Sunday, May 31, 2009

They graduated :)

Congratulations to Peter and Julie, class of 2009!
I can hardly believe the youngest in our family are graduates of high school. I'm going to sound like a mom, but I remember the day they were both born. I remember diapers, crawling/walking, first days of school, elementary days and their first day of high school.
I also remember feeling old when this was me: the class of 2001! I've seen these two age and mature and they do seem old enough to be done. I'm proud of them and so happy they're at the point where they get to make the decisions about their future and what they're going to do.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

He's One!

This little guy is officially one today!

Tried to get a quick picture of these three...

These kids had fun at his party! Most of them are his cousins.

He had fun opening some presents (with a little help from mom and dad) at his party last night...

Including this: his first four-wheeler!!

It's OFFICIAL... over!! done!!! Finished!

My big news: I finished (survived!!) my first year of teaching!!! Today was the last day - the students took their exams, were dismissed at noon and I finished all of my grading at 1:30, cleaned up my classroom... and left! What a free-feeling ride home from work today!

I've dreamed about this day for a long time. Off and on since September if I'm being honest.

14 weeks off for this chica :)

I've spent the majority of my life over the past 9 months in this room and I closed the door today, not knowing when I'll open it again. Because I don't have to until, oh, about September 3rd or 4th. I cleaned up, took everything off the walls, shut down my computer...

And left :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What are your summer plans?

It's almost here, folks! For some of you lucky people I guess summer has already started (this past weekend?).

What are your plans for the next three months?
What sounds like fun?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

I learned how to ripstick on Saturday afternoon and became quite good at it by yesterday afternoon. I taught about ten other people how to do it including my mom :)

I was getting too confident, though, at one point yesterday and tried to do the opposite foot. welllll that didn't work out so well for me because I wiped out pretty bad and did a number on my elbow and got the wind knocked out of me. I really want to learn how to do jumps or something cool but now I'm a little nervous. Maybe next weekend.

Went camping yesterday for the night and we thoroughly enjoyed it. What a way to start the summer!! Messed around on the ripstick, biked, walked, played baseball, sidewalk chalk, bonfire, cooked over the fire, slept in the tent. Whew!! What a day!

Then today I did my first ever nine holes. As in GOLF! We ate delicious chicken-ka-bobs at Liz's parents' house and then she suggested we go golfing - her brother had some clubs we could use so we hit the course. The best I did was a double bogey. Twice.

Now I'm completely exhausted but this is the last week (exams!) so I'm not too worried.

Graduation was on Saturday morning and I have to say, it's a great way to say goodbye to those students. End on a happy note!

Happy Memorial Day to you all. I hope you had a chance to reflect and remember those you've lost and those who've died for all of us.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


There's a photography site that I frequent, and this particular photographer has been in Europe recently taking photographs... I think I've looked at her pictures from Istanbul three or four times and every time I do it makes me want to go on a trip and just take pictures. Wander around a cool city just for the purpose of taking photos. I'll never be on her level, but she sure is inspiring! Maybe with this summer-off-thing I'll get a chance to do it.

BTW 3 days of school, 1 full day of exams and 2 half days :) :) :)

30 years ago today

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sights around here yesterday

Peter and Julie are seniors this year so there have been a lot of "lasts" for our family this year. Yesterday was the last graduation party. Here's a little taste of it...

Thursday, May 14, 2009


My little sister, the one who is about to be a mommy to two little ones, is celebrating a birthday tomorrow!


Intensity, this summer

WHEW, that was quite a game! Wings 4, Ducks 3... It was so intense I could hardly stand it. Seriously. Next up, Blackhawks!!!

My students have been asking me how I made it through this year. The conversation continued, and they asked if I'm going in during the summer. Well I have all of these ideas about everything I'm going to get done in all that free time (3 months' worth!).

I can plan new projects, actually organize my room (I did it on the fly back in August and changed things as I needed to but I crave some REAL organization), clean the back room (there are papers from the early 90s in there and books from the early 70s), paint my room (maybe? it's dark blue right now), go through all of the books in my 4 bookshelves (I took over about 10 inches of space total - I can't wait to have more!!), clean out my desk (there are still some things in there from the previous teacher) [I can't believe I'm admitting all of this!], hang up some of my posters (yeah, lots of the walls are empty), etc...

But when it really comes down to it, I don't know how much time I'm going to spend in room 202. I might put a day's worth in each month. Or more. Or not worry about it until August. Or just when it rains. We'll see, and that's the great part about it. It's up to me and no one else :)

Kelly's in town! A year from now she'll be an EYE DOCTOR! I'm really proud of her and amazed that one of my good friends is going through school to be a doctor. and it's awesome when she comes to town because we get to reconnect, even when it's been three months, four months, six months. Doesn't matter!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's done :)

One of my countdowns ended today!! The Seniors are done... the Class of 2009.

Looking back at the past 8+ months, there were many, many days that I thought today would never come. I dreamed of this day, of just being d.o.n.e. with them. The Senior Honor Ceremony was today at 9:00 and afterwards the principal declared they were officially done with school. I took a deep breath and just enjoyed that moment (as much as them?!)... then had to get back to class to teach.

8 days of class, 1 full and 2 half exam days.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Dreaming of

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers/Friends Dinner

Heidi and I took our mom, Liz took hers, and Heather took hers out for dinner last night for Mother's Day.
Needless to say we had some laughs. Sometime during the course of dinner they all decided to plan the yard/outside of the house I'm going to buy. (nevermind I don't have one in mind yet.)
Here's a few things they decided on:
  • Liz knows of a rusted-out bed spring that would go great
  • My mom and Mary Ann said I should find a toilet and plant flowers in it...
  • A "Jesus Fountain" (You know those white ceramic tubs, cut in half, with a painting or statue of Jesus inside, sometimes with water flowing)
  • Liz knows how to put cars on blocks, and someone knew of 2 that people aren't using
  • White Formica
  • A few pink flamingos to brighten it up

I can't remember the rest.... we definitely had a few laughs coming up with this. It all came up because recently we found a house where you cannot see the grass because there's so much stuff... including a three-wheeler with a car seat attached, enough scrap wood to heat a small house in the winter, an "awning" that was attached to the house on one side and supported by some 55-gallon drums piled on top of each other on the other, you get the picture. So everyone came up with things they think would be fairly easy to find to "decorate" my yard with.

Thanks, ladies

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"I'm so sick of world history right now"

So said one of my tenth graders this lovely morning.
"I'm so sick of world history. Of history. I want to live my life in the present, not keep looking at HISTORY."

I'm learning what he meant when my principal said this is the most difficult part of the year. I got so frustrated at one of my classes today because I worked SO HARD to come up with a lesson design different than what I've been doing all year; something that'd be really interactive. I spent a few hours making that one lesson. and they just sat there with blank stares on their faces like I was speaking in a different language. and they don't want to work hard. and I never give them homework because I expect them to work hard in class. So when they don't work hard in class, that goes out the window. It's May. I don't want to have to start assigning homework.

I'm trying to do fun (or what they used to think was fun), interesting things..... but when it's 70 degrees outside, it's getting more and more difficult. Not that I'm complaining about the temperature... just the attitudes that go with it...
12.5 days of school, one full exam day, two half-days for exams. That's all. Shouldn't be that difficult, right?

Monday, May 4, 2009

64 years ago

This Friday it will be 64 years since the world celebrated V-E Day: the end of the war (WWII) in Europe! I don't know if I'll have a chance to post then so I wanted to do it while I'm remembering. Here are a few pictures of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. If you've never been there, I highly recommend going to pay tribute to the thousands who went and the thousands who never came home.

If you have a chance and know a WWII veteran that is still living, take a minute and say thank you!

I'd love to make it to some of the battle sites in Europe and especially to Iwo Jima in the Pacific. That's going to be a difficult one, though, because of its location.
One of my dreams....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Long day, it's worth it

I ran into my friend (and fellow blogger) Katie yesterday evening and gave her a hard time about updating her blog... I'm not one to talk, though, because I go through dry spells. So I figured I should at least do a little update.

Yesterday was the first wedding of the season for Liz and I got to be her assistant again. It's always fun when they start up again, and yesterday was no different. It was great to be able to capture Jen and Jeff's big day!

When I left school on Friday (early! 4:15) I was resigned to the fact that I'd have to go in at some point during the weekend to finish some things up. Since we photographed the wedding yesterday, Saturday was out, so it was going to be today. It's too nice out. It's May. There's a birthday party for Molly. The Wings play. The Tigers play. I'd like to enjoy this weather.
Executive decision: I'm not going in!
(I'm probably not going to be loving that decision tomorrow, but I'll figure something out.)

I dressed up like the 80s for school on Friday (bangs and everything!) and I have some really good stories.... That's another post for later, though.

I'm going to enjoy this beautiful (do I dare say it?) Spring day!

Friday, May 1, 2009