Saturday, January 30, 2010

The 100th Day of School

Friday, January 29th, was the 100th day of school for this year. The 100th day is one of the best days of any day in kindergarten or 1st far!!

The tradition in 1st grade (that I was able to participate in when I taught 1st grade) is that all the teachers and students dress up like they are 100 years old.
In kindergarten, we do a lot of counting to 100. We count 100 fruit loops to make necklaces, draw 100 pictures to make a headband, create a picture that uses 100 neon stickers, count out 100 snack pieces to mix together for a 100th day snack, and we read tons of 100th day books, among many other things!!

The kids LOVE it; it's almost better than Christmas, and we teachers love to see their excitement!! They are 100 days smarter!! :)

Hip, Hip Hooray for the 100th Day!!!

Making necklaces with fruit loops

K-02 friends are the cutest!

K-02 with all of our 100th day gear!!

Enjoying our 100th day lunch!

The best way to end the 100th day?? With a 100th day Snack made by K-02!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

God's Humor and What Really Matters :)

We all know that God is many great things, and one, is that he has a really good sense of humor.

Over a year ago, last December, Jonathan and I made a very big purchase as we got ready for our trip to Europe. After much research and discussion, we decided to buy a wide angle lens for our Rebel XTI. Prior to this, Jonathan had one that we were using, but it belonged to his firm, Neal Prince, and was mainly for work photography (although we made it work for most other types of photography as well).
This was a BIG, BIG purchase for us; considering the finances necessary for the actual trip, but one that we knew would pay itself 10 times over in the long run.

When June rolled around, we had a lot of different wedding festivities going on for my sister-in-law's upcoming nuptials, all of which required lots of picture taking. As a result, we were constantly charging batteries, switching lenses, taking the bag here and there, uploading pics to this computer and that one, and spreading our camera and accessories all over the place.

June 25, 2009, the night of the wedding rehearsal, our brand new, not cheap, wide angle lens purchase goes missing :(
If you've ever experienced this, you know that awful sick feeling you get when something so expensive is just gone. Like that. We have spent the past 7 months in turmoil over this, racking our brains, retracing every little move from that night, and praying for it to show up and not be lost forever.

As it should turn out, I was in Pelzer at my parents house last night in one of the upstairs bedrooms, my sister's old room, piddling in some drawers. There is an antique nightstand beside the bed that I happened to open, and as soon as I did, to what did my wandering eyes see inside, but a perfectly preserved wide angle lens safely secured in its case.
Oh man. I think I jumped clear out of my skin. I immediately ran to get my phone and call Jonathan to tell him the GREAT news.
At first he was so shocked I don't think he believed me, but once it sunk in, we could not help but laugh at ourselves. The whole situation from that night and why we put it in the nightstand instantly came back to us.

With that being said, as I went into my day today, it quickly progressed into "one of those" kind of days. Frankly, I think it's "that" time of year......which I am affectionately beginning to call the "wintry blues." And as I had some time to reflect at the end of the school day, it occurred to me what a terrible wife I have been lately in terms of my time given to my husband, and not just time spent, but time listened and time attended. So I decided that I would leave school as soon as I could, come straight home, do nothing school related, house keeping related, errand related.....just Jonathan related :)

Among other things, we decided to do something during our evening together that we had wanted to do over Christmas break, but did not have the wide angle lens to do so with. So we did just that. We grabbed all the camera gear, hopped in the car, and drove to campus to get some late afternoon/early evening shots of Tillman. Oh, I love Tillman. We took turns taking shots, and being that Jonathan is a WAY better, more talented photographer than I am (especially in the architectural aspect), he took the time to show me some different things that I could do.
We had a great time, and I couldn't stop giggling because I looked pretty silly in some of the positions I had to take while getting some shots from the ground. He of course just stood above, directing me, while students were all over, walking the campus, staring. I'm sure they were thinking we were crazy :)

Getting some interesting shots......

.........and the result!!!

It's been a good past 24 hours on the home front. I love how God doesn't hesitate to put humor in the way He works in our lives and getting to spend any amount of time with my husband is always precious. I am so glad I was reminded today of what (who) really matters and means the most to me in this world!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Barrier Islands

As most of you know, I was given the great opportunity of heading down to the Barrier Islands with our 5th graders this past week as a chaperone. We left on Monday morning, bright and early at 6AM, and returned on Wednesday evening, around 6:30PM. I do not have a whole lot of experience with 5th graders, but as it should turn out, they're just the same ole' kids you had in 1st grade, only bigger and with a more extensive vocabulary!! 

This group was especially special to me because, it included the students that I student taught in my first experience at Calhoun (and they are some of the greatest, sweetest students I have come to teach yet!). I was so excited at the thought of getting to hang out with them for a couple of days and reconnect. 

I really liked the way the trip was scheduled because for each part, I was with a different group of students which allowed me the opportunity to get to know more of them. I had a group that I was with in my cabin (Osprey A, what what!!!! YEAH!!), a group for meals (TABLE 6, YEAH!!), and a field group that I led with another teacher for all of our activities. The meals were unbelievable, the camp staff really enjoyed our kids, and the field activities were a lot of fun (especially the mud pit.....the kids LOVE the mud pit). 

I know the kids had a great time, but it was an awesome experience for me as well. I am so thankful to have been able to go, and hope to attend again in the future!! :) 

Osprey A and B girls outside of our cabin.

Some of my AWESOME girls from table 6!!

The kids in the MUD PIT!!!   

Our group on the beach, after the mud pit :) With black eyes.

Team building time, working together.   

Cabin Osprey A on the beach!! 

The beach in the afternoon sun :) 

Barrier Islands 2010, what a trip!!! :) 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spiller the Great.

I'm sure if you're not part of the elite, us TIGER fans, you're tired of hearing about the "GREAT CJ Spiller."

Well......get used to it.
Because this kid is going places and quite frankly, he's going to do great things. You're going to see a lot of him. He's one of the best players to ever play in Death Valley. Even if you're not a TIGER, you'd be crazy to deny that he's one of the greatest players of our time, and possibly, the greatest player in college football this season (despite what any Heisman vote said).

I say all of this to say that I just felt like CJ deserved a "shot-out" on my blog. 
He had some incredible moments during his career, broke lots of records and created some new ones, took us to victory and got us the W many times, and more than anything, he was a *TEAM* player with a heart of gold. He always contributed his success to the team and the fans. He was always humble, and he gave credit to the One who deserved all the glory. 

CJ, you will forever be #28 in TIGER hearts, everywhere. 

"Because I love Clemson too much. I've told them you'd have to literally shoot me to get me off the field!" -CJ Spiller in his post-game interview after winning the 2009 Music City Bowl. 

We love you CJ!!! 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Will it come??

Will it show up?? 
Those little white flakes that we long for so?? 
Only time and temperature will tell. 

Now, I know there was a big snow for you folks here in the states last winter, but I was in about 3 times as much snow in Europe and come the end of winter there, I had had my fill for the time being. 

But, the last time it snowed in the states for me was almost exactly two years ago, in the winter of 2008, January 16th to be exact. I was not yet a married woman, living at home in Pelzer with my parents, teaching 1st grade at the 'houn

I remember the "talk" that went on all day prior to the falling of the white powder, and how anxious I was for it to come. I remember chiming in with my teacher friends, "Yeah, I agree.....let's hope for just that 2 hour delay so we're not making up the snow day when it's warm and sunny come June....." but secretly, I hoped the snow would fall for an entire snow day. That evening I kept my eye on the TV and repeatedly asked my parents (like one of my students), "do ya'll think it's gonna happen??" 
Well, about 10:00PM that night, it came. I went nuts. I just happened to be on Facebook with two of my dearest friends, JTurner and sweet Mere, when it all went down (literally). We then began what turned into a 2 hour or so constant messaging of giddiness and excitement over the beautiful snow. It was pretty much like we were having an all out giggling, all girls slumber/snow party together, just over the computer. We also all 3 simultaneously took pictures of the snow, and posted them on Facebook for each other to see. 
It was one of the best snow "nights" EVER. Period. 

I wonder what this snow will bring?? Another giddy, giggling girl fest with some of my favorite friends?? Will it even come???
I guess only time and temperature will tell :) 

Pictures from our 2008 Snow Adventures!! 
(I could not get access to JTurner's pics, but they were the ones that inspired them all!!) 

The snow in Pelzer.

Letting the snow fall on my face!! 

The snow at Meredith's apartment in Anderson.

Meredith enjoying the snow!!! 

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Is it time?? REALLY??? Time to head back to work ALREADY?!??!
Oh man.

Time to get back to the ole' grind, back to reality.
Do not get me wrong; I LOVE my job, I am very thankful to have it considering our economic times, and I have missed my sweet babies like crazy......but this has been the most relaxing, fun break ever. I have really enjoyed every last minute of it, to the fullest!!

Christmas 2009 :)

Last year, Jonathan and I really didn't have the opportunity to experience our "first" Christmas as a married couple as it should be; we weren't "settled" anywhere, and spent most of the break stressing/preparing for our trip to Italy. It was a good Christmas, just busy, busy, busy. 
And it was a lot of work, and we just weren't able to truly enjoy the holidays.

Christmas 2008 :) 

And it also still really blows my mind that this time last year, we were a mere 3 days from beginning the European journey of a liftetime!! Such wonderful memories :)

Genoa, Spring Semester 2009 

We spent all day today taking down EVERYTHING and cleaning from top to bottom. Now, I had intended on doing this LONG before today, so that I could fully enjoy my last day of break. Of course, that didn't happen. I did manage to spend one day this past week doing some laundry/mild cleaning, but ended up being completely lazy the rest of the week. And of course, on my last day, I would be consumed with a migraine most of the day (which if you know anything about migraines, they pretty much enable you from getting anything done).
And with that being said, I have to say that I am incredibly thankful for a husband who helps out around the house so much. I could NOT have gotten everything on my list accomplished without him today. He worked so hard and football was on ALL day!!
We still have some major bathroom cleaning to get done, but for the most part, we were little cleaning fairies today!!

So the Christmas cleaning begins. Oh my.

I am just so thankful for the opportunities we were given to spend with each other, family, and friends this holiday season. We took full advantage of every day we had. We ate good (I have GOT to jump in full speed with my workout schedule first thing tomorrow), did a lot of fun things (including house/dog sitting for President Barker....I just can't let that one go yet), and got some amazing, very much needed gifts.

I guess all those joys are what makes it SO hard to go back to work. Tomorrow will be unbelievably hard, and I will probably be beyond exhausted when I finally get home, but, there's nothing like getting back into the routine!! Once I do, hopefully life won't be too hard ;)

Good luck to all my fellow teachers out there.....we WILL survive!!!
......And if you need motivation, spring break is just 64 or so days away!! Hehe ;)