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Showing posts from November, 2010

Day 347- Mary*

I'm usually not a wah wah wah it's Monday kind of person.  It's not Monday's fault that it happens to fall at that time of the week that tears you away from Sunday and the weekend and everything happy.  In fact, I kind of like Mondays sometimes.  Shh... don't tell.  Monday is the day to start fresh and new.  You are still feeling that weekend buzz and not yet feeling the weekday fatigue.  You (hopefully) have clean laundry and a fridge full of groceries and the idea of having a fabulous week is still a possibility.

However, I must confess that I was really ticked that it was Monday when I woke up today.

My "case of the Mondays" led to an irritable and frazzled kind of morning at home.  Bad attitude= bad morning.  Haven't I figured that out yet?  There were a variety of factors at play that were really not important and seem much more trivial now.  I will overshare that part of the problem was that it took three different pairs of pants to find one tha…

Day 346- Dog Nap

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Dog Nap: Noun
To take a short nap; doze lightly.A short sleep taken by Mama Bear and General when reunited after a brief holiday.

Origin: Ferri household, circa 2008.
Related words:
cat nap sheep sleep

I am lucky enough at this point in my life to have two places that I call home.  When we head up to Michigan, we are going home.  When we head back here to Missouri, we are also going home.  Home is where the heart is, and my heart lives in two places. 
It was wonderful to see my family and to spend quality time at my Michigan home.  It was also wonderful to be done with our marathon driving today and to pull into our driveway.  We have worked our butts off to make this house a home, and it is a place that I love to come home to.  The real excitement, however, was seeing my little guy again.  Oh, how I miss him when we go away!  I'm always worried that General will be upset when we have to leave him behind, but he's such a nice dog that he never is.  He always sprints up to see us, do…

Day 345- Root Beer

I was looking through the mini fridge in my parents' garage for something to go with my pizza tonight when I spied it- an A & W root beer.  There was a time when I absolutely used to adore these, but I can't remember the last time I actually drank one.  I took her out for a spin, and I felt as if I was five again (in the best possible way, of course).

The only thing that could have made my root beer better was a frosted mug and a scoop of ice cream.  Ahhh... life's little pleasures.

Thank you, root beer, you made my day.

Day 344- RichRods

My whole family is heading off to watch the big game tomorrow at the home of one of Tom's friend's families.  The big game, of course, is Michigan vs. Ohio State.  It's only the greatest rivalry in college football, and it's probably the greatest and longest running rivalry in college sports in general.  You know, THE game.

Anyway... my parents decided that we would bring a tasty treat along with us.  These treats are 50% pretzel rods, 50% chocolate, and 100% awesome.  Once you top each one off with some maize and blue sprinkles, you have yourself a RichRod. 

We had an assembly line going to create these today after a few mishaps in the chocolate department.  I was in charge of the maize sprinkles.  I must admit that this was not my proudest Martha moment, as I was apparently "doing it wrong" according to others involved.  I think that my vast cooking/crafting talents must just be more specialized, and this project was not suited to them.  I did, however, co…

Day 343- Thanksgiving

This is a no brainer.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for more reasons than I can count.  I suppose I could try to count a few, though.

1. I got to spend today surrounded by family and many (not all... we missed you guys that weren't here) of the people that I love most dearly.  We shared stories and laughs and memories and bad jokes and couches.

2. I ate two massive, delicious dinners filled with some of my favorite foods.  I make mini Thanksgiving dinners year round in anticipation of the big event.  The turkey, the mashed potatoes and gravy, the stuffing, the sweet potatoes, the rolls, the cranberry sauce, the green bean casserole, the pies... they all have a special place in my stomach.  I am lucky enough to have two grandmas who really know how to cook and deliver. 

3. This could possibly be 2b.  Stretchy clothes.  I have learned from the button-waisted mistakes of my past and developed a successful strategy for more comfortable consumption of mass quantities of food.  …

Day 342- Life

Okay, I know that this one sounds like a cop out.  Yes, I am thankful to be alive every day.  However, I have an actual extra reason for this today.

Tom and I had an incredibly scary experience early on in our eight hour drive today.  Given my history of incredibly scary driving/passenger experiences, this instance was magnified about 100 times.  I was completely and totally freaked out.  The car was not wrecked, but I was for hours.

How many people have realized that they are looking into oncoming highway traffic from a car that is going the wrong way?  Maybe a lot.  How many people have walked away from that situation virtually unharmed?  Definitely less.

Twice?  Hmm.

It becomes increasingly easy for me to understand that I am on this earth for a reason and that I have a purpose.  Why else would God allow me to walk away from experiences like this?  Days like today, however awful they may be at the time, reaffirm so many things for me.  God is great, and there is no doubt in my mind…

Day 341- Ice Cream Party

We had our ice cream party today in Ac Lab for winning the can drive.  I was really pleased that it was scheduled today because I knew there was no way that I'd get all of my students to do quality work in Ac Lab right before a holiday/long weekend. 

I'm not sure that my class could have been any more excited about that ice cream if they tried.  They were like savages!  We were provided with two gigantic tubs of ice cream, sprinkles, cookies, cherries, toppings, and whipped cream.  They attacked that bar as if they had never eaten before and would never eat again.  One boy, a kid who is usually quite quiet and shy, came and stood next to me.  Grinning, he said, "Look at my bowl... there's not even any ice cream in it this time!"  I looked down and noticed that this was no joke.  His bowl was pure whipped cream, sprinkles, and toppings.  This concoction was smeared all over his face, and there was a twinkle in his eye that I had never seen before.

At the end of t…

Day 340- Done

I was such a good girl tonight.  I decided not to procrastinate and save things for later.  I decided not to let myself use the excuse that I have a long weekend coming up to put off work that needs to be done.  I got down to business...

...and I am DONE :).

I am collecting a project from my kids tomorrow that I will hopefully get graded over break.  Other than that, I am DONE.  I think only another teacher can appreciate the beauty of empty folders/boxes and understand what an incredible feeling it is to be completely and totally cleaned out of any kind of work that needs attention.  Sure, students will be turning in projects, and this moment is only fleeting.  However, the projects should be fun and easy to grade.  I already put the real work in on their rough drafts.

When I just had two sets of papers left tonight, I started to tell myself that maybe I could do them after school tomorrow or tomorrow night or... the thing is, I would have ended up staying up late on Sunday night to…

Day 339- AMA Performances

First, I have to clarify.  Tom and I ended up fast forwarding through just about all of the lackluster performances in tonight's awards show.  I am concerned about the state of music, the lack of meaningful lyrics, and the little attention that is paid to artistry these days.  I'm over the bodysuits and leotards and shock value and glitter.  I never caught Beiber fever.  I want my music back.

Luckily, there were two performances that entertained me.  One had me swaying in my seat, while the other gave me no choice but to jump to my feet.

The only performance that was truly exceptional was Kid Rock.  Man, that guy has soul!  He was absolutely everything that the rest of them were not and had everything that so much of music is lacking these days.  He wasn't wearing a crazy outfit, nor was he surrounded by thrusting dancers.  He wasn't synthesized or reliant on a catchy beat or tune.

Mr. Rock-- or should I call you Kid?-- you touched my heart by singing deeply from yours…

Day 338- Muffuletta

Unfortunately, my today
was not a very good football day.

The bright spot was our boy Denard
with his NCAA record-setting yards.

But the team's lackluster play
meant something else would make my day.

So, my Tom went out to get a
delicious McAllister's muffuletta!

This sandwich made me change my tune
and came not a minute too soon.

It made me want to sing a ballad-
the meat, the bread, the olive salad!

It was the perfect lighter dinner.
Perhaps it will help to make me thinner.

No, you say?  Don't be a dope.
Well, a girl can always hope.


Thank you, muffuletta, you made my day.

Day 337- Academic Lab

Academic Lab is something that I first learned of last year.  I'm not sure if it's something that they have everywhere now or if it's just in this area, but it's basically what you get when homeroom and study hall meet and have a baby.  It is a semi-short period at the end of the day where all kinds of things happen- announcements, homework, progress reports and checking grades, silent reading, catch up work, etc., etc., etc.

Ac Lab is a complete and total frenzy.  There are always a million things going on and  a million kids needing to go other places while a million others need to come see me.  The frenzy is compounded by the fact that I somehow ended up with an island of misfits of sorts in my room for that class.  My Ac Lab kids are kings and queens of missing assignments, absences, bus detentions, chattiness, broken limbs, trips to the nurse, and issues in general.  There are days when I have to tell them that if they are not bleeding or on fire, they should step…

Day 336- High School Friends

It's marathon grading night.  My kids are working on facebooks for characters in Flowers for Algernon.  Their rough drafts were due today, and we're going to the computer lab tomorrow to start to crank out the final drafts.  I gave myself a one day turn around in order to get in everything I want to do before Thanksgiving Break next week.  The good news is that I won't have to grade all of this over the weekend :).

The lukewarm news is that the blog must suffer a bit tonight.  Here's what I have time for.

After a truly satisfying yet extremely long day, I came home to a few pleasant surprises.  First, I received a card with the cutest little pictures of my godson.  We got lots of photos from his baptism and his first school picture and tons of sweetness.  I loved it (thanks, Annieka)!  Welcome to the refrigerator, Maks.

I also got a lovely message in my facebook inbox from another high school friend.  We aren't always the best about keeping in touch consistently (s…

Day 335- William and Kate

I know, I know... everyone else in the world is over it except for the tabloid journalists and me.  I'll keep this short and sweet.  Top 10, maybe? 

Top Ten Reasons I'm Sort of Kind of Excited About the Royal Engagement... so get over it ;)

10. I'm a sucker for a good love story.
9. I am even more of a sucker for weddings.
8. News stations have decided to pull out the old Lady Di and her adorable young sons footage again.
7. Kate is such a classic beauty with a classic duckling to swan to prince story.
6. Kate may be one half of a fairy tale, but she also seems as if she is her own woman.  You go, future    queen!
5. Did I mention how much I love love?  Divorces are highly publicized all the time.  Why not celebrate an engagement instead?
4. I just know Kate is going to become even more of a fashion plate.  What will she wear next?  The royal blue dress was a hit for sure.  Oooh, what about the wedding dress?  Don't even get me started.
3. Ohhhhh... the love story.  I…

Day 334- Gwenyth Paltrow

At long last, Glee is really back.  Thank goodness!  After a few lackluster episodes and Gleepeats recently, it was truly a magical show again tonight.  Ahh...

Gwenyth kicked off the show with one of the first cd worthy tracks of the season.  It is a song that gets my feet a tappin' and one that I just can't help but sing along to every single time I hear it.  It's a song whose catchy bee boppin' melody does not match it's bent of out shape lyrics.  Glee cleaned up this Cee Lo track a bit to the more radio friendly "Forget You."  It was so much fun that it made me believe that it could actually be nice to say "F you!" to someone else.  It was so much fun that I may have watched it more than once.  In fact, I may be watching it again as I type... oh, what fun!  I may be doing the dance routine along with them now... not that I have it memorized or anything... including the robot...

Sue was her usual terrific, witty, amazing self tonight.  Having …

Day 333- Apple Cake

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Trisha Yearwood, you did it again!

We've been lighting fall candles for the past few months because a. I am obsessed with fall and b. I love to have the delicious scents of pumpkin and apples and cinnamon wafting through our house.  Tonight the aromas are plentiful, and they have nothing to do with candles.  They're real!

It started with this...


Then there was a little of this.  Work it, spoon, work it.



Of course, there was a whole lot of this.  Don't spoil your appetite, Thomas.


Into the oven it went... that's when the delectable smells began to creep through the house.


Finally, voila!  It was ready to eat.  Just wait until I put on the special glaze once it cools :).




Trisha and I are pleased as punch to have made something so tasty from batter to bundt.  Tom may be slightly less pleased as all that batter settles in his stomach, but he's pleased just the same.

Thank you, apple cake, you made my day.


Day 332- Watch What Happens: Live

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Brace yourself for another embarrassing (ok, I know I should be ashamed, but I'm not at all...) reality television show confession.  I LOOOOOOOOOOVE me some Real Housewives.  I have been watching these series since the original OC ladies, and I have picked up all of the additional cities along the way.  I could list the reasons why for days, but today is really about my boy Andy Cohen and his Real Housewives aftershow, "Watch What Happens: Live."

The show takes place in the Bravo clubhouse.  As far as I can tell, this is a rowdy little studio in the corner of some building somewhere that is decorated like a bachelor's basement.  It fits the rowdy little host Andy Cohen perfectly.  Andy is hilarious, impeccably dressed, and usually at least somewhat intoxicated (and holding a cocktail in his hand for most/all of the show).  His guests include the housewives from the shows discussing their drama, Bravo realebrities (I think I might have just made that word up), and the…

Day 331- Ugly Win

An ugly win is-- well, ugly-- but it is also a win.  It's a W.  It's a check in the right column and a number added to the right side of the record.  It is not a loss.  It does not leave me sad on the couch.  As the Big Ten Network announcers spent their time kissing Purdue hiney this afternoon and applauding their moral victory, I was applauding our animal, appalling, awful, bad-looking,beastly,deformed,disfigured,foul, frightful,grisly,gross, grotesque, hard-featured,hideous, homely, horrid, ill-favored,loathsome, misshapen,monstrous, notmuchtolookat,plain, repelling,repugnant, repulsive, revolting, unbeautiful,uncomely,uninviting,unlovely,unprepossessing,unseemly,unsightly (thank you thesaurus.com) UGLY win.  Why?  Say it with me now... because it was a win!!!

Sure, we had more turnovers than touchdowns.  Yes, we still can't finish a game without a facemask penalty.  And the kicking.  Oh, the kicking.  It was absolutely dreadful.  Tom closed his eyes for one of them.

Here…

Day 330- Call Ahead Seating

Tom has been anxious to try the new Texas Roadhouse down the road for a long time.  We'd drive by it on the highway as it was being built, and he'd always say, "Do you think they're open yet?  Do you think they're open yet?"

We finally made it over there last Friday, and Tom's tailed wagged furiously as we pulled into the parking lot.  After two swoops around the lot, however, we still could not find a spot.  Plus, there was a whole slew of people waiting outside.  We ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings instead.

Do not fear... Tom persevered!  While we were deciding where to eat tonight, he had a fabulous idea.  If we were lucky, maybe... just maybe Texas Roadhouse would have call ahead seating, and we'd be able to give it the old college try tonight.  Their website confirmed this to be true.  Tom called, and we were off.

We found a parking spot after one swoop, and it was a close one at that.  We walked in through crowds of people (that's actually not…

Day 329- Hanging Index Card

I was out in the hall greeting students this morning, and I looked across the way into my colleague's classroom.  I spied something curious.  There was an index card on a string hanging down in the middle of the doorway at around average kid height.  I planned on asking Ms. L. what it was when I saw her, but I figured it out for myself first.

As I stood there watching, I saw a student walk right into the card.  He looked at it, turned around, and walked back to his locker.  This same thing was repeated with the next student who approached the classroom.  And the next.  And the next.  I heard one girl talking to herself as she turned.

"Oh yeah... we need index cards today! 

Then it all made sense.  Genius.

I got a real kick out of this all day long.  Between each class I'd rush out to stand and my door and watch the parade of forgetful students as they were slapped in the face with a reminder of what they needed for class... literally.  I'm totally going to have to ste…

Day 328- Doggie Dress Up

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A picture is worth a thousand words... three pictures are worth one day's blog.  These pictures speak for themselves (although I have provided some captions to speak for them as well).

Sup.  Go Blue!

Look-- I can touch my tongue to my nose just like my dad!

Um, did someone say no pants party? 
Tom was ditching his gym clothes for a shower tonight when he got an idea worthy of a six-year-old.  He decided that it would be funny to try his t-shirt on General.  I, of course, jumped on board immediately.  We've really never put General into any kind of clothing before, and we've never made him dress up for Halloween.  We let our son do his own thing, which means when we do pull stuff like this, he tolerates it.  He's such a nice little cooperater.
We literally got five straight minutes of laughter out of this one.  I believe that also equals five minutes of an ab workout (at least that's what my slightly sore stomach is telling me).  How I love my boys!
Thank you, doggie dre…

Day 327- Cee Cee*

Bad poetry time?  Hmm... ok.

Cee Cee is so nice in class,
with her hard work
she'll surely pass.

While other kids are causing riots
there she sits
all nice and quiet. 

Tonight while I showed Barnwell pride
I got to see
her other side.

This girl who keeps each sentence short
can run her very own
basketball court.

She dribbles, she shoots, she throws a great pass
is this really the girl
I see in class?

She's aggressive and she dominates,
to see her play
is something great.

She's like some kind of black and white cookie
or a lot of normal
with a little Snooki.

I like each and every side I see
of this wonderful girl,
the BA Cee Cee!

Thank you, Cee Cee, you made my day.

Day 326- Tylenol

Thanks for a little relief every four to six hours from this icky headache that has tried to dominate me.  We'll beat this thing, my tiny capsule friend!

Thanks (hopefully) for letting me get a good night's sleep to conquer this thing once and for all.

Thanks for being easy to swallow (literally) to make this pounding a little easier to swallow (figuratively).  See what I did there, Tylenol, see what I did?  I knew you would laugh along with me.

Seeing as I am now having a conversation with my medicine, I think it's probably time for bed.



Thank you, Tylenol, you made my day.

Day 325- Hymn and Homily

I made a few new choices about death and my funeral this morning.  Doesn't that sound like a cheery and perfect topic for a positivity blog?  Get excited.

Fr. Ryan has really been hitting it out of the park lately.  It seems as if we have had a lot of homilies surroundig the topic of death, but they are not depressing.  Father has a way of speaking about death that is interesting and sometimes even uplifting.  Today he focused more on the idea of heaven and whether or not we live as if we are ready to die.  He spoke about the fact that we all make up these stories about heaven to make ourselves feel better.  For example, he said we might make comments at a funeral like, "Grandma's up there baking cookies, happy as can be."  I'm most certainly guilty of this.

He went on to explain that heaven is not about the cookies.  We don't have up there what we had down here in terms of things.  What exists beyond us and beyond this world are the things that make us who w…

Day 324- Two-point Conversions

The pain of five turnovers, a bunch of silly penalties spread out over a few games, and a couple of disappointing losses was eased today, thanks in large part to two very important two-point conversions. 

When our game against Illinois went into overtime today, I began to have an extreme physical reaction.  My fingers and toes went cold, and I was shaking.  I wasn't sure how I was going to survive another heart stopping game.  You can only imagine how this was magnified when the game required a second overtime... then a third.  I was scared that the next time I looked into a mirror, a head of gray hair and a face chock full of wrinkles would be staring back at me.

Thank goodness for the rules!  In the third overtime, a team must go for two points if they score a touchdown.  Michigan was up first, and- hallelujah- they scored!  Tom and I were jumping up and down and high fiving like crazy.  The dog spent some quality time outside because the whole scene was entirely too much for h…

Day 323- Teacher Work Day

I adore my students.  I really do.  However, it's quite nice to occasionally get some time at school without them.  Enter Teacher Work Day.

The Setting-I spent most of the day in my classroom by myself (but with the door open, of course).  I developed the most soothing and wonderful playlist filled with James Morrison, Maxwell, Howie Day, and other take it easy kind of favorites.  If you are not familiar with James Morrison, you must immediately get yourself some James Morrison lovin'.  I would suggest starting with "This Boy."

My Accomplishments-Boards cleaned.  Desk completely and totally cleared off and cleaned off.  Many papers filed and bookshelf organized.  Informal department meeting.  Mentor meeting.  Much needed lesson planning and grading done or in progress.  Possible novel selected for next semester/year.  Lunch eaten casually, rather than scarfed quickly. Other small yet important activities.

Major Accomplishment-I took a deep breath.  Although I only got …

Day 322- Google Maps

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I saw this on the facebook pages of a couple of friends, and I finally decided that I had to try it.

‎1. Go to Google maps.
2. Go to directions
3. Type Japan as the start location.
4. Type China as the end location.
5. Go to direction #43.

I'm not going to tell you what I found because I don't want to ruin the surprise.  You're definitely going to need to try this one for yourself :).

I am still chuckling and chortling like mad.  (I also decided that I use "giggle" too much and looked up some synonyms.  I think I still like giggle better.) 



Thank you, Google maps, you made my day.

Day 321- Poetry Centers

As I was poking around last night looking for ideas to enrich a poetry lesson I had planned for today, I felt inspired.  This led me to scratch my original plan and to stay up until midnight putting together poetry centers for the kids to work their way through today.  I worked really hard to put everything together and felt as if I was at peak creativity.  I really hoped that my students would reward my efforts with a day of quality learning and maybe even a little fun.

They did not let me down.  YES!!

One thing I can't get enough of is overhearing my students talking about the things they're learning about when they don't even know I'm listening.  As I circulated through the five centers, I heard kids discussing figurative language and reading their poetry to each other.  They were helping one another with directions and following directions.  Wow!

Although many of them wouldn't admit it to me, I know that a lot of them had fun.  When the academic conversations t…

Day 320- Jamie*

Because of tonight's Gleepeat (a Glee episode repeat, obviously), I had to lean on some other thing to make my day.  Thankfully, I had just that thing.

Jamie was instantly endearing from the moment I met her.  At first, I couldn't explain why exactly, but she was one of those kids that you just like.  Ever since our first day together, I have found that the more I learn about her and get to know her, the more I like her.  That's not always the case with eighth grade girls. 

Many things about Jamie make her a less than typical eighth grader.  She has a sister in the building, a blond toothpick whose good grades come somewhat easily.  Jamie works incredibly hard to earn decent grades... and to be blond... and to be thin.  While her hair may not exactly be golden, her heart most certainly is.  I'm not sure that I have any students who try harder or do more with what they have.  She always always always does her work to 100% of her capabilities, she always always always s…

Day 319- Women of SNL

I hung out with a bunch of old friends tonight- Molly, Cheri, Tina, Amy, Rachel, Nora, Ana, Julia, Laraine, and Kristen.  We all played and laughed and enjoyed one another like it was the ol' glory days again, and it was great to be back.  They were reunited for a special evening to entertain me on a "Women of SNL" special, and I was back on my couch laughing my buns off.

I used to be glued to the screen every Saturday night just waiting to see what they would think of next.  These women were absolute icons to me (and still are in many ways).  They were fearless and hilarious and I felt as if they had the most glamorous and wonderful jobs in the world.  For once, the women were valued for more than their looks (although many of them aren't too bad to look at either).  They are bright and witty and talented and confident and all-around amazing entertainers and women.

Tonight's show included highlights from the past thirty-five years of incredible women.  I got to …