Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Before and after #2...kinda

I'm sitting here trying to update the blog while I babysit for my granddaughter, Sophie.  Currently, she is entertaining herself by walking around the house with her shopping cart.  I think she is pretending to be a bag lady because the shopping cart has my rain boots, several containers of playdough, a purse, a stuffed animal, the left overs of her lunch, and a flip light that she is using for a cell phone.  And, she sleeps with a dog! Whatever keeps her happy!
Sophie & Boomer taking a rest...

Sophie enjoying her strawberry milk snack...

Anyway, I said this was a before and after kinda today.  BEFORE summer began, I finished the school year with mixed emotions. Mostly because it was the last time I would be a "classroom" teacher.  AFTER summer ends, I will be the RICA teacher; a fancy term for the dyslexia teacher.  Kathy Smallwood held the position for several years, but decided to retire this year.  Recently, I have been struggling with the amount of time my job consumes on a weekly basis; especially now that my grandchildren have so many activities I want to see.  Also, I really want to be able to spend more time with my parents while they are still around.  They are the best parents anyone could ever dream of having and I know I still have so much to learn from them.  So, when Kathy came in to tell me about her decision to retire, I knew I needed to let my principal know that I was interested in the position.  Thankfully, I interviewed and was offered the job about a month before school ended! An answer to prayers!! Hopefully, the new position will allow me to use my time at home for family and still keep me in touch with children doing what I love to do.
Unfortunately, a new job meant moving rooms and purging my teaching materials.  For the remainder of the year I spent every Saturday cleaning out files and cabinets.  I gave a TON of things away, stored 2 TONS of things at my parents, and donated another TON of books to Maggie's school library.  The one thing I hated getting rid of was my set of anchor charts that I created for science.  BEFORE I gave them away, I took pictures of them to post on my blog. Now I will always have a virtual copy of them.  Now, I can't claim that they are all my own ideas because I browse Pinterest to find things for the classroom. When I see something I like, I tweak it so that it what fits my personality. 
Luckily, I will be able to create new anchor charts for all of the skills associated with the Wilson Reading system. Of course, I will have to invest a lot of time going to professional development classes this summer just to know what I will be doing! AFTER those anchor charts are created I will post them.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Before and After #1

This is the first summer in a long time that I am not recovering from some sort of surgery or taking a trip somewhere.  Therefore, I have decided that this will be the summer of make overs.  
I started simple with some yard work.  Ron hired the scouts to do some yard work in order to earn money for camp.  Ron supervised as they cut out 2 ugly shrubs in front of the front porch railing.  As soon as school was over, I got the front flower beds in shape by planting some native plants (Mexican Heather and Dusty Miller) to take the place of the shrubs.  I'm hoping the yard will eventually have only native plants in it; but, I'm realistic enough to know that it will happen over the course of MANY years. 
As part of the yard make over, I needed to add some color to the back deck.  We bought a yellow retro style set of chairs and a glider last year that only had 1 table.  We had a couple of cheap wooden things I had bought at Big Lots, but they were falling apart.  I looked around for some inexpensive side tables, but couldn't find anything sturdy for less than $20.  I decided to take a couple of old flower pots that I was going to throw away and repurpose them. I bought some wooden rounds, spray paint, and bolts to attach the pieces to make a couple of side tables.  
Here are the before and after pictures.

I was a little irritated with myself when I got home and realized that the orange paint was gloss and the green paint was satin.  But, I can live with that.
Unfortunately, once the tables were finished, they made everything else look a little dull and shabby.  So I grabbed some more spray paint and attacked some yard art daisies and smaller flower pots.  It looks better, but now I need to repaint the swing, the frame, and the glider & chair set.

 I'm also starting to think the black lawn chairs need a coat of paint as well. I'm just not sure it would stick very well to the mesh seats.  
Hopefully, I can get the rest of it done before our crazy Texas summer gets too hot to sit outside and enjoy the peaceful serenity of my deck.