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Archive for September, 2011

Productive Saturday

September 24th, 2011 at 05:37 pm

Although it was dreary and rainy today, I still got out of the house and did all kinds of errands. I also met friends for lunch and made it home by 6pm.

I broke down and bought some sensible black shoes Frown They look a little orthopedic for my taste, but my heels aren't going to work this year, too much running around! Whatever, if I can keep up with my students, who cares if I'm the teacher with the old lady shoes?!

I also went to the condo with my parents and took pictures. I'm working on a flyer to advertise the condo for rent. My dad liked the place, I think he'd like to use it as an artist getaway! No matter how old you are, it's always nice to get your dad's "approval"!

Got to pare down my expectations

September 21st, 2011 at 03:19 am

My English Castle's latest entry about having to reprioritize expectations hit home with me. It made me realize it is high time I wrote my own adjusted list of expectations!

Not only am I back to school with a full, tough caseload, but SO is away at leadership school for 6 weeks. So I'm back to being single mom for a while. I had forgotten how tough it was to get everything done by yourself!

Daily, I've got to find time for: Keeping the kids clean, fed, and prepared for school. Keeping myself clean, fed, and prepared for school. Exercising at least every other day (usually right after work, before I pick up DD). Feeding includes a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nothing fancy, and it has to be quick and simple- think quesadillas and fruit/raw veggies. Fun, fancy meals can be for the weekends.

I have to have dance class once a week with my girls, that is "family time" for us. We have also implemented Tuesday "family game night", that is an hour after everything is done that we hang out and play together.

If I have to stop at the bank, I gotta schedule it right after work. My regular cleaning checklist(1-2hrs) and cooking will be done on the weekends.

I cannot imagine turning on the t.v. during the week. I really wanted to see the Biggest Loser, but I was so tired by the end of my night and I still had to check my bank account online! I think I will trade in t.v. time for a chance to check my bills on the computer and unwind by reading some of my favorite sites. Gotta be in bed around 9pm so I can read/fall asleep. My life is pretty mundane during the week!

Closed on condo!

September 17th, 2011 at 06:20 am

It was the fastest closing yet, I guess in part because I was the only signer. This is my first place I have gotten all on my own. Smile

Now I can refine my budget since I have the exact PITI amount due. It came in lower than estimated, that's always good. I'm going to bring my parents out to the place today to see it. Too bad it's raining, though, I was hoping we could take the dogs for a walk out there. Oh well, I guess there will be other days!

closing on condo today!

September 16th, 2011 at 01:59 am

I still don't have the exact figure from the lender, they will have that to me this morning so that I can pick up a certified check to bring to closing.

Since the condo is being rented the current tenants replaced the carpets, which I wasn't expecting. That was the only project that I "had" to have done before I could do anything with the place. Now I can say the condo is pretty much move-in ready. There are some things that could use updating, such as the cabinets in the kitchen, but that is just a matter of some paint or stain eventually.

I will probably use the home for my family getaway for a few months and then decide how to get it rented.

I'm anxious to close so that I can determine how much money I have left. I had already pulled funds into checking to cover carpet replacement so I can put that money back after closing, too.

On a positive note about school, things are getting a little bit easier in the classroom. We have been blessed by two volunteers fresh out of college who are getting experience in my classroom while job hunting. I'm constantly amazed how God works things out, things were so desperate in our class for a while there. I know that these volunteers will not be here forever, but we have appreciated them this week. They have allowed me to do some teaching while still fighting for the additional assistance in the room. I've had to get the assistance from parents to advocate for their children, which makes the school system look bad. But we've been demonstrating significant need for over a month, so it's time to take things to the next level.

Thinking of my condo!

September 12th, 2011 at 03:01 am


I stopped by one flooring place this weekend, to look for carpet for my upcoming condo purchase. I told them I would give them a call after I close on the condo. I have to decide if I want the place to be like a little "jewel", with the best of everything because it is so tiny, or if I want to go the other route, and just go "clearance style".

Although I would love to be able to keep this place for my family's enjoyment, and technically I can afford to do so (it would cut into monthly savings), the frugal me will probably transform it to a rental after a few months of freshening it up. For use as a rental, "clearance style" is probably the way to go. It's a beach condo, anyway, it is supposed to be casual, and easy to clean as sand and water tends to find its way inside easily enough.

I have leftover furniture set aside to furnish the place, so if and when I decide to make it a rental I would not have spent too much on furniture.

Maybe that will be my challenge, to get this little place feeling fresh and comfortable for as cheaply as possible! I still want to love what I've done to the place, though.

Hoping for a productive weekend

September 10th, 2011 at 04:36 am

I managed to sleep in an extra hour... I guess I have an internal alarm clock that won't let me stay in bed much later. Oh well, I feel refreshed and now I am enjoying my coffee without having to be anywhere anytime soon!

I have a doctor's appointment later this morning, which is awesome that they are open on Saturdays! Then later tonight there is a surprise engagement party for my brother and STB Sis in law, very excited for them! Sometime during the day I will get some shopping or cleaning done.

I need some items for my classroom- aprons for crafts and cooking with the kids, a bulk box of paper cups and plates, disinfectant wipes. So my mission this weekend is to find these items as cheaply as possible, or make my own.
I have lots of rags, so I am going to make a bottle of vinegar/water solution, less chemicals to worry about. (the school cleans the surfaces at the end of the day but will not provide bottles of cleaners for each classroom, maybe they are afraid they will get misused??) I'll bring the used rags home at the end of the week to wash.
Aprons or smocks I might be able to find at a thrift store under uniforms. Paper cups and plates... I know I can buy a few packs from the dollar store that will last us a little while. We have plastic dishes we also use but this year it will be much easier to just use paper, we don't have the time or space to be washing dishes frequently. (We cook once a week in my class.)
For my own life? I have regular grocery shopping to do, and I also want to start pricing carpet for the condo I'm purchasing. I want to have the floor underneath the old carpet treated because it really smells bad right now. The place is small so I don't think it will cost too much to replace.
I might try out a new church Sunday. I've been really torn in my heart lately at the service I've been attending. I think in my heart of heart I am Quaker, and I want to attend my first service this Sunday or next Sunday.

new morning

September 9th, 2011 at 03:02 am

We are still struggling at work with the shortage of staff in my classroom, it feels like a circus. I start every morning determined to do the best that I can, but somewhere around 10:00 the stuff hits the fan for a few hours. There just are not enough staff for the needs of the students we have. My building is still battling with the department to send me more staff. It makes for a really horrible day, to be honest. I can see why they make you sign a contract, because I don't know if I would stick around for this...

Yesterday after a long day at work, I ended up with a few blissful hours to myself. SO had duty, and the girls went out to dinner with their dad. Instead of going home to Ramen noodles and a half bottle of wine and crying, I turned into IHOP. I had a quiet dinner all by myself with some fresh coffee, and enjoyed the silence. I was just craving a comfort meal, you know? The coffee must have done the trick, because I came home refreshed, ran 3 miles, lifted weights, and walked the dog, all before the kids came home. Sometimes you just need a few hours to clear the noise from the day. I think I will indulge in silence a lot more this year!

But today is yet another day, and I have another chance to do the best with what I'm given.

Closing on the condo is still on time for around the 16th of September. I haven't really given it much thought since I have been slammed with school. I've been putting aside some cute dishes and things I've found at thrift stores that I want to put in the new place, I'm going to enjoy making the condo a little getaway!

Made it through First Day

September 6th, 2011 at 04:48 pm

That's all I can say. The students made it through the day safe and happy. Still waiting for approval for the additional assistance in the classroom. It is urgently needed.

Looking forward to an even better day tomorrow, I know that the year will get easier as we get to know the kids and we get the staff we need.

My own children did just fine back to school, they have lots of classes with friends which always makes things more pleasant.

I have the feeling September will be finished quickly.

Long Weekend!

September 3rd, 2011 at 04:23 am

I made it through teacher work week. I pleaded my case for additional help in my classroom, and the specialist who visited agreed. I know I will be getting additional help eventually. So I am not going to freak out anymore, just keep my sense of humor next week, enjoy getting to know my students, and keep them safe!

In a few more weeks I will close on the condo, so my budget will look a bit different. I am excited about this new place, and hope to enjoy it a bit before turning it into a rental.

Budget cuts have hit my classroom

September 2nd, 2011 at 03:02 am

Trying not to panic, but the staffing in my special ed classroom has been cut from 4 adults... to 2. Yikes. Same kids as last year, actually add in 4 new ones, same needs or greater than last year. But the funding the dept. used to provide the additional staffing is not there this year. I have been fighting my case all summer, building administration is also fighting for me.

Since our needs are legitimate I know that we will eventually receive at least one additional assistant. It's just scary to envision how we will make it until then. I want the best for my students and it frustrates me to no end to think that I can't teach them appropriately because I just don't have the hands to do so.