Sunday, July 31, 2011

End of NaBloPoMo - Reflection

Wow, I can't believe I've done it! Those who know me IRL know that I have a bad habit of starting things and not following through. It is one of my weaknesses - I get brilliant ideas but never finish the project.

I'm proud to say I finished this one!  And I've learned a bunch - about myself, about Blogger, about Twitter, about writing for myself and not stats, about commenting on other's blogs.

I'm a geek girl at heart, totally in love with tech and what it can do.  And I love to see my site stats. It is so cool to see how people find my blog and what they are reading.  At the same time, I have to step back and remember that my blog is for me - it is my place to vent as well as my  place to talk about things that interest me.  I can share stories and pictures of my kids. I can talk about what I've read, what I'm doing in my home and at work.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I can't think of a better way to have spent a portion of my summer!

I'll be back in a week - we're off to the beach.  I'll try to schedule some posts for you to enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vacation Preparation!

So this is what I have to overcome in order to get ready for the beach tomorrow...

towels, sheets, clothes, bathing suits - Oh My!

Why, oh why did I let this happen?!?!?!

And I've got to pack my clothes, supervise the girls packing, and see about finding beach toys and pack the truck. Oy!

Have you got vacation plans for this summer?

Friday, July 29, 2011

This Moment: What We Did This Summer

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
Inspired by Amanda at SouleMama.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bonus Post! Classroom Pictures

Here is a slideshow of my new classroom. Please forgive me for the blurry shots - not sure what happened.  It is definitely a work in progress! I'm amazed at how much got done in just 2 days! I can't wait to get back in to put up bulletin boards, posters, etc.

New 6th Grade Classroom - In Progress!! on PhotoPeach

Curly Girl!

At the end of the school year (early June) I found a book at the library that inspired me to make a change.  I have naturally curly hair that I've struggled with all my life.  Here are a few representative pictures of me - my hair was almost always frizzy and hard to control.

 I've been on before - there are some good tips and tricks. I've seen people talk about the CG method.  I found the answer in this book:

A-mazing!  I've struggled with my hair for so long, I have a hard time finding it beautiful. I want curls like THIS!  I'd love to be able to grow my hair long and not have it look awful.

I've found my curls. And I adore them.  Here is a shot from just a few days after I started the Curly Girl method.

Who knew my hair could do ringlets???

And here I am today - after working in my classroom for 5 hours.  My curls still look great!
Please pardon the cheesy grin, my daughter insisted. :))
So what is the big secret? What's the trick?  Here's what I go by:
  • Shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo only once a week (possibly more often after chlorine pools or an extra sweaty day)
  • Conditioner and lots of it! Use some to "wash" the hair and scalp and rinse.  Then apply more and let it sit.  Rinse some of it (for me, especially from the scalp as it makes me itchy and flaky) but leave some in the ends of the hair.
  • Apply gel when hair is sopping, dripping wet.
  • Don't use a towel or a brush (although a brush or a comb is fine on wet hair if you are detangling.) To sop up water from my hair I use an old long-sleeved t-shirt wrapped around my head. (Think something like Aunt Jemima.)
  • Keep my hands OUT of my hair! No fussing with it as it dries or afterwards.  Sometimes the gel is a little crunchy so after it is dry I'll flip my head upside down and "scrunch" the curls.  But that's it!
There is an awesome YouTube channel run by Sarah (aka WaterLily716) that can answer all your questions.  Between the book, website, and YouTube, life as a curly girl has never been better!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Moving Day

Today is bittersweet for me. I'm excited to try something new but I really liked 4th graders.  So I leave you with some pictures of what my 4th grade room looked like for this past school year. *sigh* It certainly won't look like this next year!
Can I get away with this in 6th grade?
View from the door
Sign in/out, schedule, calendar
Behavior Star (6th grade rotates classes, no need for this. What do I do with the star???)
View from the window (near the star, above)
Cubbies - probably not doing bins, definitely not doing book boxes for 70+
I know some things will stay the same. But it is the things that are changing that make me sad. Like my beautiful star.  I love it! It's metal, so magnets stick, and I painted it nice, bright red, white and blue.

What would you do with that lovely star in your own classroom?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Library Lists: What I'm Reading Now

So my Shelfari is over in the right sidebar.  If you're into stuff like that, I highly recommend it.  I get such a kick out of reviewing and listing books I've read - not to mention stuff I'd like to read (if I can ever get my hands on it.)  Here are a few things I found (or finally got on hold!) last week at the library - I've hardly touched them!  For some reason (headaches much?) I've not read as much this week...

  • When Did I Get Like This by Amy Wilson - hilarious, this has been recommended by many online in recent days.  I'm enjoying it, but I have to read it in small doses - it makes me miss those baby days!
  • Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint by Christopher Witt - Since I'll be teaching 6th graders, I think I need to step away from my PPT addiction and develop my leadership/speaking skills.  I started this last night and it's kinda dry... not sure if I'll read the rest or just skim.
  • Nerds by David Anderegg, Ph.D. - Also started this last night.  Hard to describe, it is basically about nerds, geeks, why they get stereotyped, but why we need them in society. Interesting but also dry.
  • The Pioneer Woman - Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond - Next on the list to start, I read her chronicles online and of course we know how the story ends, but I'm interested to see how it got translated from blog to book.
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey - Not as "lol" as I thought it would be, I'm still enjoying reading about a strong woman who is making things work in as a professional and mother.
  • Maverick Mind by Cheri L. Florance - this is the story of a mother who is trying to keep it together with her 2 older kids and a son with strange behaviors. Slow at the beginning, it is getting better as I keep reading. I really want to know what his actual diagnosis ends up being - very interesting and makes me feel extra lucky as a parent.
I usually spend waaaaaaay too much time with trashy romance novels - escapism at its best.  I'm looking at doing a book challenge with my students in the fall and I want them to see that I'm reading a VARIETY of stuff.  And so I don't have to be embarrassed with all my "kissy books" (thanks to Katy for that.)

What are you reading?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up - 7/25

Saturday we cleaned.
Sunday we went to the pool.
Sunday night I stayed up until 2:30am after laying in bed all evening with a headache.
Amazingly I'm not a zombie right now!

That was our weekend.

Ok, ok, you know I can't leave it at that. (Although don't we want to sometimes?)  Instead, I've got a treat for you - I FINALLY got the camera out while we were at the pool. Here are some shots from yesterday, as storms were building up and thunder was rumbling.

What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

End of the Month Menu

Ahh, we are nearing the end of the month! For me it means posting for NaBloPoMo is almost over AND that it is almost time for our annual pilgrimage to the BEACH! This time next week, we'll be on the road and you'll be gifted with a scheduled post to finish out the month. Where did the time go? This month has flown by!

Here's our menu for this week:
Sunday - Pork Quesadillas (pork left-over from last night)
Monday - Pizza Cups
Tuesday - Gramma's Chicken (aka Hidden Valley Ranch chicken)
Wednesday - Hamburger Helper
Thursday - Fajitas
Friday - ?
Saturday ?-

On the activity plan for this week is nothing much - relaxing, pool, and moving me into my new classroom on Wednesday and Thursday.  I'm actually hoping I might get in on Tuesday to start packing things - we'll see!

As for today, we are off to the pool again. I'm going to get the family set up then I'm going to exercise.  I took Friday and Saturday off, so I need to get back in the habit.  I'm not sure what to do about exercising while at the beach next week.  Maybe just the hike to and from the beach will be enough. :)

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday AFTERnoon

Here you go! Proof that we cleaned up the house.  The girls were remarkably good about it too.  Everyone pitched in and helped out. No one got grumpy, pissy, or otherwise hard-to-deal-with. Successful day, all around!
Katy's Room After

She likes her corner, can you tell?

Yay! Clean living room! Maybe I'll actually spend time in here...

 You don't take your life in your hands in the library any more...
 Erin's Room After

She's likes her reading corner too, eh?

Saturday Morning - Before

Today is our semi-monthly "Big Clean" day.  Usually this results in me doing all the work and feeling pissy.  However, the girls decided they wanted their rooms rearranged - so they are fully involved.  Here are some before shots, so you can appreciate the after shots later. (Yes, my girls trash my house and I refuse to pick up after them hour-by-hour. Don't judge me.)

Library - Girls' computers, Katy's mess

Library, Girls' computers, different view
Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Erin's Room

Erin's Room

Katy's Room

Katy's Room
I'll be back later today with pictures of the finished products.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Moment: Katy Got the Camera...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
Inspired by Amanda at SouleMama