Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I work in Irving, TX. Not the ritziest place, but not too shabby either. I don't ever feel unsafe at work and don't freak out over my students being little wanna-be thugs or gang bangers. Sure, it's a much different culture than I'm used to since most of my kids speak Spanish at home. No big deal, right?

Apparently I work in an inner-city school and didn't know it... I was completely unprepared today at work when my vice principal and campus police officer came into my room for a random drug search. They made all the kids empty their pockets and even had a metal detector wand! What struck me as so hilarious was that the kids seemed to like having to spread their legs and have the wand waved up and down them to see if it beeped. The fact that this was entertainment to them and not really freaky did disturb me slightly. The fact that it was no big deal to them also says a lot! So does this mean that I officially work in the ghetto?

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's About Time

Okay, it may not be worth celebrating for some, but I was really happy when the Chiefs FINALLY won a game this week! Talk about long overdue... These are highlights of this week's tailgate at Wizard's and the mood was definitely uplifted, as one might imagine!

Megan and I are trying to stay warm. This week it finally got cold outside in Dallas!

We tailgate in true KC style--with Gates ribs and everything! Who knew there were such loyal Missourians and Kansans in Texas? Ha! Here my friends Anthony and Robb show off the fare of the day. It was so good!

This is Gavin, the youngest fan that comes every week. He loves to say, "Go Chiefs!"
Celebrating a victory!!! As you can tell, everyone is very animated and excited. My tailgate friends are an interesting bunch. Everyone has been in Texas for various lengths of time, but we all love KC still! More to come soon...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday Morning Fun

This is what I woke up to yesterday morning. My cats were both on the bed with me and Gunnar was busy attacking Grace as she was grooming. One big happy family! I love how the cats decide when Mommy wakes up. Jeeesh!

They were both so happy to see me after a week! Gunnar was so happy that he was biting my hand in this picture. That's kitten code for "I really missed you."

He looks so innocent here, but don't let the cute face fool you. This little guy had my apartment in shambles when I came home! Feathers from his toys everywhere, food spilled all over the kitchen, and even my pillows pushed off the sofa! Talk about a full-time job!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Twilight!!

"Twilight" is finally here! After much anticipation for the movie of the fall, I got to go see it twice in the past week and LOVED it! The movie really did a good job following the book, and of course, Edward is some serious eye candy!

Seeing the movie back in KC with Erin and Tiff. What a great way to start Thanksgiving break at home! We decided to go see the movie together after we realized that all three of us read the books and loved them. I'm so glad we did! Miss you girls!

Here, Ariana and Erika and I anxiously await the premier of "Twilight" in Dallas. The movie came out on a Friday, so we went Thursday at midnight for the first showing. Talk about a packed theater! Our buttons say: Twilight 11-21-08 Not soon enough.

When we pulled to the movie theater in Dallas to get in line, there weren't very many cars in the parking lot. Ariana and I thought we'd get right in at the front of the line. It was only 9:30 PM after all, and we still had a few hours to wait. Let's just say that I haven't seen a line like that at a movie theater ever- and most of the people who were there couldn't drive and had obviously been dropped off, thus explaining the lack of cars in the parking lot!
What fun! I can't believe we got up and worked the next day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight Party

Last week at school, the Language Arts department hosted a Twilight Movie party to get the kids excited about the upcoming release of the movie. The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer has been an absolute phenomenon on our campus at CMS. I saw my students reading the books and never really gave them much thought. I'd ask what they were about- vampires and werewolves-and think there's no way I'll be interested. I finally decided to read the first book and was instantly hooked! If you haven't read the 4-book series, it is a must-read!
Our party was held in our Library by the wonderful Librarian, Ms. Cartwright. The kids had several stations that they rotated among to get a taste of vampire life.
Here the kids compete against each other to answer questions correctly about the series for prizes!
The "Blood Thirsty" station was my personal favorite. It was the snack station that featured my red velvet "Vampire Kiss" cupcakes with black icing. The icing stained the kids' mouths, but that didn't stop them from coming back for seconds. (I want to feature these cupcakes in my future bakery someday...)

Here Melissa and Erika make tissue paper corsages to represent the prom corsage that Edward gives Bella in the first book.

The party was a huge success and I'm sure we'll host another when New Moon comes out in theaters. I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home Sick

I think I have bronchitis. I'm obviously not at work today, which I hate! It's still a few hours until my doctor's appointment, so I'm just resting and pittling around my apartment. The cats are racing around and chasing each other. I could yell, "Stop that running!" but with what voice? Ha!
I made it through the workday yesterday (barely) and made the decision to take today off. Having been a substitute teacher myself, I can honestly say that I know how hard it is to be in a room with 28 strange 12-year-olds who look like they hate you!
Now I'm on the other side of the coin, as it were. I don't know if it's because I'm sick or what, but I was in my classroom getting ready for my sub until 8 P.M. last night! I just think that's hilarious! I had no idea when I subbed how much work went into leaving plans to follow or whatever. And honestly, it's really never quite taken me that long. Just goes to show that teachers shouldn't get sick. We should be men and women of steel because if we show weakness for a moment and catch the kids' nasty little germs, it's over with! We're stuck at home praying that the day goes well for the poor person stuck filling in for us.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Festival!

Our school's annual Fall Festival was tonight. Each hallway had a different theme and all the teachers and students wore costumes. My team's hall was the Spooky Sports hall, so all of us wore athletic uniforms. As if today weren't crazy enough at school, we were allowed to dress up all day today. I literally spent the past 14 hours dressed as a middle school football player! Like my students are really going to concentrate on adverbs when I'm in shoulder pads and look ridiculous! Ha! Here, the blind ref, rival football players, soccer player, and nerdy commentator get my classroom ready for all the fun.

These are the vice principals of my school... this picture sums it up! They definitely have a good time at CMS.

Sarah and I as rival football players. We are also supposed to be "spooky" so we have fake injuries and black eyes.

My room hosted the Spooky Soccer Kick. After my "terrible" play, I am interviewed by the nerdy commentator and ref a.k.a. football coaches Andrew and Mac. They helped me put the uniform together and made fun of me that I could wear a 7th grader's uniform!

Sarna had scooter races in his classroom. This was a hit with the kids, and he's all decked out for the racing action.
My friend, Jamie, who is the new band teacher this year. Her team's hallway was western. Cute!

In my room posing with the inflatable goal post! This is coming with me to the Chiefs game this weekend!
My fellow team-mates from L to R: Andrew (History), Sarah (Math), Sarna (Math), Carolyn (PE), Maria (Science), and Edna (Reading). We are definitely ready to go home after such a long day. It amazes me how much time we put into planning an event, and then it's over so quickly. More to come soon, but it may be a few days before I'm rested!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Little Taste of Home

I've discovered a really fun Sunday activity. There is an actual group of people in Dallas called the Chiefs Fans of DFW that meet together every game day to watch the game. A co-worker invited me, and I was expecting a few die hard fans sitting around watching a little tv in the corner since most people in Dallas are extreme Cowboys fans. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw when Megan and I got to the game.

Yes, I am really excited that there are LOTS of chiefs fans that live in the area and watch them loyally every week. Even when they play terribly. What was most exciting wasn't the fact that we were actually watching a football game, but that it felt a lot like home. There were well over 30 people grilling and tailgaiting in the parking lot of Wizard's, all of them decked out in their KC finest. It was actually really nice to see after months of being away.

This was one of the first things I saw when I pulled up, and it made me miss home so much!

Some of the fans discussing how bad of a coach Herm Edwards is, and how badly the Chiefs lost! It was put to a vote and I am officially invited back next week for some more Kansas City Chiefs fun with the whole gang. I'm looking forward to it and am so glad there are others who have relocated and are keeping some KC traditions going!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Space Monkey Band

My friend Jessica's husband has a wonderful cover band called Space Monkey. (Don't ask, I don't know where the name came from!) They perform all over the DFW metroplex a few times a month, and are so much fun to see. Here me, Ariana and Jess are posing during a break in the set at Pour House in Ft. Worth.

The shows are really a family affair for Jessica and her husband AJ. He is the drummer in the band (at the far right) and his parents usually show up to see them play. His mom decided to take a picture with the group. She's so sweet!

This picture cracks me up! After we took it, I noticed that AJ's mom was in the background smiling away.
Ariana and her hubby, Sean, enjoying the music.

Jess and I went to see Space Monkey a few weeks ago at UNT in Denton for Friday nights at Clark Park. It's a mini-pep rally that the campus hosts before Saturday games. Since my college campus was so small, it was nice to see what bigger campuses do before their football games!

No, these aren't aliens. UNT's color is green, and everyone had glow sticks. I laughed when I saw how this picture turned out, but it's kind of cool.

Space Monkey performing on the stage at UNT.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tuesday Night Lights

One of my students, Julius, scoring the winning touchdown. We beat Ariana's middle school 34-7!
(Sorry, Ariana, but I have to brag a little!) If you think football is my life right now, just wait till basketball season starts! Yikes!

Ah, the magic of football season is upon us at CMS. Go Cougars! My 7th grade boys (who I am so proud of) play very well and the Cheerleaders have a blast performing at the games. Tuesdays are always super busy, but a lot of parents and students come out to support the teams. It is Texas, after all. I love this picture of the guys running through the banner. It turned out really well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gunnar's Long Day

This past weekend, Gunnar got his first set of vaccinations. He slept all day long and didn't feel like doing anything. I felt so sorry for was quite pitiful. About 12 hours after the shots (this was around 11 P.M.) he started getting very sick. I was afraid he might be having an allergic reaction to the shots and decided to take him to a 24-hour emergency vet. It turns out that he was ok, just in a lot of pain. So, an hour and a half and eighty dollars later, we headed home. Luckily, I didn't have to work the next day!

This is Gunnar pre-shot, and as you can see he is quite the active boy.

This is the normal routine for Gunnar and Grace. She'll grab one of her toys to show him that its HER toy, and he will sit and play with it too. Both cats really enjoy playing with one another. They enjoy it so much that I have to kennel him up at night so that they won't chase each other around the apartment noisily... gotta love having a kitten in the family!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pep Rally & Game Day Fun

If you want to know what I really do for 13 hours at work most days, you're looking at it. I love coaching, and intend to do it as long as I am in Texas. I simply come home exhausted! The athletic teams play "A" and "B" games--basically the equivalent of jv and varsity--so the cheerleaders perform at both games. We alternate every week between the volleyball games and football games. It was about 8:30 p.m. when I left school tonight. WOW! I get no sleep!

Me with a few of the girls before the football game.

We had our annual pep rally for when we play our rival middle school in football. The kids get really into it, so of course, the teachers and coaches do as well! I'm definitely riding around the gym on a stick-pony. How embarrassing!! Just goes to show that you can't have shame when you teach middle schoolers.

The girls doing a cheer with the mascot.

"Cowgirls" getting ready for the pep rally skit. We were actually a little nervous. There were a lot of students and teachers watching... and we get to do it all over again tomorrow!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A New Brother for Grace?

The newest addition to the clan... an ADORABLE 8-week-old gray male kitten. Thanks to my friend, Jessica, I've had to have him over to visit a couple times. He is very malnourished and scrawny, but is hilarious! I think Grace may have a sibling again soon...I may end up adopting him within the next week or so if things work out. (I am waiting for his tummy to adjust to solid foods before he stays permanently!)
Grace wasn't crazy about him at first, however, he came over to play last night and she followed him around like she was very curious about him. They may end up being best buds!
I definitely need to come up with a fitting name for him soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to School

I put my name on my Word Wall...I have to remind them that my name isn't just "Miss."

I can't believe that it's already the fifth week of school! Time certainly flies when you're ridiculously busy. Here's a little taste of everything I've been up to so far... Grammar is my life right now. Subjects and verbs and apostrophes, OH MY!! I also coach cheerleading and am enjoying it so much. The girls are very dramatic--normal young teens, of course! I get phone calls at all times of the evening from them asking what to wear to the next game or what to bring to practice. They are a handful, but it's a lot of fun!
On top of grading papers written in "Spanglish" and coaching cheerleading, I also am part of the Campus Improvement Committee at my school. We basically meet with the principal to make important decisions regarding fundraising, new ideas, parent involvement, etc. It's a really great resume builder and I'm learning a lot about the way the school disctrict and school interact.
More to come soon...I'm off to correct more essays.