Monthly Archives: February 2012

Reading, reading.

Yesterday at conferences I had a great opportunity to work in my classroom with minimal interruption (three people per night has been my consistent average in the 8 conference days I have put in). I was copying some Honor Choir part CDs we had recorded in the morning (32 in total…) and reading some articles online in between…being chained to a computer for burning CDs has its advantages. I read about cleaning an apartment in 30 days, about Target’s super analytical marketing strategies (they can predict pregnancy based on your purchasing habits…crazy!), how to clean a laptop, and many other short articles. Fascinating stuff…and yet, not a great use of brain power.

This morning, though, I have been doing taxes, which requires brain power. My 2010 taxes didn’t show a full year of teaching, and I worked at Bible Camp for part of the year, so my owed taxes (and income) were significantly lower…I’m not angry at the government for asking a lot of taxes from me, but yikes. It’s not a refund year. I think I need to adjust my W-4s or something.

Oh yeah, it’s my day off. That’s why I am posting at 11:00ish in the morning. Glorious, really. I don’t want to waste it, though I only have about 4 hours left until I go to the jazz band and show choir contest our high school hosts. I’ll be missing the sunshine in the office I’ll work in.

And so to sunshine. Or lunch. Or something!

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the day after Valentine’s Day

It’s not a school night! But it’s a work night. The past couple nights have been late ones (regrettably one was late because I was watching Downton Abbey online and the website was freezing up every five minutes…argh)…and Monday was the lasagna night. I was tired tired today. But tomorrow…eh, it’s not a teaching day, so I’m good, right? Hmm.

The other day a student of mine shared with other students (while in my classroom) that he had been reading his Bible the night before (first thing in the morning). Then later in the day he started telling some of the Genesis creation account, as it had been part of the 7 pages he’d read (under the covers because he was supposed to be asleep, as he told the group of kids). Is there any better thing to overhear? I just want to talk about that at school with kids, all the livelong day. Maybe not every moment of every day do I feel that way, but what a neat, neat thing to be within earshot of that conversation.

Valentine’s Day at an elementary school remains pretty top-notch. Lots of treats, notes from kids and a few friends of mine. I enjoyed supper with a family from church, received a bouquet of lovely tulips (in my top 2 flowers, probably, though I never can pick the #1) from them, and enthusiastically enjoyed contemplating the love of Christ as it pertains to the people around me. A sweet day–I’d like to have some more of those days; yes, on Valentine’s Day, but other days too. That holiday doesn’t have to be stereotypical, you know? I guess my expectations are just that it’s not.

One more day of conferences before the big break…er, comp day. I have a classroom to clean tomorrow…goody goody gumdrops as we used to say as kiddos. 🙂

 

Image

I love tulips. Mmhmm.

Time for an early bed-time, methinks. Happy “friday” Thursday tomorrow!

drizzle

Have you considered the greatness that is contained in the word “drizzle?” It most assuredly preceded any of the hip and hoppin’ slang like “fo shizzle” and all the other words with “izzle” suffixes…and it even has a legitimate definition. That is why I am happy to report that we are experiencing some drizzle this evening. And it’s kind of freezing. But not a lot…so it’ll be slick tomorrow, but we’ll be at school on time.

It’s conferences week. I am anxious to be done with them because that means home-stretch. I started Couch to 5K during conferences week last year, and though it’s not even close to as warm or dry as it was then, I remember the school year FLYING after that. I am anxious for warmer days, a little time with my seester in March, and blissful May/June days off. Which is to say preparing madly for a teaching gig in July, but you know what, it’s ok.

Conferences are not (have I said this before?) a really popular time to visit the music room. If you’re like me, you’re totally scratching your head…all those instruments, a chance to ask questions, move around the entire room, all without being scolded or redirected. But no. I have had 3 parents/families come in about every conference night I’ve had thus far. I’m wondering if Thursday will bring in the big numbers. Probably not. One parent asked me if I even go to conferences because I don’t give any tests.

I don’t?

I know, I know. Not those tests that conferences are all up in arms about. But where do they think those report card grades and comments are coming from? Am I wasting my time entirely at the end of the quarter to enter those results with care and precision? Actually…don’t answer that. It won’t change my mind. My assessments are required by the district and are useful for instruction, if nothing else. If Johnny can’t tell the difference between a quarter note, a dynamic marking, and a bass clef, I’ve probably got some work to do…but my assessments along the way would have caught the problem before moving on. Or something.

There’s a lasagna in the oven…I’m getting a head start on tomorrow’s dinnah…but it needs to cook, cool, and fit in the fridge before bed. I should probably get ready for bed ahead of that, or it’s going to be a really late night.

Have a blessed Valentine’s Day. I’m hopeful that you will find reason or cause to bless someone with words of encouragement and affirmation today, as growing together in Christ is described in the Bible! 🙂

Lurv,

patty

beautiful exchange

I just used an iTunes gift card from Christmas to buy a much anticipated Hillsong album. It’s not that new (2010…Beautiful Exchange), but it’s grand. Love Like Fire, Forever Reign, Our God is Love (among others). I am singing a lot.

This weekend promises to be one of many reunions and socializing. I like those weekends. The timing is pretty excellent, too, as I might be tempted to wallow in self-ness otherwise. Yes. Self-ness. The mentality I adopt when I stubbornly neglect to recall all the ways that my life is blessed by people and circumstances that God has orchestrated. Perhaps you’ve experienced it, too. Winter (and perhaps even Valentine’s Day) has its way of amplifying its effects.

BUT, I do want to share with you some encouragement that I read in a newsletter/email from boundless (Focus on the Family’s young adult ministry) today. Lisa, one of the staffers, challenged readers to intentionally encourage and affirm people during the month. What an easy gift to give, but let’s be honest, affirmation goes a LONG way in this house. I mean, if someone tells me that my sugar cookies are the bomb, I know they are not only telling the truth, they are affirming my recipe selection and cookie baking skillz. Ha, that was a conceited example. But it’s true that affirmation goes a long way; a small compliment of my writing at work literally lightened my steps for the rest of the day a few weeks ago. Even outward-appearance compliments bring a smile when they are genuine. I get a lot of these compliments, being that I work with kids who like to outdo one another…I’ve written posts about this before (I like your hair, I like your shirt, I like your smile, I like your shoes, I like everything about you)…I have a bit of a filter. But it still can go a long way.

Should you be the recipient of some encouragement, take heart–you are not just a box-to-check :). This is a practice that I have been pretty adamant about in the past few years, but the reminder was timely because I wasn’t really actively doing that and I wasn’t sure how else to treat the Tuesday of next week…didn’t really have the inspiration to make cards (though how fun would that be) or the desire to buy them and send them out.

Today my tumultuous stomach was at peace. It was a huge blessing. I was very productive this morning and had a very nice teaching day, though full. I might have shot my voice for the night (or was that my Hillsong singfest?).

Scootin’ outta here. My half birthday is NEXT WEEK. Where did the last six months go? Peace to you!

green

Green is the color of sick days. Today was one. I’ve got some kind of stomach upset…pain all day (last night, too). I went to school and turned around within the hour and went home.

Green is also the color of the smoothies I made after dinner. I figured nothing had come up all day, so I was probably ok to eat (perhaps my logic is off), and have been collecting the ingredients for such a “health food” all week. In the smoothies went spinach (green) that you can’t taste, bananas, strawberries, vanilla yogurt, a little milk (it was getting stuck), a little honey (the banana and strawberries were on the less-ripe side, so not very sweet), and some lime juice to bring it home. It was very thick, pretty rich, and perhaps not what the doctor ordered…but I rationalize it as “liquid” :).

I’m going to read now. Got a lot of knitting done today (the gusset is being shaped!), but haven’t got much more knitting in me for the day. We’ll see. I’ve got a movie to put in (Steel Magnolias, borrowed from a friend because I’ve never seen it). Peace!

remember that stink eye?

I just paid a co-pay and a prescription fee to find out that it’s irritated. I’m trying some antibiotic drops in case there’s infection, but my doctor didn’t think that was a sure fix. I did learn a new way to administer eye drops today (first at school and then the directions in the prescription bag)…and decided to practice with Visine first. It didn’t clear up my eye immediately (whew, didn’t cry wolf!), but the drop seemed to do something. I’ll give the other drops a shot starting tonight.

Practicing piano is difficult as an adult with high musical expectations. I mean, if I go over something long enough it should be easy…that’s how clarinet worked, that is how most things work…but I am clearly not dedicating enough time to these accompaniments I need to “perform” a week from tomorrow. EEEK. Do you have a piano that I could play this weekend? I suppose I could go to school and play, but seriously…not as much fun as you would think. The e-flat on the treble clef space (so an octave and a minor third above middle c) sticks like duct tape and is not very yielding to the gentlest of touches. Besides that, the songs I picked are boring to the max now that I’ve played them over and over (hands alone, mostly, with a little both-hands action to break up the monotony).

Today I wore a sweater vest I’m not sure about. I bought it thinking I could base a pattern off of it (it’s a tad on the small side) and have hardly worn it. Two people complimented it right off the bat, one of them asking if I’d made it myself. This means that it’s worth wearing again (or that it’s the first time I’ve worn something out of the ordinary and it caught their attention). Regardless, the part of my school clothes I enjoyed most, as with most days, is my Wide Leg Trousers from Gap. I got them on sale and they fit better than any dress pants have ever fit me. I hope I can find some more of them in new colors next time I make a trip to a mall…of course, even if not new colors, I might line up some replacements, as these are getting quite a workout.

Too personal today? Perhaps. My apologies.

On the menu tomorrow: lasagna or tacos. I even bought Italian Sausage and ground beef. It’s going to be great! 🙂

Have a great night!