Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Wearing?

Listening to:

Gone by Michael Grant One minute everyone is there then suddenly some are gone.  Those left are trying to figure out what happened to those who are gone.


Born In Fire by Nora Roberts  I wanted to read this book because it's set in Ireland.  An artist signed with a business man who will make her rich though that's not why she signs with him. Passion ignites between them!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Five for Friday

1.  I just completed my first week as the lead librarian for the elementary librarians.  Ah!

2.  We had a girls' night last night.  Much! Needed!

3.  Reagan and I are headed to Tyler today to visit the in-laws.

4.  I didn't get to swim this week cuz the neighborhood pool turned green.  Yuck.

5.  I can't wait to eat Andy's Frozen Custard while in Tyler! Yummy!

Girl's Nite

My Nac girls and I are having a much needed girls' nite tonight.  I'm not sure I've ever written "girls' nite" without writing "much needed" before it. Ha!

We are celebrating one of their birthdays.  Two of them have birthdays back to back.  Some times we celebrate their birthdays together and some times separate.

I prefer separate.  Cuz then we have an excuse to go out twice! Ha!

We'll eat dinner then head to Starbucks for coffee and dessert.  Come on night time!

Five For Friday

1.  I had migraine two days this week.  Fun times.

2.  I decided to go to Houston a day earlier than planned cuz I just need out of this town.

3.  My parents, Reagan and I are going to the Monument Inn tomorrow.  I don't think I've ever been.  Maybe as a kid???  I can't remember.  My parents have taken Reagan a lot.  When she was little she told them she wanted to go feed the "eagles."  It took my parents hours to figure out she meant "seagulls" not "eagles" and wanted to go to the Monument Inn.  Ha!

4.  I'm using my new luggage, the one I'm taking to Ireland.  I'm practicing packing it.  I like my other luggage better but it was too wide by 3/4 inches.  I didn't want to run the risk of having to check it so I bought a new one.

5.  Yesterday I bought a pair of palazzo pants.  When the lady checking me out asked if I bought them for a reason (I thought it was a weird question but I think she was just making conversations) I told her yes that I had tried them on a month ago but didn't buy them.  I've been thinking about them the whole month and decided if they still had them I'd buy them.  She laughed and I got a new pair of pants.

Last Full Week of Summer

This is my last full week of summer.  Next week I have 4 days of professional development.  The week after that I have one day of training then I'm back to work on Thursday.

After teaching summer school all June, I really tried to cram in all my summer fun in in the month of July.  I think I did a pretty good job.

I don't have that "I'm ready to get back into a routine" feeling I usually have at the end of summer. I'm sure that's because I worked all of June and have only enjoyed a summer-lack-of-routine for 4 weeks.

I am ready to see the students.  To see how much they've changed and grown over the summer. Though honestly, I'm not ready to go back. At. All.

I had one meeting and left with a headache that turned into a migraine by night time and lasted until 10:00ish the next morning.  It came back that night and lasted again until the next morning.  So yeah.  I'm not looking forward to the stress or what it does to my body.  Fun times.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's a rainy Monday here in East Texas.  It was cozy to wake up this morning to the sound of thunder and rain hitting the roof.  All I could think about was coffee, a couch, and a good book.  What are you reading on this rainy day?

Thanks to Audiobook Sync I listened too:

Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall:  Sugar lives in a dysfunctional house with her bed ridden obese mother and her obese middle brother.  Her mother and her brother are both verbally and physically abusive.  Her oldest brother escaped their house and has lost all his weight and changed his behaviors. Through an unlikely friendship and the with the help of her oldest brother Sugar starts to make changes in her life.

The Dorito Effect: the Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker  I have a love/hate relationship with books like this.  I prefer to be blissfully unaware about the food I'm shoving in my mouth.  Yet books like this insist on informing me about nastiness of today's food. This book makes me want to start a garden and raise my own animals for slaughter.  Then I remember I'm a city girl and thought of getting my hands dirty in soil and with gross animals reminds me I'm just going to have to be ok with eating all the yucky things this book tells me about.  Sigh

I've started a couple of different books set in Ireland (for my Ireland trip) but have had a hard time getting into them so I've set them aside.  I started Nora Roberts series Born in Fire.  I'm not very far into the book yet but I think I might actually finish this one.  Can you recommend any books set in Ireland?  Preferably not a historical fiction.

Manic Mommies Reunion Podcast

Back when I was a stay at home mommy, in 2005 I found a podcast called Manic Mommies.

If memory serves me well (and it never really does) I had a Palm Pilot back then.  I would have to download the podcast from my laptop onto a sims card, insert it into the Palm Pilot then search through all my music until I could find The Manic Mommies podcast.  It wasn't as easy as it is now to download a podcast!

Although they were working mommies and I was a stay at home mommy, we were still mommies. We still had the same worries, the same concerns, the same joys, and the same love.  Their two oldest sons are the same age as Reagan.

I loved listening to them.  I loved knowing I wasn't alone.  And when I started working part time then three years later full time they were still there for me.  Our similarities grew.

Back in 2014 they released their last episode.  It was a sad day for me.  I had spent 9 years listening to these mommies.  Spent 9 years listening to their laughter, to their complaints, to their wins and their losses.  They were a small part of my life.

After raising money for a cancer institution they reunited for an episode.  They did this in 2016 also. Somehow I missed that episode.  So last week I downloaded both the 2016 and 2017 reunion episodes.

Their voices took me back.  Took me back to the good old days.  I listened to them back when we still lived in Houston.  When I was still a stay at home mommy.  When I still worked for a district I grew up in and loved.  When I lived 35-45 minutes from my best friend.  When I lived 15 minutes from my parents and in the same city as the rest of my family.  To a time I was happy about everything in my life.

And I started crying.  I cried for the good old days.  Cried because I missed them.  Cried because it was nice to hear that they still have the same child raising issues I have.  Cried because it was just good to hear their voices.

And then I decided to stop crying and enjoy the moment.

I do wish I hadn't listened to both episodes back to back while I cleaned my house.  I wish I had savored them and listened to one later.  But honestly I couldn't help myself.  I just had to listen to both.

Now I'm waiting for the 2018 reunion!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Reagan had two friends from school over this week to watch as many Star Wars movies as they could before they had to leave.

One was a BOY!  Eeeeeeee!!!!!  He is the 1st boy in our house that's not a family friend.  Ahhhhh!!!!

Reagan might not feel this is a milestone but boy (pun intended!) do I.  It's a different responsibility. With all girl friends over I just have to make sure they don't do anything too stupid.  But with a boy here.  I feel like I need to make surprise appearances ever so often.

I also giggled a little.  When the girl's mom dropped her off she came in.  We shook our heads over the fact that a boy was going to be here too and wondered where the time of all girls went.  She made sure I was staying at the house the entire time.  When the dad drop off his son, he didn't come in or ask to talk with me.  I just happened to walk the other mom out and catch the dad driving off.  He rolled down his window and we talked for a minute.  Boy dads verses girl moms.  Ha!

We bought each of their favorite candies, got their favorite drinks, picked up popcorn from the local movie theatre (cuz it just tastes better), ordered pizza, rolls and salads.

I got my bathroom cleaned, clothes washed, blogging done, and a book read... in between surprise appearances.  Ha!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wordless Wednesday-MahJongg Weekend

After playing MahJongg we had to eat at my favorite custard place,
Andy's Frozen Custard!

Reading Other People's Blogs

Since I didn't keep up with my blog in June it also means that I didn't participate in the Tuesday's Slice of Life put on by Two Writing Teachers.  Which means I wasn't reading other people's blogs either.

I'm back at daily blogging.  Back to posting my Tuesday Slice.  And back to reading other people's blogs.

I knew I missed blogging.  Missed putting my thoughts into black and white words.  Missed writing about my life, the books I read, taking pictures of the little things in my life and sharing.

What I didn't realize is how much I missed reading other people's blogs.

I have a ton of blogs I follow in my Feedly but their not real people.  I mean, they ARE real people but they aren't the teacher with a little blog they keep up with for themselves.  They are professional bloggers.  They do blog about their life but they also blog advertisements and stuff for money.

I missed the... I don't know what word to use here... amateur (maybe) blogger.

I like reading about the little things.  Like the teacher blogger who was moving states, changing from a suburban, financially fluent school to an urban school with no money.  Or the mom blogger who found some journals from her childhood who took some time to read through them and remember her old self.

I missed those simple things.  I didn't expect that.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I listened to The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner (Children's Circle Stories #2) by Terry Pratchett.  It's a series of funny short stories ranging from a terrible toothache to a time-traveling television.  I'm not a huge fan of short stories.  Just as I really get into a story... it's over... cuz it's a short story. Ha!

I also listened to My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson.  This book is a work of fiction loosely based on a true story about Indians and Eskimos going to a Catholic school in Alaska.  They had to learn the Catholic ways, there were many lessons learned mostly negative. The students were taken from their families.  Many of the students didn't have the means to go home frequently so only went in the summer.  The culture and lifestyle the children were accustomed too was ripped out of them to learn how to be "normal" children.

I also finished listening to American Night:  The Ballard of Juan Jose by Richard Montoya.  In a nightmare of sorts, a Mexican immigrant meets Sacagawea, the KKK, Teddy Roosevelt and many other historical figures in this satire.

I'm still reading Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter.  Bob Lee was one of the best snipers in the Marines until he was shot.  Years after getting out of the service Bob Lee is approached by military men to test shoot their new bullets.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

MahJongg Weekend

Today starts our Girl's MahJongg Weekend!  Lara, Marcie, Janet and I look forward to this weekend all year long.

We play in the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County MahJongg for Memory.  We buy a table and play all morning and afternoon.  We drink coffee, have great conversations, laugh and play MahJongg.

A couple of years ago we decided to stay the night and do some shopping.  Ever since that year we've stayed the weekend and shopped for two days and eat at restaurants that we don't have in our town.

It's nice to get away and get with friends, play games, shop, and eat good food!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Jay's happy place: a baby in his arms and her toddler sister
laying on his legs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ireland Proposal... ACCEPTED!

Back in February I partnered with an education professor from the local college.  She asked me to demo my (Half) Hour of Code to her future teachers.  You can read about it here.

Then she came back and asked if I'd go with her to a conference in Ireland and present what we did together if the proposal was accepted.  You can read about it here.

Y'all!!!!!   The proposal was accepted!  I am so unbelievably excited I don't even have words to express it!

As a family we decided not to take a vacation this summer so that my family could go with me.  So all the money we saved for vacation will go to Ireland.  I taught summer school to add to our Ireland fund.  My husband is preaching in some extra gospel meetings and I'm attending some professional developments that pay me, all that money is going to Ireland.  So I have about 2/3 of the money saved.

Unfortunately my district will not pay for an international conference.  All the grants I've found online had June 1, 2017 deadlines.  I've contacted some of the venders I spend quite a bit of money with to see if they sponsor teachers to attended professional developments.  One does not and I haven't heard back from the other 3 yet.

So I started a Go Fund Me. I'm hoping to raise money for the conference, my part of the hotel for 4 days and my flight to Ireland.  If you are able I would GREATLY appreciate your help!  I would also appreciate my link being shared with others over social media, email, etc.

This is an amazing opportunity for me to showcase my library and to learn from international educators!

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Y'all.  Y'all I listened to the longest audiobook ever.  Ever.  Known.  To.  Man.  Ok, not really but it felt like it.  As part of the Audiobook Sync 16 weeks of free audiobooks I downloaded The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff two weeks ago.  I just finished it this morning.  I was super excited to listen to this book because I'm fascinated by the Salem Witch Trails.  We went to Salem for a day a couple of summers ago while we were in Boston for our family vacation.  It's such a fun little town. We visited the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, walked around town, visited shops and the Bewitched statue and ate lunch.  So I wanted to listen to the audiobook and add to my knowledge of the Salem Witch Trials.  But sweet biscuits, it was long!  It also felt choppy.  It jumped around from person to person.  It was hard to keep up with.  When I went to rate it on Goodreads I saw that it averaged 3 stars so I didn't feel to bad about giving it 3 stars too.

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes is nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award.  I wanted to read this book because 9/11 is the first event that happened when I was an adult that I truly understand the implications of such an attack.  It was a powerful book for me.  I understand what 9/11 did to us as a country.  I can sympathize with the 1st responders.  But I had never thought about the effect of the attack on the people working inside the Twin Towers.  As I type that I realize that sounds ridiculous.  I mean why wouldn't I think about the after effects for those people?  Some how I didn't though.  This fiction book did that for me though.  It showed me how even 15 years later this tragedy still effects people in awful ways.  And not just the people that experienced it but even their families who have to deal with the depression, illnesses, etc of their loved ones.

I started Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter after watching the Netflix series "Shooter."  I didn't realize "Shooter" was based on a book until the 2nd to last episode.  So after watching the series I put the eBook on hold.  I'm 17% of the way through the book (according to my Kindle).  I'm glad I watched the series first.  There's a lot of military lingo and info on guns that I think would of bogged my mind down if I didn't have a bit of background knowledge already.