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Happy This Week

It’s Winter Break!!!!!!!!! I have a workday on Monday and then I’m free!!!!!!!!

Three of my students from last year, who are now in high school, came to visit me this week. They just came and hung out for the afternoon in my room while I taught. I loved it. I miss them!

The kids, Matt, my Mom and I got hot chocolate and drove around and looked at Christmas lights. I love doing that…totally puts me in the spirit!

Christmas presents from students are the best! They know I love coffee, that’s for sure! :) One of my students even got me a math ornament! How thoughtful is that??

Olivia loves to have a “screaming contest” after dinner each night. If you haven’t seen my Instagram video (@elastamom417), head over and check it out. She’s hilarious! Especially because she’s so quiet usually!

Christmas movies! We just love them.

It’s almost Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What made you happy this week?

Happy This Week!

Better late than never, right?

Five more days of school until Christmas break! Woohoo! I’m doing nothing but relaxing over break. That’s an order.

Starbucks chestnut praline latte…have you had one? O.m.g. Especially when you share it with your two favorite colleagues!

Watching the kids run down the stairs to see where Buddy is and change the advent calendar. That is worth all the stress and craziness of the holidays.

A clean house!

Matt and I went out on a fun date last Saturday. Dinner and a movie!

Olivia and I had a coffee date while the boys were at basketball. She ordered her own hot chocolate and we sat at a table and chatted while we drank coffee. It was wonderful!

The 2014 Williams Sonoma hater’s guide. Read it here. You’ll laugh out loud.  

Who’s listening to the Serial podcast?? I’m obsessed and there’s only one episode left! Luckily I’m finding podcasts about the podcasts so I can obsess more! What other podcasts do you listen to? I’m enjoying listening to and from work. Especially when I get stuck in traffic.

Playing Trivia Crack with all of my students who are also obsessed with it. It’s fun!

What made you happy this week?

Happy This Week

Three blog posts this week…woo hoo!!

Our advent calendar started on Monday. I was a little stressed about getting it all ready (the kids get an activity or a small gift each day) but then I watched the kids run down the stairs with excitement each day this week. I love watching the kids at the holidays.

We’ve made snowflakes this week and had game night and spent so much time together. It’s been amazing!

Our elf is also back. And as much as elf haters are going to hate, we love it! I am so thankful Gabe helps me with it!!! I’ll have pictures to share next week. If you can believe it, I’m behind on my picture editing. ;)

Olivia, my Mom and I are going to see Disney on Ice tonight…she is so excited. I love watching her watch those shows. She gets beside herself!

We’re also going to see one of my former students dance in The Nutcracker tomorrow. I’m so excited to see Maddie and…I’ve never seen The Nutcracker. Olivia will love it and I love having special girls’ days with my Mom!!

What made you happy this week?

November Things

***Finally linking up with Mamakat again: Share something you learned, bought, read and cooked in November.

Something I learned…

That it is imperative that I slow down and say no. We’ve had weekends and evening with time to just be together, all five of us, no rushing, no running around, no nothing, and it’s been amazing. I have to remember how much I love it when things are quiet. I forget so easily.

Something I bought…

Tickets to the OSU vs. Indiana game! Gabe and Matt went and it was Gabe’s first time at an OSU game. He loved it and was in awe the whole day! I got the tickets from a former student whose parents couldn’t use them that day. The seats were 11 rows from the field!

Something I read…

Three Wishes by Lianne Moriarty. It’s the story of triplets, Lynn, Gemma and Cat and all the ups and downs of their crazy lives. It was a fun, fluffy, mind-candy read. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, but it was definitely worth the read.

Something I cooked…

An entire Thanksgiving dinner!! It was delicious! I also made these “puffy tacos” from Pinterest that were delicious. I also made these salisbury steak meatballs from Pioneer Woman that were sooooooo good.

What did you learn, buy, read and cook in November?

Underestimated

I’ve been really upset over Olivia’s special needs lately. It’s not because she’s driving me crazy, or because it’s too hard, or because she’s missing out socially. It’s because I feel as though most people, especially her teachers at school this year, who work with her every day, are underestimating her. For whatever reason, she is acting up this year. She’s refusing to walk from class to class, she’s lashing out at friends, she’s misbehaving in ways we haven’t seen in years. It’s upsetting. I feel like she’s the one in charge when she’s at school when it should be the other way around. I think the main reason she’s able to get away with it is because they are completely underestimating her and her abilities.

I know I’m her mother, and I’m biased, but my girl is very smart. She’s wise, she’s intelligent, she comprehends everything. She’s capable of being someone’s friend, of going to classes with her peers, of doing so many things. I hate it that people look at her and see a disability instead of just a person. A person who is amazing. A person who is capable of damn near anything if she’s given the chance.  It is so upsetting to watch your child be undervalued and underestimated just because she has a disability. I wish they could step in my shoes and see just how far she’s come, just how much she has to offer, just how fun and loving she can be.

I’m not giving up on her…and I’m not letting anyone else either.

Teacher

I am proud to be called daughter, sister, wife and mother. But there’s one more title I am so very thankful for.

Teacher.

I just love my job. I feel privileged and lucky that I get to spend each day with kids, teaching them and loving them. I feel special because I get to be their teacher. Lately I’ve really been pondering how lucky I am that I love going to work every day and that I love what I do. I am so thankful that, 20 years ago, when I sat down with my college advisor for the first time that I decided to be a teacher. I had wanted to be a teacher my whole life. I’ve always loved kids, I’ve always loved school and I’ve always loved being in charge. There could have been a million reasons why NOT to be a teacher but I did it anyway because I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I am so thankful.

Education is a rough career to be in at the moment. We have people “in charge” making decisions for us teachers that are, frankly, ridiculous. They have no clue about teaching. None. We are required to do more and more and more testing and more and more things that are not in the students’ best interest. We feel vilified and treated as though we are unprofessional. It’s astounding to me that the powers that be choose to focus on those who have dedicated their lives to children. It’s sad and, unfortunately, it’s making people dislike their job or not choose education for a career at all. That, my friends, makes me so sad. Because they are missing out on the best part of teaching.

The kids.

They are amazing. Truly. Kids get a bad rap these days with all of the discussion of bullying and mean girls and everything else related to kids. But I’m here to tell you, kids, in general, are wonderful. They are kind, thoughtful, loving, funny, smart and intelligent. They have great ideas, they are hard workers and they just want to be loved. My 8th graders are like puppies. They are all arms and legs and awkward and so lovable. They are still little but big. They love to play games and will do anything for a Jolly Rancher or extra credit, but they are also figuring out the dating scene and dealing with some major issues at home. I know my face lights up when they walk in the room each day because I am truly glad they are there and I am truly happy that I get to teach them. It is a gift.

When I made the decision to go back to the classroom after seven years of teaching online, I was nervous. Was I too old to relate to the kids now? Was I too tired now that I had kids of my own to be the kind of teacher I wanted to be? Would they still like me and my class? Would I still like them? All of my fears were unfounded because I forgot the most important thing. I love kids. And they know it. And that’s all there is to it.

I wish I could tell anyone who is thinking of going into education that, if they feel it in their bones and are passionate about making a difference in the lives of kids, they should go for it. Do it. Sure there are many things about education that stink. The pay. The stress. More and more requirements from the government. Feeling under-appreciated and overwhelmed. Crazy parents. Frustrating kids. I choose not to focus on all of that other crap and focus on the best part. I get to spend each day with kids who are sweet and funny and figuring out the world. Kids who choose to eat lunch with me once a week. Kids who stop by my room in the morning just to say hello. Kids who bring me treats just because. Kids who ask how my weekend was and really want to know. Kids who want to talk movies, books, divorced parents, sports, anything and everything. The fact that I might make a difference in their life, in a small way or a big way, fills my heart with joy.

Yesterday, our language arts teachers delivered letters to us. Students were required to write a thank you letter to a teacher who made a difference in their life and tell them why. I was humbled to receive a few. They made me cry, honestly. To know that students feel good and look forward to coming to my class because of me, to know that they feel loved and appreciated and cared for, to know that they know I am here for them no matter what, and maybe they learn a little math in the process, is a wonderful feeling. And I feel so very blessed to have chosen this life for myself.

What’s Up?

Let’s see…things are slowing down a bit, thankfully. I’m not being dramatic when I say that August, September and October were insane. INSANE. We were way too busy, I said yes to way too many things and we all ended up miserable. On top of that, school for Olivia was going terribly wrong and we had to spend quite a bit of time getting all of that worked out. We started the school year without a game plan for our family, which was a really bad idea, and we finally feel like we are just now catching our breath.

Matt and I went through a rough patch. He was angry, I was angry, we were way too stressed and over scheduled and ended up just not liking each other very much. Anyone who’s been married for longer than a minute knows that’s the way it goes sometimes. But, the great news is, we came out on the other side even stronger in our relationship. Thank God. Those times aren’t easy, are they?

Things are better. We’ve made some changes in our schedule, made sure our priorities are set straight and we feel as though we’re back on track. We’ve been working with Olivia’s school and that’s going better too. It’s still not great, but it’s better. As long as things keep improving, I’m OK with that.

The boys are great. They’re enjoying having some free time as well. We’ve been playing ping pong, playing cards and games and enjoying being together as a family…just as it should be.

I’m working really hard on getting back to this space regularly. I miss being able to express myself this way. I hope a few of you are still out there waiting to read. I know I’m looking forward to reconnecting with all of you.

What’s new with you?

Happy This Week

No soccer means no running around each night! We are enjoying having time after dinner to play ping pong, board games, watch movies together, etc. It’s such a nice break!

Matthew is playing basketball and it might be the cutest thing ever.

Gabe tried out for his school basketball team and didn’t make it. BUT he handled it very well and is going to play rec basketball instead. I’m so proud of the way he handled himself!

Olivia is now in regular Science, Band and Art with her peers and she is loving it. Finally!

The Goldbergs this week was one the funniest things I’ve seen in a while!

I think Julia and Joel are going to get back together this week on Parenthood!! Do you??

Matt and I are going out on a date tonight!

I have the best teaching partners ever!

Only 7 more school days until Thanksgiving break!

What made you happy this week?

Happy This Week

I am working on a schedule for myself that will allow me to write a post at least three times a week. I have not been very good about that lately. I’m not going to lie, we’ve had a rough fall. With school starting, and especially with school not going well for Olivia at all this year, our focus has been on survival, basically. I haven’t been too focused on me or what I need because I’m focused on her and getting her what she needs. Matt’s been super stressed out too, so I’ve been focusing on him and helping him too. But I really miss writing here, and connecting with all of you, so I’m going to work on that.

So what made you happy this week? I hope there was a lot! Here’s what made me happy these last 2 weeks…

Surprising my friend at work with her favorite brownies that I make for her birthday…

A fall manicure with my manicurist who I adore…

A clean house…

Looking at my pictures on my phone and discovering three pictures taken by two of my favorite girl students…they are so goofy…

American Horror Story…we are watching Coven and Carnival Freak Show…those are some freaky shows…

Coffee with pumpkin spice creamer…

A weekend with no sports or commitments…just time to hang out and do school work…

Fall decorations…

A surprise care package from the 5p- Society filled with cups and pens and a magnet for our car…

Reading a good book even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time…

Getting tables for my classroom instead of desks so the kids can sit in groups…

Having the opportunity to go to the national math conference with my colleagues and having a blast and learning a ton…

Being a part of a wonderful inservice on Tuesday that was educational, fun and inspiring…ask any teacher, that hardly ever happens!…

Having friends over for dinner and games…

remembering that, above all else, I love everyone in my life with all of my heart and I am loved in return.

Happy This Week

Project Runway finale!!! Man, I love that show!!!

Seeing my kids super excited to wear their Halloween costumes at Matthew’s school…you won’t find a cuter TNMT or Munchkin!

Playing Spot It after dinner on a Tuesday night…

Working with awesome people…especially the other two 8th grade math teachers …we work so well together and are such a great fit!

Coffee and America’s Next Top Model with my Mom…

The Walking Dead!!!!

Looking at my family and realizing just how loved and blessed I am…

It’s Friday!

What made you happy this week?