Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Be so good...

This is going to be long, but it's an exciting update!

I've been subbing again for a few years now. I originally wanted to use subbing as a way to ease back into the classroom and catch up on all the new trends in education. As a result, I've learned a lot about what's big and gained a lot of tips for how to do things. And, my desire to have my own classroom again has only gotten stronger.

So, as I started this school year, I decided that this was going to be the year that things started to change for me and my career. I'm not content with just being the sub anymore. I started the year with a motto in mind and every day, I tried to live up to that motto at work.

Now, I admit it doesn't hurt that the school district has a shortage of subs this year, but I've been so busy this year, that I've worked nearly every day of school. I've mostly been at 2 of the elementary schools, which are my 2 favorite schools to work at and I'd gladly take a position at either one. Teachers have even joked that they should just hire me. And I've been requested by several teachers because they know I will get stuff done and I know what I'm doing. (Sadly, the same cannot be said for some of the other substitutes. Oh, the stories I've heard!)

A few weeks ago, I was subbing at E School when I had a chance to talk to one of the kindergarten teachers while our classes were using the restroom. This teacher just so happens to be pregnant and due in the spring. We got to talking about subbing and she asked if I did long-term jobs. I had to bite my tongue not to scream, "Yes!" She asked if I would be interested in doing her maternity leave as she knew I would be great at it. Again, I had to bite my tongue not to scream, "Yes!" She said she would talk to the principal about it and I left blissfully happy that I might be able to do a long-term job.

In the interim, I freaked out about resumes and applications. Turns out, this was unnecessary, but at least I got my resume cleaned up for when it's time to apply for jobs.

A couple weeks later, I was again subbing at E School when W School (the other school I'm frequently at) called and asked me to give them a call when I had a chance. I was on pins and needles about that call. Why in the world were they calling me during the school day? And why aren't they going through the sub scheduler?

Finally, I got a chance to call and talk to the secretary. Would I be interested in doing some long-term subbing for them? It's a good thing I was on the phone because I'm sure I had the goofiest grin on my face. Why yes, yes I would be interested!

I picked up a medical leave immediately after winter break and they asked if I would be interested in doing a maternity leave for them. Well ... I said that I would have to get back to them on that one because E School had already expressed an interest in me doing a maternity leave for them and the two leaves overlapped.

I went to the kindergarten teacher at E School and told her that W School had asked me to do their maternity leave. She went to her principal after school and got him to approve me for her leave and then called me to let me know. I danced around our living room while my husband stared at me.

The school board should have approved everything last week and now I'm nearly set for the last 5 months of school. I'm doing at least 1 week, maybe 2 of 2nd grade at W School starting next week. Then, I'll have 2 months of random subbing and then it'll be 9 weeks of kindergarten. I'm so excited to have the opportunities and cannot wait to be teaching full-time in one of my favorite grades.

And of course, I'll still be following my motto! Hopefully, this will lead to even better and bigger things! I promise I'll try to do a better job of keeping you updated as things progress.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Social - The Last One!

I'm linking up for the last Sunday Social.

How did you come up with your blog name? 

It was inspired by my love of all things argyle and of course, our argyle wedding.
What is your favorite thing about blogging? 

Finding new blogs to follow, getting sweet comments, and just generally sharing things with others.

What is one thing you have discovered because of blogging and now can't live without? 

Does Sunday Social count? I love doing this link-up. I'm so sad that it's the last one! But, I'm also excited to see what's next.  Also, Instagram, and Pinterest

Facebook or Twitter? and why?

For the blog? Twitter just because I actually do a lot more on there than on my blog's Facebook page. I need to get better at that!

If one celeb read your blog who would you want it to be?

The Duchess of Cambridge because I'm certain we could easily be best friends.

What is something you want people to know about your blog?

Even though I've been trying this blogging thing for awhile now, I'm still growing and changing how I do things. I'm working on being more consistent and trying to be more interesting, I promise.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Social

What is your favorite month and why?

I've never really thought about which month is my favorite. I could say January since that's when my birthday is, but I don't love the cold weather.

I would probably say May. The weather is warmer, but usually not too warm yet. School is almost out and summer is around the corner. Plus, the flowers are in bloom.

Favorite Holiday and why?

Christmas! I love the family traditions we have, I love finding the perfect present for someone, I love going to Midnight Mass, and I love Christmas music. I love everything about the Christmas season.

 Are you getting the new iPhone or are you more of an Android person?

I am an Android girl. I've had the same smartphone for 3 years now, so obviously, I'm not one who feels the need to get a new phone every time something new comes out. Even if I was an iPhone person, I would not get that new one. It looks way too big!

Most thoughtful gift you have ever received from someone?

I can't really think of one specific gift. I've received many thoughtful gifts over the years.

Something you can’t wait to splurge on?

A new mattress. Ours is awful. I get a backache just looking at it.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Social

What is your favorite magazine to read?

I hesitate to name one because every time I find a magazine I really like, it seems to stop publishing. I'm a not big magazine person, really. I get some magazines, but they were all free through various reward programs.

If I had to pick a magazine, I'd probably say People.

What is the best thing you've seen online lately?

Benedict Cumberbatch can't say, "penguin." Hilarious!

What is your favorite celebrity to follow on Instagram or Twitter?

I like following Jennifer Morrison on Instagram and Twitter because she posts stuff about Once Upon a Time and I love it when she posts behind the scenes photos.

Is there one article of clothing no matter what the season you can’t help but love?

Hoodies! I'm always looking for an excuse to wear one, even when it's hot outside. Also, yoga pants.

Do you prefer email or snail mail?

Snail mail. I love getting things in the mail! (Especially if they're not bills.) I really need to be better about sending other people mail.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Favorite Snack at EPCOT

Remember when I actually blogged? And I started a series on my favorites at Walt Disney World? Let's keep doing that!

Today, I want to tell you about my favorite snack at EPCOT.

While we were on our honeymoon at Walt Disney World, we had 2 separate days at EPCOT. The snack I want to tell you about was so good, we had it both days. I had first discovered it while researching things to check out for our trip. It had rave reviews from many other Disney fans on the message boards.

So what is this amazing treat?

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Please excuse my husband's face. He's incapable of taking a normal picture.
Kaki Gori!

Located in the Japanese pavilion, it's shaved ice and fruit flavored syrup. But this is way better than just any old snow cone. It is shaved much finer and is very smooth. It's the perfect treat for a hot day.

You get your choice of syrup flavor or if you can't choose, you can get a rainbow. I prefer the cherry flavor while my husband enjoyed the tangerine.

We enjoyed it so much, it's a new tradition for us. We'll be heading to the Kaki Gori stand again on our next trip to EPCOT.

What's your favorite EPCOT snack?

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Social - Fall

What is your favorite part of Fall? 

My favorite part of fall is Halloween and Thanksgiving. I'm always up for a food related holiday.

Do you have anything special planned for Fall?

Just a lot of working now that school is back in session. 

What is Fall like in your area? 

Weather in Indiana is always unpredictable. It cooled off last week, but now we're back to 80 degrees. The leaves change color and the trees look beautiful. We have lots of pumpkin farms and apple orchards in addition to corn mazes.

Corn Maze!
What is your favorite Football team to cheer for(college or professional)? 

I've been a pretty big Colts fan ever since college. It's not unusual to find me yelling at my TV on Sundays during the fall. Why the Colts? Well, I live in Indiana, so they're the home team. Plus, we had an amazing team when I started following them and ended up going to two Super Bowls.  I also have to cheer for the Broncos since they've got Peyton now.

I also like to cheer for whichever team is playing Notre Dame. (I know, I'm a terrible Catholic.)

Do you decorate for Fall? Show us pics!!!

I decorate for fall. I especially decorate for Halloween. I'd share pics, but I refuse to decorate until it's actually fall and that's not until Tuesday.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Social - Favorites

I'm trying Sunday Social again since Answer Me This stopped.

Favorite Scent

My favorite perfume is LaCoste pour Femme. It's what I wore on our wedding day.

My favorite Bath & Body Works scents are Paris Amour and Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin.

My favorite flower scents are peony and lilac.

My favorite candle scents are vanilla, lilac, and campfire.

Favorite Food

Pizza, Buffalo wings, and just about anything chocolate, bonus points if it's a baked good.

Favorite Sound

I like the sound of rain at night.

Favorite Picture Currently on Your Phone

This is the last picture of Mimi I have on my phone. I still miss her.

Best Memory of the Year So Far

All the fun I had at my summer job.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Randoms

Oh yeah, I have a blog! Here are some random updates and thoughts for Friday.

  • I've been busy ever since school started again. We had school 13 days in August and I worked 8 of those days. It would've been 9 days if I hadn't had a dentist appointment. I'm hoping this continues and I'm busy all year. So far, it looks good!
  • We had a family gathering for Labor Day last Saturday. We played Apples to Apples for the first time in a long time. I forgot how much fun that game is! I got an expansion pack on clearance at Target awhile ago and adding those new cards in made the game even more fun. One of the cards was Benedict Cumberbatch!
  • I took advantage of the Labor Day sales over the weekend and hit up the outlet mall. It was crowded, so I didn't shop as much as I would've liked, but I did manage to score 2 new cardigans for less than the price of 1 at the Gap store.
  • I'm so happy that Doctor Who is back! I'm really loving the new Doctor. Of course, it helps that I already loved Peter Capaldi. I didn't really like last week's episode, but I'm looking forward to this week's episode.
12 gives awesome advice

This line felt very Malcolm Tucker to me. I like it!
  • I've had some really good luck at winning things this week. I won 4 gift cards on Crowdtap for participating last month. That's the most I've ever won in a month. I also finally won a blog giveaway. Have you ever had any luck winning giveaways?

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Answer Me This


What is your favorite picture book? 

This is a dangerous question to ask me. As an elementary teacher and children's literature addict, I have a very large collection of children's books. My list of favorites could easily be pages long. My absolute favorites are the Pigeon books by Mo Willems. When I was teaching first grade, we read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus every day before we went home. Kids love those books! And they are books that I don't get tired of reading because they are so fun.

Are you a boycotter? 

I am, but usually for petty reasons. If I get food poisoning, I stop eating at a restaurant for a year. If I don't like a certain actor, I won't see their movies no matter how good it looks. I haven't boycotted anything for a strong moral reason yet.

How do you feel about cheese?

 I LOVE IT! I'm not very adventurous, but give me some cheddar or mozzarella and I'm in heaven.

 How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?

I have 3 pairs of cheap sunglasses floating around somewhere. Of course, I can never find a pair when I want them.

How long has it been since you went to the dentist? 

5 days! I just went for a routine cleaning on Tuesday.

If you could visit any religious site in the world, where would you go?

I really want to go to the Vatican.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Weeks in Review

 And just like that, another three weeks have gone by since I last did a week review.  At least I'm consistent?

 So, what have I been up to in the last 3 weeks? To be honest, not a whole lot! I said I had plans to clean and while I had the ambition, I didn't have the motivation. I did get a few rooms a lot cleaner and laundry did get done, so it wasn't a total loss. I even braved the heat and humidity to do some weeding.

I did work on some of my hobby projects, which was nice. After all, I was technically on vacation, so fun and relaxing were in order. And I worked pretty hard this summer, so I'm not feeling too guilty about not being as productive.

My grandma had her birthday a couple weeks ago, so my mom and I took her to lunch at a local Amish style restaurant. They have a lunch buffet that I love. I definitely ate well that day!

School started last week and I'm already working. My scheduler called on the first day of school to start offering jobs. I predict I'll be busy this year which makes me very happy!

How was your week?


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Answer Me This: Magazines, TV Shows, & the Sign of Peace


What is your favorite room in the house? 

I spend the most time in the living room, so I guess that's my favorite.

We've lived here for 4 years and I really wish the house was more decorated. I don't really like the way most of our room look. I still feel like we look as if we just moved in. We still have stuff in boxes for crying out loud! The only room I'd consider "done" is my bathroom.

Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

I refuse to pay for magazines, so I only get subscriptions I can get for free. The only one I have right now is Martha Stewart Living.

How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above? 

I find it awkward, but that's because I don't like interacting with strangers much. I dread having to shake hands with the people around me. I'd be fine with the sign of peace if I could only do it with my family - kiss my husband (and shake his hand while we're kissing...yes, we're odd), shake my mother-in-law's hand and done.

Sign of peace at our wedding
 What is your least favorite sound? 

Right now, it's yelling and screaming. I don't mind the sounds of children playing, but the neighbor children insist on screaming and yelling as if they're being tortured and it's really annoying. Of course, the adults around here also seem to be doing a lot of yelling and arguing outside, so I guess they're just modeling what they see. (I promise we don't live in a terrible neighborhood!)

What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

Punky Brewster, various Saturday morning cartoons, The Cosby Show, SeaQuest, Lois & Clark, Saved by the Bell, Boy Meets World, Full House

What are your favorite TV shows now?

 Doctor Who, Sherlock, Person of Interest, NCIS, Once Upon a Time

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Answer Me This: Pie, Sleep, and the Library


 What do you still want to do this summer? 

Nothing, really. School starts this week, so in my mind, summer is done. 

Of course, I'd always love to travel, but unless we win the lottery, that's not happening.

What's your favorite kind of pie?

I like lots of pies. I just had some delicious chocolate cream pie the other day. I also like chocolate peanut butter cream, pumpkin, strawberry, and Toll House pie. 

How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get? 

I need as much as I can get. Seriously, if left to my own devices I can easily sleep for 10 hours. (Can you tell I don't have kids?)

However, I usually only get about 6 hours.

Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river, or ocean?

Pool, please. I don't like plants and animals touching me when I'm in the water. 

Do you know any poems by heart? 

I don't anymore. My expository writing teacher had us memorize some quotes and things. One of them was part of Shakespeare's Sonnet 116. 

Do you use the public library?

All the time. We go to the library at least once a week. I've currently got a huge stack of books to get through, which I love. We also like to borrow DVDs.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Answer Me This


When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod, or nothing at all?

Normally, I enjoy listening to CDs because the radio always seems to be either one of five popular songs or commercials. However, I've been extremely lazy and not changed out the CDs in my car since Christmas, so my CD changer is still full of Christmas music. So it's been the radio for awhile now. I'd change out the CDs, but I took all my CDs in the house and always forget until I want to listen to something other than the radio.

Do you prefer window or aisle?

I prefer aisle. I get motion sickness prettily easily especially when reading, but I can avoid it if I can't see out the window easily. It's not usually bad on planes, but I'll do anything to avoid feeling sick.

Do you fall asleep on your side, back, or stomach? What position are you in when you wake up?

I fall asleep on my side. I cannot sleep on my stomach at all. I usually wake up on my back unless the cat is sleeping against me and then I seem to know not to roll over in my sleep.

When is the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair, or parade?

I went to the zoo 2 weekends ago with the family. I wrote a blog post about it.

We also went to our county fair 2 weekends ago. I'm working on a post about that. (i.e. I haven't uploaded the pictures from my phone yet.)

I've never been to a circus.

The last parade I remember watching was on our honeymoon at Disney World. That was 4 years ago.

Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?

These are mine for work...

This one is especially helpful to remember when you see children you are not responsible for acting in a way of which you don't approve.

What's the best thing about summer?

This summer, the best thing was my summer job. I absolutely loved day camp this year. My group was great, my co-workers were awesome, and we had lots of fun. I was really sad when camp ended.

The best part of every summer in the county fair. I have lots of fond memories of spending time at the county fair as a kid, so I love going every year. It's so much fun to see the animals, eat lots of great fair food, and look at the 4-H projects.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Trip to Binder Park Zoo

I mentioned before that my 3 youngest nieces came down from Wisconsin to visit for a few weeks. They did this last summer and we took a trip to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. This year, I wanted to take them to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, we weren't able to make our trip until their last day in town. But the good news was that their dad was in town too and we made it a big family trip!

Our group consisted of me, my husband, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law, our oldest nephew (age 25) and all our nieces (ages 20, 13, 11, and 8.) Even though we had a large group, we were able to stay together easily despite the crowds. (We had to go on a Saturday and it was super busy.) And we managed to see everything during our trip.

The zoo has a new black bear exhibit which I thought was great. My youngest nieces were less impressed as they see them all the time in Wisconsin. But the young bears were super cute. (No pictures because you have to view them through glass & I knew it wouldn't turn out well.)

My favorite part of visiting Binder Park Zoo is feeding the giraffes. Because the zoo was so busy, the giraffe feeding area was super crowded. I highly recommend going during the week if you want to feed the giraffes. It's less busy and you won't feel rushed to get through the experience.

The zoo had 2 baby giraffes born in June and this was the first week they were on display. They were adorable!

My 11-year-old niece loves cheetahs, so she was excited when we came upon the cheetah exhibit. Luckily for her, today the cheetah was prowling about the enclosure and even make cute meow noises. It was so funny to hear a noise that sounded more like a house cat coming from this wild creature.

We all had a great time at Binder Park Zoo and I can't wait for our next visit. If the budget allowed, I'd love to go up again this weekend for their Reptile Weekend. I know my reptile-loving husband would enjoy that!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Weeks in Review

I can't believe that six weeks have flown by and now camp is over for the summer. We had a fun-filled 3 weeks since I last updated.

We continued to work hard on our talent show routine and ended up winning the talent show. I'm really proud of our kids for pulling that off. They did a great job!

We took a couple trips to the local spray park and visited the beach again. We had a water day with water games and had a big water balloon fight. We did more fun crafts and games and just generally had a lot of fun.

I'm really going to miss spending time with my campers. As I was saying goodbye on the last day, I found myself having to hold back some tears. It was a great summer and I'm looking forward to next year.

Last weekend was our nieces' last weekend in town, so we took a big family trip up to Binder Park Zoo. I'll share some pictures and more details about that in a separate post.

The fair was last week and we went on Sunday with our oldest nephew and niece. I'll post about that as well.

Our usual Sunday Mass was special this week because our parochial vicar was installed as pastor. This Bishop came and did a special rite during the mass. It was the first time I've been to a Mass celebrated by our current Bishop. (He's been our Bishop for 4 years.) I was even lucky enough to receive communion from him.

Our new pastor's brother is also a priest, so he came to celebrate Mass with him in addition to our new parochial vicar. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we had 3 priests and a Bishop at the altar. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere.

Now that I'm off work for a little while, I've got plans to do some cleaning and work on a few hobby projects I've started.

How was your week?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Answer Me This


What’s your favorite thing on YouTube?

I tend to like a bunch of really random things on YouTube. Mostly, things related to Sherlock or Doctor Who. I'll share my current favorite Benedict Cumberbatch video.

Who taught you to drive?

I never learned anything about driving until I took Driver's Ed when I was 15. I took it through my school in the summer and my instructor was horrible. He didn't actually teach much, just made me get behind the wheel and expected me to know what to do. And he wasn't shy about telling me how bad I was. So, my confidence was shot and I didn't even want to practice. So, I didn't get my license when I was 16 because I wanted nothing to do with driving.

When I was 19, I knew I couldn't put it off any longer, so I took Driver's Ed again through a local driving school. They had just opened and my brother learned to drive from them. It was so much better that time! The instructors were nice and encouraging and I felt confident in my driving. And I got my license!

What’s your favorite thing to cook? 

I don't really like cooking. Cooking leads to having to clean things up. I hate making a mess and having to turn around and clean it up. I'd much rather just have the food made for me. :) However, my favorite thing to make is homemade pizza. It's really easy and so delicious.

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?

It depends on how I know the other person. I don't like hugging strangers because that's awkward. I have no problem hugging people I know. I often hug people if I haven't seen them in a while as a greeting. I also don't mind when kids see me at school and hug me. It's nice to feel appreciated.

Where do you pray best?

At church. I usually pray every night when I first get into bed, but I admit that sometimes I'm so tired, that I get distracted or fall asleep while praying. So, I probably do my best praying in church when I can concentrate on the task. After receiving communion works really well for me.

When is the last time you saw/spoke to your grandparents?

I only have one grandmother still alive, so it's been awhile for most of them. I saw and spoke to my grandmother in May when we went flower shopping. Her birthday is coming up, so I'll see her again soon.

Me, my mom, and my grandma at my wedding 4 years ago.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Answer Me This


What’s something you've won and how did you win it?

I won an overnight trip to Cincinnati last year by entering a sweepstakes. Sadly, we didn't take the trip due to finances and laziness.

I've also won Vera Bradly laptop sleeves 2 different times. Both times I won through Twitter contests.

Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?

I do save them, although I never seem to know what exactly to do with them. I feel guilty about throwing them away. With Christmas cards, I have reached the point where I only save photo cards. I did scrapbook all of the cards we received for our wedding and I stick the cards we get for our anniversaries in there as well.

When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

I try to go barefoot as much as possible because I just don't enjoy wearing socks. However, since my husband is the heat miser, I have to wear socks in the winter. In that case, I prefer to wear those fuzzy slipper socks. 

Who’s the most famous person you have ever met?

I've never "met" anyone famous. I did touch Clay Aiken's hand once after a concert (yeah, I was one of those girls once upon a time.) And a few years ago at the National Book Fair, I saw Julianne Moore. I have a blurry cell phone photo of that somewhere...

Totally Julianne Moore, I swear.

What has been your best work of art?

I am not artistic at all although I did make a pretty cute craft stick flag with my campers a few weeks ago.

What’s your strongest sense?

Definitely not sight. Probably my sense of smell is the strongest because lately I've been smelling things clear across the room (and NO I'm not pregnant.)