Sunday, August 30, 2009

Current Likes

Thanks for the tips in the last post! I'm too exhausted from our trip to try to make my blog 3 columns now but hopefully I will get to it this week!

Hubs had a big softball tournament this week so we all went down and camped by the field for the weekend. We took a camper so it was much more comfortable than tent camping! I didn't take any pictures but we had a fun time. We are heading down to VA Beach for another tournament in 2 weeks. I can't wait to be back at the beach. Even though I'm ready for fall I still want to get in one last beach excursion.

It's been awhile since I've posted a list of my current favorite things so here they are:

1. Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights. SOOO Delish. They are finally out again so I bought two boxes for our camping trip!
2. Carmel Lattes. Yum.
3. Mountain views. I love living in the country. The views are incredible.
4. Turning off the AC and opening the windows. I'm so glad it's finally cooling down. I have all of the windows in the house open and the fresh air smells so good!
5. Fresh veggies straight from the garden. Our neighbor has tons and tons of tomato plants so hubs and I have an endless supply of fresh tomatoes for salads and pastas. =)
6. Sitting out on the deck in the afternoon watching the sun go down and enjoying a glass of wine.
7. Going for rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Another perk of living in the beautiful mountains.
8. My golden retriever puppy, Piper. She is sooooooooooo sweet.

That's all for now! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Help needed!

As you can see I am giving my blog and make-over and I need some assistance. I'm hoping someone could tell me how to get a three column template because the blogspot ones are only 2 columns.... and I'm hoping someone can tell me where they got their cute tags that say "friends" "followers" "about me" etc. Ideas? :) Thanks friends!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking Forward to Fall

Well I am still working on my blog make over. I can't seem to find satisfaction in anything I put up! I am too hard to please. I'll keep working on it when I have time. Second grade has been busy this week. I come home so tired every afternoon. I guess it will take awhile for my body to adjust to this new schedule. Hubs teaches in a different school district than I do and their first official day of school was yesterday (ours was last Tuesday). He doesn't seem to be as tired as I am... I guess PE teachers have it easier! =)

We've got a few trips coming up... Friday we are taking the camper and going to camp at a softball tournament for two nights.(Sidenote: for those of you that don't know, my husband plays on a competitive travel softball team, ie. washed up former high school or college baseball players who think they are superstars because they can hit a slow pitch softball miss playing). I may only make it one night because I need my beauty sleep and have lots to do at home. Two or three weeks after that we are going to down to VA Beach for a softball tournament. Hopefully we will stay in the same hotel that hubs and I stayed in this summer. It was right by the beach! I can't wait to enjoy the sunrise with my coffee in hand! Lately God has really opened my eyes to the beautiful world that He has created. I mentioned that the other day I was very frustrated and I turned around and there was a full rainbow in the sky... It was awesome and it made me snap out of my bad mood. After that I started to notice the beautiful mountain views that surround our house and my school, views I see every day but take for granted. The weather has also added to it... it's been cooler and a lot less humid... fall weather is right around the corner! Bring on the pumpkin spiced lattes and scarves!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Work in Progress

My blog make-over is a work in progress but what do you think so far? : )

Today's weather was beautiful! It was cool outside... I actually shivered when I took my kids out for recess! Bring on fall!!! I'm so excited for fall, I can't wait until the leaves start changing.... one of the many perks of living in the mountains. I've had a great Monday and am in a very good mood this afternoon. I'm about to go soak in a bubble bath with a magazine and a glass of wine. Perfect ending to a beautiful day!

Fall teaser:

Blog Make Over!

I will be changing my blog this week thanks to Scrap Blog! Keep checking back for the updates! :)

Weekend Recap

This weekend flew by! I can't believe it's Monday already. I don't have much time to write this blog so I'll give you a quick update... The first week of school went really well. I have a really great group of 2nd graders. The lesson planning is overwhelming, especially as a new teacher because I don't have the resources the other teachers have (ie. files and files full of lessons). So I have been working really hard on being prepared. I spent a good 6 hours in my classroom this weekend, rearranging desks, putting down a new rug, bringing in my rocking chair, filling my bookshelf. My room looks great but I still have a lot that I want to do. I'll be busy this week for sure! In the midst of all of the chaos that is my life right now, God is constantly reminding me how small I am and how big He is. On Friday I was very frustrated and after I loaded my rocking chair in the SUV I turned around and saw a full rainbow!! It was beautiful. After that I began noticing the amazing views of the mountains that I have and take for granted every day! So instead of stressing this week I am going to try to have a really positive attitude and to take more time to appreciate the beautiful things all around!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I survived!

I should have posted a blog after the first day of school but I was so exhausted that I couldn't muster up the energy to do anything. I can barely type now. The first day of school went really well! Thanks for all of your prayers and messages! I had so many people call/text/leave messages online... it was wonderful to feel supported! We had a great first day. I have 18 kids in my classroom (it was 19 but one moved away). The first day was a blur... handing out paper work for the students' parents for fill out, learning names, touring our classroom, going through school supplies, etc. Day two (today) was really good as well. The kids are great. I have enjoyed myself so far... still overwhelmed with lesson planning but I'm just trying to take things one day at a time to see what works and what doesn't! We also had 2nd grade orientation tonight so I had an extremely long day and didn't get home until 7:45! I'm sorry for such a short post but please know that I'm still keeping up with your blogs even though I'm not posting a lot on mine! I promise that once I get in a routine with school I will post regularly!! :) Hope everyone is having a good week.... Is it Friday yet? :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Calm Down

Okay, tomorrow is the first day of school. At 8:10 I will have 19 second graders filtering into my classroom. I'm nervous, but they will never know it! :) I've been working very hard over the past few weeks to get things ready for them but most days it didn't feel like work (well except for when I got home and passed out on the couch, then it really felt like I had worked!!). I'm excited, scared, nervous, and anxious! In order to calm all of those crazy feelings I am going to fill up our jacuzzi, pour in lots of vanilla bubble bath, and relax while reading my Self magazine. Then I will crawl out of the bath tub and crawl into bed! :)

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Delicious Smoothie Recipe

Every morning I have to have some sort of beverage to drink on my way to work. While I love coffee, I get sick of it if I have it every day for weeks on end. Not only do I get sick of it but the afternoon crash is the worst. Being a teacher, I need something that will not only give me energy, but something that will fill me up and help boost my immune system. Enter smoothie. I love smoothies. Not dessert smoothies, not icy smoothies. Fruit smoothies. If you have never gotten a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie.... you are missing out. BIG time. Tropical Smoothie is the greatest smoothie chain I have ever been to. There were lots of them in Newport News (where I went to college) and I am so sad that there are NONE in the Shenandoah Valley. Anyway......... I now have to make my own smoothies and I wanted to share the super simple recipe.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
1.5 cups of frozen strawberries
1 whole banana
1 cup (or individual container) of yogurt (I like to use Vanilla or Strawberry)
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of Light Cran Apple Juice
(double the recipe if you are making smoothies for 2)
Dump all of the ingredients into the blender and crush/blend. Add Splenda if you want it to be sweeter! YUM!!

So much to do, so little time....

It's almost here. The first day of school. On Tuesday 19 second graders will walk into my classroom. I feel like I need another week or three to prepare. I'm exhausted. Being a new teacher is a LOT of work. I don't have the files that other teachers have and I have to create a fun, conducive learning environment for the kids, and be very organized. Monday is filled with meetings so this afternoon I will be going up to my classroom to work in peace and quiet. I'm overwhelmed and excited.

Our friends from college are visiting this weekend and they leave to go home this afternoon. I've had a great time catching up with them! We spent most of yesterday at the river just swimming, sunbathing on the rocks, and talking. It was a much needed getaway for my mind. I didn't even think about school and all of my responsibilities yesterday.

I have been so exhausted lately that I've come to the conclusion that I need a new morning routine. Lately I have been getting up, showering, making my coffee, and leaving. By the afternoon I feel run down and there is no desire/motivation for me to work out when I get home. I am contemplating getting up earlier, adding devotions/prayer time and walking two miles, then getting ready for work. Do you think that will help my stress/energy levels? I am also considering adding a gym membership and taking fitness classes in the afternoons to keep me from coming home and crashing on the couch for the remainder of the afternoon/night. Thoughts? Do you all USE your gym memberships? Or does it end up just being a bill every month?

Pictures from this weekend to come!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pure Exhaustion

This week has been crazy! I've had meeting on top of meeting and have been working long hours in my classroom trying to get it ready for tomorrow's open house. My room looks pretty good right now but as far as planning goes I feel very behind. Hopefully my team will pitch in to catch me up! Going back to work after having two weeks off is very exhausting. I have come home and fallen directly on the couch and stayed there until I crawled up to our bed. Today I feel a little better than I did yesterday and Monday... I was exhausted both of those days. I've been working later than required... 8:30-3:30 are our work day hours... mine look more like 8-5 or 6 something... I know, I know, that's what most people work... or at least 9-5 but I will just say that it's exhausting moving desks, hauling books from place to place, hanging stuff, taping stuff, labeling stuff, unpacking stuff... you get the picture. This morning before I left hubs was like "see ya at 6:30 or whenever you decide to leave school." He better get used to it because this year is going to be busy for me. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated! School starts on Tuesday. I can't wait to meet my 19 second graders! :)

On another note, good friends of ours are visiting this weekend and they will be here on Friday! So excited to see them and spend time with them! :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Week Update!

Hello friends! It's been almost a week since my last post so I thought I would update you on what I have been up to this week. I'll also post a few pictures from our camping trip from last weekend! I only worked two days this week but it seemed like a lot more. Thursday was new teacher orientation at my school and I had a great time getting to know the rest of the "newbies" on staff. We have a large group this year and it's comforting to know I'm not alone! Yesterday was the orientation for all of the new teachers in the whole county. It was very long with lots and lots of information covered. I've survived both. Next week I will be in and out of meetings, putting the finishing touches on my room, and writing lesson plans for the first few weeks of school! I have so much to do!! Today I am going to see one of my friend's classrooms... she is a new teacher as well... we were in the same Masters program. Then we are going to lunch, she will see my classroom, and after that we are heading to the Teacher's Aide in Harrisonburg to get posters and supplies for our classrooms. I will try to blog this week and maybe even post pictures of my classroom. Next weekend, two of our friends from college are coming to stay with us! I can't wait to see them! :) I'm trying to get our guest bedroom ready and am looking into fun things that we can do. Possibly a drive-in movie, Safari Park visit, or a visit to the lake where hubs proposed! Okay... that's all for now!
One of the lakes
Piper... she loved camping!

My sister and I

I just really like this picture of me :)

Hubs and I posing for the camera in the middle of the river. :)

Piper learning to swim... she does not like it. Haha.

Hubs jumping in the river!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sadly my summer has come to an end.

I have been trying to avoid a lot of things lately, some of which I won't discuss in this post because I'm just not ready to... but one of the things that I am trying to avoid is the fact that on Thursday morning my summer will have come to an official end. Thursday is new teacher orientation and I work everyday until school starts on August 18th (which by the way is two weeks from tomorrow and again, I am avoiding the major panic attack that would occur if I think about it too much!). Don't get me wrong... I am REALLY excited about teaching 2nd grade this year. I can't wait to meet my kids and get to know them and share my first year teaching with them. However, it is very overwhelming. I don't have the files and files filled with lesson plans that experienced teachers have so this year is going to be a LOT of work. I know that it will be worth every bit of the work in the end but it's a daunting task to begin. As I sit here drinking my coffee and the sunshine flows in through the windows, I realize that I am still in summer mode, and even though I don't officially start until Thursday, I need to get myself out of summer mode now. So after I muster up the motivation I will shower and head to Walmart to get fabric to cover my bulletin boards and will hopefully head over to my classroom to start decorating. I've already spent several days in my classroom, organizing and unpacking boxes, and I've even taken a purchase order to Walmart and gotten pencil pouches and binders for my kids. I've actually done a lot, but I still feel very behind. My mind will be struggling with the afterthoughts of summer and the realization that school is about to begin for the next week or two.

In other news, we spent the weekend camping at the lake and it was beautiful! It was filled with fried foods, canoe rides, swimming in the river, fishing, and relaxing around the campfire. Unfortunately, it ended (just as it did last year) with a downpour of rain the morning we had to pack up. Piper (our 8 month old golden retriever) was able to come with us and she was so good. She was made for camping... swimming... not so much! Pictures to come!