Friday, August 21, 2009

Here we go!!

Two weekends left before the girls start school. One weekend left before I go back to work. I've basically already been back to work. Two days of training this last week, working in my classroom - the same old drill.

As usual, I'm excited about getting back into routine. Bailie made the tennis team, has all her classes, her locker, her student Id and is ready to roll. Kate has her schedule, figured out how to pen her locker, has all her supplies - including new uniforms - and is ready to roll. Now I just need to be ready. I'll get there - I just need to quit obsessing.

Our last doctor's appt for the summer is today for Kate. We've done all the other regular check-ups this summer and hopefully won't need to see any more doctors for a while.

Speaking of doctors - I took Bailie to an allergist this summer for this weird pollen/oral allergy thing she has. (She gets a rash in her mouth from certain fruits that are tied to a birch pollen allergy...) While there I started talking to the doc about my hives and they had some ideas.
So I made an appointment for myself and am currently hive free! I am taking A LOT of medication which doesn't thrill me, but time will tell if being hive free is worth the sort of druggy feeling I have. I'm functioning fine, I just don't like the dry nose, weird feelings of antihistamines.
However - I am hive free!!! I haven't been able to say that in over two years.

I've been doing Bikhram yoga - I went 6 times in 7 days but haven't been back the last two. I really liked it, but now life is getting in the way. Funny how that happens. :-)

I'm trying to get past the "panicky" feeling I have about working full time. I feel this desperate need to complete everything before school starts - like I won't have after school or weekends to get things done. I just need to breathe.... maybe I should stick with yoga.....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BLS (Buy Less Stuff)

I was just reading a blog I follow - Money and Happiness. She talked about how we need to buy less stuff. We've been living by that motto - that is until I found out I had my own classroom this year. I have felt justified in spending 100's of dollars on "stuff" for my classroom. I don't want students walking into a room with blank walls and no color! I have been somewhat frugal about things. I started my search at thrift stores and found some great deals - like a fabulous chair for my reading area for only $15.00! However, some things can only be found at the Teacher Aid Store which costs an arm and a leg! I'm sure if I had been more patient I would have been able to appeal to all the friends I teach with to share the things they've been collecting over the years but no longer use. But, as most of my friends and family know, patience is not one of MY virtues. So, was I justified in that spending? I'm not sure. I will save the receipts for taxes. My students will have a warm and welcoming room on the first day of school which research shows will improve their attitude toward learning - I'm molding the leaders of tomorrow right? This is important stuff! :-)
I'm slowing down now, balancing the check book brought me back to reality. I'm going to the websites that the Money and Happiness blogger suggested - like freecycle. (Have any of you ever used that?)
For everyday family expenses, I've been a little off track too. It's summer - it's difficult to not hemorrhage money. Trying to find activities that keep the kids happy etc. I know - Laura Ingalls managed to have fun on the prairie with out money - but this aint the prairie! We play cards, take bike rides, go to the library... we find inexpensive things to do but it isn't easy. I suppose it will have to get easier if we run out of money! :-( We make the girls pay for their own "extras" - like the Harry Potter t-shirts they HAD to have to wear to the midnight movie tonight. Oh yea, the midnight movie. Am I completely insane? I don't stay up past 9:00 most nights and tonight I will be waiting in line at 9:00 for a movie that starts at midnight!!
But, once again, I digress. The Money and Happiness blogger said that changing a brain to be frugal is like working out. I have to work that muscle -"Is this a need or a want?" until it becomes fit and a natural part of who I am. I'm trying - but again, my friends and family know that I suck at working out!
Sooooo, I guess it's good I'll be working full time to help pay for that classroom! (Does anyone else see the irony?)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Phew! Summer if flying by....

I say it every year. I know it's going to happen. Yet still, every year, I find myself in shock over the fact that summer is already half over! It certainly hasn't been slow or boring this year. I think I've only slept in one day. (That was until 8:30 - that's sleeping in for me!)

Bailie has had lots of tennis - she starts practicing with the high school team today - she's nervous and excited. She's been babysitting a lot too. She has her 4-H camp counselor job starting a week from Sunday and there have been several meetings and orientations to attend.

Kate's summer has been less eventful, but no less fun. She went to Ashland with my parents for over a week and I've been taking her to RockSport to feed her new rock climbing passion. We've been slowly looking for school uniform clothes - she's starting to see how much easier these uniforms will make her mornings. I can't believe my baby is going to be in middle school!

The girls and Dan are taking a trip to visit his mom this weekend. I'm taking that opportunity to try and get the bulk of my classroom finished so I can focus on planning for the rest of the summer. I leave for Chicago on the 22nd to work for Corporate Kids Events for 5 days. Then we go to the cabin for a week's vacation. Dan has big plans for that week - mine are to sit on the deck and watch the trees grow - we'll have to find a happy medium I guess. I'm sure we'll get hiking and kayaking in. Dan has horseback riding, fishing, swimming and many other things on his list.

The days flying by this summer are reminding me yet again about stopping and taking a breath. I start to feel so overwhelmed with all there is to do and how fast time is going . If I just stop and
breath - feel the moment - all that goes away. Yesterday I took the time to just watch B and K have a conversation. I realized how rarely I just stop and see how tall they've gotten, how mature they are now, how kind they can be to each other and the genuine love they feel, how beautiful they are inside and out. Of course then they saw me staring and started giving me a bad time so that was the end of that! :-)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Full time and all that

So I got the news last week that I will be teaching full time in the fall. YAY! I will desperately miss teaching with Katie Senn but fortunately I'll be just across the hall so we can just stretch the umbilical cord instead of cutting it completely. We may be back together next year depending on the budgets - we are only guaranteed this full time for this year. Next year we could be back to 1/2 time.

In the meantime, I have a classroom to prepare. It's been many years since I've had to fill my own classroom with decorations and supplies - so it's thrift store time! I'll be out looking for book shelves, posters, books etc. I gave all that away when I left teaching to stay home with the girls all those years ago. When I came back, I took over for another teacher who left all her supplies and then I taught with Katie who already had everything..... It's going to be fun though. Getting a classroom ready for the start of school is so exciting for me. That was one of the things I missed the most when I stopped teaching.

I have to be careful not to lose my summer in the excitement of preparing for the year. We still have 4th of July at the cabin and then our week's vacation there a couple weeks later. We're also going to North Star for a few days and I head to Chicago on July 23rd for a 4 days to work a program for Corporate Kids Events. I'm reading the Stone Diaries for book club and need to be sure to take the time to relax and read!

Our summer ends pretty early because of high school tennis for Bailie. Clearance day is August 6 and tryouts start the 17th....

I'm still busy being on the board of the Sierra School of Performing Arts. I love all the people I work with on that board. It's a great organization and I feel proud to be part of it.

I leave today to pick up Kate. She's been in Ashland, Ore with my parents having the time of her life. I'm sure it's going to be an adjustment being back to boring old home! :-) I've really missed her - can't wait to have back.

Soooo, I'm so relieved to be making full time pay this year - it will take some of the pressure off our finances. How lucky am I to be making money doing something I love so much? (Remind me I said that during CRT testing and the other stressful times during the school year. :-) )

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Family Fun

We took my dad to and Ace's game last night. We really had a great time. They did a wonderful job with that stadium and make it a wonderful family activity. There are draw backs like parking and ticket prices but really a lot of fun. It was cold so I was hivey but the fun was worth it. They went into extra innings and won with a home run at the end. Then they had fireworks! Kate had a blast. My dad was impressed with the stadium - fun was had by all. Kate even caught a ball that came into the stands!

Today we work on covering the wall paper on our bathroom walls.... how's that for family fun?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So many celebrations, so little time :-)

So we started with Bailie's 8th grade award's night - great fun - Bailie earned several awards and she looked beautiful.

Next we had Kate's 6th grade celebration - which was also very nice. We got Kate to wear a dress! She was beautiful as always as well.

Last, but certainly not least, we had Dan's 50th birthday! We had a night alone at the cabin then my parents and the girls joined us the next day. We put together Dan's present - a pontoon boat - then played games, took a walk and just had a nice time.

We came home in time on Sunday to go to Dan's favorite restaurant- The Santa Fe.

We had the traditional wearing of the new underwear on the heads! (Started when the girls were toddlers.)

They were doing their "model" pose here - not pouting about wearing the underwear.

My parents have been here for all the craziness of end of school and the celebrations. It has been great that they could not only participate in all of it, but also help me keep it together. There was so much going on and I was trying to end the year with my 4th graders which has all its own craziness. My parents have been great - making dinners, doing laundry, keeping the house picked up, running the girls around... but best of all, having them close by to be part of it all. I hope they sell their house in Ashland soon so they can move here full time.

My parents also took the girls for a visit with their Uncle Garen (my brother), Aunt Susan and their cousin Sam. They had story after story to tell about "Sam said this... then he did this... then he said this...." Don't they look related? --->

Now we are enjoying our summer break. Bailie and Nana are in Santa Cruz for a couple of days. Kate, Grandpa, Dan and I are going to an Ace's game on Friday night. After all the go, go, go, we are trying to accept some down time. This isn't always easy - the girls start to expect constant entertainment. I'm guessing we can get there though.... :-)