Random thoughts

Tomorrow is the first day of class for my IUPUI classes. After this semester I will be halfway done!! I am taking Computers in Curriculum which doesn't seem too bad. I had to sign up for a Twitter acct...not too thrilled because I already have one, and this one will just get deleted after college, just like the dumb blog I had to start for college. But, if you want to follow me on that acct go for it! The other class I am taking seems like a bore...Strategies for educational inquiry. Maybe it will be interesting.

Regular school has been going really well so far. My kids are pretty good...just have a few boys that live on a different planet. I am going to have to really work on strategies to get their attention and to get them to follow directions. All my girls (and a lot of my boys) are so cute! I am teaching the cluster kids this year too, which means I have a lot of kids that are really high...reading on 2nd+ grade level! Emily and I have started to try differentiating a few things since she teaches cluster too. I am hoping to really learn some new things this year to help me be a better teacher. I think this year will be really good, which hopefully means that next year will be too!

Clint is busy tring to a find a house to fix and flip with a couple buddies but everytime they find a house and get ready to have our realtor put a bid on it, it gets sold. I think there are people that just buy these cheap houses without looking at them. Clint wants to look at them so he knows what he's getting in to, but so far no luck :( I really hope he can get one soon...because he wanted to get 2 done before we move next spring/summer.

Over the summer we finally agreed that we will be moving next spring or summer!! I have been wanting to move forever but Clint could never decide, but now he's good with it. However, he can't decide where he wants to move. He agrees with where I want to live sometimes and then other times, he changes his mind. I would really like to live near Butler/Broad Ripple. I want to live there for a few reasons. I really love the houses around that area, I love the cultural aspects there, and I like the community feel. Clint likes all of that too, but would rather be in Plainfield. Hopefully we find a house on a day that he agrees with me :)

Traveling - Part 2

So there are tons of places I really want to visit sometime; some more than others.Tonight I sat down and made two travel lists. One list is trips to take in the next 2 years aka "pre-children years" and then the other is a list for all future trips.

California - This spot will hit the travel list several times now because my mom is moving there tomorrow :( We are going to go visit her in Long Beach either this Fall Break or next Spring Break. There are a few other spots I want to visit in CA over time too (Sequoia National Park, Santa Cruz Boardwalk) so I guess she at least picked an ok spot.

Chicago - I have been to Chicago I think two times, once to see a Cubs game and once when I was a lot younger and don't remember much. We are planning to go there over Fall Break (if not CA) or maybe Labor Day/Memorial Day. We only plan to spend about 3 days here; maybe check out the Navy Pier, Museums.

Hawaii - We want to go here next summer for at least a week. Since Clint doesn't get any paid time off, it will probably be the only 1 week vacation. I don't think I really need to say what we want to do here....beaches galore!

Washington, DC - I think this would be a really cool trip. I am a mini political buff so this would be awesome. We're thinking Fall Break next year for about a 3 day trip.

Texas - My long time friend just moved here and will have a baby by next year so that would be a perfect time to see her. Clint really wants to go here too. We're looking at Labor Day next year.

NYC - This one is my idea...I don't think Clint is too thrilled about this idea, but I'm sure he would be plenty excited when we planned it and got there. I would like to go over Christmas Break next year :) This is the biggest iffy one on the list.

The rest of these places are on our (mostly my) long-term list.

Russia - I know this is strange...whenever I say I want to visit Russia, everyone looks at me weird and asks why. I have always wanted to go there. It is such a different country and I think Red Square looks so beautiful. Of course I would like to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg because they're the most populated and hopefully 'culture-rich'. Luckily Clint has kind of accepted this soon to be vacation. I think it will actually happen within a few years. I would really like to spend Christmas or New Years there.

Australia - This one is totally Clint's idea, not that I wouldn't want to go here. I just asked what place he would like on the list and this was his. It would be neat to see all the marsupials and Sydney.

A Two Week Europe Tour - Not sure if this is realistic as a two week vacation (which I would prefer) but maybe 2 separate trips. However, I would love to go to:
  • Rome and Venice, Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Berlin, Germany (and Clint wants to go to the real Oktoberfest)
  • Athens and Olympia, Greece
  • Ireland
  • UK

Africa - I know Lindsay is thinking "been there done that times 5" but I would like to see several parts that she hasn't been to (that I know of anyways). I would love to see Victoria Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro, in addition to taking a real safari in either Kenya or South Africa.

An Alaskan Cruise - I know! Another cold place! Although I hear it isn't bad if you go in the summer months. Not sure if I can convince Clint on this one. My grandma and aunt did this as well as a teacher I work with and they all loved it.

Grand Canyon - I have already been here before but it was when I was relatively young so I only remember it vaguely. It would be fun to hike down and go rafting through. I think Clint would really enjoy this spot.

Boston - I mostly want to go here to see a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, but I'm sure there are lots of other great things to check out as well.

So there you have our great travel list. Lots of places outside the US...what can I say? The US just doesn't seem that exciting! I'm also just really interested in different cultures and geography.

What about you?? Where do you want to travel?

School stuff

I have my classroom all set up for the new school year! I am really excited and nervous about going back to first grade! They are such babies :) Especially leaving kids that are going on to 3rd grade. I am excited though! I have lots of new things in my room and new plans I have been looking through on the internet that I am excited to implement.

My garden from last year was pretty good minus the TONS of weeds that grew. We had 2 full bags of lettuce. Owen ate most of it but Clint had a salad...even with a fresh grown radish! We had two large green bean plants that I just pulled Wednesday. I have no idea what they are supposed to look like but we'll see what they taste like! Our pumpkins are ginormous! They overtook the whole garden once school let out. The weeds also did too! I pulled a large trashbag full of weeds over 2 days this week and put the fence back up to contain the vines. The good news from it all: 5 pumpkins are growing! I'm not talking small either! I was really hoping for 6, so each class could have one this fall, but we'll deal with!

Zoe's new friend

While we stayed in OBX, my friend Emily was SOOOOOO kind to watch our monster dog Zoe. Emily and John came over to our house a couple months ago for dinner and they brought their cutie pie bulldog, Violet, over. Zoe wanted to play with her so bad, but Violet seemed very uninterested.

Well, when it came time for vacation we had nowhere to leave Zoe other than Camp Bow Wow. She has stayed there a couple times but only for 3 days....that place isn't too cheap. So after trying everyone we knew, I decided to ask Emily, hoping that Violet would like Zoe better since she was coming to her house.

After Zoe ate a bar of soap the day before we left, we took her to Emily with a warning. Not too long after dropping her off, the soap came out. Then came out some more. and then some more. Then all over Violet's back! Yikes!

Emily sent several cute pictures that I'll share here:

Overall, Emily said they were crazy but pretty good. I am sure it was definitely way more crazy than good but Emily is too nice to say that our dog is WACKO! :)

Thanks Emily!!!

OBX Vacation

Dad decided a few months ago that we were all going to go on a Family Vacation. He just loves having his daughters around him :) He booked a house on the beach in Nags, NC which is located on the Outer Banks. The weather was great and the water was warm!!

The waves were great for body boarding...especially the last two days!

Unfortunately there was nothing exciting on the beach. The pier was for fishing and you even had to pay just to 'sight see'. Clint did get free hot dogs here though!

We went on a dolphin boat tour one evening. We saw a lot of dolphins! Most of the time they were mating. Don't believe me? Watch my stepmom's video!

Very nice beach. Not crowded, which was nice and it was clean and flat. Two good points in my book.

Clint passed out, which he did for over half the trip. He sleeps all the time!

Dad checking out the dolphins.

Cool sand creation. These people have a cool job.

Clint and I being awesome.

At the sand dunes.

See! I told you sleeps all the time!

Catch up!

You would think that with the whole summer off, blogging would be easy to do! However, I have had college classes that take up a lot of time and a vacation to the Outer Banks in NC (in addition to all the goofing off I normally do that takes up a lot of time!). So I will try to write several posts that will publish over the next few days. Gotta keep you in suspense!

While we were in OBX, Lindsay's roommate watched Owen. He's not real hard to take care of...just refill his water and give him a handful of lettuce! Here he is at Lindsay's. Notice the snug fit inside his log:

When I first got Owen, he was about 6 inches long and weighed 1 pound. Now he is about 7 inches long and maybe a little over a pound and a half. That may not seem like much, but if you have seen him recently, you would know that he is almost too big for his log. Since I bought the KL log, I can't get a bigger one. So, being the genius that I am, I decided to add stilts to his log! He now has a whole inch added to his hideout!

Works perfect! Now he isn't squished or carrying his log on his back! I can't wait for the 1st graders to meet him! They'll be so excited! I also think he prefers all the noise and attention; he roams around his cage more. Only 1 more month left!


Profile for queenofthemunchkins

My (nerdy) family has recently become obsessed with a new hobby called geocaching. You can go here to check it out and read all about it but I'll give a brief overview real quick. Basically you get yourself a handheld gps.

I have a Magellan eXplorist GC.

You first have to create an account on the website and then you can hook up you GPS and download locations. At these locations, there are hidden caches or containers. In the cache is a log that you write your name and date on. Sometimes there are prizes or geo "tokens". You then log that you found the cache on your account and your number of finds increases. You are basically looking for a small container in a small area that your gps lead you to. Some are really easy to find while others are really hard. Sometimes you can't even find them the first try.

It's a global scavenger hunt!

So far I have 14 caches, Ange has 19, Lindsay has 50, and Dale has 117. Mom isn't registered but she pretty much spots all of them before all of us and ruins it! Hilary hasn't registered yet but she has the same as me (if she registers them!).

Yesterday I downloaded about 20 new locations into my gps that I hope to find soon! The goal: "cache" up to Dale!


My little buddy, Jack, was my first own pet. We got him from the vet that Hilary worked at. Someone dropped him off and left him. Dr. Geckler tried to give him away to two other people before I took him home. Those people brought him back and said that wasn't very nice and didn't like men. Well I brought him home one day and surprised Clint. I had asked Clint about getting him and he kind of said yes but I don't think he thought I would go get him. He came home and saw the cat toys and then Jack. He was a little surprised :)

Jack was really silly...he liked to race around the house and up and down the stairs, chasing his toy mice. He loved to sit on a chair whenever Clint and I had breakfast or dinner. He loved to sit on the top of the couch and look out the windows. He did not like to go outside though.

Right after we got Jack, he disappeared. I was freaking out thinking that he got out the door and had run away. We looked around the neighborhood forever. The next morning I went out looking again and Clint called me to saw he found him. He had gotten into the bottom dresser and couldn't get out so he started meowing. He had been in our room all night!

Yesterday he started crying so I went to see what was wrong. He was acting very strange and cried when I picked him up. He kept getting his paws wet and getting in his litter box. He tried going to the bathroom like 2 times but never did. I left for a little while and Lindsay and Ange said he probably had a urinary tract infection. So I went right home and took him to Banfield at Petsmart. They said he did have a UTI and he was severly blocked. They emptied his bladder but wasn't doing well. He was going to have to be rushed to the Airport Emergency Vet but it didn't look good. So, Clint and I decided that we would put our Little Boy to sleep. Now he is sleeping, playing with Zeus!

Reality Check

I posted before about my little obsessions...and reality tv has kind of found it's way into my tv obsession. Enjoy my analyzation:

American Idol
Simon Cowell said this season was the girls' season. However, the first 3 eliminated were girls! HA! My top 3 (in no order, because I can't decide):

Casey James...he is a really good guitar player and has a cool voice.

Lee DeWyze...another guitar rocker with a cool voice. Cute too!

Crystal Bowersox...guitar playing. BUT a GIRL!

I have never watched Survivor and was never really interested...but the commercials this year kind of enticed me to watch...and I love it! However, Russell and Coach were pretty much the only 2 I knew, from commercials, and I can't stand them so I naturally decided to vote for the Heros. They have disappointed :( But I think the ones voted off weren't that great except for James, but he was hurt. I really hope Russell gets voted off this week. Of all the villians I actually like Jerry and Boston Rob (a little). I really hope Colby stays!!

Amazing Race
This is a reality show that I have watched for three seasons now. The first season I watched was awesome. Last season's, not so much. This year is better but still not quite as good. Here are the teams I am gunning for:

Father and Daughter, Steve and Allie

They haven't really done anything spectacular but I like them.

Brothers, Dan and Jordan aka "Bro"

After last seasons ridiculous brother team, I was really hesitant to cheer for them. However, they work as a team and are funny, which Sam and Dan did not do. I was actually cheering for the Big Brother team, but they already lost :(

I watched the 2nd season but haven't seen any since then. There are a lot of really famous people this year instead of just 3, so I decided to tune in. Here are my top 3:

Chad Ochocinco...Cheryl is my fave pro dancer!

Evan Lysacek

Erin Andrews...oops. That's just Maks...why I am voting for Erin! But also because she is a sportscaster on ESPN...what I wanted to do in Jr. High. So here she is:

Any personal thoughts??? :)

Spring Break!

My spring break is halfway over...and I have gotten a lot done! After school Friday I decided that I didn't want to put off my grading until the last minute, so I jumped in and graded almost everything I brought home (which actually wasn't that much!). Then I decided to start right in on my college homework, which was a internet scavenger hunt (a webquest basically). That kept me up til 1 in the morning! Exciting start to my spring break, I know!

Saturday Clint and I spent the day together :) We ran some errands and saw Bounty Hunter. It was pretty good. Sunday was an adventure! Lindsay bought an old orange truck out in BFE of Martinsville. I'm sure she may blog about it sometime. Loooong story short, she bought it and 5 miles later it died on 37. The sheriff's almost impounded it because she didn't sign the title or have plates. She had to have it towed probably 20some miles. It rested in the driveway for a couple hours to just start right up!

Monday I woke up at 7am to go to the dentist. Fun, I know! Then I headed to Bloomington to hang out with Amy and George. We played tennis which was really fun. Picked up some mosaic glass to work on 2 projects for teachers I work with.

Tuesday I hung flyers for Clint, took the dog for a walk, went to the gym, and played tennis with Clint (who sadly is not as good as Roger Federer). Today I passed out some more flyers and signed up at LA Fitness. Hopefully I will go to the gym more often and have workout buddies! Then I hung out at home for a while while the fence people finally showed up!! The posts are in and hopefully the fence will be up tomorrow! I had planned to go line dancing with Jessica but when we got there, there was a sign for 3 bands...Nashville Pu**y was the headline band! We decided to head over to McCallisters for some more PG fun!

The rest of my break will be filled with mosaic making and planning for my garden at school. I asked my principal if we could make a garden and I got the ok! I can't wait to start it! Finally, I will be relaxing...getting ready for the last part of the school year!

Oh education...

With all the talk about budget cuts in education there are constantly articles written about teachers and education. Some articles can really get me going, especially if they mention Tony Bennett and/or Mitch Daniels. I get so frustrated when I think that he won the election 2 years ago just because he was republican. I wish people had become educated on who they were voting for, because to me, the superintendent of education is a very important role. How Tony Bennett became a superintendent of an entire school district first is beyond me.

What really gets me going though is when I start reading comments. I hardly ever read more than 5 because by that time I am so fired up that I start thinking up harsh retorts to give these unknown, and most likely ignorant, people. I don't see how people can think they know everything about education and teaching or how they can try to lump all children into one category.

One such article claimed that "25% of third graders cannot read" and they go on to say that they cannot read on grade level material. The latter statement contradicts the former. Yes, there are a lot of children that cannot read on grade level but they can read. Those that cannot or are behind come from many different groups: non English-speaking children and special education children.

Instead of taking money away from high-need schools (which are usually urban schools) and giving it to schools in high-socioeconomic areas, give funding to schools that need it most (while they must also show how they are going to use the money). That way money will be going to help the schools with children who are struggling.

Just my two cents.

Where's my busy bee?

These last few weeks we have been extra busy. First, we sold the house that Clint had been working on...finally! So...we decided with the extra money that we were going to do a few things that had been on our to-do list.First we paid off Clint's truck! Woo Hoo! We own it for real now!

We had a fence company come and give us an estimate and we will have a fence within the next two weeks (hopefully less!). This is one reason why we want a fence (in addition to her running away, we she did twice this weekend!):

Zoe keeps asking when it will come!

We also decided that is was time to get rid of Clint's ginormous box tv and update to 2010 and we got a flat screen. This was actually a lot more labor-intensive than we thought. First we went to get a tv stand at Target and the one we wanted was discontinued and out everywhere, even though it was on display. Then we went to Best Buy and ordered the tv we had looked at the night before. They didn't have any in stock because it is being discontinued, but Lafayette Square had one. So we had to get it Saturday morning. We went to Walmart to get a tv stand and had to wait FO EV ERRRR for someone to help after asking someone. Then they couldnt figure out what model it was. Finally, a WOMAN came and helped us and told us they only had the one on display because they were out. OF COURSE! But we got the display because it was put together and $70 off! It then took forever to get it all together. But it is lovely:

Finally...yesterday my mother and I worked on getting Clint's new Lawn Care business together. Check out the website here. It is still being worked on but the basics are there. Tomorrow he is going to get a lawn mower and trailer. Over spring break I am going to pass out the door hanger flyers we order.