Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pinterest Overload

To say I love Pinterest, would be an understatement. I love, love, love it! I have thousands upon thousands of Pins on hundreds of topics on many, many, many different boards. The problem is that.....I can't find anything now. My boards are pretty organized....Marvelous Main Meals, Appealing Appetizers, Divine Dresses, Orderly Organization (Can you tell I like alliterations?). However, there are some boards that represent a large category that (until very recently) served their purpose just the way they were.

However, recently I went to look for a cleaning tip that I had pinned, and I could not find it. I looked and looked and looked....finally after the third board and umpteen hundredth pin I found it. The problem is that I have multiple boards that any given pin can be pinned onto. For instance, this particular cleaning pin could have been pinned onto "Orderly Organization", "Making Things Easier", "Tricks and Tips", and several others.

My educational boards are so much worse. I have around 10 boards and hundreds of pins that could fit on several boards. This makes it very difficult to find things, and since I am getting ready for a new school year I need to be able to quickly access all of the fabulous ideas...right now that ain't happening. I am currently shifting through tons of pins with no clue where to start to look.

First thing I did was put all my boards with common themes together. My Sensational Sides with my Delectable Desserts and my Delicious Drinks. I put my board entitled Divine Design with Daughter Dwellings and Bodacious Bathrooms. And so it went for an hour or so. This helped me to see what I had and find things easier. It also helped to see what categories I wanted to keep and which ones I would delete. Warning: it was kind of a pain. The boards just don't seem to want to go where you want them to go....story of my life. It does help to zoom out a lot! Here is what it looked like when I was finished.

Anyways, after that I decided to start with all of my educational boards, since I have moved schools and grade levels. I am having to redo my classroom, my curriculum, my units, my discipline plan...everything. Did I mention that we also have to sell our house, To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement.

To start reorganizing and decluttering and reclassifying my boards, I visited several teachers on Pinterest that have a variety of boards. I check out how they organized their boards and the interesting way they named and classified them. Some that I love are:
Melissa Alonzo-Dillard
Suzy Brooks
Nicole Rios

So after visiting lots of Pinterest Peeps to see how they organized their stuff, I made a list of the areas I wanted to pin: Math, Reading, Classroom Management.... Then I separated the areas into categories: Math for Upper Grades and Math for Lower Grades, Management for Little Ones, and Management for Big Ones.... Then I made up cute little names because that is just ME!

As for the rest of it...and my Pinterest Overload....well I will have to stop pinning to get to organizing and that is awfully hard!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Adventure of a Lifetime....NOT

After an amazing Easter service with friends and family including the privilege of watching my oldest daughter get baptized, we head home for a delicious lunch and to finish packing for our trip to the beach. We were only getting a couple of days because I am having my wisdom teeth out on Wednesday (a completely different blog post, I am sure). So after pictures in the rain, a delicious meal, no egg hunt (due to the rain) and the loading of the cars with 3 adults, 5 kids, and 2 dogs, we were off to the beach and unknowingly The Adventure of a Lifetime....NOT! 
We begin our trip heading south into storms, but what did we care we were on the way to the beach. Even being at the beach in the rain is better than not being at the beach. I mean, everything is better at the beach....well almost everything. We hop on I-10 at Quincy Exit 174 and headed west. Before we got to the next exit at 166, we were in a traffic jam. Luckily it continued to move, be it at a snail's pace, and after about 6 miles and 30 minutes later we were out and moving. However, about 60 miles later we have to slam on brakes which causes all 3 kids and dog to be jolted awake after only falling asleep a few minutes before. At this point we are literally at a stand still. No one is moving. No one is going any where and no one is happy. Finally, we start to move a little. Alas, it is not because traffic is moving forward but because people are turning around to go back to the previous exit.

So we did the only thing we could do and turned around through the median too. Thankfully we had better luck than this guy. And thankfully we had GPS and 3 devices that had Google maps otherwise there would have been 3 adults, 5 kids, and two dogs stuck in what appeared to be Deliverance!
After a two and a half hour trip turned into a 4 hour trip and completely sane people turned into hysterically crying, screaming people (kids not adults) we arrive at the beach house. The beach house which was supposed to have been vacated by the winter tenant that morning. The beach house which was supposed to have been cleaned by said tenant. The beach house which as we walked in with our 3 adults, 5 kids, and two dogs we realized was completely trashed because the lady had not only stayed the winter but had apparently moved everything she owned into the house including a 42 inch flat screen, every item of clothing she owned, a safe, plants, trunks, and even her own shower curtain! Most of her stuff was still there and the house was completely disgusting. There were literal dirt piles in the floor and stains on the carpet. It was sooooooo gross!

We quickly exited the premises and shoved extremely confused children and dogs back into the car where they had been trapped for the last 4 hours. We decide to get something to eat and figure out what to do. Do we get a hotel? Do we bunk with family members (that we don't know in another house)? Do we go back and take the woman out so that she sleeps with the fishes....the dead ones? 
Alas, there is no luck there either. The first 3 places we go to are closed, the next has been apparently invaded by frat boys, the next was closed, and finally, finally we find an open restaurant, "Killas Pizza". (That is the name. I promise I couldn't even make that up). My husband deemed it appropriate since we were all close to killin' someone! We unload all 3 adults and 5 kids and head in. Killas Pizza, aka Johnny McTighe's Irish Pub, is apparently dedicated to all of the cops that had been killed by killas or something because there were frames all around the place of old cop uniforms...even one with what appeared a bikers pony tail attached to it. However strange the decor was the pizza was without a doubt a killa because it sure nuff killed my taste buds with deliciousness! 
So we suck it up and decided to call the Water Color Inn and fork out a ridiculous amount of money for one night for a place with which to rest the 3 adults, 5 kids, and 2 dogs. Of course we never would have done this if my sister had not discovered my mother's credit card in her wallet. (Side Note to Judy: Why does she have your credit card? I would like a credit card. What am I chopped liver?) Any who....even the realization of unlimited funds does not change our luck because it is apparently Spring Break '13 Baby and Easter and there are no vacancies any where!

We decided to suck it up and go head back to the scene of the crime via the house next door with the distant relatives that we don't know. Luckily, they are out to eat when we roll up in there with our 3 adults, 5 kids, and 2 dogs. However, the crazy tenant is not. My husband takes it like a man and goes over to see what is going on. She says that she doesn't know when she will have everything out or get it cleaned and could he please help her move her large flat screen t.v. and safe. Needless to say, he declined and just walked away shaking his head. 
By this time, we are all set to stay with the relatives that we don't know when reality hits and we realize that even if she is out tomorrow the house won't be clean and we will have to spend all day cleaning it with 5 kids and 2 dogs running around and crying because we are not down at the beach. So we make a very hard but very smart decision....we load up the 3 adults, 5 kids, and 2 dogs back in the cars and we head home with promises of fun tomorrow including bubbles, water, Fun Station Jr., movies and more. 
We arrive back at around 1, unloaded the 3 adults, 5 kids, and 2 dogs along with all the paraphernalia that comes with it, climbed in the bed and try to forget the last 12 hours. 

The Adventure of a Lifetime it was NOT! Smartest decision ever, it was! The next day it was cold and rainy at the beach but hot and sunny in our backyard, where we had so much fun!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dancing Divas Birthday Party

My six year old's favorite thing to do is dance. She is on our dance studios competition dance team and works tirelessly to be her very best. So it was no surprise when she decided that she wanted to have her party at our dance studio, Off Broad Street Centre for the Dance Arts. I, being the perfectionist that I am....that and avid Pinterest fan, could not help but go all out. 

This is the favor table. I created the letters with 4 pieces of foam board, poster board cut into 5 inch strips and hot glued around the outside, and inserting lights through the back by cutting out holes. I got the idea and the directions from Oh Happy Day, although mine was not near as perfect as theirs, as Sweet Brown said, "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That!" 

The party favors included tons and tons of glow sticks for the party favorite Glow Dancing, and personalized CD of all of her favorite songs complete with her picture on the cover! 

 The food table was adorned with a hot pink topped with a black sheet. The back drop was created using 3 zebra print plastic table cloths and 2 hot pink table cloths costing a total of $5. 

During the party, we had so much fun. I paid a could of teenagers $20 to help with the fun and dancing, but I led most of it (I teach Preschool dance at the studio).

First we went back to kindergarten PE, which for most of the guest was literally just yesterday!

Next we had Acro time with mats, hula hoops that we danced through, and carpets that we jete'd over. 

Next, it was time to learn some real dances. She chose a lyrical number to Katie Perry's Wide Awake and a jazz/hip-hop routine to  Beauty and the Beat by*insert scream here*  Justin Bieber.

Time to eat and celebrate!

And finally.....Glow Dancing!!
It is amazing what $10 worth of glow bracelets and necklaces and turning off the lights will do to children and adults, for that matter. We ALL had a blast!

We are now thinking of starting our own party business...that way I can just write my paycheck over to the dance studio. Follow us on Facebook

Monday, January 21, 2013

What is the Point?

In the weeks following the Sandy Hook Tragedy, I slept very little. Every time I closed my eyes I saw a classroom full of terrified children, and of course, because it was a dream (thank the Lord) one of those children was always one of my girls. It was awful. I cannot even imagine what those parents are going through.

Soon the dream transformed. No longer were there children involved. It was just me. Me racing to my classroom door to try to lock it in time and failing. Failing over and over again every night. In every single dream, I made it to the door at the same time he did and could not stop him from coming in.

Thankfully, I can wake up from this nightmare every night. There are 26 families who can not. Not to count the tens of thousands of families across America who are mourning the loss of loved ones due to gun violence.

Let me clear....I HATE POLITICS. I never get involved in debates. I don't talk about who I am or did vote for. It is not that I don't have beliefs or take a stand on issues. It is just that I refuse to get into a debate on Facebook or anywhere else that leads me in to an argument with people. Look here! I gots (intentional) three girls. I gots enough drama in my life!

However, I will take a stand on this (and is not about how to make our schools safer. I am saving that for another post). It is this: There needs to be a ban on all semi and automatic weapons. Before you say, well she just doesn't like guns, let me be clear. My father has a huge gun collection. I have shot every kind of gun there is. He made sure that I knew how to shoot a gun. I have shot hand guns, rifles, semi automatic weapons, and have even shot a machine gun before.

I support the right of every American to bear arms. Load up on shot guns and rifles and pistols. But seriously when do you ever need to shoot more than 6 bullets at a time? Even if someone broke into your house, you would only need a few bullets to put a stop to the perpetrator.

Now I know what you are going to say, "Guns don't kill people. People do." You are dead right! There need to be stricter and more effective laws about mental illness. There needs to be more help for people with mental issues. I agree with all of that. But I also think there is no need, except in the military, for assault weapons.

Yes, I know that drunk driving kills more people than assault weapons, but HELLO? didn't we make it illegal to drink and drive in order to prevent it. I know you are going to say, "well they will just get them somewhere", so does that mean we just lay them up there on a silver platter and say "Come and get your assault gun!"

Why wouldn't you want to make it harder for criminals to obtain them? Making something illegal does not stop someone from breaking the law, but it does let them know that it is wrong and there will be consequences. I mean, teenagers are going to have sex if they want to, does that mean that you don't do everything in your power to tell your teenager that it is wrong and that if they are going to choose to do it, they should protect themselves?

That argument of "they will get them somehow" is stupid. People are always going to speed...does that mean that we just do away with speed limits?? No. It means we do a better job of enforcing the speed limits because if we don't someone will die.

Criminals will always try to get their hands on the best weapon that can aid them in commiting their crime in the fastest most efficent manner, but just imagine what would have happen if at Sandy Hook, Adam Lorenzo's mother only had a pistol, shotgun, or rifle. How many times would he have had to stop and reload? How many chances would children have had to escape or heros have had to over take him? How many innocent lives would still be living today?

I am not saying to ban guns. Guns make me feel safe! I am asking, what is the point in an automatic or semi-automatic weapon if it is not to kill quickly and effectively?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Spectacular Spinach Casserole

My family does not like greens! Not green food, but turnip or collard greens. So I was trying to find something green to make for our New Year's Day lunch that could substitute for the greens. I mean we need all the money we can get! I toyed with creating an almost "dip" but finally came up with this which is absolutely delicious and nutritious!!!!

Spectacular Spinach Casserole

2 (10 oz.) packages of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 block of cream cheese, softened
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of mayonaise
1/2 cup shredded parmesean cheese
1 (6oz) can of fried onions, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Thaw and drain the spinach. Combine all ingredients (only 1/2 of fried onions) in a large bowl. Top with remaining fried onions. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

I am So Glad We are Rushed

A few weeks ago, my husband and I got into one of those silent, but so mad, but not talking about it, but so frustrating, but can't let the other one know you are so mad that you could scream and tear all of your hair out...discussions.

I had noticed that he was constantly in a bad mood on Sunday. He wasn't grumpy or yelling or mean. He was just not very happy and stayed quiet most of the day. When I asked him what was wrong, he pulled "the girl card" and said "nothing". I swear he uses that card more than I do. Maybe it is because I am so unbelievably tired and stressed that I don't have time for games and if I am mad about something, by goodness you are going to know it!

Anyway, I finally got it out of him and then quickly wished I had not. He said that he was in a bad mood every Sunday, because he did not like going to Sunday School (pause before you think badly of him and wait for the rest of it). Then he left and went to a football meeting. And needless to say I fumed and obsessed over his statement all day long.

 When he got back and after we put the kids to bed, I asked him Why? I mean in my head I was thinking that if he didn't want to go to church then that was it...it was a deal breaker....and why had it taken almost 12 years of marriage for my to see this side of him?
Alas, my crazy, obsessive, "snake's in the head" mind had made it totally into something that it wasn't. The truth was...he didn't like going to Sunday School not because he didn't like Sunday School and by extension (in my crazy head) God, but because of how rushed we were. It stressed him out, made him feel out of control. We got up at 7:30 ate breakfast, got three kids and ourselves ready, made it to Sunday School usually late, went to church and battle kids to sit still and behave, gathered everyone up to get in the car, went to Wal-Mart (only day there is time), rushed home to prepare and eat lunch, clean up and started the endless laundrey, and then he left at 1:30 for his weekly football coaches meeting. 

Okay....I can see where he is coming from. Just typing that made me tired and feel like my chest was closing in on me. I completely empathized with him. I totally get it! I do....But then I stopped and thought about why we are so rushed.

We are rushed because we have been blessed with 3 beautiful daughters.
We are rushed because those 3 beautiful children are completely healthy and active.
We are rushed because those 3 beautiful children are 3 beautiful dancers who are good enough to be on the competition team.
We are rushed because we have good jobs.
We are rushed because we have good jobs that pay good money that allow us the ability to take weekly trips to Wal-Mart to fill our pantry.
We are rushed because we are lucky enough to live in the great country of the United States of America where we are free to worship our Great God.

Yes we are rushed, but I am So Glad We are Rushed. We are truly blessed beyond measure!