30 August 2009

Lucky 33

I turned 33 today, and since 3 has always been my favorite number, I figure the stars are aligned for this to be my best year yet. Ryan made me scrambled eggs and a Pepsi for breakfast this morning, then gave me some thoughtful gifts: a hardback by one of my very favorite poets, Sharon Olds, and a key necklace I recently admired in the Fossil catalogue. That boy listens and that boy knows me.

Macauley totally forgot it was my birthday, but he quickly plucked the head of someone else's flower and presented it to me and then tried his best to fulfill my birthday request of him just to be sweet (to me) all day.

We actually went to the surprise birthday party for Ryan's mother's upcoming 60th birthday this afternoon, and his family made sure I got lots of cards and goodies, too.

Ryan's dad has taken up woodworking in his retirement and made me this set of Adirondack chairs! Wow. He said he knew I'd want to paint them "shabby chic" so he left them a blank canvas. Very sweet.

After the party, the boys took me to the mall and let me pick out a "3"rd gift (with multiple parts, as you can see).

We actually went out for our big celebration this past Friday night. We met Lindsay and Tyson (who gave me the chalkboard stemless glasses from Pier 1 I've been wanting and a few other items) and Adrian and Stephanie (who gave me a yummy candle) at Metropolitan Grill. We absolutely feasted and had a really nice time. Then Linds came over tonight and brought me a cherry chip cake, knowing it's been my fave for years.

Barb picked me up Saturday and we made it to the Spring Creek Tearoom just in time for a delicious lunch and a little shopping. She gave me the cute towels and soap in the vintage-looking bag and we found several treasures.

In my head I feel something like 17, but I'm just fine with turning 33. My 34th year is off to a good start, and I am just as lucky as can be.

First week down

We made it through the first week of first grade. Isn't it just tradition to take a picture on the first day of school? I know we always did growing up, and I want to be sure to get one of Macauley (and probably his BFF Megan) every year, too.

I was already gone to school when Macauley got up and Ryan got him ready, but I wanted him to know I would be thinking of him...

...and to remind Daddy to take that traditional picture. One week down, 35 to go!

27 August 2009

Summer Sayonara

Just as our summer vacation was coming to a close, some of my teacher friends from school--two fellow English teachers and three Spanish teachers--came over to catch up a little and eat yummy food before we went back to work. I took a few pictures of the kitchen, which I look at longingly now because it was clean and now there are dishes in the sink and laundry on the table and I'm too worn out to deal with any of it. But I will.

I was mostly photographing the curtains I had made for in here. I'm loving the fabric and the look they give the room, but I think the valance over the sink is too long? Maybe I'll tie it up a little with some jute or something for a Roman shade effect?

I also snapped the pretty package I put together for my friend Sarah's birthday. She's really into skeleton keys and steampunk right now. The little get-together was her idea, and it was a good way to bid the carefree days of summer a fun adios.

24 August 2009

It flew by...

Our luxuriously lazy summer vacation has come to an end and school starts tomorrow for Macauley and me.

I've been working in my classroom all week, and it looks good. I got to move to one of the former science rooms vacated by the renovation at Kickapoo, and I painted the walls a deep blue to modernize the avocado green cabinetry along the back wall. Very homey and very big with lots of storage for all my books and all my fun creative supplies. I got all new tables and chairs, but I haven't gotten my teacher desk yet so I'm still a little out of sorts without a home base to work from. And my projector and Elmo, both of which are essential to my day-to-day teaching, aren't getting power yet. I'll be winging it tomorrow, and probably for a number of days after that.

I always get butterflies in my tummy at the start of school...anxious about the kids and me sizing each other up, anxious about getting up in the dark and leaving with my boys still in bed, anxious about being able to be a disciplinarian when that so isn't in me. I know I'm a good teacher, and I do enjoy my work. And I know that after tomorrow, the flutters will subside. You know how new beginnings can be...

Macauley doesn't seem to have any anxiety about starting first grade tomorrow. He was so excited to go back to his school this morning and meet his teacher. I was helping him get dressed this morning and he grabbed me by the shoulders and said, "I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M A FIRST GRADER!" Neither can I. I remember when I felt those first few flutters of his tiny life in my belly. I'd been told the first time I felt my baby move that it would feel just like butterfly wings, and it did. Now my little butterfly just takes off at will, flying farther and farther from me every day, without any idea he should be nervous to start a new year in a new class. I'm so glad. I'll handle the butterflies for the both of us.

12 August 2009

A few finds

Some recent finds from a recent trip to STD East... I was hoping the ledger pages were tall enough to cover the panes on the french doors to my office/studio, but they're just a little small.

The little white ceramic basket was marked "10 cents Make Offer" and the soap dish was 75 cents with 50% off but no booth number, so the guy at the desk made me a tag for 20 cents for both of them! The white chippy bracket and round metal screen are actually from Riverview, where Sarah and I did some speed shopping before closing time on Saturday.

I'm trying to get this dog genealogy chart out of the book without ripping it so I can frame it and put it with some of my dog collection. My own little booth had done well for me over the last few weeks, so I used some of my profits and picked up all these little things for about $20.

10 August 2009

Getting supplied

Macauley and I did his school supply shopping this afternoon. He is actually pretty excited to get back to Wanda Gray. The first grade list wasn't quite as extensive as the kindergarten one. For example, we only had to get 6 glue sticks and last year it was 15 the first time around and then Macauley's teacher sent out an SOS for more sticks two other times later in the year, so we ended up buying probably 50 some. All in the name of education, so I'm glad to do it. This year we needed:

2 dozen Dixon brand #2 pencils (please sharpen)
1 pkg. pencil-top erasers
1 box Crayola-brand crayons, 24 count
1 pair Fiskar scissors, blunt tip
6 glue sticks
1- 4oz. bottle of washable, white glue
2 boxes of tissues
1 box of 8 washable markers, classic colors
1 pkg. antibacterial wipes
4 “AA” batteries
1 three-hole, fabric pencil case
1 bottle of hand sanitizer
1 box of Ziploc bags (sandwich size)
2 two-pocket, heavy duty folders (not plastic)

I picked up a number of things for my own classroom while we were there, but not quite as many as our 3-foot long receipt makes it seem. Walmart usually has their spiral notebooks for about 10 cents right before school, and I always buy enough so that I can give one to each of my students to use as a journal. This year, I bought 175 (to cover both semesters and several sections of classes). I handed one to the sweet older lady checking us out and told her how many I had. She tried to ring them up as a quantity, but the computer wouldn't let her, so she rang up one and then just kept hitting the repeat button. I was thinking she might want to let off a bit, since she was pushing it faster than the number was showing up on the screen, but I didn't say anything (even though I DID ring groceries for a few years in college and still count that as one of my favorite jobs ever). Sure enough, she quits pressing and the computer keeps going to 200+ notebooks. She then pulls out the receipt and begins manually counting how many she's got on there and then has to go back and one by one hit the minus button and scan a notebook to erase the 40 some she is over. She pulls that receipt out and again manually counts to see how many she has returned. Meanwhile, Macauley keeps pulling Pop Rocks and ChapStick and a mini Etch-a-Sketch and asking why he can't get it all. When all is said and done, Mary reprints a third copy of the receipt that's the length of my leg, and as if I didn't already feel guilty enough about all the paper wasted on that whole deal, I had forgotten my reusable bags and notice that Mary has bagged all of about 2 glue sticks per bag so I've gone through a bunch of plastic, too.

What I thought was really cute, though, was that while Macauley and I were in a holding pattern in the school supply aisle while a clerk went to "the back" to find the above mentioned "fabric" pencil pouch in a color other than pink for us, I noticed an older guy, kind of country looking, wandering down the aisle talking on his cell phone and looking for something. I heard him say, "Well, I don't see it yet, but I'm in the aisle with all the mamas, so I must be in the right place." I guess school supply shopping is mama's work...

{End of} Summer Fun

Summer is winding down for us (this is my last full week before I need to be back working in my new classroom and school starts on the 25th) but we've been busy fitting in some final little outings. Macauley and I went to White Water with Kora and her mom last Friday, and then we all went on a family float at Hooten Town near Crane yesterday. In addition to Kora and her mom and dad, the Sharpe family also came along, including Spencer, who was in Macauley's kindergarten class last year. It was only a 20 minute drive there and the 2 mile float was the perfect length for the kids. Macauley absolutely loved every bit of it.

We also had Megan over one night last week for Macauley's very first sleepover at our house. It was kind of spur of the moment...when he asked I just said yes without thinking too much about it. Megan's mom told her to be sure not to stay up until midnight or she would be crabby for gymnastics the next day. I did my best to get them settled in at a decent hour, but from my bed, I kept hearing little footsteps jumping around upstairs. The last time I went up to tell them to "Go to sleep!" (as if they would just instantly close their eyes and be out...which, for me at least, is much easier said than done) it was 12:40 am. I didn't notice any crabbiness the next day, but Macauley did fall asleep in front of SpongeBob about 5 that afternoon and had to be woken up to go to the Ozark Empire Fair that night. The fair was another bit of traditional summer fun and was much nicer this year than in years past. A lot cleaner and brighter and even the carnies were friendlier.

This week, Lane and Derek are in town, so we are doing some things with them and going to the lake on Friday. I think the sisters are hitting the Spring Creek tearoom for lunch tomorrow! We'll squeeze in as much as we can before summer gets away from us.

04 August 2009

Life is good...

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two
most beautiful words in the English language."
~Henry James

03 August 2009

Leapin' lizards

We were gone to visit my parents in Arkansas all weekend, and I guess our murderous cat Maya used that time to capture this poor lizard and let it go in our house. We only discovered it late last night when Macauley was playing in the pile of covers beside my bed and felt it run across his arm! He came into my office to get me and I totally didn't believe him when he said there was a lizard in my bedroom. But there was. He had gotten behind my huge armoire, but Ryan was able to coax him out and into a cup.

At first we thought we had a two-headed lizard, but a closer look revealed that the poor thing was just missing his tail.

We took it outside and Ryan let it crawl all over him, and that little thing didn't seem to want to go much of anywhere away from him. Ryan tried to let it go in the woods but the lizard just clung to him. He finally put it closer to our side porch where lots of frogs come and go. So what if Macauley hadn't been rolling around on the floor and we had gone to bed as usual last night and our little lizard had wiggled across MY arm in bed??? I'm not afraid of lizards in their own element, but to come across one unexpectedly in my own...eeks.


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