Monday, September 30, 2013

organization can calm the soul.

I've always liked things to be organized. You should see my Teacher Binders every year...organized to the max. I love seeing things in sections, folders, containers, etc.

However, I will confess that I am not always good at KEEPING things organized. Especially around the house. I remember when we moved in, I was so excited to organize all our cabinets, drawers and closets. And I loved looking around at all the neatness. But now....

Well, let's just say that we can't find anything, and can't always open a drawer without something getting caught.

So the other day I decided that something needed to be done. I wasn't looking forward to cleaning stuff out, but once I started, it was actually pretty therapeutic.

Kitchen drawer BEFORE: (and no, this is not our junk drawer.)

That's slightly embarrassing. Am I really posting this for other people to see?

And Kitchen drawer AFTER:

And just like that, the tension in my neck was released.

Then it was on to the kitchen cabinet (pantry.) This is the one I've been avoiding for the past two years. But I was already in the organizing mood, and I'd heard Ty complain about it one too many times. So I bit the bullet and did it.

Kitchen cabinet BEFORE:
You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I found in here, that I never knew existed. Or that I never remember buying.

And of course, this guy had to get in there and investigate.

And Kitchen cabinet AFTER:
 The crock pot goes down on the bottom right, but it was being used during this picture.

And then I had to take a break. Even though I love organizing, there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing. So I'll tackle something else another day.

xoxo, wife.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

cinnamon apples.

I've been really craving apples lately, and have been eating them like they're going out of style. Since it's fall now, I wanted to try to make cinnamon apples, which is something I've always liked, but have never made before.

In the crock pot (something we don't use nearly enough) I put:

-about 12 small to medium Gala apples, peeled and sliced
-1 cup water
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
- a bunch of shakes of cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I put a ton.)

Then I mixed it up and cranked the crock pot up to high for 4 hours.


When they were done they looked like this:


It was up to this guy for the verdict.

And this yummy fall treat was approved!

Note to Self: Next time when making apples for two, it's totally ok to use the small crock pot. The Big Daddy is not so necessary.

xoxo, wife.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

fort night 2013

Thursday evening I declared, "Hey! Tomorrow night, let's make a fort in the living room and watch a movie!"

To which Ty replied, "A fort? Like when we were six?"

But I talked him into it and last night we built our fort, ate some ice cream, and watched some movies.







I think that Fort Night 2013 was a success, and I'm already looking forward to Fort Night 2014! I think it would be so fun to do this once a year, and keep it up when we have kids. I think they'd love having a movie fort night with mom and dad!

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

tuesday.

So you know how I said that Monday was so fab?
And how I was worried that Tuesday would be horrid?
Well it was.

-I arrived at work to an email notifying me that I was getting a new kid. I hate getting new kids. I had 10 minutes to get everything labeled and ready for him.
-The new kid (who looked like he was going to punch someone) had to be dragged into the room by his grandmother. Red flag.
-Then I had to drag the new kid out of the room to get to our daily assembly by 8:00. Needless to say, the new kid did NOT make a good first impression.
-I had a terrible headache, and had to barter with the nurse to give me some Tylenol.
-The kids in the classroom next door screamed all morning...making it very hard for us to concentrate.
-I had a parent tell me that she has a "problem with my attitude." Then she proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong about me and how I offended her by not stopping in the middle of my lesson and greeting her and her son in the hallway when they came to school an hour late.
-One of the kids threw a chair because he didn't want the nectarines we were having for snack. The chair smacked me in the shin.
-The Occupational Therapist was supposed to come talk with me about one of my kiddos at 2:30. She came at 3. That's the time we're packing up our things to leave. That is by far the most chaotic part of the day, unless I have 100% of my attention focused on them. Which it wasn't. Because I was trying to listen to the OT. I need her help, because the student she's working with is really challenging, but my kids were running around the room like banshees, screaming and yelling. She either didn't notice, or didn't take the hint that this was not a good time for me.


Apparently, you can't have a totally fab day without also having an incredibly stressful day as well.

xoxo, wife.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

monday.

So Monday normally sucks. The weekend ends, you have to get up early again, the weekend seems like it's so far away...

But yesterday was an exceptional Monday.

They played all my favorite songs on the radio on the way to work.
I got compliments on an outfit that I wasn't too sure about.
I got the copy machine all to myself before school started.
My most difficult student was absent.
The morning FLEW by, and before I knew it, it was lunch time!
My kids made some serious progress with learning their numbers today.
The day ended with ZERO card flips...again!
I was able to chat with a colleague after work for 25 minutes and still left at 4:30!
I got way ahead on work for NEXT week...not this week...NEXT week!
And to top it all off, the weather was beautiful!

I can't complain at all about Monday...
Although now I'm sort of concerned about what horrors the rest of the week may hold!

xoxo, wife.

Monday, September 23, 2013

fall.

Well it's officially fall.
I've been looking forward to fall since the first day of school.
I figure that if I can't be outside all day enjoying the warm weather (or even LOOK at it out a window for that matter) then I don't want anyone else to either.

So I'm glad that fall is officially upon us.
And glad that we've finally gotten some fall temps lately!
The reason I love fall is because of how beautiful it is.
And n the spirit of all things fall, I thought I'd compile tall the beautiful things about fall into one post:

Enjoy.

Fall Decor

.

Indian Corn

autumn


Fall

Fall!

This would be super cute for an engagement or wedding shoot in fall. The couple could hold to see the rings and they could kiss in the heart!

This is what makes me want a truck and a farm when I grow up :-)

Fall leaves

Fall adventures... going to put a few on the calendar tonight! #fall #beauty #colors #leaves #foliage #walks

Happy Fall, ya'll!
xoxo, wife.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

a little of this and a little of that.

This past week there was a death on Ty's side of the family. It was a sudden and tragic death, and Friday night we headed out to the viewing after work.

Even though the circumstances weren't what we'd like to have, we were able to see Ty's brother and sister-in-law, who brought their kids up for the weekend so they could attend the funeral. After the viewing, we all got to go to dinner and we got to hang out with our munchkins a little.


On the way home from dinner, we saw the most gorgeous sunset! I couldn't stop talking about how beautiful it was!

The picture doesn't do it justice...it was beautiful.

The funeral was Saturday, and we were only gone about 4 hours. When we got home, someone had broken out of the bedroom.

Abby actually squeezed herself through that little hole she made in the gate. She chewed through the wire! And you might notice that the molding is chewed up. I'm not sure why though, because this is OUTSIDE the gate. Perhaps she got stuck and had to chew her way out.

Later on we went to Saturday night service at church and then headed out to Ty's parents' house to spend more time with my brother and sister-in-law and their kids.

Lydia found the "target practice" area. She thought the deer was real and kept petting it.

EVERY time we all get together, our nephew insists that the boys play football. It always ends up with one (or all) of them getting injured. Last night was no different.

My sister-in-law took Lydia on her very first 4 wheeler drive around the yard. She loved it and kept saying, "Wheeee!"


You can't quite tell the size from this picture, but Ty took it upon himself to split a HUGE log in half. His mom said it couldn't be done, so of course that meant he had to prove her wrong. It took him about 15 minutes and 42 ax swings, but he did it!

Bath time! Lydia loves bottles, and anything that she can open or close. The big hit of bath time was lining all the bottle on the edge of the tub, taking them off, and then doing it again. I think she's going to either be a professional organizer when she grows up...either that or she'll have OCD.

Grainy but cute.

Then today I got groceries, cleaned the house, did laundry, and did a little work for school. Luckily I had a helper. Unluckily he didn't like to work very hard.


And that was basically my weekend in a nutshell. Here's looking forward to the next one...only 6 LOOOONG days away :(

xoxo, wife.






Friday, September 20, 2013

already over it.

It's basically fall now which means it's basically football season.
I'm already over it.
Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays I become a football widow.
On nights that football isn't on tv, I lose my husband to John Madden and his fake football team on xbox.
I'm over it.
I'm tired of hearing about everyone's fantasy football drafts on social media.
I'm sick of seeing pictures of drunk adults decked out in their various teams' attire while playing corn hole.
I'm over my husband not listening to what crazy thing happened at work because he's checking out packers.com on his phone every 20.3 seconds.
Not to mention that the ever obnoxious, "WHO DAT?" is getting incredibly old.

So in honor of stupid football season, I present to you:

xoxo, wife.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

and then we were interviewed...part 2.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Ty and I were interviewed on camera for the campaign to build our new church. Here is the link to the video in case you are interested :)

For His Glory, For All Generations.

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

i cooked.

It's never been this way before, but suddenly the talk of the teacher's lounge is "Ooh...what did you make for dinner last night? Those leftovers look good!" What used to be discussions about naughty kids, idiot parents, and what shows we watched the night before has suddenly turned into recipe swapping madness! And I'm just like sitting on the side, munching on my peanut butter and jelly sandwich...not contributing a dang thing!

So in an effort to become more womanly, more wifely, and more respectable to my colleagues, I've tried to pick up with my cooking. I've been trying to make something big for dinner that we can have leftover for lunch for a couple days. I've done ok. I think I've been averaging about one legitimate cooking endeavor a week. The challenge is making something I (the picky eater) can tolerate and that Ty (the health nut) will eat more than three bites of. Enter Pinterest. (Did you really expect any different?)

So tonight I tried a new recipe I found. It was super easy and probably doesn't even count as cooking, but I made it anyway. I cut up some sausage, baby yukon gold potatoes, bell peppers, and onions. I threw them all on a cookie sheet, drizzled olive oil over it, and then added some salt and pepper. It smelled pretty good, and actually looked pretty good when it was done.


The problem? I don't like sausage. Or peppers. Or onions. 
And I kind of under cooked the potatoes so they were still a little crunchy. I ate about 6 or 7 bites and declared, "I don't like it. I tried it....but I don't like it." Ty ate his all up, and said it was good. So I packed the remains of mine up for him to eat for lunch tomorrow. And now I'm sitting here hungry. So this was officially a dinner fail. I will not be contributing to the lunch conversation tomorrow. 

...or maybe I will. Maybe I'll tell them my food was so good that there were NO leftovers for lunch!

xoxo, wife.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

a confession and a revelation.

Confession: I had a ROUGH first month of school. The kids were out of control for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I won't go into the details of the kids and what their exact problems are, but that first month was AWFUL. I blogged about it, complained to husband/mom/coworkers about it, prayed about it, cried about it, and moped about it. It was bad. I confess that two weeks ago, I was contemplating leaving this profession forever. No joke. I thought to myself, "What else could I possibly do with this degree?" I could never justify leaving a class of children during the school year, so I knew something had to be done. I spent hours researching a new teaching method to try out with these kids. I adjusted my attitude. I continued to pray and ask for wisdom, patience, and guidance to give my kids the best I can give every day.

Revelation: Kids are mold-able. They are not static beings. It doesn't matter what background they come from...what issues they may have...what baggage they carry with them. If you want something from a child, you can get it. You might have to work a little harder (and Lord knows, I've worked my butt off the last two weeks,) but it can be done.

This is my card chart from yesterday. Green is what everyone starts out on every day. If they make bad choices, I flip them to yellow, then blue, then orange, and finally red which results in a trip to the office. (And yes, I've had quite a few in the office so far.) However, if they make exceptionally good choices, they can go UP to purple knight status, which is the best you can get. So yesterday I did not flip ANY cards for poor behavior all day. Quite the contrary...almost have of my kids moved UP to purple! It was a fantastic day, everyone was so proud of themselves and each other.

Two weeks ago I would have never thought this was possible. I thought these kids were doomed to be naughty forever. I questioned (many times) why I work with this population of kids. Why I continue to choose to teach this demographic that I sometimes admit I might not be cut out for. And just like that, I am reminded. Look what I was able to do in two weeks! (And for the record, there was only one child with a card flip today...another fantastic day.) I set expectations and I demanded that those expectations be met. Most of these kids completely run their household. They've had no concept of structure for 5 years of their lives. A lot of them don't have trustworthy adults that they respect enough at home to listen to...so why would they automatically respect me? You have to work for it...and I did. And I still am.

Difficult Behaviors:  Sometimes it's actually about communication.  This is eye-opening!

At this point in my life, I'm meant to be exactly where I am. I'm learning WAY more than they are, and I'm a better teacher for it. Am I meant to be with this demographic forever? Probably not...and trust me when I say I don't WANT to be. But for right now I'm happy to say that I'm content again, and completely at peace with my job.

Thanks kids, for teaching me such a valuable lesson.
You are not condemned to certain expectations and standards because of your life situation.
And thanks for finally getting it together...my blood pressure has finally lowered back to normal :)

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

out with the old...

I've felt like I was stuck in a rut lately. Especially with the rough time I've been having at work lately. Although this week is getting better, I just felt like I needed a change. I thought, "Perhaps a change in appearance will bring about a change in attitude." Enter the Pinterest Hair/Beauty Board. Now that summer and ponytail weather is over, I decided to change up my 'do a little bit.

Before:

(Pic stolen from my mom...)

After: (yucky lighting)


It's at about chin level and I cut my bangs again. I think it's pretty cute, and a little more sassy than before. 

Now I just have to see whether I get out of my rut or not!

xoxo, wife.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

happy mail...gaudy mail...you make the choice

What does one need after a long, incredibly difficult work week?
A happy mail delivery.

After my birthday, I used some of the money I got to order some statement necklaces from Etsy. If you don't know what statement necklaces are, you've clearly been living under a rock. The reason I like statement necklaces is that they allow me to dress much more casually for work, but then if I add a jazzy necklace...BAM! I'm more dressy!

Anyway, still feeling a little down about my disastrous week, I walked out to the mailbox and found a little box of goodies waiting for me. I like them...you may think they're incredibly gaudy. I'll let you be the judge.



Why yes...this one IS my favorite. It had been on my wish list for a long time.

And a pair of earrings for good measure.

Example: Plain striped t-shirt and jean capris...totally dressed up just by putting on this necklace.

It's amazing how much better this made me feel after the rotten week I had. Clearly retail therapy is where it's at :)

xoxo, wife.

Friday, September 6, 2013

thoughts on santa claus and God

You never know what you're going to hear in Kindergarten...

Boy: Mrs. Miller...did you know that Santa Claus is God?

Me: No...I was not aware that Santa Claus and God were the same person.

Girl (overhearing, and coming over LOUDLY): Santa Claus is NOT God! God makes all the things!

Boy: I know...Santa Claus makes all the toys! So him and God are the same guy!

Girl: NO! He... Man, I'ma hafta tell my mama we gotta pray for you tonight.


:) xoxo, wife.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"those" days

Today was one of "those" days at work. Unfortunately, we've had a lot of "those" days lately.

Today was the day that:

-One of my student's shoe laces came completely unraveled and frayed. Guess who has to fix that? Yep. Me. Let me tell you...it's pretty darn tough to teach a lesson while you're trying to thread a completely frayed shoe lace through those tiny holes. Moral of the story: 5 year olds should only wear velcro.

-5 of my students were absent when I took attendance. They all meandered on in between 8:30 and 11:15...as if these parents think they can just bring the kids in at their leisure.

-One of my students literally spent 25 minutes digging in his belly button. He had his shirt up to his neck, and kept digging around in there, stopping periodically to check out the lint that was sticking to his finger. Every time I asked him to stop, he'd stop for a minute...then I'd notice the shirt being pulled up again and he'd get right back to digging.

-I noticed one of my girls had something in her mouth while we were in the hall. I asked her to spit it out, and she spit 12 cents into my hand.

-The parents of one of my "naughty kids" came in to observe her behavior. While we were standing outside the gym door watching her and discussing what's been going on, dad lets loose a string of swear words...right about the time one of my littles came out to use the bathroom and heard him. Lovely.

-I told that same little girl to go to her seat and put her head down because she was making too many bad choices. I turned my back and heard a huge gasp. Then the kids started shouting that as soon as I turned my back, she stuck her tongue out at me. She stuck her tongue out at me! In all my time working with kids, that's a first.

-During handwriting, one of my students was frustrated that he couldn't correctly form the letter N. Instead of asking me for help, he simply chucked his handwriting book at me.

-While testing one of my students, I said, "Point to each LETTER and tell me it's name." She then pointed to each LETTER and began counting.

-One of my girls went INTO the bathroom with nice little blue glasses on her face. She came OUT of the bathroom with frames in one hand and the lenses in another. The screws were gone. Great.

-One of my boys picked up his pencil box and smacked another student across the face with it.

-10 minutes later, that same boy began walking around the room hitting my other kids with his book. Hard.

-I had to walk a student out to the car to discuss behavior at the end of the day. The "pedophile van" that all 12 of the kids climbed into smelled distinctly of marijuana. I never knew what marijuana smelled like until I began working with this demographic.

After a day like this, its no wonder I feel like going to bed at 9:30 every night. And like I said, we've had lots of "those" days lately. This is definitely the most challenging class I've had. And during days like today, I feel like I'm losing my mind little by little.

xoxo, wife.