Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I've come to the point in my life where I can either live my life or write about it.  I can't do both right now.  Maybe when my life gets more interesting I will pick up blogwriting again, but until then, catch me on facebook!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Father's Day 2010

I am way late on this, but that's another post.  Mike and I took Molly to visit my mom and dad last weekend to celebrate Father's Day, and pictures were taken:

                                           
I love my expression in this picture: "really, dude?!?  I'm not ready yet!"


I love my dad.  He's always saying something goofy to make me laugh.

I get lots and LOTS of comments that I look like my mom (and I do....creepily so).  But I think that I get some things from my dad, too.  You can see in this picture that I hold my head the same way he does.  Most of what I get from my dad lies in the form of life lessons, though...things that aren't passed down through genetics but by example.  Work ethic.  Respect for nature.  Those sort of things.





My parents recently celebrated 33 years of marriage.  How awesome is that?!?



And yes, I got some Mollie pictures:

On her "grandparents" dock.

Soaking wet.  I love the tongue in this shot.

Whenever I see this picture I always think that if she could talk she would be saying "HAR HAR HAR!"


Mollie with one of her BFFs, neighbor dog Roxie.

Invisible Roller Coaster?





And lastly, my new favorite picture of my mom.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Year in Review

When I think about my second year of teaching compared to my first year, I think the main difference is that I was a lot more organized.  As a teacher you have to deal with an immense amount of information coming in, and you are responsible for getting it out on time.  It takes a lot of practice and trial-and-error to get that right.  But the great thing is, when you're not scrambling around trying to find things, you can spend more time developing your teaching skills and enjoying the students.

Teaching is such a crazy, beautiful thing.  It is so easy to get bogged down with the politics and bureaucracy of the profession.  This year I reached a point where I let that happen, and to be honest I wasn't entirely sure that I could continue with my chosen career.  It is very difficult when you put not only long hours, but your heart and soul into something and you feel like the Way High-Ups who have never met you send messages that tell you that they don't value what you put in.  But what I learned is that you because you pour yourself into your kids, you have to draw your strength from them, too.  I am learning how to tune out all that negativity and zone in on what really matters...the reason why I got into teaching in the first place.

Today I invited the parents in to view a slide show I had put together with pictures from the school year.  I made it through the slide show without crying, but I wasn't so lucky when it came to passing out the class awards.  There are a few students I am especially proud of for having come so far and overcoming obstacles that can bring full-grown adults to their knees.

But there is one kid that I just wasn't sure about, until today.  I get a lot of hugs as a first grade teacher, but there are some kids who just aren't touchy-feely like that, and this kid is one of them.  He will flinch if I touch his shoulder.  He's just not the most expressive kid in the world, and as much as I tried, I never felt like I did my best with him.

He knows how to get on my nerves...one of those that makes me subconsciously clench my teeth. 

Very strong willed.
 
You get the idea.

Well, today I finished giving the awards, and I was schmoozing with the parents, waiting for the bell to ring, when I felt a pair of arms around my waist.

And it was him.

And I realized that I had spent so much time trying to figure out this kid....trying to find something to motivate him to grow...that I really had done my best.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother's Day Part II


My mom and her mom


My dad and his mom


A mom-less picture....me and the cake I made, which was delicious.  The generous amount of filling is supposed to make it look kinda like an Oreo, and it's a standby for me - a great example of those recipes that take a boxed cake mix and make it outstanding.  Click here for recipe



Favorite picture of the day, and possibly so far this year.  My mom and I are two halves of the same whole.  I love her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Like Herding Chickens!

...or getting a 7-year old to sit still during the last 4 weeks of school*....that's how hard it is to get a good picture of Mollie!

*not that I would know anything about that!

We *tried* to get a good picture of the three of us over Mother's Day weekend, and my mom got some action shots.  These were all taken over the course of about 30 seconds:




(I love her facial expression on this one)



Is it possible to Photoshop out her tongue??



Oy Vey!  More Mother's Day pictures to come  :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Living in the Land of Old People

A few days ago Mike and I went to a restaurant in town, and I just had to share a few of the gems I overheard at dinner.  Now, you must understand that since we live in Florida, the average age of a person in our town is approximately 186.  Seriously, when I walk into Publix, I am usually the youngest shopper in there by 40 years or so.  Anyhoo, old people can be cranky and hilarious, and these two gents were both.  They reminded me a lot of another dynamic duo:

 Here's a little snippet of their conversation, whom I will call Statler and Waldorf:

Statler: WHEN CAROL AND I WANTED TO GET MARRIED, THAT PREACHER TOLD US HE WANTED US TO GO TO PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING.  I TOLD HIM, "WHY WOULD WE NEED THAT??  WE'VE BOTH BEEN MARRIED TWICE BEFORE, WE KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING MARRIED!
[note: this guy is ever-so-slightly deaf]

Waldorf: So did you have to get a notary public?

Statler: A NON-REPUBLICAN?  OF COURSE NOT, I VOTED FOR McCAIN!  IN FACT, I ASKED THAT NOTARY PUBLIC IF HE WAS A REPUBLICAN BEFORE HE MARRIED US!

-----------------------------------------------

You can't make this stuff up!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Dog, Sophie.

One year ago today I lost one of the best friends I ever had.
Sophie was like my right hand; the closest a dog can get to being your soul mate. She knew what I was thinking and could read and react to my emotions with eerie accuracy.


When we lost her, the grief process was very hard and very long for me, and I am just now getting to the point where I can think of her and feel less pain for the loss and more happiness for the time I had with her.


I still miss her a lot, though.  Not a day goes by when I don't think of her.

 Good dog, Sophie.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ugh!  A Bug!

Not really, actually.  We bought some Praying Mantis egg sacs offline a few months ago and have been waiting for the weather to warm up enough for the dormant eggs to hatch.  

Our porch is now hopping with baby manti!  They are so much fun to watch.

Last season our garden was overrun with aphids, so we are hoping that these little guys will snack on them and help us out in the process.



Here you can see how tiny they still are in proportion to Mike's hands.  Grow little buggies, grow!



I randomly snapped this picture of Ms. Mollie on the porch, and I LOVE it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Camping Pictures




May I just take a moment to comment on my husband's outfit?  Let's start with the Outback Cowboy hat, shall we?  Actually, we can stop there, too.  The rest of the outfit is not entirely offensive, but the hat with the shorts and sandals makes me smile.  


Our fishin' spot.  Nothing was caught, unfortunately.  We have really bad fishing juju when we get together.


I heart this picture.


Mike snapped this picture of me on a whim because he said I thought I looked "cute" holding the fishing poles.  Reason #3,508 why I love my husband - he thinks I'm cute when I really need a shower!



Other adventures included a very windy canoeing trip (arms are still sore) and several trips to Wal-mart to buy more blankets in a futile attempt to stay warm at night.  Seriously, I did NOT think the temperature would drop that much at night, but we had nearly 30-degree differences between night and daytime temperatures...brrr!  But I absolutely love camping with my husband...he knows more than I could ever possibly hope to know about camping and surviving in the wilderness, and I benefit from it by making him do all the work! 

Not really. 

But close.
Spring Break 2010


This was home for us over our Spring Break getaway.  Someday we will own a nice camper, but for now it's fun to stay in a tent.  Except for when you have to pee in the middle of the night and have to actually put on pants to walk to the bathroom. What hardship.

We camped at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach, Florida.  It's near Daytona Beach, and even Mike the Eagle Scout, self-professing camping expert, was impressed with the campground.






We had a boatload  of fun, but I think Mike needs to start taking a fiber supplement...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Ya Gotta Love Living in Florida.

I am busy squeezing every moment of enjoyment out of my last few days of Spring Break, and when I came home from eating lunch with some family, I saw a very statuesque Morgan awaiting my arrival:

She was gazing intently at something.


Then she made this face.  I think this is my new favorite picture of her.  No, my new favorite picture ever.  I laughed a lot.

She was not amused.


Then I realized WHAT she was looking at:


Hoo Boy - a Brown Recluse?  Maybe?  I couldn't decide.  So I turned to the handy dandy Interwebs to do some quick research.

You can see a web in this picture, and that confused me further, because I didn't think that brown recluses spun webs.  Turns out they DO, but they're used more for "dens" than for catching prey [ain't the Internet great?]   So then I had to decide if that looked more like a den then a web.  After looking more at the body shape, I decided I had better put away the camera and get out the insect spray.  I hate unnecessarily killing any creature, but when I did an image search for the Brown Recluse, I got a bunch of results of Brown Recluse BITE WOUNDS...wowee wow wow I want to avoid that!





I'm just glad this little goofball didn't get ahold of it!  Now I just need to think of a funny caption so she can make another appearance on ICanHasCheezburger!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Some Advice for your Birthday

Yesterday was my big brother David's birthday, and since he is all the way in Kentucky, I thought I would do the same thing for him that I do for my students.  We have a shelf of special "birthday books" in our classroom, and when a student is celebrating a birthday, he or she gets to choose a book off the shelf for Mrs. Wolfe to read.  This book is one of the most popular, and it features some good advice, so here ya go, Dave:



Happy birthday man.  I wish I could give you a birthday hug along with your birthday story.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Other Stuff

We did do other stuff last weekend....non-Randy Travis stuff.  And I mananged to pay attention during most of it.  We visited Gainesville (where we lived before we moved to our current digs) and Devil's Milhopper State Park, which is basically a huge sinkhole.  It's a lot more interesting than it sounds!



This was our best attempt at using the delay function on the camera...I'll spare you the reject shots this time!


Taking a break from all the stairs...we felt the effects of all that stepping the next day!



The closer you get to the sinkhole, the more humid it gets...which it why my carefully styled hair has turned into a big hot mess.  You'd be devastated too if you knew how rarely I actually style my hair!


One cool thing about Devil's Milhopper is that it's full of plants you can't find elsewhere in North Central Florida.  A lot of the trees there are typically only found in South Florida.  But oddly enough, the landscape reminds me of the Appalachians!




There were stairs....lots and lots of stairs...


And, oh the humidity!  I am a Florida native, but even I could feel the weight of all the suspended water in the air!


With humidity comes moss and lichens!



We walked around Silver Springs for a few minutes before claiming our VIP seats for the concert.  We've had season passes in the past, so we've seen it all, but we still like to walk around!

Mr. Flamingo!  I sometimes wonder if captive flamingos are given something to color their feathers artificially through their food...it just doesn't seem like they would be that brightly colored in the wild!


These Sandhill Cranes weren't captive...just freeloaders.


Oh no!

I love the expression on Mike's face!


At least it wasn't the real thing!