Uno, dos, tres

Happy New Year's Eve!  Although I also feel as if New Year's Eve is no big deal.  Seeing as how I am old and all.  We're having some friends over for dinner and there are absolutely NO EXPECTATIONS for a crazy night.  I think New Year's is usually a let down and I find myself wearing uncomfortable clothes and wishing that I was at home in my pajamas, contacts out, glasses on, and possibly a chick flick on in the background.  Okay, I find myself feeling that way when I am teaching at school, too.  

Well, over the course of yesterday's copyright laws and violations (of which I must be guilty of several), I apparently reached 1000 followers.  

I can't believe it.  Really.  Let's see here.  

If I add this with that and then subtract my family members . . . um . . . carry the one . . . no, that's not right . . . erase that . . . and then if I divide that by . . . or do I multiply . . . and then add the one over to the . . . 

I've been teaching first grade for fifteen years.  I only remember how to do first grade math and we never ever get to the thousands.  See my dilemma?

But I just can't believe it.  

I am in shock.  I started this blog over the summer because of all the blogs I read and loved and stalked and obsessed over.  I had no idea where it would take me.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you.

I wish I could offer an Amazon gift card to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU but I'm not sure a five cent gift card is available.  Let me check.


Nope.  :(  I wonder why not?

What I thought I would do is offer THREE (3) Uno, dos, tres, digital gift cards to Amazon in the amount of $10 each.  I know it's not heart stopping or gasp worthy, but let's just pretend.

"Wow!" they all gasped.

"Insane!" they all agreed.


Here's how to enter.  I like things to be easy.  

1. Leave a comment that you're following me.  And again, if you already are, you can tell me to back off or get a life or get out of my pajamas, already! (and leave your email in case you win!)

2.  Blog about this giveaway.  This is my least favorite.  But there you 
have it.

3.  Tell me the best New Year's Eve you've ever had so I can try to copy it for next year.

That's it.  I'll use the random number generator thingy to choose THREE (3) uno, dos, tres winners.  Let's close this up by Sunday night, January 1, midnight Pacific time.  I'll announce the winners on Monday morning.   

Here's what happened on our Malibu trip.  It was 55 degrees when we got there and gray and foggy!  We couldn't even see the beach!  We drove up and down and I used the restroom in a Jack in the Box.  I know - I can make all things exciting.  Then we drove up Topanga Canyon - which is just a road.  There's nothing to see.  Don't do it  After about twenty minutes, we turned around and came back down.  So we went to Santa Monica and walked around the pier (interesting people but no celebrities).  Then we drove to Venice and ate at Gloria's Cafe which was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.  DELICIOUS! We think we saw Gloria but we couldn't be sure.  And we walked around Venice and had people trying to accost us and make us listen to their music.  Huh?

It was a nice way to spend time with the hubby but we were both disappointed by the weather.  I don't know why.  It is December, after all.


Clipart, Copyrights, and Crap

I forgot to say that one of the biggest things that happened at our lunch (for me) was that I was the last blogger on Earth to hear that DJ Inkers' terms of use had changed.  I didn't have time to even open up my laptop on the So Cal Blogger Meet Up Day (which we will refer to as SCBMUD from here on out because doesn't that sound fun and like something you'll remember?) so I had no clue.  This is typical.  There was a lot of outrage and crying and carrying on and tears -- okay, okay, no tears, but lots of outrage, mainly by me, and some of the others were upset, too.  I came right home and talked with the hubby about it (or actually, maybe I talked AT him and didn't let him get a word in edgewise because I was so fired up about it) and then re-read DJ's terms of use.

People, I didn't see the change.

It looked the same to me.

Don't sell documents with their clipart and fonts on it.

Got it.

Besides . . . I don't sell anything.  I haven't made one little penny off this teeny tiny blog.  Gosh darn it.  I guess this blog of mine is just for fun.  SIGH.  (I did get some free product from Creative Teaching Press but I did not even beg them for it.  THEY contacted ME and I about fell over.  I didn't.  I remained upright but I almost fell over.)

Anywho, I emailed DJ Inkers.  I can't tell you how many times I've emailed them.  They have GREAT customer service.  One time, they tried to email me back and it bounced back on them or something AND SO THEY CALLED ME.  This was about 20 minutes after I'd sent my email!  REALLY!

I'm not the only one who emailed them.  Quite possibly, Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants did, too, but I can't be sure.  But the email I received back had a bunch of people in it.  

I really want to cut and paste the email right here but I'm afraid I may violate copyright laws.  Even though it's MY email.  

Basically, here's the jist.  Physicist.  And here's what's up.  Buttercup.  And here's the word.  Hummingbird.  Is there a copyright law on quoting Big Bang if I don't put quotes around those sentences and say that Penny said them to Sheldon and I love to use them now?

DJ Inkers wants to make money.   

I KNOW!!  I couldn't believe it, either.

They're just afraid that if we keep sharing documents with their clipart on it, no one will go buy their clipart.  I'm telling you, I thought I was the SOLE REASON they were in business.  I buy it all.  I am addicted.  I am in love.  Sometimes, other clipart will JUST not do.  And don't get me started on my bulletin boards.  If it's not DJ Inkers, it's not a bulletin board (that could just be my school's saying).

Here's what I learned.

Don't SELL your documents with their clipart.

Share.  In a PDF format.  Or on a site that is password protected.

Credit DJ inkers on the document.

That last one . . . well, I contacted them way back in the beginning about their terms of use and I have a credit to them on my sidebar.  Look to the left.  A little ways down.  No, back up.  Now back down.  Stop.  There.  Right there.  See?

So I'm not putting their stuff on my documents.  Well, I'm going to put their clipart on it, but not that credit stuff because my disclaimer about THAT is over on my sidebar.  (And believe it or not, hubby actually agrees with me on this and he is a rule follower but not this time.  He says it's MY document.  I bought the clip art and now it's mine, too.  So there.)  But I should start putting MY stuff on my documents, as in THIS BELONGS TO ME SO DON'T COPY IT AND SAY IT'S YOURS AND/OR GET ME IN TROUBLE BY TURNING AROUND AND SELLING IT.  Just for the record, this has never happened to me but I decided to put it in caps because it was a hot topic at the SCBMUD.

Also, if your free document is downloaded over 100 times, DJ Inkers would like you to submit it to see if maybe THEY will sell it (and discuss further terms of use - how can we tell how many times something has been downloaded?).  I guess they get lots of submissions.  I had no idea.  I have lots of work to do now.  :)

So . . . I'm not taking down my freebies and I don't think you should, either.   

And to end this post --- here's a freebie for when you go back.  ENJOY!!!  And you know where all the clipart came from, right?
Snowman Roll the Dice

Well.  I hope this post helps someone.

I hope I have not violated anyone's rights, either. 

We are off for a drive up the coast.  We want to go to Malibu because it's a BEAUTIFUL day and the hubs and I have never been.   I'll let you know if I have any celebrity sightings.  

Who am I kidding?  I'll let you know what happened whether or not we see any celebrities at all. 


So Cal Blogger Meet Up

Yesterday was the BIG day!  Eleven and a half bloggers met at Ruby's on the pier in Huntington Beach.  I say eleven and a half because Makayla is not a blogger {yet} but came to meet all of us.  Wow! 

I know you're dying to know what I wore.  I did it.  I went with my gut.  I wore cargo pants, a t-shirt, and my converse.  I wore my hair down and it went flat.  You'll see.  Stick around.

Hadar (do I really have to say Miss Kindergarten?) and I carpooled!  I almost didn't make it because there was an accident right in front of me on Fastrak.  If you don't know what Fastrak is, all I can say is that you also have no idea what the 91 freeway is and what it does to me when I travel on it.  You pay a lot of money for Fastrak to avoid traffic and speed past the other poor suckers drivers stuck in a parking lot that is supposed to be a freeway.  ANYWAY, I was completely stopped for about ten minutes, and I was FREAKING OUT, and I felt like Sandra Bullock in Speed when she is screaming, "Stay on or get off?  Stay on or get off!?" except that I was the opposite of Speed and more like Stop.  And you're not really allowed to get out of Fastrak once you're in it but people were doing it.  

It all worked out - I lived to tell about it and I was only about 7 minutes late to Hadar.

I think I may have scared Hadar because I talked her ear off and she couldn't get a word in edgewise unless I asked her a question and then I usually interrupted her when she answered.  I may never hear from her again.  I have this effect on people.

When we got to the beach, it was beautiful and we got to see surfers take off their wetsuits while we waited for their parking space.  My oh my.  I could do a WHOLE POST on that.  Cowabunga.  Holy tan.

I'd love to show you all my pics from the pier and the beach and the sun . . . it was a gorgeous day and I was actually sweating while we waited for our table but alas, I didn't take any.  I know!  I'm sorry!  I brought my camera and I was all set to take pictures and then I got too busy talking or something and then we were going home.  It happened so fast! 

So I am "borrowing" pictures from Annie of The Moffat Girls and you can also go see some more from Fran at Kindergarten Crayons.

Here's Hadar - how cute is she?
And she is holding her little gift that Fran gave each of us.  
Fran is an over achiever.  More on that later.

Here's the whole group (minus Nancy)
If you want to know who everyone is, go to Fran's blog 
because she is good at labeling.

Hadar and me.  LOVE THIS PICTURE!
(although my hair is very limp 
and this is not what it looked like when I left my house)

Hadar, Fran, and Annie
Three totally different personalities!  So much fun!

Ruby's gave us Breakfast menus (yuck) so I reached for a Lunch menu and as I did, I thought I heard Hadar say she didn't like breakfast.  One more reason we're BBFF!  But just as I was about to say, "I don't like breakfast, either!" she told me that she knows I don't like breakfast because I blogged about it.  See?  Even if I'm not talking your ear off, I get through in other ways.  Hadar had waffles and I had grilled cheese.

Hadar is fantastic - she is so sweet and personable.  I am so glad she arranged this for us!  She was so quick to introduce herself every single time someone new walked in, whereas I may have waited to finish 
my story . . . 

Kathy from Coloring Outside the Lines was a doll.  She sat across from me and told me that she used to teach a multi class of K, 1, 2.  YIKES - in a public school!!!  Anyways, she didn't think she would ever want to teach kinder by itself but she said she did like the kinders in the multi.  Here's my brilliant response:

"In the multi?  Like at assemblies?  I like the kinders in our multi, too, when I see them in there."

Um . . . she meant in the MULTI AGE CLASS that she taught.  

Fran from Kindergarten Crayons is a riot.  I loved her.  She cracked me up and her energy is amazing.  She knows EVERYBODY.  She works out (I know - I had to look that up, too.  Work out?  Huh?) with the principal of the school I did my student teaching in.  AND she taught my friend's son -- although my friend was actually my aide for four years and her name is FRANcine which is just a crazy coincidence.  But they know each other and now I'm having lunch with FRANcine next week because I had to come home and email her right away.  Fran also made us these cute personalized tags for luggage . . . and her husband cut them out.  :)

Annie from The Moffat Girls is exactly what I expected.  A doll.  A living doll.  Sooooo sweet!!

Kerri and Lindsay from Teacher Bits and Bobs were adorable!  They look JUST like their pictures and now that I know which one is which, I will never mix them up in my mind again.  Lindsay brought her little guy and he was so good.  Fran joked that he could be in her class and I agree - he was the strong but silent type.  Either that, or he was completely bored with the conversation and fell asleep.

Makayla sat at the end but I was able to talk to her at the end of the day.  She needs to start a blog - her stories were so funny!!

Gwyn from Preschool Printables cracked me up because she brought a list of questions with her AND took notes!  Love it!

Madison from Life with Mrs. L was out here from Utah for the holidays.  She must have been the youngest one out of the bunch.  We quite possibly overwhelmed her.  And she sat next to Fran.  :)

Nancy from The Apple Basket Teacher came a little late (she lives FAR FAR AWAY) so she missed out on being in the pictures.  She was really funny - VERY excited to be there!  

It was one of those lunches where you start answering a question and then you get off topic and/or you hear someone say something down at the other end of the table and so you join in that conversation and it's just a whirlwind (although this sounds like my every day life).  Lots of chit chat and lots of laughter!

We are going to meet up this summer, too.  I can't wait!  

I hope you liked hearing about this.  My goal was to have a picture of all of us in front of the ocean so that you could drool and be jealous but oh well.  Ho hum.

PS  Thank you so much for joining our linky party!  I can't believe the response we've gotten.  We may be exceeding the maximum occupancy - that's so cool!  I am having so much fun reading everyone's 11 in 11.  We have so much in common!  :)


11 in 11

Okay, chicks and peeps, the time has come.  Hadar at Miss Kindergarten asked me to host a linky party with her.  I have never hosted a linky party before and I am a litttle nervous that I may just be left hanging.  I'm calling on all of my friends to join (yes, I'm talking to {in no particular order} YOU, Farley, Kimberly, Reagan, Kim, Holly, Staci, Jennifer {all of them}, Jen, Erin, Rachelle, Camille, Heather,  and Jill, just to name a few.  And then I'd love to have some MORE people, too, so the MORE the MERRIER is what I always say.  Well, not really.  Usually, I say SHUT THE FRONT DOOR but honestly, that wouldn't be very hospitable of me when I am trying to invite people to a party, now would it?

So . . . without further ado, let me invite you to a Linky Party called ELEVEN in ELEVEN, as in 11 things from 2011.  Look at the cute button Hadar made!  (Just copy the code and paste it in your post using the Edit HTML part)

Miss Kindergarten

11. Favorite movie you watched
The Help - I saw it twice in the movie theater and bought it as soon as it came out.  I've watched it twice since then.  If you haven't seen it (really, who hasn't?  I'd like your name), go get it now.   

10. Favorite TV series
This is hard because I love all things Reality and it's hard to pick one out of the bunch.  So I'll go with non reality and say Parenthood.  I love it.  My parents love it, too.  And we have good discussions about it.  Plus, my older sister is just like Sarah.  Really.  And her kids are Amber and Drew.  It's bizarre.  So, although it may be fictional, it's sort of like Reality TV to me.

9. Favorite restaurant
Roma D' Italia.  Oh, for the love of pasta.  It has become a treat for the hubs, his aunt and uncle, and I to go there after church on Saturday nights.   All four of us get the SAME THING - Tortellini Gustavo.  It's that good.  I only know of two locations and our "regular" one is better than the other.  We found that out the hard way when the hubs and I finally decided to order a salad and SPLIT the pasta.  The portion was way smaller than our "regular" location and we were sad.  Tho Thad.
Isn't it cute?  "Regular" location

8. Favorite new thing you tried
This is hard for me because I tend to be afraid of change and trying new things.  So I'm going to take the easy way out and say I tried blogging over the summer and it's been great.  Turns out I can do it. (unlike that time I tried to ski, hit a ball at the batting cages, hit a ball at the driving range, drive a quad, row a canoe, or rock climb)

Favorite gift you received

My kindle.  That little device has changed my life.  Except it makes me want an iPad 2.  And then I would desert the poor little thing faster than you can say Mac.
6. Favorite thing you pinned
Um, well . . . see, the thing is . . . it would have to be . . . hmmm.
People, I'm not addicted to pinning.  People are following me but I have no idea why because I can't think of the last thing I pinned.  I don't know what my deal is and I do feel odd about it.  Like that time I was the only one of my friends who didn't have baby fever.

Favorite blog post

Well, we all know that's my Halloween post.  I loved writing it.  Living through it was a whole 'nother thing but finally writing it down was therapeutic.  

Favorite accomplishment

Being invited to be an author for Teaching Blog Addict.  Yahoo!!!
3. Favorite picture
This is Kerry and me with our best friend, Caryn.  
We have been friends since childhood.  
This was taken during the summer in Oklahoma
 and we had just eaten at Teds.  
Need I say more?

PS  I would have put a picture of the hubs and me from our whirlwind trip to North and South Carolina in June, but he prefers to stay out of this blog.  I know.  Opposites attract.

2. Favorite memory
Foster, my dog.  September 9, 1999 to July 12, 2011.  We were going to put him down on July 13 but we weren't sure if we should.  We kept going back and forth - it was awful.  We just could not decide if we were doing the right thing.  On the night of July 11, I couldn't sleep.  I stayed up most of the night, crying and praying.  I was a mess.  And then Foster went on his own the next morning.  I know it's a weird favorite memory but it sums him up perfectly.  He made it easy for us.  And God was merciful.  And I never have to wonder if I did the right thing.  Foster was such a good boy - I'm not exaggerating when I say that everyone who met him loved him and more than a handful of people cried when they heard the news of his passing.  He was my big boy. 
Foster on his last day 
(before I knew it would be his last day)

1. Goal for 2012
In life:  I want to start serving at our local homeless shelter and/or going to Mexico once a month with our church to work with orphans.  I keep saying it but it's time I DO it.  (Man, does this sound serious or what?)

In school:  I want to become a better math teacher.  I should not be afraid of manipulatives.  It's not normal.  And I really want to institute wearing scrubs every day.  You know how the medical profession has cute scrubs with teddy bears and other things?  We could have sight words and math facts and continents and penguins and gingerbread men and and and . . . it would be great because they would feel like pajamas and we wouldn't have to wonder what to wear each day and/or iron or throw things in the dryer to fluff them up.  Not to mention, I would be okay if I sat in pee if I was wearing scrubs. (YES.  I sat in pee.  It was Fun Friday and one of my students was playing teacher and having way too much Fun in Fun Friday to go to the bathroom.  So she wet her pants and then kept sitting in my teacher chair, pretending to be me.  And never told me.  So when Fun Friday was over, and we were all on the carpet with our backpacks, I sat in my chair.  In pee.  Uh huh.  Yep.)  Scrubs.  Enough said.

All right.  So that's my 11 in 2011.  And if you can't tell, I'm still a little nervous that I'm hosting this party with Hadar because I don't want to let her down.  Please come to our party!  :)  THANK YOU!  Link up below!


Top Three

Happy Day After Christmas to you.

Fern from Fern's Smith's Classroom Ideas is having a linky party about our Top 3 posts for the year.  Seeing as how my blog is just about to have its six month birthday, this shouldn't be too complicated.  But it does require that I look at my Stats and I don't like to do that.  It makes me feel nervous when I go over there.  I don't know why.  Anyone else feel like that?  It feels like I am looking at a report card and I am worried that I did not get straight As.  I am sick.  I know.

Well, here are my top three.   It's amazing that this many people looked at my posts.  However, please take into consideration that Kerry said she is probably responsible for over 100 views of my Halloween post because she has read it to anyone and everyone who will listen.  She read it to my family last week even though we already know the story.  I laughed and gasped in all of the right places.

Without further ado . . .

Well, I have to say that I'm not surprised about the Halloween post but the Nouns and Action! post is actually weird.  Who knew?  I offered noun and verb cards that apparently were a hit but the worst part is that I haven't made those cards for myself yet.  

And that, my friends, is it.  Now stop looking at my stats and I will, too.

Instead, go link up with Fern!

I made a very good sized dent in the couch yesterday.  Here's what I did:
*ate cinnamon rolls and drank creamer with coffee
*watched The Proposal
*stalked blogs
*ate left over tacos, chips, salsa, guacamole, and tortilla soup
*watched The Blind Side (it was a Sandra Bullock kind of day)
*read a few chapters of my book (Crossed - do you know it?  It's the second in a trilogy and I hear it will be a movie, too.  If you liked The Hunger Games, you should like this.  But I warn you - the third book won't be out until November of next year.  I did not know this when I started.  A trilogy should be a trilogy.  Not a doubly with the hint of something on the horizon.  I am against this.)
*ate two peanut butter cups
*opened a bottle of wine
*went to bed and slept for ten hours in order to rest up for another day EXACTLY like it

Currently, The Help is on in the background.  LOVE. THIS. MOVIE.

Tomorrow, Hadar and I are going to be hosting a linky party together.  And Wednesday, we are going to meet IRL.   That's In Real Life in case you didn't know.  And I am agonizing over what to wear.  I'm not a fashionista in the least.  My gut instinct is to wear cargo pants, converse, and a T-shirt because we're just going to Ruby's.  But then I think I should wear something with a heel so that I am not so teeny tiny.  And then I heard that the weather is going to be really nice.  So do I dress for the season or the weather?  Oh!  And the Ruby's we're going to is on the Pier so my hair is going to be a disaster once I walk all the way down it to the restaurant.  A disaster.  Flat.  Plastered to my head.  Lifeless.  I can see it now.  So should I just ponytail it?  The stress.  It's killing me.

What would YOU wear? :)



It might be Christmas Day for most of the world, but over here at my house, it's all over.

Not entirely over, but pretty much.

Took Kerry to the airport yesterday.  How about you take a moment of silence while I cry?


Snort and sniffle.  I'll be okay.  Sniff.  Really.  I will.   We had a great time and I have the memories.  Sniff.

Our Christmas was on the 23rd this year.  We wore pajamas all day.  It wasn't my idea.  Really.  Everyone was on board except for my parents and brother.  They looked really funny, but oh well.  My oldest niece invited her boyfriend.  He just so happens to be six foot six.  Needless to say, he does not fit into our family.  I may be the runt, but my dad can't brag about being five foot five, now can he?  We played bowling on the Wii and her boyfriend had to kneel because the sensor thingamajig didn't work for him.  And if I was sitting on the couch and he was sitting on the floor, I'd have to yell, "Down in front!" because I couldn't see anything.  

Yesterday, we had Christmas with my hub's family, went to church, and had our traditional Mexican feast.  Because we are not Mexican and that makes sense.

Edited Addition:
I've said before that we go to Saddleback Church.  Well, the Christmas Eve service featured the High School Ministry band performing The Little Drummer Boy (which I think is actually the Justin Bieber version but why would I know that?).  It's crazy good.  The video below is from December 3 when they first did it but I couldn't find a video from yesterday's service.

Anywho, before you watch, some things to consider:
1.  I don't understand much of what is said when the kids are rapping.  I think it's because I'm too old.  Maybe you'll do better.  I think the blond boy is very concerned about his hoodie messing up his hair.  Much like me.

2.  The girl on the keyboard doesn't seem that into it.  I don't know why.  Maybe she wanted to rap??  But give her some time.  She livens up a bit at the end.

3.  I am just fascinated by the drummers.  I think they're crazy good.

4.  At yesterday's service, the congregation went nuts as if we were at a concert.  Well, all right.  Maybe that was just me.

Let me know what you think! :)

I'm finished editing.  That's all, folks.  The rest of this post is what I already said earlier.  I would have written a whole new post but somewhere out there is a rule about not posting twice in one day.  Notice how I got around that?  Sometimes, my halo gets a little bit crooked.

So today is . . . well . . . let's see here.  Today is . . . the hubby and I are going to . . . 

Today is ordinary for me.  Which is why I am blogging.  And the hub is still sleeping.  I'm going to get up in a little bit and make some coffee and cinnamon rolls.  No, silly!  Pillsbury.  Who do you think I am?

I am going to try to start my thank you cards for my kids.  I like to mail them over the break because I've heard that kids love getting mail (I do, too, but I mainly get bills).  When we used to be a year round school, I'd mail my kids something every time we were off track.  So this is pretty much my only opportunity.  

I hand write them.  I know.  I have the time since I'm not making homemade cinnamon rolls.  Plus, I like my printing.  

I have to write 29 this year because I got a class gift (I've debated telling you what it is.  Is it tacky to take a picture of all of my wonderful gifts?  I can't decide so I'm going to refrain.) and I have no idea if every family contributed or not.  And I'm sure others gave more than that guy and so on and so forth.  So I'll just be sure to send out one to every kid and then the families that didn't chip in will feel guilty will be confused when they receive it.   

I stopped buying thank you cards a couple of years ago.  I'm cheap thrifty.  So I made some of these:

I print them out on cardstock, cut them apart, and get to writing.  I use the Invitation Envelope size for the mailing.  I created four different "designs" (ha!!!) and if you click the picture, you can have your pick.

I hope you enjoy your day, whatever you're doing.  I'll be stalking blogs and watching movies because we're forced to stay in our pajamas all day.  It's actually not even a choice - nothing is open.  What am I supposed to do?  I have made it a goal to have a Kristin-sized dent in the couch by the end of the day.  I'll let you know if I meet it or exceed it.

Merry Christmas, virtual friends!  You have been such an inspiration to me and all that other good, mushy, stuff.  THANK YOU!!!!!!


Oh brother.

Yesterday was THE DAY.  THE DAY OF FUN AND GIRL TIME AND CHEESECAKE FACTORY AND SHOPPING.  Kerry and I had been looking forward to this day since our parents told us they were taking the little kids to Disney on Ice.  We were so excited that we woke up early slept in late and then dropped the kids off with our parents as soon as possible.  We also gave lots of advice, such as:

"There might be lots of traffic."
"You might want to leave early in case of crowds."
"You may have trouble finding a parking spot."
"It may take awhile to find your seats."
"You should go."

Then they left and it was just us.  Hooray!  Let the fun begin!



Really?  Seriously?

Here comes our younger brother. 

"Where are you going?" he asks.

How do we say no?  How do we say, you are not a girl and therefore, you shalt not come with us?  I tried this:

"I don't know."
"To the make up store."
"To the bra store."
"To the feminine hygiene store."

Nothing swayed him.  Nothing. 

So he came.  And he ate with us.  And he ordered a filet mignon in the middle of the day.  Really.  He did.  He says there's nothing wrong with this but I think he missed the point that we were out for a girl's lunch.  And girls have salads and such, and then order a gigantic piece of cheesecake because we had salads and stuff.   And I think he missed the fact that we were at the Cheesecake Factory and not The Outback.

Don't get me wrong.  He's our brother. 

I was going to add to that but I can't think of anything.

So our Day of Fun was a little different than we had planned.  But I did finally buy four presents.  

And now, I believe it is safe to talk about Survivor. 

I am glad that Coach didn't win.
I am glad that Albert did not get one vote.
I thought Sophie should have won out of those three.
I feel that this Season didn't really have any break out characters. 
I don't see any spin offs happening.
I am ready for The Bachelor but I wish it wasn't with Ben.

I am going to go spend time with the family.  We are working on a 500 piece puzzle and I would like you to envision a fire in the fireplace, Christmas carols playing on the radio, a Christmas movie on in the background, Christmas sweaters on all of us, and lots of laughter and smiles as if we were in a sitcom.  Just ignore the shouts of:

"That's my section!"
"Have you been hiding that piece this whole time?"
"Move over!"
"You're hogging my section!"
"Give that back!"
"I wanted to do that piece!"
"What's for dinner?"
"Is there any more fudge?"

Envision the Hallmark commercial.

And tell me:  are you close to your brother?  Do you have a brother?  Do you go out shopping and eating together?  Does he order steak?  From the Cheesecake Factory?


Let's Talk

Day 2 of Vacation.  I have nothing to blog about unless you want to know that I stayed up super late last night to watch the Housewives of the BH (Kyle was a little too emotional for my taste and I am still worried about Russell even though I know what happens to him!) and I slept until only about 8:30 because my nephews played a game outside of my bedroom door and the sound of their giggling cracked me up and I laughed myself awake.  Really.  I did.  And I almost took a picture of my youngest nephew's Converse shoes because they are SO tiny and cute but then I thought you might think they were mine.

In the spirit of having nothing to blog about, I've been stalking other blogs and Sarah at Waiting on the Butterflies completed a survey so I thought to myself, "Aha!"  Now I know.  And I get to talk about myself.  This is genius.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
If it's a present for a kid, I wrap it.  They don't care if the paper isn't pulled tight and they love to unwrap.  If it's a present for an adult, I 

just hope they got me something, too.  :)

2. Real tree or artificial?
We had real trees when I was growing up and it was the big family tradition to go on the hunt for it.  One year, we picked out the shortest, widest tree you have ever seen.  My dad had to bring it in through the sliding glass door because it was so wide.  It's hilarious to see in pictures.  

My hubs and I carried on that tradition for awhile but a few years ago, we got an artificial one.  I do appreciate not having needles to clean up.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.  We usually order pizza, open a bottle of wine, and watch a Christmas movie.  I love it.

4. When do you take the tree down?
No set date.  Whenever.  I tend to be lazy and procrastinate (as stated before).  For example, I should probably start Christmas shopping soon, seeing as how Christmas with my family will be this Friday, and I haven't bought one gift.  

5. Do you like eggnog?
In Oh.  NO!!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Barbie's horse.  Dallas.  I still have it.  IN THE BOX.  With her saddle and comb. 

 7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes!  I got it when I was Mary for a Live Nativity at a Boys Ranch Town in Oklahoma.  Those were some of the best days of my teenage years:  Bad boys playing Joseph to my Mary.  Fantastic.  I was pregnant Mary on the way to Bethlehem and my friend and I alternated in 15 minute shifts because it was snowing and so cold.  She went first and got bucked off the donkey (it was a LIVE Nativity with real camels and such).  BUCKED OFF A REAL LIVE DONKEY.  When it was my turn, I just stood NEXT to the donkey.  I'm no dummy.  Anyways, they gave me a Nativity Scene for helping them out.  Ha!!  They didn't know that my gift was being around all of those boys during my boy crazy time.    

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My older niece and nephew.  They want cold, hard cash.  Let me 

know if you know where to get some.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Myself.  I always know what I want.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
MAIL.  Email???  Yikes. 

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

It was from a Secret Santa at school.  It was a salt shaker that had been turned into Mrs. Clause.  There was no pepper shaker.  Just the salt shaker.  That's all.  And it was one of those little glass ones that you might see at Denny's or something.  There was also no salt.  Just the shaker.  

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
The Holiday, Love Actually, A Christmas Story

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Well, if this year is any indication, not yet.

14. Ever recycled a present?
Yes . . . shhhhhh.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My mom's homemade fudge.  DEE-LISH.  But I'm not a fan of Christmas dinner - the turkey and fixings and all that.  It's wasted on me.  Just give me some fudge and See's candy and then let's go to Taco Bell.  Anyone?  I'll drive.

16. Clear lights or colored lights on a tree?
Clear lights only.  On the tree and on the house.  And on the stairs.  And please don't mix your colored lights on the house with some clear icicles thrown in for good measure.  Do us all a favor and make a PLAN. 

17. Favorite Christmas song?
The First Noel and the Charlie Brown Christmas cd which I played every.single.morning in the classroom.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
I stay home unless my twin doesn't come out here and then I go out there.  It's not Christmas without my twin.  It's just not.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Yes.  And I have to look it up every year because when I write my kids back as if I were Santa, that's one of the questions they ask.

20. Angel or star on top of the tree?
We don't have anything on top of our tree.  We keep saying we'll get something but we haven't.  

21. Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning.  Although this year, that will be on December 23 for us.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
People.  Traffic.  Parking Lots.  Spending money.

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?

Well, my tree is filled with ornaments that my mom has given me each year.  So there is no theme.  At all.  Or any kind of color theme, either.  You can call it a white trash tree hodge podge tree.  And the hodge podginess of it all is my favorite.

24. What do you want for Christmas?

iPad 2  Amazon gift card  Norstroms gift card  Movie tickets  World Peace and World Recognition for Teacher Blogs everywhere (or just a segment on Ellen's show)

I like to read these when I come across them in emails or on facebook.  I'm not making this a party because I don't know how and I have to go so I can't take time to learn either.  But if you decide to post about this, let me know.  :)  I'd love to see what your survey looks like.

And that's all for today.  Tomorrow, my parents are taking the kids to Disney on Ice so Kerry and I get to go have a looooong lunch, and then we're going to start my Christmas shopping.  I hope I can find some hard, cold cash somewhere


Teaching? What's that?

First Monday off.  Soooooo good.  Sooooooo good!  I am loving it.  The hubs had to leave for a work trip today and won't be back until Friday.  I know!  Boo hoo, right?  Normally, yes, I'd be tho thad.  But seeing as how my twin and her kids are visiting, I couldn't ask for more perfect timing.  

We took the kids to see The Chipmunk movie today.  I laughed, I cried, I sang.  It was pure joy.  The dialogue was so moving and I really identified with Brittany.  We also got the biggest tub of popcorn you have ever seen (I think I could have saved it and used it for an above ground swimming pool this summer) and we ate all of it.  ALL OF IT.

The previews reminded me that I wanted to ask you all what you thought about the previews before Breaking Dawn.  I'll list them for you.

We Bought a Zoo
The Lady in the Red Dress
Man on a Ledge

What is up with these titles?  Pretty soon, my daily routine is going to be the next big movie title:

 I Had an English Muffin with Peanut Butter for Breakfast

This post is going to have almost NOTHING to do with teaching.  And I can't post a freebie because we're at my mom's and I'm using her computer, not mine.  I cannot get on their WiFi to save my life (thus ,no access to my documents) and it is so annoying and frustrating, but I'm taking the high road and reminding myself that nothing shalt bother me whilst on vacation.

I will answer a question that I got a few times (in the comments) about my staff and the arguments and the endless debates that range in topics from tardies to performances to duty schedules to lounge clean up to Kill Me Now. 

I do NOT engage.  I make no eye contact.  I have several bruises from my partner hitting me in the shins but that's about it.  I cringe inwardly, I pray that my principal will pick a side and put her foot down, and I try to stay awake. 

The one time that I can remember speaking up was about the Teacher's Lounge and whether or not we should have each grade level clean it up every month or some such crazy idea.  People, I clean up MY OWN HOUSE.  And then I go to school and clean up MY OWN CLASSROOM.  And then I eat in the teacher's lounge and I clean up MY OWN MESS (but I really don't make a mess but if I did, I would) and I'm NOT CLEANING UP AFTER YOU.  But that was the idea.  If it was first grade's turn to clean up the lounge, then we would have to wash some 6th grade MAN teacher's tupperware because he just threw it in the sink and left it there.  Do YOU get that?  I do NOT get that.  If you brought tupperware, how about taking it back home with you and washing it in your own darn sink?

I can't remember exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of "Your mother doesn't work here and if she did, I know she didn't raise you like this."  And then everyone cracked up and that kind of ended it.  Really.  We don't alternate months or anything.  We just do this outrageous thing called cleaning up after our own selves.  I know it's kind of out there but that's what we do. 

There.  That's my teacher talk for the day.  Since I'm on vacation.

Before I go.

1.  Is it too soon to talk about Survivor?  Is everyone caught up?
2.  Do you have a Lounge Clean up situation??
3.  Did you work today?  If so, I am tho tho tho thorry.  Theriously.


Currently . . . December

Hooray!  Farley is hosting her Currently linky party again.  I love to read about what everyone is doing!  (Although Farley and Reagan are trying to meet up over break and I am Grinch Green with Envy even though I am having my own meet up with Hadar and some other fabulous bloggers.  I just like to be a part of every single thing.  While at happy hour, I've been known to excuse myself to use the bathroom, but only AFTER I state the following:  Please do not speak of anything reality related, school related, family related, gossip related, husband related, kid related, medical related, food related, drink related, funny related, etc.  In fact, do not speak at all until I return.  Folks, it's just the way it is.  I guess I've made some progress in that area because while I was absent from the blogging world for two days, I did not ask all of you to withhold postings.)

Okay, okay, let's get on with it, shall we?  I have a house full of people and I need to hop in the shower before we run out of hot water (Except if we run out of hot water, I suppose I could sacrifice and stay in my pjs all day.  It would be difficult and against my nature, but I could do it for my family.  That's why they call me Saint Kristin.  Well, they don't, really.  But someone should start.).

Click Heather's button to go visit her and become a follower:

Heather's Heart

Heather is SO SO SO (tho tho tho) Sweet (thweet) that half the time, I don't believe she is real.  Really.  She has awesome freebies and I just used her Snowman Contractions this week as a whole group game where my kids had to find their partner.  We played almost three whole times (almost because I had to stop during the third game due to shenanigans  chaos  bad behavior   loss of control  time constraints).  It was a hit.  Be sure to check her out!

That's my Currently!  Be sure to link up with Farley . . . I can't wait to see what everyone is doing.  :)