in the top and decorate it with doilies and red and pink hearts all over. Too cute!

Our "party" tomorrow is just the kids passing out their Valentine cards and then having some cupcakes or cookies and letting them open and read their cards. That is a party to them!


When I was in elementary school, I would spend a really long time writing everyone's name on each card. If there was a boy in the class that I thought was cute, I would add some X's and O's on his card! :)

In junior high, our school would sell carnations.


Students could buy them and have them delivered to anyone they wanted. Red ones meant that you loved someone, pink meant you would like to get to know someone better (aka go out on a "date"), and white ones you would just send to a friend. It was so much fun seeing what carnations you would get that day and from whom! :)

Steve and I decided to go out to dinner tomorrow night at Bonefish Grille. That is always good and we already have reservations so we won't have to wait so long in line. Laura and Lindy are going to see Shop-A-Holic tomorrow afternoon.


I really want to see it, too, but I can't squeeze it in tomorrow. Maybe another day.

Tomorrow night I really want to see "A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains". It is about children living in poverty in the Appalachian mountains. That is where I spent alot of my childhood since my grandparents lived in Franklin, North Carolina in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. I think it will be really interesting.


Saturday we are going wedding dress shopping with Ashley!! How fun is that?? I will tell you all about it later! I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Awards and Recognitions

Well, I have just been totally honored recently by two of the sweetest people ever. Both Dawn and Jacquie have awarded me with this "Friends" award. I appreciate it so much.


This is what the award is for:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."


Since this is a "Friends" award, I would like to pass it along to a few sweet girls who are my real life friends and who have really great blogs!

Ginger
Kellie
Kelley
Lacy
Nancy
Alise

I hope you all enjoy this award like I did! :)

I also have to do a little bragging tonight. Laura won third place in the Queen City Optimist essay contest this week! She is a talented writer and writes for her high school's literary magazine. She gets to go present her essay on "The Power of Youth" at a luncheon being held in her honor soon! And Lindy got the great news that she was accepted this week from two of the schools she applied to...University of North Carolina at Charlotte and East Carolina University. She and Laura both are still waiting to hear from other schools they applied to, but they are excited about the ones they have already heard from!

Today I did a little Valentine's Day shopping. I got some cards for my family...


And I got some fun stuff for my class. We are going to do some graphing with conversations hearts so I got lots of those...



I got some cute cards for my kids, but I also saw this Fun Dip and had to get it. I used to LOVE these when I was little! :)



And while I was at Wal-Mart, I saw this magazine. Have you ever heard of it? I was curious so I got it. I'm interested to read it tonight!


Steve and I are still trying to decide what to do for Valentine's Day. What are your plans??

Playlist of My Life-Part 1

On weekends here in Charlotte, the radio stations play lots of oldies. This weekend, when I heard some of those old songs, it was bringing back so many memories that I thought I should write down all the songs I remember from my life...kind of like my own personal playlist. It's alot to remember, so I just decided to break it up into two parts. The first part is from when I was born until junior high school. Then I will do junior high through college. See if you remember any of these! (Only if you're old like me! haha)

I was born in 1964, but obviously, I don't remember anything about those first two years, so I decided to start when I could actually remember!



1966-This is the year my little brother, Blake, was born and my dad was in Viet Nam. This is a picture of my dad with a Viet Namese baby.



We were living in Waco, Texas, and I think this was the first year I really started remembering things. My dad sent me a teddy bear that year from New York where he was in Chaplain's School before he left for Viet Nam. The teddy bear came from Gimbel's Department Store and I named him Mr. Gimbel. I LOVED that teddy bear and still have him!

I know I remember hearing the Mama's and the Papa's "California Dreamin' " and The Supreme's "You Can't Hurry Love". Plus my mom loved Simon and Garfunkel(Sounds of Silence, etc), so I heard that alot, too!

1967-My mom must have loved all the slow love songs back in the day because the songs I remember hearing the most are those like:

"Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You"-Frankie Valli and
"Never My Love"-The Association
Here I am with Blake when I was about 3 years old.


1968-I remember the song "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro and I used to think it was so sad. We also had a Glen Campbell album and it had "Little Green Apples" on it and I really used to like this song, too!


I think I already told you that I named my three kittens Abraham, Martha, and John after the song "Abraham, Martin, and John". One of my kittens was a girl, so I had to change Martin to Martha. haha

1969-We had an Andy William's album with the Osmond Brothers singing "Good Morning Starshine" from the musical Hair and I LOVED that song when I was 5!! We also had the Fifth Dimension album with "The Age Of Aquarius" on it and I sang along with that one, too.


I also loved "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. I must have liked naming things after songs because I named one of my dolls Caroline! :)

1970-I started school and we moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

This is when I started becoming a Donny Osmond fanatic! I had all his albums and listened to him constantly (Sweet and Innocent, Puppy Love, One Bad Apple). This is what he looked like when I first became a fan...


I also loved the Jackson 5 (ABC, The Love You Save, I'll Be There). The Osmonds and The Jackson 5 both had cartoons that came on Saturday mornings and I lived for those cartoons! Friday nights were The Partridge Family


and The Brady Bunch.


1971-The Osmond craze continued...My dad was also the associate/youth pastor at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville during these years. Do you know how much fun that was to be seven or eight and get to hang around teenagers all the time? It was back in the hippie days and everyone had long hair and played the guitar, so lots of guys at our church loved to sing and play songs like John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" or Simon and Garfunkle's "Bridge Over Troubled Water". I loved hearing them and they always seemed so talented to me!

1972-I used to love the song "Brand New Key" by Melanie because it's about getting a brand new pair of roller skates and I had that kind that had to have a key! :) Remember these??


I think, being a child, I liked the songs that children would like. I loved "Candy Man" by Sammy Davis, Jr. and "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast".

My sweet friend, Bridgette, who lived behind me had a step mom who was really young and pretty. I thought she was so great because she let us play with her make up and she mowed the grass in her bikini top and cut offs. She loved "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by the Spinners and so we loved it too! I also remember we had a Jim Croce and a Carpenters album and we played them all the time.

1973-This was the year my little brother, Brent, was born. We moved to Columbia, Tennessee. I remember the song "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree" was a HUGE hit this year! I also liked "Delta Dawn" by Helen Reddy. :)


1974-I was in 5th grade now and I think I was starting to feel a little more grown up. I know I listened to the radio alot when I was with my friends and we started having parties where we would play records and dance. I remember singing "Seasons In The Sun" with all my friends. Over the summer we would take the radio outside and listen to it while we played or when we were having a sleepover. If I hear any of the songs from this year, I just immediately go back to my old neighborhood.

"Come And Get Your Love"-Redbone
"Bennie and The Jets"-Elton John
"You Make Me Feel Brand New"-The Stylistics
"Annie's Song"-John Denver
"Please Come To Boston"-Dave Loggins
"I Honestly Love You"-Olivia Newton John

Plus alot more!

1975-My very favorite song that year was "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain and Tenille.


And Brent was about two years old then and he sang "Rhinestone Cowboy" all the time and was so cute!


We got to have an end of the year party that year in sixth grade and we could bring our little 45 records. I remember we played "Blackwater" by the Doobie Brothers and "Sister Golden Hair" by America about 50 times a piece. We thought we were so cool! haha

Other favorites were:
"Magic"-Pilot
"Someone Saved My Life Tonight"-Elton John
"Mandy" & "I Write The Songs"-Barry Manilow

(I got this album for Christmas in sixth grade...)


"Chevy Van"-Sammy Johns
"Wildfire"-Michael Martin Murphy
"Fallin' In Love"-Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds
"How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You"-James Taylor
"Kung Fu Fighting"-I gave this one to my boyfriend for Christmas! Oh my gosh, that makes me laugh just thinking about it! :)

1976-We moved to Charlotte and I was starting a whole new chapter in my life. When I hear any of these songs, I think about making new friends and going to a new church and wondering what my life was going to be like here in this new place.

"Sara Smile"-Hall and Oates
"Afternoon Delight"-Starland Vocal Band
"Oh What A Night"-Four Seasons
"Love Is Alive"-Gary Wright

"Love Rollercoaster"-there was a rumor going around that someone was murdered during the recording of this, so all us kids listened to it over and over trying to hear the scream!

"Let Your Love Flow"-Bellamy Brothers
"You're My Best Friend"-Queen
"Saturday Night"-Bay City Rollers-this was a favorite at the skating rink on Saturday nights! :)

So that takes me up junior high! I will have to do junior high through college another day! It was fun walking down memory lane!