Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Strange things that people google.

I'm laughing so very hard now at some of the things people Googled to get to my site this past week. Let's share, shall we?

5. party woodland
Yes, I have a ton of woodland party decorating ideas. That is pretty much the only way I get traffic to my little blog. I love my 22 readers. =)

4. pray for ava
I'm so glad you are praying for my friend's daughter Ava! Keep praying!

3. casa confient blogspot
It's ok. We've all had a bad spelling day. I don't blame you a bit. At least you don't do all of your spelling on an overhead in front of 23 children. Talk about pressure!

2. do you lose weight if you eat vaseline
I hope not, but please stop trying to eat it.


drumroll please.....

1. i eat vaseline am i normal
No! That's not normal so please STOP IT. It's not even Play-Doh or glue. I might be able to get on board with those. At any rate, there is your mid-week laugh.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Let the blog updates begin.

 Two days of late nights working on evaluation paperwork and you get this Instagram post: "Ouch! Look at those bags under those eyes! Time to get some makeup. Stat!"

Truly last week (I'm talking about the week before here) about brought me to my breaking point emotionally. I'm not sure what it was but the vast overwhelming sense of what is happening in the world of education just hit me. Throw in hours of extra paperwork amongst a week that was much too busy. I was sure ready for Friday.
 Two Fridays ago, our guidance counselors lined up Career on Wheels for the kids. 
I almost called Mr. C to bring Micah up to school to see all the vehicles! He would have loooved it!

Everybody was entertaining and informative, and I think they probably learned a whole lot.

One of their favorites was the wildlife deputy since he came with his dog! =)

That same Friday evening we headed to a local park in the town next door to ours, and Micah had fun on their "Tot Lot" section. I love that playground! He can run crazy, and I don't have to worry about him.

He has become very intense about his driving of things lately.

Afterwards, we headed to Yogurt Mountain for some froyo (any Gilmore Girls fans out there?) for dinner. Yes, I said dinner because we are awesome parents like that.

Saturday morning I used the best babysitter in our house--the ginormously deep jacuzzi tub in our master bath. I emptied it out after bath time for Micah to play with his "choo-choos" (AKA empty shampoo bottles) while I got ready for the day. Genius!

 We spent the early lunch hour at Chuck E. Cheese's for our friends' joint birthday parties. Happy birthday, Beau & Hannah! 
Micah was not much of a fan of Chuck E. Cheese's at first. See video below.


He quickly warmed up with he saw Bob the Builder.

Then he stayed on Bob all the day long.

Daddy was asleep (as is usual on Saturdays for us), so we enjoyed Mommy & son date day.

Crazy outtakes trying to get a perfect picture.

Several of the kiddos chowing down on some pizza.

He wouldn't even think about going to Chuck E. Cheese. Period.

The only (horrid, blurry) picture I got of Hannah & Beau opening some gifts.

PicStitch Day of fun!
Saturday night we found out our friends had delivered their little boy Nicholas, so we went to the hospital to see him. All nine pounds and ten ounces of him!
Aw! Isn't this so sweet?
I realize it has been a while since you have seen any of my Micah's precious Mother's Day Out creations, so here goes:

The Letter L
Clown & Red Day
Not exactly sure...robot day?
Love him learning about Bible stories!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So...we went to look at houses this weekend.

Well, my friends. Mr. C & I did a little something cah.ray.zee. this week.

We went to the bank to see if we could qualify for a second mortgage on a separate home because we have decided we want to go into the rental business. This is an endeavor we have watched many, many of our close friends do, and we have been intrigued for years. Now after a lot of praying, a lot of talking, a lot of what ifs...we decided to go to the bank on Thursday expecting to hear, "You've got to be kidding me. Why do you think you can get a mortgage on another house?"

Turns out thanks to Dave Ramsey and paying off most of our debt, we have some pretty desirable things as a potential buyer including the ability to buy a house in this market. So I started "trolling" the internet for cheap houses in good areas of town. This is kind of a hobby for me. I came upon this house which I really thought was ugly at first.

Mr. C & I drove by it on Friday night, and he said, "I absolutely do not even want to go inside it. It's long and skinny. It looks weird."

Well, we lined up several houses on Saturday morning in a very cheap range. We went in foreclosure after foreclosure after foreclosure. I saw some of the most bizarre things I've ever seen in my life! Seriously, in one house they had taken the ceiling out of a bedroom to build a second set of stairs up to another bedroom where there was a hole in the middle of the floor. Bizarre. We kind of have this dream to buy something uber cheap, fix it up, and live in it for years and years to come. In this plan, I'd have the option to stay home because we'd be significantly cutting our mortgage while adding to our square footage. However, getting out there to see these crazy houses made me realize I can't just "look past it" as easily as I thought I could.

Then we came to the house above. The ugly one (as C thought). Our real estate agent told us, "I'm not sure what we are going to find in here, but the price is great. The neighborhood is great, and I guess we'll see."

Immediately, I fell in love. It is so close to my dream neighborhood where I used to live in an apartment. It is closER to my husband's job and way closer to my job. It has trees. Lots of trees. It has original hardwood floors & glass doorknobs. It's close to my parents house and closER to my in-laws. It's in the city where I grew up. So if you know where that is, then you know. If you know where I teach, then you also (kind of) know. It is the other nice adjacent city to where I teach.

It also has a horrid kitchen. Stains on the walls. And a bad roof. See said horrid kitchen below:

However, what you CAN'T see is the huge keeping room that opens into the kitchen that overlooks a gigantic yard with trees. You can't see the formal dining room, and the beautiful living room. Here's the living room. Isn't it awesome? Did I mention except for the crazy kitchen these hardwood floors are throughout the home??

So. Here we are crazily looking at the price an all this work that needs to be done. It's not too big, and it's not too small. We're currently living in 1300 square feet, and I think it is safe to say, we are out of room. This house is missing several things that I want. It doesn't have a laundry room. It doesn't have a "master bath", but shares a hallway bath. Even still, it was bright. It was airy. It had windows, and I could see Micah running through the fabulous yard for decades to come. I can just see it all.

Depending on several certain things, we are thinking about putting an offer in on the house. It will be a "low ball" offer not much more than we paid for our original home. If we don't get it, we don't get it. If we do...holy moly. I might be moving before Christmas. That's kind of insane! Then we're going to rent out our house. Instead of buying a rental property, we'll just keep up our current home as our rental income. Why buy one when we know what has been done to ours and we are nine years into a 30 year loan.

So...we go to see this house again on Tuesday to make sure it is what we want to do. If we still like it, we'll pull the trigger. Then there are tons of hoops because it is a foreclosure, and it could easily still fall through. Fun to dream, though! I guess we'll see what this week holds for us. =)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pray for Ava.

 I have so much to blog about. It's unreal. I'm behind. I have a post set up with pictures that I'm working on, but my heart is too heavy this week to blog. I can't post about me tonight.

If you are on Facebook, I posted about a zillion times to pray for one of my best friend's niece who is four. Her name is Ava, and there was a brain tumor discovered on Monday. By Wednesday, surgery was scheduled first thing this morning. The tumor was removed successfully, but she has cancer. More details will probably come forth, but can you pray for them, please??

Amanda is to my left in this picture at her daughter's birthday party last year.

I have known Amanda forever. And ever. And ever. I spent every weekend at her house hanging out with her & her younger sister Becca all throughout high school. I can't even tell you all the teenaged giggle fests we had as we slept over and drove around Southaven. Years have passed, and we don't get to see each other like we did. However, that family? It's like an extension of my own family. I have a complete house full of sisters over there.

This is Ava, Becca's sweet daughter. She & her husband (who were high school sweethearts btw graduated two years after me) have two children: Ava, 4 and Jett who is a little older than Micah. (I forget exact months.) They don't have a blog other than Becca's business blog here. Then she spruced up her awesomeness with this more current site. She's always been an ah.may.zing artist, and she decorates & bakes cakes now. At any rate, they did set up a prayer site on Facebook called Pray for Ava. Please go there to pray, spread the site, and pray for this precious family. 

I can't imagine if you told me Micah had a brain tumor.

Please pray.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days: Real life of a working mom. Day 18.

Well, yesterday was my surprise drop in evaluation! So it technically happened on day 17 of my series, but we're just going to go with it for the story for day 18. That ok? Let me just tell you, it was a complete and utter surprise! For sure! Grab a chair, sit down, and get some coffee. This story is just too funny not to share.

First of all, so far the administration has been dropping in around the same time for most people. That doesn't mean they always do that because I have heard of other times happening here and there. That also does not mean we have been told a particular time. However, if you watch people's habits you can pick up on some things. Last year I scored "high enough" on the teacher's rubric that I don't have to do all my evaluations this year. Instead, I'm getting evaluated on a drop in at the administration's leisure. Great, right?

Um, no.

I think I would rather have my low score with my happy planned evaluation followed by a drop in second semester. I know that is kind of crazy, but with the drop in they will come two more times for "walk throughs" anyway. So I score high, but now I have three times instead of two? Makes sense to me. I love government mandates.

She didn't do our announcements this morning, and I didn't even see her in the building. (She & her would be my particular administrator.)  At lunch, I asked my friend, "Is Mrs. X even here today?" No one seemed to have seen any evidence of Mrs. X so most of us figured we were in the clear for the day. After all, it was past said time that Mrs. X seems to prefer so that meant deep sighs of relief.

Happily, I took my little wee ones back to our room to finish up some math we started before lunch. We took a restroom break, put away all of our lunch boxes and moved on into math.

Then Student A called Student B an "insane idiot" at which point Student B burst into hysterical tears complete with crocodiles and deep breathing Lamaz exercise hysteria.  At this point, I redirected the class to please continue with their group activity on writing in math while I took Student B into the hall to calm her down.

Imagine my surprise to throw open the door only to see Mrs. X standing there. For a minute, I thought she was coming down to speak with me about one of the many problems going on in my room. Two seconds later, it dawned on me what exactly was happening.

Mrs. X looked at Student B, looked at me, and gasped, "Um...OH. Oh, my!"

I smiled politely and said, "Um...well, yes. This is fun! How great to see you!"

Student B hiccuping loudly.

Mrs. X, shaking her head, trying not to laugh, "Well, I'll just go get myself situated while you take care of this."

"Ok, will do. Give me just a minute," I replied at which I noticed we were both trying not to laugh hysterically at the complete humor of this situation.

So at some point after conferencing with Student A & Student B, my mind is racing a million miles a minute thinking these things:


I guess we could do....

Oh, wait. No, I don't want to start another subject. Let's just keep doing math.

Well, we've already done math for about an hour.

But if I start this...then that will...and then I will wonder...and then the transition...and I just got Student B to stop crying...

Oh, just go with it. You're teaching math, Mrs. X dropped in on math, and math she shall continue to see.

So I return into the room with Student A & Student B and charge forward with my lesson I had already basically completed. Only I turned it around a bit, and we did a writing exercise in math! Brilliance sometimes comes to me off the cuff. I don't know why. But I ended up doing a beautiful lesson on writing across the curriculum using math terms from the Common Core. Teacher score!

And while I did have a beautiful lesson, we were now about an hour and a half deep into math! At some point, well. Kids need to not do math. You know. Because they are tired. And it is now snack time, but Mrs. X was still there. I'm running out of things to do, and then in walks Mrs. Y oblivious to Mrs. X sitting at my desk.

Mrs. Y:  Leah! Oh my goodness! Are you really going to get this done by this day? I mean, I don't think that is what Mrs. X said to do?

Me frantically doing everything but waving my hands at her to say, "MRS. X IS RIGHT HERE!" I did a bunch of head bobbing to the side to motion for her to look up at Mrs. X.

Slowly, Mrs. Y realizes what is happening.

Mrs. Y: OH MY!  I'm soooooooo sorry, Leah! I'm sooooo sorry!, carry on!

By now, all of the adults were just hysterically laughing. Mrs. Y is laughing. I'm laughing. Mrs. X is laughing. We are all just laughing. I mean, it is pretty comical by this point.

And also? I had really run out of things to do, but she was still there. So I have the students take out their Mountain Math (a spiraling program that goes through basic math concepts over and over all year to keep things fresh in their minds), and started spouting off some nonsense such as:

"Children, we are now going to take a journey up to the top of Mt. C with Ranger C! Let's explore the vast land of foot 15. We're getting higher today, guys! We are higher up today! Now go look at number 15, and try it in groups."

"Don't forget children--if that mountain lion comes after you, tackle it yourself. We might be in a group, but you have to be able to fend for yourself." (Um, this is in reference to students can work in groups, but you have to be able to do your own work.)

"Don't let the mountain lion attack leave you frustrated! You can fight him off!"

Huh?? Where did that come from? So suddenly, we're taking a trip with "Ranger C" instead of their teacher Mrs. C. I'm talking about mountain lions eating them, and then I'm rambling. I'm going to get the worst score ever. Either that or, "What in the world were you talking about?"

Finally, after a while talking about our trip and reviewing some spiraling concepts...she left. And I about fell down in the floor. Nope, I took the kids to the bathroom again because 1. we'd now done math for two hours 2. they looked pitiful (over mathed out) and 3. it was time to eat snack so our hands needed washing.

After that? We went out for a very long, laid back recess.

Whew! What a day!

When I told Mr. C (or Ranger C's husband) about my day today, he just laughed and laughed and laughed.

I'll let you know next week if I was a genius or an idiot with my mountain lions. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

And that, my friends, is the real life of a working mom.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days: Real life of a working mom. Day 17. Oh, yeah. We went to the beach.

This post will have absolutely nothing to do with being a working mom. Except to say that last week I had the whole week off because our school district had fall break! Whoo-hoo! I really need to take time to post the "real" pictures from the "real" camera, but I thought I'd give you some Instagram/iPhone love to tide you over. 

This was on the first day when we woke up at our condo. Micah stood on the balcony viewing the "wawa" in the background so excited to be at the beach!

It started out as an overcast morning, but we had some amazing views from our balcony.

I miss that view already.

We had friends from Memphis who were also down in Orange Beach for the week, so we met up with them on Sunday to take all our kids to play on a playground. We also went out on this really long pier.

Micah loves his daddy so much!

Afterwards, we took the kids to eat at Oyster House. 
(Micah, front--almost 2; Noelle, 4; Anderson, 2 & 1/2

 I took great advantage of the beach locale to go on lots of runs. I came back from a run one morning to find my husband like this. Ha!

 The weather was amazing all week! The water was fantastic, and there was no seaweed in sight!

I loved my early morning runs on the beach barefoot!

One morning on my run, I saw this fishing boat on the water. I could only think of the verse, Jesus said, "Come. I will make you fishers of men." Couldn't one of those guys just be Paul? John? Peter?

Oh, to have been alive in Biblical times.

We had a very strict regimin of sleeping until 8:00 or 9:00, going on runs (me), making it to the beach by 10:00, returning to the condo by noon, and napping the rest of the afternoon followed by dinner.

It was a hard life, but somebody had to live it.
We took Micah to dinner at Sea n Suds and enjoyed this beachy view.

Love my dinner companions!

The picture is kind of dark, but Micah (in his pjs) told me, "Boat! Mommy, boat!" Love his pretending skills already in motion. Notice, he had to have his two passengers: Mr. Bear & Mr. Moose. (Aren't we original with our names of stuffed animals in our home?)

And I just enjoyed my run in the mornings.

One morning I saw this tragic tale of the circle of life. A huge stingray had died somehow and fish were chowing down on his lifeless body.

How crazy is that sandcastle?

We stayed near the end of the peninsula where Florida meets Alabama. That bridge led to Florida.

My husband attempted to make sandcastles with Micah, but Micah just liked to knock them all down.

We did a lot of sitting in shallow sand at the foot of the ocean while the waves literally crashed over us. Micah just liked to stay right at the water's edge which was fine for Mommy.

Another day we went to Tacky Jack's for lunch. I'm not ashamed to say that after the face below started, I whipped out the iPhone so Micah could watch some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Because sometimes, that's just how you have to roll to control a two-year old's near public meltdown when a restaurant won't get your food out very fast near nap time.

Great view at Tacky Jack's for lunch.

We spent too much money at the Outlet Mall buying my husband a new wardrobe. Ok, it isn't really that bad, but he did go from being a "lowly" dock manager to an office job without the proper duds. Working on the docks tends to mess up your clothes really easily. He needed some new attire, and the sales were amazing! We are cheap, so we took advantage. He's modeling his new shirt for you. 

Micah's modeling how sitting still is not his favorite past time these days.

Well, you can see we had a ball! More pics to come. =)