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December 31, 2014

Unqualified Advice from a Twenty-Something


A lot of advice articles have been going viral. Most of them are written by barely twenty-something's, or have titles that are controversial but the article says exactly what the reader believes. As a twenty-something, I feel like my advice is pretty much comparable to a twelve year-old's with better grammar. That being said, here is a dose of unqualified advice from a twenty-something:

Aaron and I have been dieting since school started in August. We aren't to our goal weights yet (thanks, Christmas) but so far, between the two of us, we have lost four pant sizes and seventy-seven pounds.  

 Here is a seventy-seven pound Dachshund for a frame of reference.

I'm not telling you this to brag (although it is nice to slip that piece of good news somewhere in here) but to say I struggle with this point I am eventually going to get to. 

There has been a trend where everyone claims everyone is beautiful. And however nice that sounds, repeating it over and over again doesn't make it true. Although society's definition of beauty changes based on what era we are in, not everyone is going to fit in the cookie cutter definition of beauty.

It is instinctual to judge people based on looks and the sound of their voice. In fact, it takes a millisecond to decide if someone is trustworthy or not. That isn't necessarily something to be ashamed of, it is just biology. I  understand we need to be aware of how we present ourselves. 

But why do we value ourselves on how we fit in a size two or how well we can contour our face rather than other character traits, such as intelligence, kindness, or integrity? I'm not saying you need to pick one trait or another. Don't run out after not showering for weeks and yell at people to accept you because you have a masters degree. 

Please bathe. 

I would be offended if all a person could say about me is that I am fashionable or know how to apply makeup. I would much rather someone praise how I stick to my beliefs, or that I am clever, or kind. 

How about for your New Years resolution, in addition to losing the equivalent of an obese Dachsund puppy off your waist, focus on a character trait to improve. Let's make 2015 a year where we focus less on the packaging of the gift and more on the content. 



December 26, 2014

Christmas Post

There is something special about sunrises. I am saying this as a person who doesn't appreciate mornings, otherwise. A sunrise is like a page is being turned and new words are waiting to be written for the day. Aaron and I found ourselves witnessing one yesterday and if sunrises are special, a Christmas sunrise is that much more so. I tend to witness Christmas morning sunrises and I was glad yesterday was no exception. 

We were driving to Lubbock's airport to make our journey to Round Rock. I was reminiscing about past Christmases, and missing the Christmas magic that came standard with being a child. Christmas will never feel like it did when we were children but hopefully we wil be able to see it through our own kids someday.

Our plane ride was pretty exciting. I was certain we sat next to Tom Selleck, but Aaron said it was a 5'8" man with a hispanic accent. In the middle of the flight, we heard a sudden yell from a man two rows behind us and an announcement asking if there was a doctor in the house. Fortunately, there was a doctor and a nurse and through careful eavesdropping, I discovered that the man experienced his first siezure. It didn't last very long and the doctor talked to him throughout the duration of the flight. He seemed to be okay and fortunately it isn't a very long flight. 

It was so nice seeing my family, eating too much, and giggling half of those calories off playing white elephant afterwards. 

My mom is on the board of directors for a professional theatre company in Austin and we saw one of their plays today. I always get so nostalgic for the theatre whenever we see plays. In a perfect world, I would love to start a community theatre in Seagraves. Maybe someday. You know, when I suddenly find myself with free time. (I should probably delete this paragraph so no one can hold me accountable for this statement).
 

November 27, 2014

The Unspoken Rules of the Thanksgiving Table

Julia and Julia is playing in the background (the ladies won that battle), the dog is snoring, the men are talking cars, and Mimi is watching videos about cats with a sweet smile on her face. This year is Aaron's side of the family's turn with Thanksgiving. Although I have eaten at a variety of Thanksgiving tables throughout the course of my young life, I have discovered there is a list of unspoken rules that occur at these tables, no matter what location or who surrounds it. Here is the condensed version:

1. Stories that have been told 100 times will be told a 101th time.

2. The Thanksgiving meal will never start on time.

3. Something will be spilled or broken (usually by yours, truly).

4. A comment will be made on how Thanksgiving has snuck up on them.

5. Someone else will comment on how everyone's head is in their electronic devices

6. It takes a lot of convincing to get the men away from the football game once dinner is finally ready.

7. A forgotten dish will be remembered once everyone is finally in their place at the table, causing the person positioned closest to the kitchen to retrieve it, along with 10 other forgotten items.

8."I will never eat like that again," will be uttered.

9. Turkey will sedate the consumer.

10. No one is happy with the Cowboys.

Of course, there are traditions that belong to different branches of family, but these universal rules of the Thanksgiving table are as comfortable as a thousand blankets.

November 24, 2014

Deck the Hills

Deck the Hills with blankets and vicks.
cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough
Tis the season to be sneazy 
sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze

Don we now our sweats and hoodies 
cough cough cough, sneeze sneeze sneeze, cough cough cough
Troll the ancient songs of sickness. 
sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze, sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze. 

Turn the heat up, it's really cold.
cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough 
No, nevermind I'm hot as Texas
Sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze 

Follow me and you'll get sick 
cough cough cough cough cough, cough cough cough cough
Wait, I'll spray with disinfectant
sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze, sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze 

Fast away this weekend passes 
cough cough cough cough cough, cough cough cough cough 
Hail the new week, swollen eyes 
sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze, sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze
 
Now we are coughing all together
Cough cough cough cough cough, cough cough cough
If only we had more sick days off. 
Sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze! 

cough cough cough, sneeze sneeze sneeze sneeze! 

Hope you enjoyed the oh, so clever parody (cough, cough). It may not be clever, but it is the song of this household. We seem to be in that time of year when one of us is sick for a week, then the other takes over, and then we have two weeks in between of being healthy. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's hard being married to a teacher. 





November 8, 2014

Let's Pawty

Today we had a birthday party for Lucy because why not? If she is going to be my subsitute baby, we might as well treat her like it. 


To start, I played the part of making her wear a birthday outfit she had no desire of wearing...
and she played her part by rolling her eyes, fighting me on it, and finally complying to make me happy.


We made up for the embarassing photo- op with yummy treats.


My  dog usually takes her sweet time eating food so we knew she really liked it because she ate this right up. 


Oh, and Lucy made sure the festive hat wouldn't bother her again.


As you can see, it was quite the chore getting a somewhat decent picture...

Until next time, pawty on!




October 5, 2014

The Knighted Beatle

Last May, Aaron found me weeping in the bathtub essentially throwing a full on tantrum.  Why? Well I happened to catch on the radio that Paul McCartney was coming to Lubbock in June. 

I mentioned this to Aaron, and he somehow thought I figured out that he was going to try to find tickets for our anniversary. To be honest, I had no idea and didn't think we stood a chance to get tickets. He joined the fan club to buy pre-order tickets and the website wouldn't accept any of our email addresses. 

So I went from being excited beyond belief to being way disappointed. ( Hence, the grown-up tantrum in a bathtub.) It's a good thing Aaron is blinded by love because that display wasn't the most flattering.

Fast foward to two weeks before our anniverary; I accidentally found Paul McCartney tickets in the place I usually hide gifts. We seriously cannot keep secrets from each other. I wanted Aaron to feel like he still surprised me so I planned on keeping that a secret. Whenever I saw him, that plan was thrown out because I couldn't stop smiling. Again, secrets cannot be kept in this house. 

Fast foward again to anniversary weekend. Paul McCartney got sick and had to postpone the concert. (No, I responded like a grown-up and didn't throw myself in the bathtub). 

Fast foward one last time (sorry about all this time travel) to last week. We were so excited because on Saturday, we would finally get to go to the concert of our lifetime. Thursday during lunch, Aaron tells me we have a problem. The concert isn't on Saturday, it is tonight. If Aaron hadn't happened to have the radio on to the right station at the right time in his two minute commute from the church to the house, we would have gone to Lubbock on Saturday expecting Paul McCartney and would have ended up having another bathtub temper tantrum. 

While we were driving, trying to find a parking space, I kept seeing these motorcycle cops passing us. I start to realize there is a reason for all of these. In slow motion I turn my head to see a black SUV with a window rolled down with PAUL MCCARTNEY passing by and waving! I would have driven up to Lubbock just for that two second experience.

The whole night was perfect! We found a parking spot right next to the building. We were pretty close to the front door whenever it opened. We got to join thousands of other fans singing at the top of their lungs to all of his songs. He was so entertaining, funny, and full of so many stories from the past. He sounded like he did when he was in his twenties. It was so much fun that there were three encores! 

I really wish I was more eloquent with my words so that I could truly paint a picture for you. All I can say is this is a concert that my grandchildren will get annoyed with hearing all the time. Both Aaron and I grew up listening to The Beatles so this was a dream come true. 




September 28, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Homecoming Week

The day came where the sheet that told you what you must wear to show school spirit was passed out. I explained to the students what the different days meant and then lined them up to be dismissed for the day. It was so fun talking to the other teachers what we could do for different days, figuring out how far out of dress code we could go, and if mustaches should be involved.

Then comes the night before the first day of dressing goofy. 

Many thoughts go through my head: 

What if I get the days mixed up?
What if I am the only teacher to dress up? 
I wonder if I could dress normal? 
Should I bring a change of clothes just in case? 
I am going to be the one person to take this too far.

Am I the only one to get ridiculously nervous to dress up for homecoming week? It is all fun and games until you actually have to go through with it. 

This  kind of reminds me of a couple years ago on my birthday you could get free food at Chic-fil-a for dressing up like a cow. I was so excited. Aaron and I worked really hard on our trash bag costume. He didn't really want to do it but he was a sport to go through with it, anyway. We got ready, took the obligatory facebook picture and headed that way. As soon as we got within a mile of the establishment, I was willing to forget the whole thing and pay for food somewhere else. Aaron made us go through with it and I didn't melt even though we saw people we knew. 


When I was in ninth grade, someone told me they liked how I didn't care what clothes were cool to wear. Well, to them I say I did care, I just wasn't very good at it. And to you reading this, I shall be school spirited and wear goofy clothing because that apparently is how to show you support your school. Just know that I would rather be wearing my plain, unfashionable clothing. 

September 25, 2014

A New Kid in Our Lives

Made you look! I apologize for the deceptive title and for the inevitable rumors that will be running around. There are no little Hills just yet. To explain the attention grabbing title, let's start from the beginning:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth

Okay, maybe not that far back. A couple of weeks ago, Aaron and I had the opportunity to go to our Alma Mater (Hardin-Simmons University) for a worship conference with the Gettys. If you don't know who they are, basically they are the most influential hymn writers of this century. 

In the evening, they had a concert. I say concert, but it was an amazing worship service. They are from Ireland so they had an Irish folk meets bluegrass kind of sound. And no, it was not a strange combination because bluegrass comes from Ireland. 



Anyway, they had a presentation for Compassion International. Basically, they work with children in poverty all over the world. Taken from their website: 

Compassion International is a Christian child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. Our ministry is twofold: We work through local churches to provide child development programs to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. And we speak out for children in poverty – informing, motivating and equipping others to become advocates for children.

Basically what sold me was one of the people in the video that was a sponsored child came out on stage and talked to us about his experience. He talked about how the program gave him hope in a country where there was none. 

We are now supporting a child from Bangledesh with letters, money, and prayer. 

So yes, we have a new child in our lives. He just happens to live in a different country. 

I write this not to brag, but to encourage you to support a child. There are several kids waiting! Their website is compassion.com for more information.

August 27, 2014

Left, Right, Write

Outside of school, here are things I googled today: 

How often do dogs steal rings
While in my home uniform of sweat-pants and naked feet, I hear my husband calling me to check out Lucy's collar to make sure her tags weren't missing. Confused as to why he couldn't look himself, but obliging anyway, I discover a ring connected to her collar. My sweet husband replaced the ring the same dog stole a couple of months ago.

That's right, he liked it so much, he put a ring on it twice. 

Statistics of people who wear their watch on their dominate hand
Last blog-post, I wrote on how, as an introvert, I am very observant. As an observant one, I have noticed that I seem to be the only one who wears a watch on their right-hand. After minutes of searching, I have found that most people wear their watch on their non-dominate hand. So that's why I've been getting all of these judgemental glances aimed towards the old time-keeper...

I hold my pen with my thumb out 
Along with admitting that I can't dress myself properly, I have to admit that I can't hold a pen properly. I hold it with my thumb out and it motions what I am writing. Another way to say this is my thumb wraps around my index finger. It's called an "inefficient grip." I am now convinced that I have poor visual-motor integration.

I guess I am done internetting now. Any longer and I might think my pale skin is a symptom of mad cow disease. 

August 24, 2014

If Ears Could Talk

Do you ever have those times when God has put something on your heart and then the pastor talks about it in his sermon? It happens all the time for me! I think it is great that pastors tailor their sermons after my life, but there are other people in the congregation.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-19, Paul compares the church to the body of Christ. 

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

I have really been struggling to come to terms with being an introvert. In our culture, if you are not an extrovert, you are considered weird and awkward, and in my case, mistaken for being a snob. 

My true personality has always leaned toward that of an introvert. When I was younger, I was always drawn to extroverts. I love how they can liven up any room they are in, everyone walks away smiling, and everyone wants to be their friend. Being the true introvert I am, I studied extroverts. 

I would take notes on what they would talk about, studied their body language, mannerisms, and even inflections in their voice. I wanted to be an extrovert so badly. I would even try to mimick the extrovert ways. But being an introvert with a mask on always seemed awkward to me. 

Lately, though, God has really been working on my heart. I really need to embrace the personality given to me by Him. 

According to psychcentral.com, here are some benefits about being an introvert

As an introvert you may find you have a greater appreciation of subtlety and understatement — talents that, when harnessed, can become great strengths. Taking longer to answer questions is not a personality flaw, but means that you’re making more mental connections and your answers are likely to contain more substance. Extroverts would have to make an effort to think as deeply as you do naturally.

Your self-sufficiency also can be an advantage, as you don’t habitually judge yourself in terms of how others rate you. On the contrary, you are able to focus clearly on your day’s achievements.

Without the pressing need to be sociable or gain attention and approval, you can spend time on relationships and close friendships, which are often more profound than those shared by extroverts.

I have come to appreciate my gift of being able to pick up subtle things about people. Maybe I am an exception to the rule of introverts, but I do enjoy being around people. I just like listening. In group gatherings, I don't mind not being in the middle of the conversation as long as I can observe. 

So if I am a part of the body of Christ, I guess I am the ear. This whole time I have been frustrated that my ear cannot talk. Now I am ready for God to use my ability to observe to serve others.

August 11, 2014

Chelsea of Seagraves

"Perhaps she had not succeeded in 'inspiring' any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that it was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savoured of falsehood and meanness and vulgarity. They were, perhaps, all unconscious of having learned such lessons; but they would remember and practice them long after they had forgotten the capital of Afghanistan and the dates of the Wars of the Roses." 

I have been reading my childhood favorite, the "Anne of Green Gables" series. This specific quote comes from "Anne of Avonlea," the second book. And this quote captures my heart, exactly. So many lofty goals comes with teaching- reading level goes up three grades, all the students are engaged all the time, everyone has a passion for learning and becomes doctors. 

When you get there, you have one kid who everyday tells you he is bored and would rather just play video games, thank you very much. One student hasn't forgiven you for getting on to her back in September. Another student doesn't speak English and you are rusty on your pantomiming. 

The group of students I tearfully said goodbye to at the end of May will always be special to me because they were my first set of students. I fondly look back on each of them, despite frustrations we have had wiith each other. Let's be honest. The students knew how to try my patience.

I have learned so much my first year. No matter how good your college education program is, and mine was great, nothing prepares you for your first year. 

I have made so many mistakes but as I told my students, as long as you learn from them you have not failed. (Thomas Edison is such a good example of that, no?)

"Isn't it nice to know that tomorrow is a day with no mistakes in it yet?" 
L.M. Montgomorry

I am ready for my next batch of kids I will adopt for the year. Ready for the sweet moments and the "Mrs. Hill needs caffeine" moments. 

Maybe I will not inspire lofty ambitions in my students, but hopefully they will unconsciously learn how to hold "fast to truth and courtesy and kindness."  




P.S. don't forget to subscribe just in case you miss the post on Facebook. 

July 20, 2014

I'm back! (sort of)

I'm working on getting the blog back! Until then, I will be posting a couple of vlogs. Here is one to explain what's going on:

January 25, 2014

B-Team Blogger Post #2: Top 5 Baseball HOF Snubs

While Chelsea is still sick, I've decided to diversify the type of topics covered in her blog. Since the latest selections of Maddux, Glavine, Larussa, and Cox, the baseball Hall of Fame is a topic that has been on my mind a few times recently. As you may notice, I've chosen to exclude any names associated with steroids or HGH.

5. Craig Biggio- I'm no Astros fan, but Biggio was a great, throwback baseball player. He would've been one of the best in any era. We're talking about a guy that had over 3,000 career hits and 291 home runs while playing catcher, second base, and center field at a high quality level. This last year was only his second on the ballot, and he only missed induction by 2 votes, so it's likely that Biggio will be elected next year. Otherwise, he would've been much higher on the list.

4. Tim Raines- Raines was a fantastic lead-off hitter that just happened to play in the same era as the greatest lead-off hitter in baseball history: Rickey Henderson. Tim Raines had an on-base percentage of .385 for his career and ranks 5th all-time in stolen bases. Just because he was overshadowed by Henderson during his playing career doesn't mean that it should hurt his chances for Cooperstown.

3. Mike Piazza- Admittedly, Mike Piazza's defensive skills were far from elite, but his offensive weapons were historically potent. He is possibly hurt by playing in the steroid era, but no real accusations have ever been made. In reality, it's criminal that arguably the best-hitting catcher in baseball history would be left of the ballot. His 427 home runs and lifetime .308 batting average, as a catcher, should easily be reason enough.

2. Jack Morris- If Morris ever gets into Cooperstown, and he likely will, it won't be through the Baseball Writers of America ballot. After 14 years, 2014 was his last year to be eligible. Jack deserves to be in the hall for two reasons: his consistency and World Series performances. He tied the record for 14 consecutive opening day starts. That means, for 14 years straight, Morris was considered the "ace" on his staff and healthy enough to make his first start. He also made 5 all-star appearances, 4 World Series titles, and one World Series MVP. That's quite a bit of hardware.

1. Pete Rose- In case you didn't already know, Pete Rose is kind of a sketchy individual. He has been accused of, and admitted to, illegally betting on baseball, tax evasion, and forcefully shoving an MLB umpire during an argument. However, he also might be the greatest player, outside of Babe Ruth, to ever touch a baseball. He is the all-time Major League leader in hits and won 3 World Series titles, 1 MVP award, 2 Golden Gloves, and made 17(!) All-Star appearances. He did all of this without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. So, Major League baseball is in a bit of a conundrum. One of the very best players in the history of the game can never be enshrined in its Hall of Fame because he's currently serving a lifetime ban for illegal gambling. My case for his pardon is based on the history of two other great players: Ty Cobb and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. Ty Cobb was actually quite similar to the player in question. Like Rose, he was known for his tenacity, hitting ability, and hustle. Off the field, Cobb had his own issues. He infamously climbed into the stands one day to physically attack a heckler who happened to only have one hand. "Shoeless" Joe, on the other hand, was known to be a good guy, both on the field and off. However, he was caught up in a gambling scandal with several players on his team, resulting in a thrown World Series. Like Rose, Jackson was given a "lifetime" ban, but it was eventually lifted. In fact, both Cobb and Jackson can be found enshrined at Cooperstown. In short, I think it's time for "Charlie Hustle" to join them.

P.S. Just in case this post wasn't the manliest thing ever written on Chelsea's blog, here's a little something to push it over the top.





Sick Wife=B-Team Blogger

Well, the deadly combination of flu season and the notoriously poor sanitation habits of children has finally caught up with Chelsea. In case the title didn't give it away, this is Chelsea's husband.Because she is in the middle of this month-long challenge, my talents as second-string blogger have been requested. I've never felt more like Rudy. Or Ollie in Hoosiers. Or Howie in The Benchwarmers. I think you get the idea. Anyway, expect a few blogs from the B-team over the next couple of days!

January 22, 2014

Ri ng Day 14



Yep, that gross, swollen, raw finger is mine. I think the dry weather irritated my finger and when I tried to take my ring off, it made it even worse. Basically I didn't really have a choice but to get my ring cut off. I was talking about it at church when one of our church members, who happens to be a paramedic, overheard and informed us he has a ring saw. It looks like this:



Basically, he saved me hours of trying to talk to someone at Samuels who knew what to do or pay so much money to have a doctor tell me I need to get it sawed off.

The moral of the story: complain loud enough and someone will help you.

January 21, 2014

Rise and Shine

This morning, I was awoken by my husband getting out of the shower. And by this morning, I mean at 2am. He got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and I guess figured it was time to get ready for work. He realized half way through that a) I was still sleeping and b) it was really dark outside.

I used to do this all the time in high school. I would wake up in the middle of the night and get all the way through my morning routine-makeup and all only to realize that I have several hours before I should be awake.

Historically, people slept differently than we do today. It's called sleep segment. They would go to sleep when the sun went down (around 8pm) and sleep until midnight. They would be awake for a couple of hours and then go back to sleep until around 6am). Apparently, this was very common up until the 1800s when electricity came about. Here are some bible verses that people used in their articles:

But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron (Judges 16:3).

At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! (Ruth 3:8)

At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules (Psalm 119:62).

Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning (Mark 13:35).

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25).


These articles go into more detail:

BBC News
Polyphasic Society
Cranach, the blog of veith

January 20, 2014

Awkward Day 13



Today we had our pictures made for the church directory. I think the last time I had a church directory picture taken was around ten years ago. One year, my family posed with a yellow color scheme. I was playing with pencil shavings and got them all over my shirt right as we were supposed to be heading out the door. Another year, my mom decided we all needed to wear hats.

This year, being the first time I was in charge of what we were wearing, was a lot more pressure than I would like to admit. I clearly over-think things. Yesterday, I spent way too long trying to find a shirt that was semi-flattering. After thinking I found it, Aaron decided to let me know he was wearing a suit. Ugh, I got something too casual. After all that work, we just decided to wear clothes we already had. Today I spent a stinking long time on my hair and makeup. Than I spent too long deciding whether or not I should wear a scarf. The answer ended up being 'no.'

I tried to convince Aaron to make our pictures awkward, but he wouldn't let us. So, here is a few from awkwardfamilyphotos.com to make up for it.




The caption on this said "she got the benefit of having both a little brother and a big brother."



They're at the dentist

This post is really a reflection for me than anything else. Then again, isn't that what blogs are for?

Because today is MLK day,the students had the day off and the teachers went to a Schlechty training. The Schlechty center helps schools become more focused on student engagement.

Today we really focused on how model mindsets gets in our way. For example, we read a story about how a flock of sheep had always had wolves attack them. Their ancestors told them that this is how it had always been and this is how it would always be. Eventually, the sheep got together and realized that maybe there was a solution to their problem. So they reflected on when the wolves attacked (when there is a drought) and eventually discovered that the wolves were going under the fence that went through the river. The sheep built a dam and solved that problem.

The point is, we can't let preconceived notions get in the way. Whatever the problem is, we need to examine it and look at what we can control.

We also did other activities where some of the teachers taught others what they do in their classroom. We then made posters reflecting the sheep story.

Then, we did a team building exercise where we wrote one truth and one lie and everyone had to guess who the statements belonged to and which ones were lies. It was a fun way to learn interesting things about other teachers. Some of our teachers didn't return after lunch, so we just kept saying they were at the dentist.

January 19, 2014

This post will make you sound more cultured

Because I don't have students to teach tomorrow, you will be my students.

1. Spell "socks" out loud. You just said "It is what it is" in Spanish. (Eso sí que es).

2. Say "Rise up lights" out loud. You just said "razor-blades" with an Australian accent.

3. Now say "boots and cats" over and over. You are now beat boxing.

4. Say "beer can" with a British accent. You really just said "bacon" in a Jamaican accent.

5. And just because I need a fifth one, say "Emma Chizit," and you just said "how much is it" with an Australian accent.


Here is a website to help you learn to do a variety of accents.

The Beast that Stole my Soul Day 12



This shoe was found outside with the sole missing. My dog likes to take things outside. I don't really understand this. Is it normal? How does one stop this behavior? I have seen her try to take her bed outside but a wicker basket doesn't exactly fit through a doggy door. My parents dog,Keeper, likes to take dirty socks and cuddle with them. She did this to Aaron the first time I brought him home. I guess that means she approves? Lucy doesn't have a specific thing she likes to take outside, basically anything she can get her mouth around.

Maybe she is saying something about my housekeeping....

Here is a forum about people with dogs that have the same quirky behavior.

click me!

Here is an article with a list of advice from a dog trainer I might try...

no, click me!

Breaking the law on date night day 11



On Friday, Aaron and I were planning on visiting one of our church members who was put into the nursing home not too long ago; however, I was up at the school pretty late trying to get grades finished, so we ran out of time and decided to go the next day.

We decided since we were planning on traveling to Brownfield, we might as well go to Lubbock and make it a date night.

Obviously this picture was not taken by me on my camera phone. My poor husband is the one who gets to edit all of these blogs (which have been several a day) so I decided he deserves a break. No pictures were taken. We went to Cheddars, had amazing timing and beat the crowd, and had very delicious food off the lighter side of the menu.

Afterwards, we went to the mall to see a movie. We were so busy trying to sneak food in, we forgot to get our tickets checked. One of the guys working there stopped us and I thought we were busted. Nope! We just forgot to show him our tickets. My heart came back into my chest. As you can tell, we don't break the rules very often.

The Forgotten Room



Do you ever have dreams that just stick with you? I usually remember my dreams, but this particular one stuck with me all day.

I was commissioned to go to outer space because I was a scientist and they needed my expertise (thanks Gravity and Big Bang Theory). A group of lady scientists were in the rocket and it went off, but it didn't make it all the way. Instead, it landed in the ocean.

I was in the bathroom of my parents house playing with a nail in the wall, being a little depressed that I didn't make it to outer space. I managed to keep moving the nail until there was a giant hole. I look through the hole and there is this room. The hole turns into a door so I went into the room. It had a fireplace, a couch, a refrigerator, a pool table and a ping-pong table. My dad acted like he didn't know this room existed but in my mind, I knew he did. When I looked out the window, the house was in a neighborhood (my parents house is in the country) and we were right next to the Pflugerville park where a lot of people were riding their bikes.

Dreams have always fascinated me. They are your body's way of working things out. I looked up my dream and both the improvement of the house and gazing out the window signify me wanting to improve as a person. I hope that is always true. I do know that when I was a kid, I always thought it would be cool to find secret passages in my house.

January 17, 2014

Analog Man Day 10



If you were at my place of employment around 6:30 tonight, you would have heard two women yelling, "NOOOOOOOOO!"

That's right, folks. It is the quarterly "teacher vs. computer" face off. Our students had a half day so the teachers could get the second nine weeks report cards out. Because we do standard based checklists instead of grades, it takes us longer than average to input all of the information. In our case, around seven hours.

I finished my roster's grades around six and I went to help my co-teacher finish her's. She was in the final stage of the battle,the last of the subjects, reading.

That is not a small feat, my friends.

We just finished inputting all of the (I am going to say this because I can't think of a different word) grades in the biggest section. She clicked "save" but it was not fast enough. The slow computer timed out and all of our work was in vain.

Technology won. We went home. Defeated.

Fried Pickles Day 7


"Did you just take a picture of me for your blog?"
"....no"

I lied.

On Monday and Tuesday, I started going to a Zumba class that was held at my school for teachers, staff, and family. I thought I was doing pretty good because I was keeping up alright. I wasn't perfect but I wasn't dying. Thursday, I thought I would go to a different class. The Zumba instructors on Monday and Tuesday class also help with it. Come to find out, Monday and Tuesday has been modified because all of us are new at this.

Thursday kicked my tail. I still had fun and I am still going to go back, but I didn't keep up with it as much as I did on Monday and Tuesday. Instructors kept coming over to my section because we needed extra help in keeping up. I am glad there is a mirror in there because I have never been known for my graceful body movements. Also, I am going to need a bigger water bottle.

After Zumba we went to small group where I ate a lot of fried foods and ice cream cake. I am going to lose soooo much weight!

Aware Wolf

Did you know the word lunatic comes from luna, the Latin word for moon? All around the world, people believe that the moon has a connection to people's physiology: a high rise of emergency room visits, birth rates, crazy students, and turning into wolves. Some think it has to do with the gravitational pull the moon has on our body. One article even suggests different things to do for each phase of the moon. Of course, that is only if you are into that "holistic" stuff.

Basically, a bunch of studies on all of these believes came up short, except for werewolves. You will never disprove werewolves.

I don't think these researchers stepped foot in a classroom during a full moon. I didn't discover the effects of one until I became a teacher assistant and eventually a teacher. I had my appraisal for school on Wednesday, and my students were bonkers.

I am glad it is Friday.



Don't worry Jacob Black, I won't plagiarize:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/births-full-moon4.htm
http://www.livescience.com/7899-moon-myths-truth-lunar-effects.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2377915/A-moon-DOES-affect-sleep--inner-caveman.html

January 14, 2014

Take a Deep Breath

I'm taking on this challenge of blogging every day for a whole month, or in my case, a couple of times a day for the next week to catch up. The website I signed up with suggests what to write. Today, I will talk about how I relax.

These are the usual's: taking a bath while watching TV and giving my feet a bath while watching TV. There is a theme here...

Lately, I found a new way to relax. Online shopping!



Luvocracy has a lot of unique items. The more things you 'love,-++' the more suggestions they give you. It is like a combination of Etsy and Pinterest. You can also 'trust' other people's interests.



This is also a fun place to shop. The items are even more unique. If you like whimsical items, this is the place to go.

At the Ballet (6)



Our class went to see the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. They put on a show specifically to introduce classical music to students. My kids were the best behaved group! I was so proud of them. They were very quiet and only looked around when other groups were talking. Most importantly, they were very proud of themselves. They were in awe of the whole experience. Some of them even asked if the railings were made of gold.

It reminds me of when I was about their age, our music teacher would take us to "The Nutcracker." That was also kid friendly- teaching us when to clap and all the orchestral instruments. I loved dressing up and watching the beautiful ballerinas dance. To me, that was magic.

January 13, 2014

Making Richard Simmons Proud

Day 6



Zumba is offered at our school a couple of days a week, and I decided to go. I had a great time, only needing to stop a couple of times.

There wasn't a lot of us, so my plans on hiding in the back were foiled. That's alright. I never claimed to be coordinated.


I am hoping I won't be feeling it too much in the morning.

Starting the Year off with a Lucy (1-5)

365 days of pictures, take two!

Day 1



I'm starting the second year off strong with a "nothing happened today so here is Lucy doing something" token picture. In this picture she is contemplating how to get a toy that was carelessly thrown onto an unreachable shelf.

Day 2



My sweet husband bought me a foot spa. He truly knows the way to this teacher's heart.

Day 3



We spent Friday night eating low-calorie pizzas and watching Netflix...by candlelight because we are classy like that.

Day 4



I am not much of a shopper for myself, but I could spend hours shopping for the house. I was way too excited about this rug for our kitchen sink and Lucy welcomed it to the family by playing with it outside.

Day 5



I am so thankful that we decided to have cheat days for our diet. Today we really cheated with chicken-fried steak, and I loved every bite.

Ode to the Lollipop of Blue



Ode to the blue gourmet lollipop: you didn't stand a chance.
Your fate was sealed as you fell from the unsteady tray made to be a companion to the TV.
The beastly monster with long hair, beady eyes, and claws had you in her sight.
The keepers of the monster paid attention to "things of more importance" than a candy sentenced to death.
A fate not wished on one's enemy, you were torn to pieces.
Let this be a warning: those who belong to the creatures with two legs.
The beast will attack if you are within her reach.
She will show you no mercy.

January 12, 2014

Day 365

Day 365



Last Tuesday, we finally took down Christmas. I always have a hard time putting it away, and this year seemed extra hard. I don't know if it was because I was admitting winter break is over, or if it was because Christmas was a little hard for my family. I have had five family members in the hospital all within a week. I live eight hours away from everybody, so I wasn't able to see any of them. Although it was an emotional roller coaster this holiday, I am thankful for all the support and prayers from my friends and church family.

We have started a tradition of sawing off the bottom of our Christmas tree to keep as a memory token. It has been a tradition of my family to go to a Christmas tree farm to cut down a tree. I was so excited that not only was my husband not allergic to Christmas trees,but he also was really into it. So now, I get to carry the tradition on to my new little family. We didn't get to go to a farm this year because it was too cold every time we had time, so we got one from our local grocery store.

I want to write a Christmas memory on the back of the stump, but I haven't decided. Maybe it will be about how Aaron and I stuffed our tree in the front seat of our car, or maybe we will mention all of the family members in the hospital. I think it is important to remember the difficult times in our lives, as well as the good.

Can anyone answer how long you can keep Christmas decorations up without being considered trashy?

Ultimate Blog Challenge

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I have decided to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You are supposed to have 31 blog posts at the end of the month, and because it is already the 12th, I will be posting a couple of times a day.

This also means that I will continue doing the 365 days of blogging but now I will do one picture every day-starting tomorrow.

I am one of those weirdos who likes change, so I am hoping this challenge will be good for me.

By the end of this month I would like to have written 31 more posts (including this one), explore my creative side, be a better blogger, and get more readers/ followers.

So far, I have three followers and I know that is mainly because everyone who reads it checks on Facebook, but it would be nice to spread my readers to those who I am not friends with.

Most importantly
, I am hoping this challenge will be fun and a great stress reliever!

January 6, 2014

Tweet Revenge (358-364)

I made it a whole year....almost! I am off one day. I guess tomorrow I will devote a whole blog to one day.

Day 358



Happy New Year! Aaron and I celebrated by drinking sparkling white grape juice, eating chex-mix and not watching the ball drop. We tried to watch a New Years celebration on the one channel our antennae picks up, but the music annoyed us, so we switched to a movie. May our year be as exciting as how we reigned it in.

Day 359



We did the obligatory black-eyed-peas on the first day of the year. I have to admit, I can't make them like my aunt. My cousin's birthday is January 1st so we always had the tradition of going to my aunts to have a New Years day/ birthday party. Happy birthday Casi and the world!

Day 360



I have tried green tea before and didn't like it. In attempt to be healthier, I thought I would give it the good college try again, and I really like it! One girl on Youtube said to drink it three times a day but that is a lot of green tea. Any advice for this noob who is a new to eating healthy?

Day 361



Aaron and I had a date day where we went shopping in Brownfield, ate at Subway, and watched movies at home. As Aaron predicted, Subway was super busy.

Day 362



I honestly should post this picture every day because all I did this week was watch Youtube and it was wonderful! I have been following a family who has been doing a daily vlog for five years and this is their final year. I watched his videos a couple of years ago but decided to start over.

Day 363



We had our first choir meeting of the new year, and then I went home to savor the last precious hours of my break.

Day 364



"Hey, honey, could you take a shovel and throw out the giant dead bird Lucy was playing with? But first, can you take a picture of it because I forgot to take a picture for my blog," is the greeting my husband got when he came home today.

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