Saturday, November 19, 2011


Sound of the week: sh

This sound can always be a little tricky because some kids like to share their knowledge of inappropriate words that can begin with the sh sound. However, it's still a sound they need to know so we truck ahead and I just keep my fingers crossed that it's kept first grade appropriate. Well my students delivered. I was looking over their papers and in the midst of lots of ships, sharks and shots I stumbled across one that I couldn't decipher. One thing I LOVE about first graders is phonetic spelling. I love seeing how they sound out words and see the progress as they learn. However I had no idea was a 'Shimimntmers' was. When he told me what the word was I couldn't even pretend to hold back my laughter.

sh word winner is: Shiver me timbers...hence the pirate.
Runner up just might be the word tishoo
I love 1st graders!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Something is missing in my life. I feel off. I feel weird. I feel out of place. It's like I can't find somewhere that I fit. 100%...completely....fully fit. I don't think I've ever felt that way.
Then the more I try to fit the farther I get and the more out of place I feel.
I wish I could figure it out enough to fix it.

And if you feel just like a tourist, in the city you were born
Then it's time to go
And define your destination
There's so many different places to call home
Because when you find yourself the villain in the story you have written
It's plain to see
That sometimes the best intentions are in need of redemption's
Would you agree?
If so please show me
-Death Cab for Cutie: You are a Tourist

Sunday, September 25, 2011


This post is mostly for Andy and I. It is a way of trying to record the the thoughts and feelings we've been having for the last week. Last Sunday we found out that one of Andy's best friends had passed away. He had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gerhig's disease) in 2009.
When Andy and I were dating and after we got married I had heard a lot about Mark. I heard lots of funny stories and we spent quite a few nights with Mark and his wife Elizabeth. As often happens, life got in the way, and we didn't see Mark and Liz as much as we wanted. Despite that, the fact that Mark was Andy's best friend never changed. He was always there. When Mark became a police officer he would come to our house and bang on the front door yelling "Mesa PD". One time my school got broken into and Mark was the responding officer. He called me and met me at the school, where he proceeded to walk around with me just to make sure that I and my classroom were okay.
When we found out that Mark had been diagnosed with ALS it was really hard. We went to rallies and benefits for him and despite it all he was still Mark. One of the last times I saw Mark was at a benefit for him at Mesa High. At this point Mark was in a wheelchair and was only able to talk by using this computer that he typed on by using his eyes. When we walked up and Mark saw us the first thing he said to Andy was "Settle down". This was a joke between them and we will always remember that moment.
Andy's parents told us that Mark had passed away last Sunday. That afternoon we went over to Mark and Liz's house to see Liz. She told us what had happened and was very calm. I remember how calm and peaceful it felt in their home. Monday was a hard day for me. It was hard for Andy to express his emotions, but I was doing enough of that for both of us. The viewing was Friday night. It was amazing to see how many lives Mark had touched. When we got to the viewing there were tables set up with pictures of Mark and his family. They also had his police uniform on display. 2 officers stood guard by the casket. We saw Mark's parents first. They both hugged us and I overheard both of them tell Andy how much Mark loved him. We saw Mark's brothers and they both told Andy the same thing. Finally we saw Liz. Andy went over and gave her a big hug. He had written her a letter and she thanked him for it and then said, "I hope you know how much Mark loved you." It was amazing. Here she is...heartbroken and yet she can still find words of comfort to give to Andy. I gave her a hug, but I couldn't think of anything to say. "I'm sorry..." didn't seem enough. We just looked at each other and she smiled and then we moved away to make room for more people.
Saturday was the funeral. Because Mark was a police officer his funeral was with the complete honor guard and everything. I can't put into words how touching it is to see all these officers in uniform paying tribute to their friend. The funeral was very sweet. Sad and emotional, but funny and uplifting. Mark's family shared memories and funny stories of him and Andy was sitting beside me going, "Yep...that was Mark" and "I remember that...". On our way to the cemetery Andy was very quiet. I asked him how he was feeling and he said "I didn't want the funeral to end. I just wanted them to keep talking about Mark."
Today was a hard day. I have been crying on and off since Friday. I have so many emotions right now. Part of me feels guilty for being so sad. Especially when Liz and Mark's family are the ones going through this. I feel heartbroken for Mark's 5 kids. I feel inspired by Liz and her countless hours of service. I feel honored to have known Mark.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random mush of babbling...

Yesterday I had a very unpleasant encounter with another individual. It was loud and angry and hurtful. There was swearing and accusations thrown at me from this person and despite it all, I just found myself sitting there and apologizing. I then proceeded to spend the next hour crying (not in front of this person) and then went home and dwelt on in for the rest of the evening. I was told by someone else that I need to put a barricade up and not let this affect my life. Don't take it home with me and don't think about it again. Problem is....I have NO idea how to do that. I don't know how to let it go. Here is this person....a person that is unstable, irrational and defensive and frankly a person that I don't really even like that much and despite knowing these things about her I still took it home and let it fester. People say "let it go" and "don't let it get to you".
HOW?!? How do I do that? What is it about me that can't stand that someone (even someone crazy) is mad at me? I would love to not care. I would love to let it go. I just don't know quite how to do that. I worry about what people think about me. I worry about me saying the wrong thing. I worry about losing friends and second guess a lot of what I say and do because of this. Even now as I write this I worry about who (if anyone) will read it and what they will think.
Argh. I think it's time for some chocolate.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Well hello....

Can't believe it's September already. In some aspects the summer flew by. In other aspects is has dragged more slowly than anything ever has before. I blame the weather. When it's hot, the days drag and there is nothing else to do but count the minutes until you are laying in your air conditioned bedroom cocoon. Despite the tear inducing heat we have managed to have some fun.

First off...California. I'll let this picture speak for itself.
If you want more of the adventure...go here.

Bring on the midnight showing of Harry Potter.

Then my birthday. I have great friends who surprised me with...

amazing presents...

and a show at Jester'Z Improv Theater...which was amazing.

Then it was off to San Diego with my mom and sister-in-law to see Mary Poppins
Birthday weekend was capped off by going to the Death Cab for Cutie concert with Andy
Somewhere in all of this school started and life is back into some resemblance of a routine.

Looking forward to: Colorado & cooler weather

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Absolute must...

There are lots of things that I want to do in my lifetime. Lots of places to go and things to see. However there is one place that is in my top 3 that I absolutely HAVE to see. The desire to go there is so strong that I am seriously tempted to jump in the car and drive the 1300+ miles right now!
Glacier National Park

I can't explain it, but the urge is consuming. One day. One day soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

End of school gifts....

I have been the lucky recipient of a variety of gifts over my years of teaching. Some have been interesting (a.k.a 3 foot tall wooden penguin from the dumpster), some have been thoughtful (can of Dr. Pepper that he took from his fridge at home because he knew I liked it) and some have been downright "special" (orange with toothpicks stuck in it). However interesting or thoughtful or "special" the gifts are they always mean a lot to me because they come from my students and they are important to them.

This years end of the year gifts were no exception.
1. Mixing bowls
2. Glass hot air balloon wind chime3. Muffin wrapped in a napkin tied with a hair rubber band
4. Tin foil wrapped mystery package that I thought was a loaf of bread. I left it sitting on the table for the entire day. When I opened it that afternoon I discovered that it was not a loaf of bread, but a sub sandwich...with mayonnaise.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


After 2 months I figured it was time to play a little catch up. Life is the same. Work, work and more work. Luckily the continuity of work is sometimes broken up by little snippets of fun.

Snippet #1: Liz graduated with her Master's degree and Mom, Parker, Karinda and Jaydin came down from Flagstaff so that we could meet Alex at the airport when he came back from a trip back east.

Snippet #2: We went to Flagstaff to visit our family and do a little celebration for Jaydin's 1st birthday which was the week before. While we were there Jaydin started walking more. He had already taken a few steps before, but it was so fun to see him walking around all by himself.

Snippet #3: We just spent the 1st part of Memorial Day weekend with our good friends at the Legacy Resort in Phoenix. We had a blast eating, swimming, playing games, eating, reading, eating, trying on random stuff at the mall and eating. It was a great weekend!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby in my continued attempt pretending that I know how to decorate my house. As I was standing in the checkout line a teenage girl and her mom got into the line across from me. Since the person in front of me was buying thousands of pieces of foam that had to be scanned individually, I had a lot of time to stand there and pretend that I wasn't eavesdropping on this girl and her mom. Since I missed the 1st half of the conversation all I could gather was that the mom wasn't going to let the daughter go and do something that was totally awesome and the mom was now totally lame and a jerk for not understanding her daughters need for doing said awesome thing and for "ruining her life forever". As the conversation continued the girl got more whiny, more mouthy, more disrespectful and I really did think that her eyes were going to get stuck in the back of her head for all the eye rolling she was doing.
As I stood there for what seemed like hours, I remembered that not that long ago, I was the whiny, mouthy, disrespectful daughter. I was the one with the bad attitude and the over exaggerated eye roll. I wanted to tell this girl that it wasn't worth it. Whatever totally awesome thing she wasn't being allowed to do was not worth it. It was not worth the distance it would put on her relationship with her mom. It was not worth hurting her mom's feelings. It was just not worth it. One day she is going to wake up and realize just how much she needs her mom and hopefully the distance and hurt feelings and pain won't be too much to overcome. I was lucky enough to have such a mom. The mom that forgave the attitude and the garbage and managed to love me anyways. The mom that is now one of my very best friends. I wanted to help the girl realize what I had to learn the hard way. I wanted to tell her what a good thing she has going and that one day she will regret this. I didn't tell her. Foam lady had finally finished and the checker was waiting impatiently for me to move my things forward. So hopefully she will realize it on her own.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Students did a writing sample today. Here are some of their thoughts.

I'm going to chase butterflies and bee's, but don't worry I will let them all go.

I have a cunfy bed. It is cunfy. My blanket is cunfy. My pillow is cunfy. Everything on my bed is cunfy. (cunfy = comfy. Maybe we'll start learning some more synonyms)

I like to go swimming at the 'bich'
(took me a second...and a sigh of relief to realize he meant beach. Note to self: Don't just pick out single words. Read in context.)

I have a rooster. It pecked my hand. I do not like my rooster.

I am going to play my 'pee S pee'
(PlayStation Portable aka PSP. Note to self: Next week's lesson. Acronyms.)

One of my students informed me today that he could not go outside for recess. When I asked him why, he said that when the trees looked like wipers on the car from the wind, then he had asthma and couldn't play outside. I said that was fine and he continued to tell me that he learned that from his doctor and that his doctor also told him that he needs to watch his fats. Trying my hardest to hold in my laughter ( I didn't realize I was a teacher to a 50 year old man) I asked what he meant by that and he said that if you look at nutrition there are fats and he needs to watch them and eat healthy. I told him that yes, eating healthy was very important...then I walked into the next room and burst out laughing.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Last week I was able to spend 3 days at an education conference in Phoenix. The couple days leading up to it were filled with a bit of stress and apprehension due to the fact that I would have to leave my class for 3 straight days, not to mention I'd have to make sub plans for those days. Any teacher knows the headache that comes with making sub plans. I was a little unsure about what to expect at this conference. Would it be a bunch sales people masquerading as educators just trying to push their literature and propaganda on us? Would it be a bunch of people telling us that they had the cure-all, but we'd have to buy their book to find out what it was?
Instead I spent 3 days listening to real educators with real experiences and stories and ideas. I was uplifted. I was motivated. I was told that the work I am doing does make a difference. It seems like everywhere you go these days all you hear about is the downfall in the education system. There's no money, no resources, teachers that make too much to do too little. One of the presenters touched upon the fact that when the economy is good, you never hear a thing about education...good or bad, but when the economy is bad, that's all you hear about.
Now I am not saying that there are not bad teachers out there or that the financial strains don't have a huge impact, but I do know that the majority of educators in the country are there doing the very best they can for the kids.
I can't even put into words all that I got out of this conference. The speakers were amazing and overall the feeling from the 2,300 attendees was extremely positive and uplifting. It helped me to remember why I wanted to do this job in the first place. One of the speakers talked about how teaching can be a thankless job. You might never know the impact or influence that you had on someone. Then they showed this video clip. Never have I heard 2,300+ people so quiet. I think as teachers we all secretly hope to have something like that one day.

In keeping with the theme of education I wanted to share a couple of student-isms from today.
*one of my students came to school with a black eye today. Of course the students were curious as to how it happened. This is the conversation that followed.*

Student: How did he get that black eye?
Me: I don't know. Maybe he was fighting a monster or something.
Student: Um...monsters aren't allowed in the United States.
Me: Oh they're not?
Another student: No. They all belong in Canada.

In P.E the teacher has been showing the students how to look at the nutrition information on food labels. Today for breakfast we had some dried apple slices in a little bag. One of the students picks it up and looks at it.

Student: I can't eat this.
Me: Why not?
Student: Look at the nutrition. There is too much sugar. How unhealthy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Recently for some reason I have been finding Chuck Norris sayings and jokes and I just thought I would share some on this blog. Since I rarely add anything of significance to Sara's and my blog I thought I'd continue that with this.
1. Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch... He decides what time it is.
2. Chuck Norris doesn't breathe he holds air hostage
3. There is no ctrl button on Chuck Norris' computer because Chuck Norris is always in control.
4. Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table because he is the only person who recognizes the element of surprise.
5. Some people can burp the alphabet but Chuck Norris can fart out the dictionary.
6. Chuck Norris escaped a high speed police pursuit on a broken rocking horse.
7. Chuck Norris can stab you to death with a bubble.
8. Chuck Norris kicked a donkey in the chin. Its decedents are known as giraffes.
9. Chuck Norris doesn't do push ups he pushes the world down.
10. Chuck Norris' smile once brought a puppy back to life.
11. Chuck Norris uses a stunt double... for crying scenes.
12. The reason for Global Warming is Chuck Norris got cold and turned up the sun.
13. Some people wear superman pajamas, Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.
14. Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
15. When the boogieman goes to sleep he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
16. Chuck Norris can speak braille.
17. Chuck Norris can delete the Recycle bin.
18. Chuck Norris can run Windows 7 on his etch-a-sketch.
19. Chuck Norris can do a wheelie on a unicycle.
20. Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.
21. Chuck Norris can strangle you with a cordless phone
22. Chuck Norris can build a snowman in the rain.
23. Voldemort refers to Chuck Norris as "You Know Who."
24. Chuck Norris can win a game of connect four in three moves.
25. Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Road Trip...

Andy and I have a goal to visit all 50 states together. We had a free weekend and decided now was as good a time as any to cross a couple more off our list. The border of New Mexico is not too far from where Andy's brother lives and then El Paso is only 3 hours from there. We left Friday afternoon, hit Burger House in Globe - Miami (which is where joy masquerading as a burrito lives) and then headed to Duncan. We spent the night with Paul and Lacy, ate a yummy breakfast at Ol' Joe's cafe and were off. We got to El Paso around noon. Saw the sights and headed back to Duncan around 3. only took 3 hours to see the sights of El Paso and that included driving aimlessly quite a bit because Mr. GPS doesn't know where the heck he's going.
All in all we decided that El Paso was not the place for us (except for some really good Mexican food), but we were able to get out, spend some time together, go on an adventure and cross 2 more states off our list.
Mission accomplished.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's not too late... blog about Christmas is it?
It hasn't even been a month. I think I'm still okay.
We spent Christmas in Mesa with the Ebert crew. Christmas eve consisted of lots of food, a white elephant gift exchange (including Grandma getting a book entitled Naked Conversations...whatever that means) and a slightly modified telling of The Nativity. Andy and I went home for our usual Christmas Eve tradition of watching It's A Wonderful Life. Christmas morning we went back to Andy's parents to open presents and hang out. We went to Gulliver's Travels, ate more, took naps and went shopping. All in all it was a nice Christmas!