Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I know that most teachers sorta dread the first days of back-to-school meetings.  Most of the time it is just a bunch of housekeeping information and watch watching.

Not me.

I love the first big meeting of the year, for many many reasons.  First I love routine and housekeeping items.  I love hearing about the new teachers, and about the exciting new programs and plans.  I am just that kind of girl I  love getting my planner, class lists, and grade book.  I love opening my box of ordered school supplies and organizing my supply drawer. 

I know...just odd.

Secondly, I truly am a diva and love getting my semi annual hair cut, picking out a cute outfit, and seeing everyone that I have missed over the summer.  Catching up with my fellow teachers and getting back into that community of people really excite me. 

I also love the idea that this is the first real day of my new year and I love teaching so it is really like I am at the gate ready to go.

Mostly, however, my administrators always pump me up, make me realize that I am the kind of teacher that kids need, and reaffirm all that I do.  My assistant headmaster showed us this video this morning.  He is a big music supporter and he is constantly reading books about music and composers and listening to as much music as he can get his hands on, and is very in the "know" when it comes to music. (Sometimes I feel nervous talking to him about music because I really am afraid he is going to stump me.)  So it really didn't surprise me that he uses a famous conductor and musician to drive a very important point home.

This video really moved me.  It combined my love of my subject area, my love of teaching, and really inspired me to do my best everyday.

It is kind of a long video, but really worth it.  I hope if you have the time you might watch it and let me know what you think.

My father always taught me that every time you interact with a person you make that person feel better after the encounter than before.  It is our responsibility as teachers, and quite frankly parents, to use our power for good and really make a difference in our children's lives.

I am inspired to do great things and really make my students (and kids) eyes shine.

More Later

- A Ro 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Highlight Reel

After an unofficial week back at work and Sarah's first three day week of school we needed a really nice weekend.  And even though it went all too fast, it did turn out pretty nice.

However, man was it hit the 100's here and I believe it was even a little humid (not to complain too much as my mid-west friends and family truly know what the word humid means)

Bella wins the busiest weekend award.  In fact, as I am sitting here, her and Sarah are catching up and I am surprised that she hasn't just dropped.  Friday, she went to Magic Mountain with a friend and didn't get back until 9:30.  I woke her up Saturday morning to go over to her friend's house and they swam in a lake all day and ended up spending the night.  Sunday I picked her up at her friend's house early and her dad took her and Andrew to the beach and to a BBQ.

Wow, is she trying to squeeze in all she can into the last few weeks of summer vaca, or what.

My weekend was full of a little less fun and I lot more laundry and cleaning, but I do remember those days of trying to get the most out of the summer that flew by too quickly.  But if anyone wants one last play date give me a call.

I officially start back to work this week and Andrew starts his 2 early AP classes as well, so we are easing back into things.

One wonderful thing I got to do this weekend was getting to go see one of my former students Zach in a show Saturday night.  So Rich and I left the boys in charge of fixing corn dogs and lasagna and we went to dinner and saw Zach's show.  We even snuck in some frozen yogurt...shhhh.

Sunday - Cleaning, laundry, grilling out, and scene.

Yeah...the usual.

I thought in keeping with the weekend mood I would share some of our pictures from the Iowa State Fair. 

You know our state fair is a great state fair...

Yes...I only saw the Deep Fried Twinkies and Deep Fried Oreos, the Deep Fried Butter (no joke) was elsewhere, probably near the defibulator station.

Andrew eating, yes you are seeing correctly, a large cup of chocolate chip cookies.  What you don't see is the second cup that he "shared" with Bella.  Ah to have the metabolism of a boy.

An entire farm scene made out of cans for the local food bank.  I like the piggy, and in the background is the cow.

And no trip to the Iowa State Fair would be complete without a trip to see the butter cow.  I love the butter cow.

Just not a fried butter cow.

More later

- A Ro

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday and as I sit here trying to adequately write a tribute to my amazing Mom I am realizing that my usual silly old acrostic poem post is just not going to do it.  First of all do I do Mom, or Nana, or see even in the inital planning stages needed for such a post, I am running into problems.  So I am going to a plain old "I love you Mom" blog post and hope its good enough.

My Mom is one of the most generous people I know always taking care of everyone and putting everyone elses needs before her own.  She loves her Grandchildren more than anything else in the world and they love her too.  Her house is always the place they want to be, even my 16 year old couldn't imagine a summer or Christmas not spent at Nana's house.

I am so blessed to have her as a Mom and only wish we lived closer to each other.  But now that she is retired and she does love beaches, maybe we will see her a little more on our end.

Oh one other thing...doesn't she look so good...

...even when being upstaged by a little silly Bella.

I love you Mom, and I hope you have a wonderful day.  You can open your present now!!

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fun

Just a quick post to send you all off to a fabulous weekend!!  I thought I'd post a couple of pictures that just melt my heart and make me glad to be alive.

Oh my stinkin' heck.

And Rich...could you please hurry home.

More Later

- A Ro 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Days and Car Batteries

Well the big news of the day is that Sarah's first day was a success.  And the bigger news is she let me take a picture and didn't give me too much trouble.  In fact she asked me if we could take some more.  Wow, she needs to have a conversation with Andrew and rub a little of that attitude off onto him.

She met a few new kids, survived P.E.and lunch, AND only had one piece of Science homework.  Wow!!  However, she declared that she will never buy lunch there again because the lines are so long.  I am perfectly fine making her lunch everyday, I feel that I can give her a healthier lunch option.  I hate long lines too, so I don't blame her at all.

After I dropped off Sarah I went to off to work in my classroom, however, the classroom was less than friendly.  All of the stuff in the room was piled around my desk as they were cleaning the carpet.  So I worked on a few boxes and went off to have lunch with my good friend Adam. 

I would say hi to Adam but I hope to heck that he doesn't read this blog because he is such a talented writer and I can't even put a cohererent thought together let alone match my verb tenses, heck I don't even know what that means. 

I also got to play with his twin 20 month old boys and his dog Henry.  Oh boy, twins are a fun chaotic crazy-filled bundles of love. how I loved every minute of it.

I ran a few errands before I picked up Sarah.  

She wanted a scrapbook for her 8th grade year so I picked her up a journal like scrapbook, some cool gel pens, a glue stick, and of course some M&M's.  She was so surprised with her gift and went to work on her cover.   She brought home some paper for Bella to decorate for each of her subject's binder and so after dinner the table quickly turned into art central.  They had a blast.

They day ended with the kids going to get frozen yogurt while I unsuccesfully went off to jump start my ex's car.  Yeah...we couldn't figure out the battery on my car.  Boy batteries have changed over the years. 

Rich...Rich...are you out there??? Please come home soon.

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last Days of Summer for Sarah

Before I ease you into my first summer pictures by showing off my Bella's birthday party.  I will fill you in on my exciting day.  First, I sent off my husband on his first mandated business trip.  He never travels but he has to travel this week.  Quite frankly it sucks (pardon my language).  It wasn't his choice and the timing sucks (again...sorry) as Sarah starts school tomorrow.  To top it all off he is headed to Fort Hood in Kilene Texas.  If the past shootings and bombings weren't enough to make it a sucky aweful trip it was 109 degrees there today.

Due to the impending end of Sarah's summer we celebrated by standing in line for an hour to get her books, trying numerous times to work her new locker combo, and meeting some very nice school teachers.  This is hard for me because usually I am on faculty of my kids schools but this time I was just a plain old parent (step parent).  But this public school was very nice and I think she is excited to start.  We also did a little last minute shopping and one more visit to the school to make sure we were OK with finding classes and that darned locker.  Thankfully all is good and some of the nerves are gone.

I am hoping for a couple of first day pictures to share tomorrow. 

So...the following pictures are from my Bella's birthday party.  I know, she is so cute!!

We had an art themed party, so I made an artist pallet cake and we had different art stations the girls could go to. 

We were so happy that all but two of her friends could come.  We were worried that summer vacations would interefere but it was a great turn out.

Of course, her BFF Hannah was there and these two are all silly. 

We ended the day with a birthday dinner with our Sabrina at BJ's.  It wouldn't be a birthday without a Pizookie. 

It was a great day.  We are usually are travelling to Iowa for her birthday and spend it either on an airplane or in Iowa.  Although family birthdays are really great it is nice to have one with friends every now and then.

But boy this mama was tired after this day, but the smile on her face was worth it all.  Not sure Justin (Rich' son) would agree, as he spent the afternoon with 10 silly 11 year olds.  He was great though and thankfully he knew how to run a helium tank AND tie the balloons.  That is a really great skill to have and I am trying to get him to put it on his resume.

Well that's all for now.  Keep your fingers crossed that Sarah will allow some pics tomorrow.  You know that I'll try my best!!

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Well I realize it has been over a month since I have blogged, but there has been a lot going on and it was just best that I keep quiet for some of it.

We have been up the coast of California to pick up Andrew from camp, and to Iowa and back (Rich numerous times).  We went to the Iowa State Fair and ALMOST ate a fried twinkie (but not fried butter on a stick, because that would be gross).  We celebrated 5 birthdays and 1 anniversary. We worked and played at summer camp and went to Arkansas to visit a certain red head.

More pictures to come from those adventures.

But on of the most important thing that happened to us was that Rich's daughter Sarah decided to come live with us!!!!!

As I stated in my last post Justin is here and he is doing great.  He is getting in shape, and looking for a job.  Ultimately he wants to join the Air Force or the Coast Guart.  Sarah deciding to live with us was such an unexpected blessing, and it took some doing, but due to the ability of her parents to work with each other it finally happened, and she is doing great.  It has been a crazy few days with trying to get her registered for school (she starts on Wednesday) and getting all of her stuff in order, but we are there.  We are so excited to have her here, and it gives me more reason to get this exciting time in our family's life down on paper (or up on the web).

So my goal is to take as many pictures of these kids for all of our families (Sarah is just going to have to get used to having her beautiful face photographed) and only spend about 30 minutes a night on this blog.  If you want to read along and enjoy the crazy new adventures of all 6 of us here in CA come visit and leave a comment or two. 

I promise I won't use as many parenthesis as I did tonight.

More Later
- A Ro