Monday, October 8, 2012

Two Weeks

For as long as I've been teaching, we've had a two day fall break in mid-October.  This year, we've done things a bit differently.  We started school earlier in the summer which was...difficult.  But today I feel completely fine with that decision as we have just started our first day of a two week fall break!  Two weeks off smack dab in the middle of my favorite time of year. 

It's so nice having time off when it's beautiful outside...when it's cool enough to enjoy it.  When it's so beautiful that just being outside and enjoying all the colors of fall is activity enough. 

Today we're going to get pumpkins and gourds.  I hope to try my hand at a little Pinterest-pumpkin decorating with glitter and spray paint.  Tomorrow will be a day spent with my sister and her babies.  Wednesday is a kid-free day with a hair appointment, Ikea, Jungle Jim's and Charming Charlie's.  Thursday will bring us to an indoor water park.  Friday will be a day to rest and stay in jammies.  Ahhh.

And the fact that after all that we still have another whole week off?  Amazing.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back at It

Let's count how many blog posts I wrote over summer break, shall we?

That's right.  Zero.

And guess what?  I go back to school tomorrow.

Le sigh.

We had a fantastic, albeit, short summer. 

We went to Chicago,

had lots of play dates with my sister and her two babes,

went to Holiday World,

visited the Indianapolis Zoo,

went to our first baseball game,

 and spent lots of time in the pool trying to beat the heat!

And while I am not looking forward to getting up at 5 AM, grading papers, packing lunches, managing evening homework, or wearing a bra every day....I am kinda-sorta looking forward to going back. 

I am looking forward to getting back into a routine with a schedule.  I am excited about a quiet drive by myself to and from school.  And...well, that's all I can think of right now.  Heh.

The kids started school last week.  Here are the 3rd and 1st graders, respectively.  I know she's taller than him.  He knows it too.  But we don't talk about it. ;)

That's what's going on around here.  Are your kids back to school yet?  Do you wish they were?  Do you want to go back to school for me?  Please?

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Break, Days 3 &4

Day 3 of Spring Break was another beautiful 85 degrees and sunny! Cole had spent the night with grandma and grandpa so it was just the Little Miss and I for the morning. We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel (apple cider-YUM!) We also went to Target and Starbucks.

Then we went to grandma and grandpa's house to watch Cole do a little fishing.

The Little Miss even caught a fish (with a lot of help!)

Day 4 of Spring got it! 83 degrees and sunny! A girl could definitely get used to this beautiful weather.

We spent the day with my sister and her babes at a children's science museum. The kids had a blast playing together.

On the way home, we stopped and played on the playground at my school for awhile.

Cole got to spend the evening chisel plowing late into the night. His favorite thing to do!

I can't believe Spring Break is almost over! It's definitely been an awesome week off! Let the countdown to summer begin!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

John Deere Parts Coupon Code

Need parts for your John Deere? Green Farm Parts is having a 10% off sale on all parts now through this Sunday, March 25. They have parts for all your favorite John Deere machines including lawn mowers, Gators, garden tractors, and more. Just enter coupon code MIDWEST when you check out.

Happy shopping!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Break, Days 1 & 2

I'm on Spring Break,baby! Those are quite possibly 2 of the most wonderful words a teacher can hear. You think your kids are happy to be out of school for a week? I guarantee your teacher is 10X that excited. Or maybe it's just me. Heh.

We are breaking all kinds of records with the heat this week and it has been downright a.m.a.z.i.n.g. I just looked through my Spring Break posts from the past 2 years. Last year's first day of break was 33 degrees. 2 years ago, the average temperature was 55 degrees. This year? 80s!! Unheard of! All those midwestern folks who went to Florida don't know what they're missing up here. It was warmer here than in Orlando on Monday! HA!

On Monday, the kids and I drove to the Children's Museum with my mom, where we met my sister and her 2 babes. We spent the day there watching the kids have a wonderful time. Cole loved the new Lego exhibit and the Little Miss was super excited to see the Barbie exhibit was still there. And apparently the beautiful weather kept everyone outside because we practically had the place to ourselves! It was awesome!

Yesterday, the kids and I drove with my mom to a local state park, where we met my sister and the babes again! We had lunch at the lodge and then spent the afternoon in the indoor water park. The kids loved it! They had a huge twisty water slide, a large pool area, and a lazy river. They also had a shallow play area for the little kids. So fun. We were exhausted when we got home. We will definitely be going back!

Cole spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's last night for the first time! The Little Miss thought she was going to stay. We packed for her to stay. But when she was in the guest bed, trying it out, and I went to the bathroom, she lost her mind thinking I had left. She was already crying, calling for me, and wishing she had gotten a hug before I left. Um, I was in the bathroom!!! Jeesh. Needless to say, she did not stay. Heh. Maybe this summer.

On today's agenda? Enjoying a quiet breakfast with just me and the Little Miss. Soaking up more of this beautiful 84 degree sunshine. Watching other people fish while I sit on a lawn chair sipping on a cold beverage.

Ahhh. Spring Break. This is the life.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

DSLR for Dummies, Lesson 1-Shutter Speed

My husband gave me a Canon Rebel T2i for Christmas. I LOVE it. Love. I read the instruction manual 3 times, cover to cover. Well, I skipped the French and Spanish sections. I have played around with different settings, trying to learn as I go.

I have a LOT to learn.

There's no denying it takes beautiful pictures on the automatic setting, but I am determined to learn more about the manual settings. So far, I can only change one thing at a time. I don't know NEAR enough to try to set everything manually and still manage to take a decent picture.

I practiced with shutter speed the other day when the Little Miss was blowing bubbles. I moved my dial to TV and adjusted the knob to different speeds. I let the camera choose the light and AV and all that other stuff that I really don't know anything about.

With a low number (like 1/60), I was able to capture the movement in the picture so that the bubbles look blurry.

With a slightly higher number (1/200), the bubbles appear more clear but they still look like they are moving.

With a very high number (1/1000), the camera shoots so quickly that it "freezes" the movement, so the bubbles appear clear. This picture is a bit darker and I think that's because the shutter speed was so fast, it didn't let as much as light in. Or I could be completely wrong. Because I have no idea what I'm doing here.

I am pleased with how the pictures turned out. Other than a quick "auto fix" on my regular computer program, I didn't edit them. I plan to print a few out to see how clear they are and if there's a difference in the quality between the low and high shutter speeds.

I'm learning.

Baby steps.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Some Things You Should Know

1. See the Pin It button at the bottom of this post? Best.thing.ever. If you see something from this blog that you want to pin, just click that button. It will bring up pictures from recent posts. Choose the one you want to pin and it automatically brings up a pop-up window. From there you choose which board to pin it to and give it a caption. So easy. I think every website and blog out there should have this button! If you want an easy tutorial on how to add it to your blog, just click here.

2. Remember that iPod touch the Little Miss got for Christmas? Well, she had it for a total of 13 days. On the 13th day, she brought her little sparkly purse full of change in to the grocery store. And without my knowing, her iPod was in the purse as well. The purse must have fallen into the side of the front of the cart, because when we got home, we realized we hadn't brought it with us. We went right back to the grocery store and it was already gone. Who doesn't turn in a sparkly little girl's purse? Bastards, that's who.

3. We haven't had any freaking snow yet this winter. I live in a state that typically gets at least 20 inches of snow a year. This year? Nothing. I haven't had one single delay or snow day. At least one or two snow days would be nice. That's one of the unique things about being a teacher, you never know what your day may look like in the winter. It's always exciting to wake up and wonder if you'll have a delay or better yet...get an unexpected day off. But this year, it's been the same old dreary 40 degree days. Blah.

4. I turned 35 this month. 35 feels much like 34. But I do distinctly remember being in my early 20s and thinking just how old 35 sounded. Turns out I was wrong. 35 is very young.

5. The Little Miss and I went to our first Disney on Ice show last weekend! It was amazing! I think I may have loved it even more than she did! It was the Dare to Dream show with stories from The Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Tangled. At the end of the show, they brought out ALL of the princesses! It was beautiful and wonderful. The Tangled show had a lot of trapeze/flying through the air stunts. Very, very cool.

6. While at the Disney on Ice show, we bought a bottled water. (Among many other things.) The guy at the counter said he had to take the lid from me. Apparently, ever since the ugly Ron Artest incident in which drunken idiots were throwing cups and bottles onto the court, they don't allow them anymore. I'm pretty sure a plastic lid the size of a nickel was not the problem. Nor do I think the Disney on Ice crowd would be throwing lids onto the ice at Mickey Mouse! But hey, who am I to argue with the concession stand worker?

7. We are well past the 100th day of school and to that I say, HALLELUJAH. This has been such a challenging year. I am so ready for a break!

8. For those of you considering buying a Kindle Fire, I say DO IT. I love mine oh so much. But, I have to admit, I rarely use it to read. It is very heavy and I do the bulk of my reading in the evenings in bed. I have kept my old Kindle for reading. Oh, and I just got a case for the old Kindle (it won't fit the new Fire) but it was only $1.21. It had been $33.99! Even with shipping, it was less than $7.00. Here's the link!

9. And finally, a request. My sister had a local photographer take baby pics when baby #2 was born. This picture is one of the finalists in a portrait photo contest the photographer is sponsoring.

If you have 2 seconds to spare, please go to the photographer's blog and vote for picture #3 of my sweet baby nieces. Spanks.

That's it for this FINALLY SUNNY Saturday morning! Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back at it

I went back to work today.

I missed many things like...

my Kindle Fire.

Facebook and Pinterest.

staying in my pajamas.

sleeping in past 5 a.m.

going anywhere I wanted, when I wanted.

playing games with the kids.

not thinking about lesson plans.


What I didn't miss was seeing students today. I had the entire day to work in my classroom without the 30 distractions.

Tomorrow? Will be a different story.

But I keep reminding myself...the sooner we get back at it, the sooner the year will be over.

I hope.

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