Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trunk or Treat...

Our church building is home to 3 units; Temple First Ward, Temple Second Ward, and Temple Spanish Ward.  The 3 units decided to join together for the annual Trunk or Treat.  It made for more trunks to visit; but, I missed the chili cook-off and costume contest.  Luckily, the little ones didn't miss those things at all!

Miss Maggie was dressed as Rapunzel, complete with her long, golden hair....

 A very sleepy Miss Sophie was Sleeping Beauty...

 Poppy's truck in "costume."

Poppy gets into the Halloween Spirit each year.  This year his truck got lots of oooos and ahhhhs.  He would have been happier if we hadn't parked under a parking lot light.  I think it was better here because no one would have been able to see the rats, spiders, chains, and body parts lying in the bed of the truck.

Here are my sweet little Halloween goblins.  I can't wait for Monday when we get to have a pizza party and have Trick-or-Treat in the neighborhood.

Friday, October 28, 2011

This one is for Erin...

There is a talented, young teacher at my school who has been reading my blog.  She stopped me today at recess and told me that my post about the frustrations associated with the job had caused her to lose hope.  I  didn't quite know what she meant, but she said, "If someone with the experience that you have still feels like that, I won't ever get to the point where I don't feel frustrated!" I felt horrible! But, she was telling me this as I was standing holding several rocks, a flower, and had my pockets stuffed with acorns.  I told her that those moment will continue to happen, but that they do pass.  Especially when you walk outside for recess and those sweet little children run to greet you with their treasures that have been gathered at recess.
We chatted for a few moments about how lucky I felt to have been a stay at home mother while my children were growing up. Erin is a newlywed, and I told her that when I look at her and other young women starting out in this profession, I marvel at how they are able to keep pace with the job and raise their own families.  It is a tough profession, but the rewards are priceless.
So, Erin, remember that those moments of frustration become insignificant when you start watching the children who have passed through your classroom grow into delightful young adults.  All of the fleeting hugs, smiles, shared joys and sorrows, countless hand drawn pictures, little thoughtful gifts, and grateful parents are the balm for a stressed out teacher's soul.  Hang in there, it is worth it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another cute craft idea that I "borrowed"...

One of my favorite blogs belongs to the daughter of a dear friend.  Deb Kress is one of those "Super Moms."  She works as a trauma nurse, is the wife of a soldier, and is raising 4 terrific kids.  She fills her blog with tidbits of her creativity.  I will be honest and admit that I "borrow" quite a few ideas from her.  This is just one of them
Deb had this really cute printer's tray craft. Her tray is super cute with a curvy little handle on top, and larger compartments.  I looked online for one, but was to cheap to buy one.
Last fall, the girls and I went to the Bell County Yard Sale at the Expo center and I found this little shadow box priced at $5.00.  I got they little old man to take $3.00 for it and snapped it up.
I removed a couple of the dividers to make some larger sections, then spray painted it with a hammered pewter paint.

Around Christmas time, there was a scrapbook paper sale at Michaels' Arts & Crafts.  They were selling pre-made seasonal kits for 70% off. I picked up one for the 4th of July, Halloween, Winter, Easter, and Halloween.  
This past Sunday, I managed to put the Halloween inserts together.  I also "borrowed" Deb's idea of not putting them in permanently so that I can replace them each season.  However, after trying to pull one out to redo it, I don't know how great they will look when I remove them.  I hope they come out easily enough that I can use them again next year.
 The cute little easel was another bargain that I managed to snap up.  Leslie and I both got $10 off gift cards for the new KOHL'S department store that recently opened in Temple.  We waited until the last minute (literally, we went over late the evening that the card was due to expire) and went over to redeem our gift cards.  I found this cute easel for $12.99.  I figured with my gift card I would only pay around $3.00 for it!  I was thrilled when I checked out and the sales clerk told me that is was reduce 50%, so I got it for free!!
So, here is the finished product, sitting on my super cute easel in the living room.  Now, if I can manage to keep Maggie and Sophie from pulling everything out to play with them, I've really accomplished something!  Thanks, Debbie!! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Birthday...

Ron and I both have wonderful memories of childhood visits to the Lucasville County Fair in Southern Ohio.  My high school band went every year to perform at least 1 time during the week.  After our performance we would spend the rest of the evening exploring the midway, visiting the animal barns, looking at all of the 4-H displays, and collecting a ton of free business novelties.  Even after we had graduated and married, visits to the fair each year became a tradition.  There are very few things I miss about Ohio, but the county fair is one of them.

Since moving to Texas, the Texas State Fair has been a major event that we have always intended to visit.  We just never got around to it.  When Ron asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I told him I wanted to run away for the weekend and I would let him know where I wanted to go.  On Wednesday, Ron mentioned going to Dallas and spending Friday at the fair, then Saturday at the temple.  It sounded perfect... and it was!
 Big Tex greets the visitors as they enter the main gate of the fair grounds.  We parked on the opposite side of the fair grounds so we ended up walking across Fair Park to finally get a picture of him.  
 There are so many things to see and do at the fair that it really takes more than 1 day.  We managed to ride the air tram, see the tree walker, watch the dog jumping competition, marvel at the Chinese acrobats, visit the Texas History museum, browse through the exhibitions, and walk through the midway.  
One thing I didn't do, was ride the giant Texas Star ferris wheel.  I think Ron would have loved riding it, but I have a slight fear of ferris wheels.  I think it has something to do with getting stuck on one in a thunderstorm when I was around 6 years old.    
The weather was perfect!  We had temperatures in the 80's, clear skies, and because we were there on a Friday the crowds weren't bad at all. 
There were MANY school aged children there during the day.  I told Ron that I figured parents kept their kids home from school just to avoid the crowds on Saturday.  The state fair is such a part of the culture of Texas, that I can't blame them a bit. 
I usually don't do a very good job of taking self portraits of us, but this one turned out pretty good.  We were standing around waiting for the Chinese acrobat show to begin.  Isn't my Sugarbear adorable? 
One of the biggest draws to the state fair is all of the unusual deep-fried food items.  They have fried Twinkies, Ories, Frito Pie, sourcrout balls, bubblegum.... you name it!  Ron was determine to eat something that was deep fried.  I stuck with the tried and true grilled hamburger and salt water taffy.  Anyway, it was getting pretty late in the afternoon, and we still had some tickets left so Ron bought the most unusual item; deep fried bacon. 
He only managed to eat 2 pieces.  He said they were a little weird and would have been a lot better with some Ranch dip.  I didn't have the slightest desire to even taste it!
It was a wonderful weekend spent with the greatest husband in the world.
Thank you Sugarbear, for the perfect birthday present!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I wish I could cry and not end up looking horrid...

Before I vent, I need to say that I love my work.  That being said, I hate my job. This is one of the many times during the school year when I wonder which day I will keel over due to stress induced heart failure. If I could get up in the morning, go to school and teach children without the endless paper work (countless papers to grade, extensive curriculum to weed through and make sense of, detailed lesson plans to type and load onto the server, student success plans to write, intervention documentation to generate, differentiated instruction to develop, worried parents to sooth, keeping sick students from falling behind, etc.) the job would cease to be so stressful.  Double that with the concerns that I have about my parents, my children, grandchildren, and now dogs (poor D-Ray), there are times like now when I would just like to curl up in bed and cry until I feel better.  Unfortunately,  I work tomorrow and every time I cry my eyes turn bright red and swell to twice their normal size. Not only do my eyes transform, but my nose decides to turn into a tomato!  Neither of which seems to reduce anytime within a 24 hour period.  So, I will fight the tears and hope that when the weekend comes things feel a little less daunting. Maybe one of these days I will find a magic lamp with a genie inside.  One of my wishes will be to be able to cry and look pretty.

Saturday, October 1, 2011