Sunday, December 4, 2011


Well, I've officially lived in Colorado for five months...where has the time gone? Although I have spent A LOT of time in CA considering I don't live here anymore! I've finished grad school with straight A's. I won't get my paper back until graduation...I'm rather curious about the notes in it :) Graduation is in about a month and I'm SUPER excited about it! Hmmmm let's see, I LOVE my job...I can't imagine anything better than teaching kids to read all day long. I have some rather funny stories that make life more interesting, but the kids are great and I've been able to implement my Readers' Theater project in a modified state so that's super exciting! Now that classes are done I plan on getting a few more features hammered out, it's also nice that the other literacy teachers and a few of the classroom teachers are branching out into Readers' Theater too! I've found a church I like and a hairdresser (which if you know me at all, you know that's a big scary one for me!) I'm starting to do things with people from work...looking forward to getting involved at church...loving being closer to Aimee and the family! I've survived the snow and I seem to be adjusting to the weather. I fell the day after the first snow on some ice and had the bruise to prove it! I have since purchased practical boots, a down coat for dismissal, and multiple pairs of gloves :) All in all, it's been a good few months and it's starting to feel like home. I'm back in CA for the holidays and it's been SO nice to relax and just hang out with people - no homework, no grading!! WOO HOO!!! I've read a few books, I think I've recovered from the reading overload of the last 2 terms of school :) That's about all for the update...sorry no pictures, I haven't been great about taking many lately.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First days of school!

So I'm realizing how spoiled the life of a specialty teacher is...yes I know I put my time in to get to this point in my teaching, but WOW...there's so much less to do...only an office to organize and decorate (which now that it's decorated never needs to be changed), no bulletin boards, no grading, very few conferences, no lunch count, half the school emails don't apply to me, getting to leave soon after the day ends....UM, YES PLEASE! In summary, loving my new job...we're stuck in testing chaos right now, but once it's done we get to make our groups and things settle down a bit. The one downside is keeping track of 3 different grade levels and 15 teachers...but again, when testing is done I'll have my 2 kindergarten teachers and my 5 other 1st and 2nd grade groups :) Oh, and did I mention that I have 45 minutes of planning time every day (really it's 30...who can get more than a bathroom break and email/voicemail checked in 15 minutes?) I still don't have an employee number which means no school email (hating getting everything on my personal one) and the no number thing means I can't set up a slew of other things...but I do have a copy code and an ID tag and keys - I just got the last of them....well that's really all, the joys of a lot of new staff, a new building...I also got to pick a lock (which I'm not good at) because we don't all have keys to everything and we'll just say there was a little adventure when the key elf locked testing materials and a lunch in the cupboard!

So here's my picture recap of this last week :)

Back to School and greet with the parents at the "picnic" beforehand and after that all I had to do was direct lost people and try to answer questions (usually I had to go find out the answer since I seem to know nothing yet!)

First day of school outfit...have I ever mentioned how happy the 1st day of school makes me?
Good day...full of testing and meeting my kindergarteners

THE OFFICE! Since it's a brand new building we're not allowed any nails or sticky tak, just those removable tabs and hooks...made it work :) Still waiting for my white board so I may have to get creative when I do writing!

Cupboard, pocket chart, door (everything in the building is nature themed so our doors have this tree can tell more in context, but just to say the whole building is so pretty!)

Resource wall - reading strategies, sight words, better word choices...etc and my's HUGE and takes too much space, this from the girl that's never had one before!

My too cute for words, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree! I was so excited when one of my K teachers told me she does a whole project based on the book too! Cute and a good reference for them :)

Bookshelf, my centers rack turned supply rack, small group table!

Off to enjoy my weekend...cause specialty teachers have time for free time and don't have to go to school on a Saturday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The apartment tour

I'm ALL unpacked and decorated (at least my apartment) my office is ALMOST done...hopefully tomorrow...especially since it's Back to School Night (not that I really have to do anything other than mingle! Might be the best Back to School Night EVER!! Anyway, back to what is lovely apartment! I have a few things that I don't love where they are but as I live here I can rearrange, but for now it's cute and unpacked and I'm a happy camper!

So here's the "tour" excuse some of the photography!

The window wall in my bedroom
The open door is my closet - this is the wall across from the window

Wall across from my bed

My bed with my new comforter and pillows - LOVE!

I had several unpacking injuries: box cuts, scrapes, bruises, and I dropped my bathroom cabinet on my poor foot :( The bruise/lump didn't come out to well in the picture but it HURT!

My bathroom - it has a HUGE garden tub which has been handy a few times already! I'm loving all my shades of blue/ touch of ocean in the middle of the country and my picture of Cape Hedo helps too :)

Love seat, new TV, Japan pictures, and wall stickers - best invention!

Couch, a bit of my balcony (it still has boxes on it and there are a few boxes next to my couch that need to go to my garage)

LAUNDRY ROOM!!! in my apartment - so exciting! People in Colorado don't seem to cook (or at least those that live in apartments) so my kitchen is solution was to be put my appliances in the laundry :)
Tiny kitchen
The other side of the tiny kitchen, but it does have a DISHWASHER! ahhhh heaven, I haven't had one of those in 10 years!
This is the little desk space next to the kitchen in the dining area - good place for my Okinawa glass

Dining area and front door - there's a little coat closet to the right of that
So that's the tour! Loving exploring the area - TomTom has been extremely helpful, I've tried to go without using "him" when usually results in an adventurous detour but I am getting the hang of it. Aimee brought the boys up this weekend and we used the pool - it was nice to have my first visitors! Hopefully more are to come :) I'm loving work so far and everyone on staff has been great - it will be fun to get to know everybody! Still looking for a church, 2 strike-outs so far, but I have a few more on my list. I think that covers everything for now. Once my office is finished I'll give the VERY small tour of that and maybe some pictures of my new beautiful school...I have to say it's super kid friendly and adorable!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moving up 5,000 feet and over 2 states

I keep waiting for things to slow down, but they really haven't...I finished another term of grad school - ONE TO GO!!! Passed my Reading Specialist kicked my butt, but I'm glad it's done! I finished teaching summer school and tutoring - I don't think I'll be returning to SGCS, but I suppose one never was a strange feeling to walk out those doors, I grew up as a teacher there. Anyway...

And now I'm in Colorado! I'm still a little in shock...the movers came July 28 and the whole experience was miserable, I don't want to talk about it - I had used the company before and was completely disappointed (the drop off was better, but couldn't make up for everything else...). So my stuff left, I took a trip to Visalia for Jen's baby shower - she's lovely of course! and I got to see her and Jason's house and spend time with Holly and her adorable little boy!

After that I cruised over to Atascadero to spend some time with my parents, Kevin, and some friends...and study my dreaded note cards - I apologize to all of you that had to hear about the history of reading, or the stages of spelling, or whatever set of cards I happened to be studying when I talked to you...I got some much needed beach time in before heading back to Pasadena to stay with Edith and Duff (thanks again!) until my exam...the last few days in CA included studying, a chiropractor appointment, studying, lunch with Adrienne, studying, walking with Kim, studying, and biggie :)

Don't laugh at the giant was a little chilly and that was all that was in the car!

After the exam, before it sank in that I had written 13 pages in less than 6 hours I drove to Vegas to meet Aimee and the WHOLE family - cause she's crazy like that to drive 12 hours to meet me to caravan to Colorado with her! Had a yummy dinner with them, crashed out, and got up at 6 to start our trip to CO, I mean home...weird! We were going to try and make it the whole way and did! For those of you that know me in the car...I'm VERY proud! I seem to have the attention span of a 5 week old so it was nice to be able to get out of the car every 2 hours when Tobin needed to eat :) I didn't get my stuff until Friday night (more irritations) and in the meantime, I spent some time relaxing with Aimee and the family, worked 2 days testing 2nd graders, getting my CO plates, and taking care of a few other things! Below is our trip pictures and some moving pictures - I'll take apartment pictures soon - I'm all unpacked...just need to hang things! So far I'm LOVING the job - more to come on that next time!

Most of the drive looked like this...

Utah had a little more variety :)
FINALLY we got to Colorado
This is my new school!
I'm not crazy about the Ms. but it's rather exciting to get my own door plate!

How my office looked when I got there (it only looks slightly better now, but it's coming along and I'm super excited for my plans for it!)
My CA plates expire this month so I had to hurry and get my CO plates...weird!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crazy Train...

Goodness, I don't even know if I've had time to breathe these last 6 weeks! Finished Jr. High, finished and started another term for grad school, starting to pack, found an apartment in CO, saw Christina graduate (as valedictorian!), had a great girls weekend with my lovely 3rd South friends, sorted through/got rid of/repacked all my classroom stuff, and started summer tutoring/teaching summer school...a little busy! So I have a gorgeous new apartment 5 minutes from my new school in Colorado (pictures to come in August...or so...), got to spend time with some of my favorite people while I was there, can't wait to be able to see them all more often! I have to say Aimee and Kevin live on one super fun block and have one (soon to be 2) super cool kid! Jameson woke me up, rather early even for me, every day with a smile and a "it's a sunny day Auntie!" And it was! The weather was great, apartment hunting was fairly painless, we laughed, we talked, we ate, we played, we walked, we BBQ'd, we went to a movie...all a perfect kick off to summer!

Jameson and I making silly faces
Mr. PDA :) Love it!
We occasionally still take really good pictures...not at the airport!
The following week was typical busy followed by a trip up to Atascadero for Christina's graduation...what fun to help her write her speech :) Sorry no pictures...I was too busy enjoying the occasion! The following week wound down tutoring at San Gabriel, starting my new term, taking the Praxis for my NCLB compliance in comment. That weekend, Sara, Jen, Lish, and I had ALL managed to coordinate the weekend to spend just us! I don't think we did anything but talk, laugh, eat, and walk...PERFECTION! I miss seeing these girls all the time :)

At brunch on Sunday
After that I finished teaching Jr. High...NEVER again and that would be too soon! But I survived (and so did they). I also started my summer tutoring, I have my 6 boys and am having a ball with them so far! My grad class is rolling right along...reading specialist exam August 6. I've also spent a weekend in Atascadero consolidating my 2nd grade classroom into must keep books and resources versus the get rid of or hang onto a little bit longer, just in case :) I have to say it was a little emotional at times, just for all the memories each box seemed to hold. I'm thrilled about the next step in my career and I wouldn't change this new adventure for anything, it just was a little hard to make the transition step. BUT all done and repacked into 35 (VERY small) book boxes and ready to move! I've also started packing my apartment things that I don't need in the next 5 weeks cause I know with everything else, time will fly! hmmmm...Oh, started yet another summer of Reading Lab, trying out my Master's class intervention program on them...FUN! I love Readers' Theater :) I THINK that's a pretty good summary of where I'm at right now - BUSY BEE!!! Off I go again...

PS I forgot to post this and now Tobin Joseph has graced the world with his cute little self...can't wait to meet him in a little less than 5 weeks when I move to his neighborhood!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's been awhile...

I will graciously accept the world's worst blogger award...I feel like I blink and a month flew by lately! I'm near the end of my Master's/Reading Credential and can hardly believe there are ONLY two classes left! Oh my...but can't wait for that cap and gown! Anyway, school is good and flying time with my tuttees is winding down...less then a month of school, thankfully I have a few favorites over the summer! My drama job has been DRAMA and I am not gifted in the jr high department, God bless those who are...I'll take my little ones any day! I'm thankful for the learning curve of that job and I think the kids and I all learned something! Speaking of little ones, I think there's something in the water right now, babies seem to be popping out all over - looking forward to meeting some new additions this summer! As most people know (not that too many people still check my blog!) but Soba was killed by another do a couple months back...miss having my buddy around to play and snuggle with :( He did get to meet his little brother from another litter because Edith added Butterscotch to their household so that was fun to watch them play together!
On a SUPER DUPER exciting note...I am officially a full time teacher again! I will be moving to Colorado to begin a new adventure as a Literacy Specialist (sounds important huh?) I'll be teaching K-2 students in a small group format and all I do is reading and writing...perfect huh??? I'm going apartment hunting next week and hardly believe that in 3 months I'll be a CO girl instead of CA....yikes! I realized that I'm going to need some serious shoe shopping, my California girly shoes won't work in the snow and cold....the weather opens up a whole new category of sweaters and coats for me too :) How terrible to have a reason to shop.
Hmmm what else...had a nice Easter with family and friends, went to a wedding with Kevin, I've started taking Zumba a few months ago.....COMEDY...I have zero coordination and it's makes me laugh but I figure it's all good exercise! I think that covers the basics :)

Kevin and I @ his birthday party

Butterscotch and Soba...Butterscotch did NOT want to stay still!

Christina, Emily and I at the wedding...trying not to freeze!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A little update...

Goodness, it's been a long time since I've posted anything...not that I've had a lot to report that anyone really wants to read about! The last 6 months have been filled with school...can't believe I can already say I'll be done this year! The homework is all consuming at stressful financially (and on my routine) as it has been not to be teaching full time, I am often thankful that I have the time to devote to doing well in school! Proud to say I still have a 4.0! Anyway, school, homework, 11 tutoring students, teaching middle school drama elective, Soba, and managing to have a life every once in awhile seems to fill most of my time! The drama class has been...drama...I have learned a great deal of humility with that group...jr high is not my age group! I'm VERY much looking forward to having a new group next month! Hmmm what else? Just typical day to day stuff I guess. I had a wonderful time over the holidays with friends and family and can't believe that the first month of 2011 is almost over! As application season begins in the education world...hopefully I'll have something more to report!

A smattering of pictures...
Jameson and I in the how he has to pull me closer :)

1 Angel, 1 sheep, and me @ the Christmas program

Excuse the sweater...all my grad school friends and I had presentations to do at the CA reading association this year....yikes!
Literacy Gala
Soba is so helpful while doing homework