Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I've waited three years for this

My pink peony bush, that I planted as a little baby our first summer here, finally got buds on it this year. Three of them, to be exact. The first one finally opened and it did not disappoint. I want more. If I could have a whole yard filled with nothing but roses, hydrangeas, and peonies, then I would be one happy lady.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

state testing is for the birds

So, I started a kind of long-term, well, until the end of the year, sub job on Tuesday. I say kind of because I'm really not supposed to do anything over 20 days in the same position, but this one will probably go over by a few. I'm not in the classroom though. I'm subbing for the literacy facilitator. She is in charge of the school's literacy program (obviously) as well as the supervisor for the paras and she coordinates the building's testing (state and district). That's a pretty big responsibility for anyone, but especially for a sub (who knows very little about technology to begin with).

I had probably six or seven days of training with her, including two actual testing days. Those were fine. My first day on the job I couldn't get the computers to autologin correctly. We finally figured it out, but it was a pain in the neck. I called Harrison over at IT after school and he became my new BFF. Wednesday was pretty much a breeze compared to Tuesday. Everything mostly worked like it was supposed to. Today, all the laptops in a 4th grade classroom lost connection with the state server (or something like that) and all the kids got booted off the test. That is not supposed to happen. I called the District Assessment Office three times. Jenny and Dawn are also my new BFFs. And, lucky me, I got to fill out my first (but not last) Irregularity Report. woot. woot.

Yesterday I got the last of my new books for the first summer term. For the next 8 weeks I get to curl up at night with these bad boys. Say your prayers now, people.
Tomorrow it's supposed to be 90 degrees and that just means all sorts of fun in an old school with no air conditioning. Then it's supposed to rain all weekend. . . which will be good because the grass is already starting to die. But not good because we were really wanting to do yard work and get some mulch before the insanity of my life kicks in to high gear.

Oh, and I looked at the course guide for the technology course and discovered that not only do we have discussion boards (which I hate) but we get to do video discussion boards (which I'm sure I'll hate even more). I do not want video footage of myself talking smack about technology out there on the interwebs. Maybe I'll just have to call my BFF Harrison in IT and get some pointers.

Happy Thursday, and may all your packages from Amazon be more fun than mine were this week.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I am totally procrastinating on finishing up my Lewis and Clark unit plan by writing this post.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

so apparently a boy band stole my blog's name

I noticed tonight that I've had an unusual volume of blog traffic lately. I checked my stat counter to see what in the world people were searching for that landed them here. I mean, I get some people that are checking out stuff I've pinned on pinterest and what not, but it's not that much traffic. Well, the results showed. . . bing.com - PART OF MY STORY, yahoo - part of my story, etc., etc., etc. So I googled it and, what do ya know? Part of my Story is not only the name of my most beloved blog, the one I've had since at least 2008, well, it's also now the name of a 12 year old boy band. Probably one that my niece is all googly-eyed over. I don't know if I should be honored that they liked my name so much they stole it or just completely annoyed that they stole it. They're even abbreviating it POMS.

For the record, this is the original part of my story. And don't you forget it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

this just in. . . i'm still alive

My dad asked me the other day if I gave up blogging. Of course not, I just don't have time to write beyond what I'm required and graded on. And when I do have time to write, all I feel I write about is school. I love my dear ol' blog. It holds a lot of memories. I don't have plans on quitting it anytime soon. Long pauses, maybe. Calling her quits, absolutely not. It's sort of like scrapbooking. I want to do it, but there's just no time.

I've been super busy with subbing, pretty much nearly every day I'm booked somewhere. I'm getting ready to do a maternity leave for the lit. specialist at Marshall. My job will entail making sure all 3rd-5th graders get their state testing finished and the end-of-year district testing done for 1st-5th. Then I'll do some data stuff and have that ready for the teachers to mull over at their last data meeting. It's kind of a lot of responsibility and I'm slightly nervous about it, but the staff at this school is awesome and the principal told me not to worry about it, so I'm not. I'll worry about getting my homework done instead.

I'm on week #6 of class #9. My current cumulative GPA is a 3.95. (I'm working my butt off for that, by the way.) I received verification last week that I can pay $100 and apply to graduate. Yeah! My next two classes overlap with the class I'm taking right now the week of May 16th. And then it gets real crazy for the rest of May and most of June as I'll try to basically work full time, do homework, and keep my husband fed. I'll take 2 classes the first summer term and the last class the last summer term. Best of all, I'll be done August 26th.  Hallelujah! School starts August 31st (which also, coincidentally, happens to be the big 5-0 of my Phil505). I'm still not sure what will happen in the fall, I've been told I'm "on the queue for fall hiring," but I don't really know exactly what that means. I'm praying fervently for a full-time position that's not 5th grade at a school I love, and I'm still praying for Phil to find work as well. He's going on 3 months of unemployment.

Here's a few recent pics from our little spring break to-the-beach-and-back-real-quick trip to Astoria (so I could research Lewis & Clark for a project I'm working on) and Cannon Beach. It was crazy busy, so many people crowding around. I like it a little less littered with people and so does Wilson. We don't let him off-leash when it's packed. It was nice to get away for a short time and hang out on the beach for a little while.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

the one about an answered prayer

Well, this story deserves a blog post of its very own. It's the story about a completely unexpected answer to prayer this week. It encouraged me and I hope it encourages you too.

So, as you know, Phil has spent the last month looking for a job. While we're not standing in the soup kitchen line, we are being cautious about our spending. And something that's coming up is spring retreat. I am on the conference women's ministry team as the historian (a.k.a. resident keeper and maintainer of the scrapbooks), and part of my "job description" is to attend the events that are put on by the team. I'm also the photographer, and it's kind of hard to scrapbook if you don't have pictures, plus there are other responsibilities that each of us have. And besides all that, I really like going. Well, it was something that I prayed about the other morning on my way to school. I just told God that He needed to provide for me to be able to go in a way that wasn't going to stretch our budget too thin.

I've been working at, what I guess you could call, my old home base school the last 2.5 weeks. I've told a few friends there about our current situation and I know they are praying for us. I love that about them.

Friday morning I get there, head over to the teacher's desk I'm subbing for, and right away I notice a Panther Pawsitive. These are tickets that kids earn by being safe, respectful, and responsible. They are part of the school-wide positive behavior program. There was a sticky note stuck it with a message for me. I have no idea who my secret admirer is or at what point it was left in the room, but it made me smile.

Later that afternoon, I was invited by a couple other friends to go to happy hour with them. I've gone once before, but it's been a long time. I thought it would be fun to catch up with them, so I went. We hung out for almost two hours before they had to head back to school for bingo night. I got my check from the waitress and took my wallet out from my purse. When I opened my wallet, five $20 bills fell out on my lap. They were folded up together. It caught me by surprise and I immediately kind of looked around to see whose wallet they fell out of. No one else even had their wallet out. 
When I got home, I asked Phil if he had put money in my purse before I left for school. He told me that he hadn't. I know that money was not there on Tuesday when I was getting a few things at the store. So at some point, someone anonymously put $100 in my wallet. I'm 99.9% sure it was someone at school. I don't lock up my purse, and I'm not always in the room where I can see it. (Probably not the best practice, but when you're a sub, you don't usually get a key to a closet or desk drawer.) I have no idea who it's from. I have no idea if it's related to the notes that were left for me. All I do know is that that money is a direct answer to my prayer about paying for spring retreat. And it's a direct answer to some of your prayers as well. So, thank you. 

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. ~I John 5:14

Sunday, February 28, 2016

happy leap year eve

It's Sunday night. I just submitted my science experiment to Livetext about 20 minutes before the deadline. I know you don't really care, but in case you're wondering, M&M's are not equally represented by color. I counted and tallied and averaged and percentaged (which isn't a real word, but who cares) five bags each of plain and peanut. Green won for the plain and orange won for the peanut. Red was the biggest loser for both varieties. Wilson got a few pieces when I dropped a couple on the floor. Thankfully, he didn't die from chocolate poisoning.
I have two weeks to go and about a million pages to read. I also have chapter assignments for six or so chapters to complete, an integrated unit plan with five lessons to write, an electronic vocabulary notebook to create, and two discussion boards to finish. Then, if I make it and don't die. . . a week of freedom. Hallelujah.

The job search for Phil505 continues.

A current favorite song of mine at the moment is Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. She's coming to Portland in May. I want to go.

We had a visiting couple in church today that just moved here from Washington Court House, Ohio! Larry and I had an instant connection as we talked about wearing Buckeye t-shirts in Duck territory.

We headed across the river yesterday to go dog bed shopping. Wilson needed a new one for the family room and none of the Ross stores on this side had ones that were big enough. Since Phil has been up with me at night, there isn't an extra recliner this spoiled dog can steal and make his very own. So we finally found one at Home Goods that he seemed to like right away.
We also went for a two mile walk along the river. As we were driving to find a place to park, we saw a bald eagle fly by. Then we saw a seal (or maybe it was a sea lion?) out in the river, and we could make out just the tip of Mt. Hood. It was a beautiful night. Today we woke up again to rain. We even had a tiny bit of hail this afternoon.
This week I'll be in kindergarten all five days again. Lord Jesus, help me.

Yesterday I found my elementary music teacher, Miss Susan Peters, on Facebook. I sent her a message and thanked her for her class, one of the highlights of my elementary years. She wrote me back and told me my message made her cry. She's still teaching music. And she has a fluffy yellow dog. And it was pretty cool to reconnect.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

spring and love and stuff

Here's what's been going on lately. . . 

We went to a Matt Maher concert at the end of January. He has a lot of songs that I love like Lord, I Need You and Because He Lives and Your Grace is Enough and well, I could go on and on. That concert was exactly what we needed at that moment. When he put the guitar down and sat at the piano and played and sang by himself I could hardly hold back the tears. So many confirmations from Scripture and in the lyrics from his songs to put our minds and hearts at rest in what was and is a very stressful time for us.
Valentine's weekend: We finally used the movie tickets I got for my 40th birthday and went to see The Finest Hours. We had a breakfast date and got some good chocolate at Whole Foods. We also used a coupon for a free pay-per-view from Dish and watched Everest. Nothing like climbing the world's tallest mountain and freezing to death.
My little baby daffodils have bloomed and my bigger daffodils will most likely open up within the next day or two. The hyacinths are coming out and the tulips have started popping up out of the ground. I saw on facebook that the cherry trees are blossoming in Portland already. I haven't seen any around here, but I don't think it will be long.
Yesterday I took a break from school and took some time out for me. Met my friend Barbara for coffee, took Wilson for a walk in a new-to-us park, and started cleaning up the flower beds and the yard out back. It was a beautiful day and I needed to do something different for a change. I get to this point at just about this time in every class where I'm just ready to be done. My mind is scienced out and I'm ready to move on, except it's not quite time because I still have a stupid experiment to finish with M&M's! Yesterday's weather was just too gorgeous to sit at the dining room table and answer questions from chapters 1-9.

Three more weeks to go and then I get a week off before my next class starts. Next up is Teaching Reading in the Content Areas. After that I have 3 classes to register for in the summer, graduation to apply for, and a job to hopefully get for the fall.

I've been working pretty much every day with the exception of President's Day. This whole week I'll be in kindergarten and with my friends at Fruit Valley.

I feel all I write about anymore is school and work, but really, that about sums up my life at this point. I mean, I still have a few Christmas things that haven't been put away yet, like my Willow Tree Nativity and a few printables that never got changed to the ones for Valentine's Day. Maybe someday my blog will be exciting again. Until next time.