Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday MICHELLE!!!

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday and I wanted to do another very bad acrostic poem in celebration.

Michelle please forgive my poetry skills and know it comes from the heart!!

My sister-in-law Michelle is wonderful and oh so sweet.
In my opnion to be around her is such a big treat.
Cheerful and kind describe her to a T.
Her family, I'm sure, would totally agree.
 Every one of her nephews and neices...
Love her to bits and pieces.

Love for his mama Jo Jo cannot hide.
Even though we have no idea where he gets his silly side.

Happy Birthday Michelle!!  We miss you and love you oh so much!!

More Later (hopefully)

A Ro

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Update

Well if last week felt like a month, this weekend felt like minute.  Phew it went by super fast, and here I am facing the second week of school.  This week is full of middle school musical auditions.  So far we have about 40 kids signed up and we take them all and find a spot for each and everyone of them.  This year we are doing You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.  So if you want to see what Snoopy's siblings and Woodstocks second cousins look like just come to our production.  Bella is auditioning tomorrow and I am not sure who is more nervous, oh wait yes I do...ME!!  She really has a very nice voice and an excellent ear.  She will do great, but I just hate seeing my kids in positions where they are uncomfortable, no matter how character building they are. 

In my "oh my goodness where did the weekend go" weekend I discovered a few things so I thought I'd share.

1.  I cannot make pot roast to save my life.  I am a very good cook, if I do say so myself, but pot roast has always eluded me.  I follow the recipe to a T and still it turns out dry.  I so badly want to make a good pot roast so I keep doing it hoping that "this time" it will turn out tasty and moist and melt in your mouth good.  Yeah I need some help.

2.  I cannot keep score, watch baseball, work my crossword AND take a picture of my son on the mound.  I wanted Bella to make an artist rendering of him pitching, but she was too busy writing a 4 page story about time travel, working on PEDMAS (parenthesis, exponents, division, multiplication, addition and subtraction, for those of you not hip to the terms of sixth grade math), and studying which rocks have fractal something or other.  I can't count on her for anything.  However, Andrew pitched a no hitter for 4 innings and made an amazing play at second base.  I just love baseball!!

3.  I can count on her and Sarah to make me laugh.  So Rich and I went to run an errand and came home to find Bella and Sarah playing Ninja hide and seek.
So if you are keeping score at of Andrew pitching a no hitter - 0 Sarah and Bella as ninjas - 1.  Yeah that about sums it up.  No wonder I quit doing the 365 picture meme.

4.  Having 4 kids in the house means a lot of fighting over the flicker and who gets to ride in the front seat, arguing about who drank who's soda, and who used whos towel, but it also means always having enough people to play UNO to make it intersting.  We had two fun nights of UNO playing this weekend and oddly enough the heads of the household came away victorious.

5.  Sarah is EXCELLENT about doing her weekend chores and even helping out with ones that aren't hers.  And Bella is not liking her toilet cleaning chore as she proclaimed that Andrew doesn't pee in the kids toilet, to which I replied, "yes he does, that is the bathroom he uses" to which she exclaimed "no he doesn't pee IN our toliet he pees ON our toilet." 

yeah, I know, too much information, but it was really funny.

6.  I enjoy weekends.  Now if I could just enjoy eating my pot roast all would be good.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to School

I am telling you this week has seemed like a month.  I wake up too early, I get home completely bushed, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  However, this week has really gotten its money worth. 

Bella is adjusting nicely to Sixth Grade, and Sixth Grade Science has only kicked my butt once.  Don't worry, I am sure I will get PLENTY of chances to seek revenge as she has science homework most every night.  She is studying rocks and minerals and it is taking me back to my college geology class "rocks for jocks" as it was lovingly called.  Let me tell you it isn't a good memory.

Andrew is loving our new high school building and is doing quite well keeping up with all his homework especially his two AP classes.  Now granted he isn't the usual 5 AP taking kid, and I am more than happy that he isn't.

Sarah had her back to school night last night and it was so nice to be able to go visit her classes and teachers and hear about how wonderful she is.  I really like her public middle school.  The teachers are great and full of energy, the classes are small, and the amount of technology in the classroom is amazing.  Rich and I came away with a sigh of relief, she is adjusting nicely and doing some really good work.  She was bummed because one of the projects she did in English class had to do with me, but her teacher didn't give it out as all the students didn't get to finish it.  She is making friends and we got to meet a couple last night.

I am telling you she is just the greatest.  She is always happy and so willing to help out with fixing dinner, feeding Maggie, and cleaning up.  She is adjusting so well to the newness of it all, new school, new siblings, and new step mom.  She is has no trouble following all of our rules.  She doesn't give us any trouble about getting to bed by 9:30 and getting up at 7:00.  I am so happy and blessed that she is a permenant part of our household. 

Now I am well aware that I soon will have two teenage girls two years apart which might be a little...ahem...challenging.

But for now life it great.

So I leave you to your weekend with this:
Jo Jo and Abby say "Have a great weekend everyone!!!"

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hodgepodge Pie

So I decided to join Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond for her weekly Hodgepodge.  It has been awhile since I joined up so I might be a bit rusty but here goes:

1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year?
I start making deals with God that go something like this "Please don't let me get sick right now, if you save me from getting sick I promise I'll never eat cheesecake, I'll always floss my teeth, and I'll use Purell after each class."

Yeah...then I start popping the Vitimin C like nobody's business.

Yes I do get a flu shot, but I am pretty lucky with getting sick.  I think since I've been a teacher for so long my immune system is top notch, even though I don't have a spleen and I am SUPPOSED to get everything that comes my way.

Maybe God is keeping up his end of the deal after all.

2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear?
They say that being brave means being fearful but doing it anyway (or something like that).  I tell my students that when they are fearful they just need to take a deep breath and go for it.

3. Share two good things about your life right now.
Having physical custody of Rich's daughter.  It is a dream come true and an answer to a lot of prayers.  The second thing would be being back into routine and back at school WITH students!!

4. A hot fall fashion trend in 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?

I like the more classy styles of the 60's, like pencil skirts with cardigans and flats and shift dresses.  Not a big fan of high necklines or cinched waists.

5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult?
I was a Bluebird (which was the younger Campfire Girl) when I was in third grade.  All I remember about that was we used to go around saying "bluebirds eat brownies" (the younger Girl Scouts)  I am pretty sure that wasn't the message that scouting was trying to promote.

6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor?
Yes.  Mostly apple and pumpkin though.
7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher?
Compassion and having the ability to teach their students more than just their subject matter.  They also need to be a little bit silly and not take themselves too seriously.  Yeah I got those last two down pat.
8. In summary: I am a take a deep breath and dive right in sort of gal with compassion and a love of teaching.  Even though I am missing a part of my immune system I hardly ever get sick (knock on wood).  I would have looked very unstylish in the 60's mostly because pencil skirts don't look very good on women who love the fall flavors of apple and pumpkin because usually that involves pie.

More Later

- A Ro


Today was the first day of school for Andrew and Bella.  Which means Sunday night was a whirl wind of emotions ranging from "oh my gosh...what if I can't get my locker open" to "what if all my friends suddenly hate me".  Then there was Sarah who was just glad that SOMEBODY else in the house had to go to school and do homework.  We celebrated our last weekend of freedom with our usual celebration; firepit and s'mores.  The girls were SO funny dancing and singing and putting on shows.  Rich took this video and all my dancer friends and former students who know me will be shocked that I was acting choreographer...yeah don't tell Ms. Brown.

We woke up and got out the door on time this morning due mostly to the nervous excitement that had us all moving in overdrive.  We even had time for pictures.

Even Andrew joined in the picture fun.

So cute, even Maggie wanted to be included.

The day was a great success.  Our school opened the new building, my choirs seem very promising, and it was perfect weather.

The girls did homework together at the table with a little smile of satisfaction on Sarah's face.  They even had time for a quick bike ride around the park and we had time to watch a tivo'd episode of Chuck (getting ready for the new and final (one tear) season.

And yes Bella got her locker open and all her friends still liked her.


More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Working From Home"

We are doing construction on our campus this summer.  So we are, of course, trying frantically to get everything ready for Monday.  This is causing some parking issues as we still have a lot of construction workers on campus and some of the paths to various parking lots are not traversable (is that a word??)  So this morning was the elementary school's parent visitation so they asked the Middle and High School teachers to "work from home" this morning.  As I told you yesterday Andrew has morning AP classes so yeah do the math...Andrew had to be at school this morning, but I couldn't.  So by the time I wanted to be at work Andrew didn't want to be there.  Can you say extra miles on the old mom taxi??  It did work out "sorta" because when I went to pick him up I bribed him with lunch if he would help me put up my bulletin boards, and he did.  (They look SO good too) Yes, food does it everytime.  It also gave us a chance to talk and we had a great conversation.  I love my alone time with my boy.  So after lunch I went back home and "worked from home".

OK when I got the email that I couldn't come into work this morning I was all like "yeah...I TOTALLY can work from home"  I have all my syllibi, seating charts, lesson plans, and labels, so much compter work.  So I packed up my computer, loaded my bag with my warm up books, and planner and marched home ready to "work from home".  I even set it all up at the table. 

Well you can probably tell where this is going.  I did practically nothing.   It took me longer to get everything out and put everything away than the amount of work I did.  Granted I did play mom taxi and had lunch with my kid and helped Bella with her math packet and worked on my crossword, and read a few blogs. 


Well, it is all going to get done, but just not today.

We also had our back to school BBQ for the High Schoolers tonight.  So that was another trip to school with Andrew. It was well worth it.  I got lots of hugs from my students and they all had that excited look in their eyes, just like me. 

If I wasn't chomping at the bit to go back to school yesterday...I am today.

Tomorrow night is the Middle School BBQ...Lord help me!!

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Enough is Enough

I need school to start NOW.  I am so tired of being half back at school half not.  Andrew is back for morning  AP classes this week so he is even half back half not.  This morning we were up early for our workout because Rich is finally back to his "normal" schedule, but I am not so I got up early to work out with him and had an extra hour before Sarah and Andrew needed to be at school.  That just made me lollygag around and get ready at my own leisure.  However, once next Monday morning hits it will be morning routine timed to the minute.  I am learning these bad habits.  I am learning how to be slow when I really need to be running time trials. 


I am also very tired of PLANNING for kids to come back I want kids back in my classroom.  I have so much to do, but all that stuff is just not fun.  It is the real work of my job.  When the kids get back I really feel so much better.  This year is going to be so new for me.  I have really big groups with a lot of new kids and the possibilities are endless.  Thankfully, the development book I had to read this summer was VERY good and it was all about motivation.  It really challenged the way I look at motivation and I highly recommend this book for any educator or parent wanting to tap into your kids natural motivation...and maybe even your own.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates UsDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

But reading it really just made me want to be back in the classroom with those kids even more so...


OK so the countdown continues.  I have 3 more "work days" then the weekend and we start.  I just need to keep plugging away at my "to do" list and hopefully not lose my mind in the meantime.

Now I am also completely aware that in about 2 months I will be begging for Winter Break.  Slowly counting down the days until I can sleep in and not have to worry about concerts and deadlines.

I know...I am such a diva.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Weekend Update in 30 minutes

So I am trying to get my blog posting done in under 30 minutes. never seems to work out that way, but tomorrow is an up early day so this time it needs to be a very quick post.  Considering it takes me 30 minutes just to get pictures uploaded it might just be a very short post, but with pictures!!

OK here goes:

Now this is very sad, I cannot for the life of me remember what we did Friday night.  Justin and Rich went to the beach in the afternoon and my kids were with their dad.  Rich was able to pick Sarah up from school and so we met at home.  The rest is a blur so here is a picture Rich took of Justin at the beach.  He has lost about 43 pounds since he has been here and he looks really good.  I'll be sure to do a before and after picture when he is at his goal weight.

Yep, can't even remember what we had for dinner.  Very very sad.  Ok Rich just reminded me what we had for dinner, pork tenderloin sliders.  Ok now I remember that but the rest seriously is not anywhere to be found.

Saturday was a great day.  We did just normal stuff in the morning and then went down to Santa Monica.  We went to Third Street Promenade and to the pier.  We ate at a place called Barney's Beanery and watched some college football.  Both my Arizona Wildcats and my Iowa Hawkeyes won.  But the best part of the evening is that Rich was taking my picture and Sarah jumped in and wanted to be in it too.  Yeah, she's cool like that.  Now if I could just get Andrew to do the same life would be complete.  She looks so good in pictures, I hope this is a good trend!!

What a happy girl. 

Look at THOSE handsome men. 

It was a lovely evening and Justin didn't even almost sit on a homeless man.  **wink wink Justin**

Sunday was full of our weekly chores.  Sarah did her vacuuming and counters.  Andrew did his mirrors and room.  Justin mopped the floors and cleaned the downstairs bathroom, and Bella cleaned the toilets and dusted.  Rich and I did the laundry and our usual stuff, and we all stood around our bed and folded.  EVEN  It was a very long day.  BUT we all knew we didn't have to go to school/work the next day so that made it bearable. 

Monday was a great day off.  We slowly moved through the morning and then went to our friends birthday bash for their son.  It was a pool party BBQ and we had a blast.

Here are our two boys.  Brandon is a month younger than Andrew but a grade below.  Their daughter is a couple of months older than Bella and they but in the same grade.  Just as I took this picture Brandon stood on his tippy toes.  He is about a half a head shorter than Andrew.  The funny thing is that they have been friends since the third grade and we have watched them grow up together sometimes Brandon was taller sometimes Andrew.  Either way they both are scrawny bony butt boys that need to eat a little more!!

We love hanging out with these friends and Sarah and Justin fit right in.  It was a great evening.

On the way home I get this picture of my Abby sent to my phone via Facebook.

Now if you will excuse me I must go pick up the pieces of my broken heart and get my not so bony butt to bed.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Fun

So it's Friday, and since I am very glad and happy that it is Friday, I thought I would just share some fun and wonderful things with you all.

1.  I came home to find Andrew helping Sarah with her English homework.  This is fun and wonderful for two reasons.  1) Andrew helping Sarah (it was very cute to see him do this) and 2) Andrew being able to help anyone with English (not his best subject)

2.  My little neice Sami had her first day of school yesterday and I got this cute picture sent to me.
Now we can't seem to figure out where she gets all that sass from, but needless to say I am pretty sure I know who I am going to leave my tiaras and Diva card too when I leave this earth.

3.  This video was taken by one of Andrew's friends from camp.  It ended up getting about 60,000 hits and Fox TV station used it.  It is very cute and I just love these monkeys.

4.  This video was sent to my by one of my administrators.  It truly shows how amazing Bobby McFarrin is and really how amazing the brain is when it comes to music and impulses.  I really enjoyed watching this demonstration.

Have a wonderful and fun Friday and I hope your weekend shapes up to be a long and enjoyable one. 

More Later

- A Ro