Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unexpected Holiday

Monday was MLK Day and we were off work as well as no classes. A nice breather but not really necessary since we just went back to work on the 3rd. Then the bad weather blew in and we got an extra two days off and tomorrow is a short day, school starts at 10:00. I'll go in close to regular time though, I still have lots of time to make up (I think).

It was a lazy 2 days. Rachael and I just tried to keep warm and not go stir crazy. Well, Rachael anyway. I'm not ever bored. I was ready to go back to work though, I hate having to make up days. We lose the day off in February right after TAKS and we really need that day off. We also have school the day of graduation which means that we'll have a Saturday workday to make up our 2nd day. I guess I shouldn't complain...

I had homework to do and as usual, procrastinated until today. It was due at midnight and I sent it at 9:00. Normally I'd have done it on the weekend because I have class every night but I had Monday off so I put it off till then. Then we had Tuesday off so I put it off till then. Then we had Wednesday off so I put it off till then. I *hate* that I procrastinate so much but have seemed to not been able to change it. I'm setting a bad example for Rachael which is really not good. Just because I can do assignments well enough at the last minute doesn't mean that she can and she doesn't need to see me doing that so I better change it pronto!

I did get quite a bit accomplished today. I got my loan check and took care of several things with it. Paid Rachael's tuition, bought my books online, registered for my Special Education test, paid the phone bill, paid for the remainder of Rachael's graduation announcements, got information for David about registering his car, took a picture of me for my assignment and it's not too bad a picture (I hate having my picture taken), got my homework done and submitted, fixed my lunch and supper (just have to put it in the lunch kits in the morning), and I guess that's about it. It sure seemed like a lot while I was doing it. Yesterday I set up our online banking, we'll see how that goes.

Tomorrow it's back to the daily grind...

I guess I'll post the picture. I cropped it for my assignment, this is the original.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Various and Sundry Ramblings

Wow, where does the time go? I've sorely neglected my blog. Either I didn't have time to write or I just didn't feel like it. I don't feel like it now but decided I better write something before it's been too long and I completely get out of the habit.

Where to start...

We bought a travel trailer for Steven to live in. We ended up with a 5th wheel after all because it was all we could find that was in our price range and we had to have something ASAP. It's small and 12 years old but it will serve the purpose it's intended for. The guy delivered it, set it up and showed us how to do everything. Not that we're going to remember since we will never move it. :) It took almost 2 hours so we gave him some extra cash for his time and effort and felt it was well worth it.

Christmas was small and quiet. Stephanie, Jennifer, Daniel and Bailey were all here. We opened presents as soon as everyone got here because Rachael was having a cow. You'd think at 18 that she could be patient. Everyone knew it was a small Christmas because of Steven losing his job but she was still having a cow. Bailey was so cute. He kept picking up gifts and saying, " What's this one?". After he opened them all up, he went back to the ones he really liked.

Bailey stayed with us after Jenny and Daniel went home Monday. We had a blast while he was here. He is soooo much fun! It did make me remember why God gives children to young women, you have to be able to keep up with them! By the time we took him home Friday though, it was time for him to go home. Things that were really cute on Tuesday were not quite as cute by Friday. :) I discovered a great movie while he was here, Cars. I'd had no desire to see it but it ended up being a wonderful movie with lots of life lessons.

When we took Bailey home Friday, it was storming terribly. A couple of times we were creeping along because it was raining so hard. We were meeting Jenny and Daniel in Beaumont because Rachael had to be back Sunday so we really didn't see much sense in driving all the way to Lake Charles just to spend less than 24 hours there. There's an old Sears building next to the mall with a large covered area that is wonderful for meeting when it's raining. We discovered how wonderful it was when we first moved Jenny and Daniel to Lake Charles and it came in handy that Friday night. The only problem was that the roof leaks in several places and where we were parked was one of those places. Steven turned around and when he did, he brushed up against the sidewalk. I heard a noise like air coming out of an air hose and sure enough, we had a flat. On closer inspection, there was a huge piece of metal sticking out from the sidewalk that he hit. It tore a hole in the side of the tire. :( He got the flat off before Jenny and Daniel showed up. We went to eat and finished changing the tire afterwards. I think J&D were really, really excited to have Pooter home with them. I'll be glad when it's July and I can get him again! :)

I was worried about the cost of replacing the tire but luckily, Steven had purchased tire replacement the last two times he bought tires so all it cost was $14 and that was the cost of replacement on the tire we got. If we had declined that, it would have been $0. They didn't have the same tire in stock so they upgraded the tire. The amount of money we spent for replacement for 5 tires was still less than the cost of the tire we had replaced so I guess that was money well spent.

On to work...

The new year brought a new AR (Accelerated Reading) program that's web based and has all AR tests available, about 100,000. The district spent mega bucks on it and we were very excited to have it. That is until we started implementing it. The first day the students were back, I spent the entire day teaching them how to use it because it is *very* different. All day long, repeating the same information over and over. ICK! We've had issues with it since we got it. Let's see if I can remember them all...
*The student computers in the classrooms would not support the web based program so the students had to come to the lab to take tests. A major problem since I have classes all day.
*It's s-l-o-w
* We only had access to 13,000 quizzes and the librarian had marked books as having AR tests and they weren't activated.
* There was only 1 administrator for the district and she knew nothing about AR. I now have administrative access and am taking care of my camput.
* All the student imac computers had to have upgrades done and I'm the only person on campus that knows anything about macs. I finally got them done yesterday.
* All the student PCs had to have upgrades but they have a program that doesn't let you download anything. Got that turned off and I'm in the process of getting those taken care of. The other 2 lab people are helping with that.
*The students have to spell book titles *exactly* and 3rd graders are having difficulty with that. Before, they could get close and scroll to find the book but not with the new program.
I'm sure there were some more issues but it's been a nightmare. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be me. I've been crazy busy since we came back because I'm the only one with a brain, or so it seems. :)

Ms. Clark (principal) asked me the other day what I wanted to teach next year and I said 3rd grade. She asked if that was all and I told her I'd do 4th, resource or Life Skills but wouldn't be certifies for 5th (shucks!). Basically, anything that's available. SO, it appears that I'll for sure have a job on my campus next year.


Classes begin tomorrow. I'm not ready. I don't have a single notebook ready, no paper, no pencil bag with all my stuff ( have it but have no idea where it is). Luckily, tomorrow night is just orientation and I'll be OK with just a pen (have to remember my reading glasses though). Since I'm driving to The Woodlands 4 nights a week, I was stressing about the gas. No need to now because I'm now in a car pool with 2 other people. We're looking for a 4th person so we each have to drive only 1 week a month. That's going to save me tons of money and stress. I'm looking forward to this semester since it's my last until I begin my master's program next year but I'm also dreading it because it's going to be sooooo stressful. I keep telling myself that I can do anything for a semester and I can!

Almost forgot...I passed my EC-4 certification test and only missed 5 questions. I was really excited about that. I'm now 1/2 way to certification!

I did some stitching over the Christmas holidays and it sure felt good. That was the last of my stitching until summer. I did something for Audrey and had thought I'd give it to her for her birthday but I'm thinking I'll wait until Christmas. I'm doing it for all the girls, Ihope they like them.

I wrote the check for Rachael's last braces payment last Friday, hooray!! She won't get them off until March, at the earliest but they're paid for. Now to pay for the remainder of her announcements, college classes and books and I'll be all set. Unfortunately, Steven getting laid off when he did threw a kink in my plans for taking care of all those things but we'll get it worked out.

I'm sure there are other things I've forgotten but I'm tired and I hear my bed calling my name. Since I don't sleep well when Steven is gone, I better get there...