Monday, December 29, 2014

the day we spent all the money.

It's not like we were sitting there on the eve of December 28th like, "Hey...we just spent a boat load on Christmas presents for everyone...let's shell out hundreds of dollars more. Shall we?"

But it seemed to happen that way.

It began with our septic system. Every time (and I mean EVERY time) we did a load of laundry, the downstairs toilet would back up and overflow. We made do for awhile by stuffing old towels all around the toilet, but when I went down to check on it the other day and saw several unmentionables in the toilet that had come back up, we knew it was time to call someone.

So this morning, the Septic Sucking Man came to suck the system. He then told us that our field system is shot...not entirely sure what that means other than a LOT of stuff has to be replaced. And that it's going to cost of thousands of dollars. Cool. But today we merely had a bill worth a couple hundred for the septic sucking.

While Ty was home with the Septic Sucking Man, I was at the vet with Abby. She was past due for some shots and stuff, and I also wanted to get her vision checked out. We knew she had cataracts and that her vision was getting a lot worse lately, and I wanted to get a gauge on exactly how well she could see.

The answer to that is, not well. She can't see at all out of her right eye, and can see maybe 10% out of her left eye (and that's mainly shadows and changes in light.) Since she's getting older, they also wanted to do a whole bunch of other Old Dog tests. So today she had:
A Pet Exam with Vaccination
Oral Bordetela Vaccine
Leptospirosis Vaccine
Rabies Vaccine
Triamcinolone with Keto & Enrofloxacin (fancy ear infection medicine)

 All this to say, I was sent home with another bill for a couple hundred dollars. And two tubes. One for a poop sample. And one for a pee sample. Cool.

After THAT we took my car to the dealership to be serviced. When we left a family get together last night, I couldn't shift into drive. When we finally got it into drive, then we couldn't shift into reverse. And so on and so forth. We finally got it home but needed to take it in to get it looked at. I just got off the phone with the Kia Mechanic Guy. He told me that there were 5 open recalls on my car and they took care of all those 5 things (which fixed the problem we were having.) BUT...

I have a license plate light out.
Power Steering fluid needs flushed and replaced.
Brake fluid needs flushed and replaced.
The cabin air filter is bad. (Perhaps that's why there's a thick layer of dust on everything.)
Tires need aligned.

I know exactly what it's going to cost. Another bill worth several hundred dollars. I told him we'd get back to him, because I'm just not sure all those things MUST be fixed today. I'm waiting to get a hold of Ty before I make any important decisions. You know, important decisions like either replace the license plate light today or buy toilet paper tomorrow.

And speaking of toilet paper, my husband is now limiting how many squares I can use, because of our broken septic stuff. What a day!

xoxo, wife.

Monday, December 22, 2014

xmas cards 2014

OMG it's finally Christmas Break! I love my job and my kiddos beyond measure, but we were ALL ready for a break. I intend to spend the next two weeks soaking up time with family, relaxing, getting ahead on some work, and recharging my battery before heading back to the classroom in January.

Before I head out to grab some last minute items for Food Prep Day tomorrow, here are some outtakes of our 2014 Christmas card pictures.

Merry Christmas from the Miller's!

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the gingerbread man.

Every year I spend a week in class doing a gingerbread unit. We do all types of things with gingerbread. By far my favorite activity of the week is always the Gingerbread Man experiment.

I start out by asking the kids, "Why didn't the Gingerbread Man want to fall in the river? Why did he agree to ride across on the fox's back?"

There are always lots of theories. And then I whip out a REAL Gingerbread Man! Cue the "oohs" and "ahhs."

Then I tell them we're going to do an experiment. We're going to drop the Gingerbread Man into some water and see what happens. We'll figure out just why he didn't want to fall in the water. We start by making some predictions about what will happen, and then we drop him in. After a few minutes, this happened.

We talked about what happened, and why the Gingerbread Man wouldn't have wanted to get wet. 

Then it's my favorite part. I tell the kids that I'm going to pull him out so that we can get a closer look. And...

Now normally, this is met with hysterical laughter. But I wish I could have gotten these kids' expressions on camera. They looked so distraught! I laugh just thinking about it. They finally began to chuckle, and we wrapped up the lesson. 

I couldn't just dump the experiment in the trash, and I certainly didn't want them spilling it. So I stuck it up on top of my book case until after school, when I could clean it up.

Except I forgot.

The experiment was on Thursday.

So Monday, I came in and was working at my desk before school. I kept getting this whiff of something bad, and couldn't figure out what it was. Then the kids came, and I kept smelling it. I wondered if someone had left some old food laying around...but I couldn't find anything. Finally during my prep I reached up to the top shelf of my bookcase to grab something...and I saw it. UGH! I knew instantly that's what was making the rancid smell. I reached up above my head to get it, and of course I spilled some. 

I took the container to the bathroom to clean it out. I can't even describe how bad it smelled. I was GAGGING while I was cleaning it out. I finally just threw the container away because I couldn't get the smell out. Then I got back to my room and still smelled it...because I had spilled some on the floor. I clean that up as best I could and then sprayed almost an entire can of Lysol on it. 

The moral of this story is: no matter how cool your experiment in, don't put the aftermath above your head where you won't notice it again for 4 more days.  Eww.

xoxo, mrs. miller

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

my day was made.

I love my job. Love it. Especially this year. I have some amazing little kiddos who make me smile and impress me with their eagerness to learn every day.

But I'll be honest. Sometimes (especially Mondays...) I find myself driving to school wishing I had an office job. There are days where I'd like to just sit in a cubicle and keep to myself. There are times I don't really feel like being an enthusiastic goofball ALL day in order to get 5 year olds excited about place value.

I was having one of those days last week.

The weather was dreary, I knew I'd be at work LATE that night, and Christmas Break was still too far away to seem real. I was sitting at my computer getting some last minute stuff ready before the day started. One of my former students (from my very first class, and now in 3rd grade) came in to say good morning.

"Oh and guess what, Mrs. Miller! You remember that essay contest the school is doing? The one where we write about someone who inspires us? Well I wrote about you!"

"You did?" I said.

"Yeah. You've always been my favorite teacher ever. And I wanted to write about you. I hope I get picked to go up on stage and read it."

And she did. Yesterday morning, my former student was chosen to read her essay in front of the entire school.

And instantly, that feeling of wanting to sit in a cubicle by myself all day vanished. I realized that this is exactly why I do what I do. Not to be recognized in front of the school. But to make an impact. Even if I never heard her essay...even if she never wrote the essay. To have made an impact in her life is why I'm a teacher. Sure, reading and writing are important (and they are my favorite things to teach in kindergarten.) But even more important than that is that my students know my "heart is so full of love" for them. Because it is. And they need to know it. My day was made by this little girl.

I will undoubtedly have days when I wish I could work quietly by myself all day. But I now have this essay hanging on the wall by my desk to remind me that even though my day may be loud, hectic, and exhausting...I'm here to make a difference. And that's my mission.

xoxo, Mrs. Miller