blog design

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vibrant Colors

The school LO is inspired by challenge #3 (?) in the Elsie book. Love the book :-) The second LO is for a contest where you had to do a personal LO that started with the phrase I Confess. My husband said to me as I was working on it, "I like it. It is real funky . Great job stepping out your box." He is so cute. Gotta love him.

I Feel Good

I feel good today. Know why??? Because I got my hair done today (must do a LO about this simple pleasure), no kids at school tomorrow (YES), I get to see my friend Jen tomorrow (excited), I got paid today (it included a partial tution reimbursement, my cheerleading stipend, and my new salary b/c of my master's degree) and it is a three day weekend (want to start a petition with me to make this a weekly occurrence).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Simple Answers

Very stressed. I know what I want to do and should do, but I don't want to compromise my personal time to accomplish it. Wish there was a simple answer. Wish there were more hours in the day. Wish I was super woman. Anyone have a cape they want to loan me???

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I Finally Did It...

I finally bought the digi rebel :-) After stalking this camera and reading all I could about it, I finally took the plunge and spent over a thousand dollars on a camera (and some accessories). I still can't believe it. I will spend the next 10 months paying it off with my coaching money, but I am not upset with my purchase. I was nervous b/c I bought it in a store kit that used Tamron lenses instead of Canon lenses. However, I have five days to make any returns. I decided to take it out for a spin at the zoo today and test both the lenses (55-200 and 28-80) that came in the kit, to see if they matched my needs. I am satisfied :-) When my photographer's eye grows keener, I will plan to purchase better lenses. My husband is a trooper b/c he went out in the humidity and walked around for about 4 hours and even read the directions to me as I tried various tools on the camera. Love him so much and love the fact that he supports my passions. Here are some of my photos, which are straight from the camera and have not been touched up in Adobe. There is definately a learning curve, but I love a challenge and I love to learn, so this should be a good match. I think I will try to find somewhere to go each Saturday, so I can hone my skills and try new techniques. Can't wait to take it to practice next week and see what kind of pictures I can get of my girls. Rob said I need a new hustle to afford this camera gig, maybe I can take sports photos of the kids as a side job. He suggested that or taking photos of the city and selling them at open markets :-) Gotta love his sense of humor.

The alligator photo was taken at quite a distance (obviously), but I zoomed in close and even took the photos through bars, which I was able to blur out by getting close to them. I am proud of the waterfall because I played around with the shutter speed, so I could blur the water. Rob and i probably played around with that for almost 20 minutes :-) The zebra I got in mid-shot using the sports mode on the camera.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This and That

I ran around the track with the girls today or rather I ran half and walked 2. Boy am I tired. They are such girly girls b/c they complained the whole time, but I luv them anyway. I am definately looking forward to a three day weekend next week.

My birthday is also coming up. I am not sure how 27 is supposed to feel, but I don't feel it. Sometimes I look at my husband, the house we built, the career I am building, the degrees I have and to be honest sometimes I still feel like a little girl. Sometimes I still feel like I am playing house and playing grown up. I don't have any kids yet and when I look at my age I feel like maybe I should. With the schedule we are on, I won't have kids til I am 30. That seems so old, but to be honest it really isn't. I remember when I thought 26 was ancient, and now I am about to cross over. Scary :-)

My friend Jen is coming to visit next week, can't wait to see her. She is definately a great person.

Also, I am rededicating myself to my sorority at the annual fall retreat the second week of September. So excited about that. DST completes me :-) Had to wait until I could become financial again. My husband and I paid for 2/3rds of my grad classes out of pocket. I felt bad using money for something else, especially since I was feeding my scrap addiction as well :-) Now my cheerleading pay pays for my scrap supplies, so I don't feel so bad now.

My mom's birthday was yesterday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMIE, I LOVE YOU :-) She is the greatest person I know. Love her to death because she loves and supports me no matter what. That really is the only thing you ever need from your mom.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Movies and Work

Okay, I will admit it... I went to see Snakes on a Plane last night :-) I forced Rob to go and he only gave in after I said I would buy him an ice cream if it was a bad movie, and he would buy me a scrapbooking product if it was okay. The verdict......... I have some new colored rhinestones for use on my layouts :-) lol The movie actually wasn't that bad. There were parts where you thought it would turn bad i.e. Jeepers Creepers or Cabin Fever style, but it didn't get to weird. The title is worse than the movie.

I have been grading papers and planning lessons this weekend. Oh to be back at work. Want a funny story? A young lady with a very bad attitude said my advanced class wasn't hard at all. Please keep in mind that it was only the second class. I could barely hold in the laughter and disbelief. My advanced class is very challenging. So challenging in fact, a boy last year told me it was a burning inferno of pressure :-0 Kids talk about my class at bandcamp and some have considered dropping it before they actually got in it. Now I am not really a hard teacher, but I will admit to challenging the kids and pushing them to discover their max potential. So this years advanced class is in for a surprise. I am going to kick it up THREE notches this week and then back off a little. I don't want to scare them too much because of this young ladies ill timed comment, but I must maintain my reputation :-)

Have a great week everyone

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I Found My Mojo :-)

When the mojo finally comes back, you will be surprisd how many LO's you can get done :-) The new Elsie book has really been inspiring me. SOOO glad I bought it. I have already done 4-5 of the challenges and I didn't get the book until last weekend. I did this laundry LO because I was reading a scrapbook mag and they wre saying you should journal about your everyday life, including the stuff that isn't picture perfect. Well of course it made me think about my laundry pile. I journaled with a white pen. It looks good on the LO, but not so good for scanning. Journaling: Laundry is our dirty little secret. When people visit, they always comment on how spotless our house is. They don't know that we clean for hours when they plan to visit. I wonder what they would say if they saw us today. The LO with Rob is simple, but speaks volumes if you live in our house. I hate to drive. I didn't get my liscense until I was 21 (I know, I know). So Rob says he feels like my personal driver because I will try and bribe him to drive me anywhere including to the corner store. He is a trooper though, so I wanted to pay homage to my dear sweet husband. Umm, maybe I should do some hidden journaling behind the photo with the background info. I LOVE the Elsie book. I have a ton of idea books, but this one I am actually using.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

New LO's

Just a few LO's I have completed. I was having a dry spell. I hadn't created anything in about 2 weeks. It's amazing how much crafting becomes a part of your life. I love it and I love the creative freedom it brings. The quote on the one with Rob states: I have waited all my life for you, but I did not know it. The quote on the graduate LO states: Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

Monday, August 14, 2006


The first day of school was today and boy am I tired. I have to retrain my feet to take standing up for hours at a time. I made cards for some of my closest co-workers and they enjoyed them. It makes me feel good. Will post pics later. The kids seem pretty good and I am excited to try some different strategies in my classroom. Cheerleading starts tomorrow after school and I look forward to helping this new squad grow and improve. The best part of the day was having my kids from previous years come back to visit and tell me about their summer. It is so much fun watching them grow and mature. The first classes I taught are graduating this year and I can't believe it. They are getting older and yes they actually do mature :-)

Rob and I both agreed to support each other with our healthy eating so we went grocery shopping this weekend and bought healthy foods. We even made meal plans for the next two weeks. Definately hope we see some positive rewards. I made meatloaf from scratch yesterday and it was light and tasty. If you use 98% lean ground beef, even meatloaf can be okay :-) However, the margaritas and fajitas are calling my name today :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

How Cool Am I ?????

Okay, so I LOVE Photoshop. I LOVE learning. So the two go hand in hand. In the before picture I am centered, have a bar rail behind me and brown buildings in the background. In the after photo I am following the rule of thirds by shifting my position in the photo and I took out the bar rail and the buildings :-) I am super proud of myself can you tell :-) :-) I think it makes for a better photo. Thanks go to my mom for taking the original. As a scrapper it's hard to be in the photo and not be the one taking the photo.

A Couple of Pics

Here are a couple of grad pics I finally had a chance to play around with. Also, I took this picture of a tree last week and I just really like it :-)

A Calling vs. A Job

This is my first week back at work. Yesterday I spent 11 hours at work. I was there my regular schedule and then I had to come back for freshmen evening orientation. Needless to say I am one very tired woman at this point. I finally decorated and cleaned my room today. I will go back tomorrow and actually plan my lessons.

At the orientation, a young lady helped me to understand my job a bit better. The reality is that teaching is not a job it is a calling. You can tell those teachers who aren't very effective with the students because they see it as simply a job, a paycheck. The young lady was a student from last year and she is now on leadership, so she was helping to direct freshmen and their parents. She came and stood by my door toward the end and we just talked for a long while. It was 8 p.m. and I asked her how she was getting home. She said walking, so of course I asked how far. She was planning on walking about 15-20 minutes at night by herself. I told her no way and offered to drive her home, even though I was hungry, tired and wanted to go to bed. Someone who considers teaching simply a job would a) not have been having a free conversation with her b) not have inquired about how she was getting home and c) wouldn't have given her a ride.

Teaching is a calling, a calling to help our youth grow into great adults, a calling to teach them the tools they need for success, and a calling to develop bonds beyond the surface.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This and That

I've been very busy. So I graduated on Sunday. It was a nice and short ceremony. I looked extra cute in my ensemble. I really liked the prestige I felt when putting on the robes. I felt like I had done something :-) That was until I saw the robes of the people with PHDs. They were bright colors with all kinds of stripes and symbols. I told my family I had to get one of those. So maybe just maybe I will look into my PHD at the end of this year. Need to let my brain rest. Glad my mom, sisters, step dad and husband were there. I have some pics, but I haven't uploaded so I will post later.

Started work on Tuesday. Boy it was a struggle to get up. I did feel the opening speech by the principal was inspiring and clearly let us know what direction she wanted us to take this new school year. I spent a little bit of time setting up my classroom, had lunch with a good co-worker, went to more meetings and started realizing that this was going to be a busy year. I am optimistic that it will be a positive experience and that I will grow in some way this year as well. Each year I set 2-3 goals for myself as a teacher. Last year my goals were to improve my teaching of grammar and writing and to improve my grading system. I felt I made great strides last year. So far I have decided that my two goals will be to differientiate instruction (tailor lessons to individual stduents) and to create an even more positive classroom environment. I have good relationships with my students and write less than 5 referrels a year (some people do that in a 2 week time span), but I do realize I have a sarcastic streak and a very strong personality and I want to work on tempering it. It can only make my classroom better than what it already is.

I can't wait to get my hands on some of the Daisy D's School Days paper to scrap my beginning of the year photos. That line is yummy.

Went to see Miami Vice Tuesday night. It was a good movie. Lots of action if that's your thing. But beware, there are some pretty steamy sex scenes as well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I had an opportunity to create yesterday and here is what I came up with. I learned how to use levels in Adobe yesterday and this is the first pic I practiced on. I think it has more contrast than my b&w's before I learned this feature. Plus, we have a red trim on our base boards and I took it out in photoshop. What do you think? I also took this pic using the self timer and a tri-pod. My husband probably thought I was crazy b/c I took like 20 shots before I could fix the shadows, lighting, and height issues. Oh yeah, I love those stamps by Rhonna Farrer :-)


I am not a bad blogger. I read all the comments on here and have tried unsuccessfully to reply back. So don't think I don't respond b/c I don't want to, the program won't let me. So usually, I try and respond on your blogs to let you know I appreciate the love :-)

In other news... My friend Jen inspired me by her Blog. She wrote that she exercises 5-6 days a week. Incredible in my opinion. If you know me, you know I hate the gym. But I decided that I would use the gym membership I haven't used since October !!!!! If she can go 5-6 days than I can do at least 2-3 RIGHT ???? So, I get up this morning and verbally tell myself 50 times that I can find the motivation to do this. I drive to the gym (10 mins away), only to discover that they are CLOSED !!!! Apparently they are still having electrical issues. I was dumbfounded. If I wasn't so bothered, I could probably see the humor in this. When I don't want to go they are open, but when I do they are closed. Incredible. I am going to give it another shot tomorrow. This time it will probably take me 75 verbal phrases to get up.

After taht I went to Michael's, Target and my fave cafe for brunch. The day was not a total loss. I was even thinking about mowing the lawn in this heat as a form of exercise...or maybe not :-)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A few LO's I have done recently. I really like the photos on the bowling LO, especially the b & w with the colored balls. I also like the blur that is going on in the photo of me b/c I really stand out. Rob's photo has a bit of noise, but it is the one he liked most. Maybe I could have blurred his backgroud as well. Journaling:It’s Friday night, you’re restless, and you want to get out of the house. What do you do? Go to the high end bowling alley of course and have drinks, lounge on leather sofas, and eat gourmet comfort food. Rob and I love Lucky Strike. Not necessarily for what it does to our budget, but because it feeds our competitive spirit. We love to compete. I think it’s healthy, if not oh well, we’ve been doing it this way for too long. I lost both games, but I think I can blame it on the Green Apple Martini :-)

Seeing these kabobs again makes my mouth water. They were so good. Oh yeah, my grill master made beer can chicken for the first time on Sunday. I was impressed and it was really good. He says grilling is his new fave hobby and revels in the fact that it is cheaper than mine :-)Journaling: Rob and I both woke up this morning and decided we wanted to grill out. However, no simple burgers and hot dogs would do. We opened up the cookbook and chose new things. The menu: fresh strawberry daiquiries, beef kabobs, grilled veggies, and grilled fruit with ice cream.

Quiet Tears of Joy

So I have been pretty non-chalant about graduating on Sunday. Not non-chalant in a way that I wasn't thinking about it because I have been as evidenced by my recent posts. But I have been thinking about it in terms of being done and pushing through the final courses. They weren't hard; I was just fighting for motivation. Well this afternoon I e-mailed my final project, which came in at 18 pages. I had to write an entire 12 week curriculum for my discipline. The weird thing was that when I hit the send key, I took a deep breath and had tears in my eyes. It finally dawned on me how important this was. My masters was an expectation and not an option in my eyes, much as my bachelors was as well. However, I made it through and with all A's as well. First in my immediate family to complete both too. Yes... it does feel good. I think I finally understand why my mom wants to make a big deal out of it and why she was forcing me to walk across the stage. So with tears still in my eyes, I want to say thanks for all the congrats. I finally feel like I deserve it.
(The pic came out kinda weird. I will actually scan it later, but I am too lazy to do it right now :-)