Sunday, October 25, 2009

So I wanted to make breakfast burritos this morning...

I walked into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and started mentally going over what I would need to make them. Eggs...check, cheese...check, sausage...check, tortillas...ugh oh. No tortillas! I started to pout and told Kevin that I couldn't make burritos because of lack of tortillas. He asked if the sausage was already cooked. Huh? I was confused. I said no. He said, "well how are you going to cook it?" This is the point where I turned to point at the stove and saw this...



Ugh! I still do not have an oven or stove which in my sleepy stupor I completely forgot. If you'll remember, we had the great kitchen fire of 2009 where a great cake recipe turned into this...



Our oven hasn't been cooking correctly for a while and the cake was just the final straw. Kevin took the oven to a repair shop in town early last week to try and get it repaired. Friday it STILL was not ready. They MAY work on it Monday afternoon. Needless to say it has been microwaved frozen dinners or eating out for us this week and I'm sick of it.

I'm really considering replacing ALL of our kitchen appliances. We bought them brand new in 2006 and the fridge has broken twice, now the oven, and the microwave will only work on one power level. Once we fix everything I want to list the range, refrigerator, dishwasher (from previous owner), and microwave for sale. I've been trying to look at the cost of appliances though and they are just so expensive. I really want stainless steel appliances but the cost! So while I'm moping about the cost of appliances I see that Mckmama and Stephanie are reviewing gorgeous refrigerators that they were given for free! PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE ME A REFRIGERATOR! I really want to get the fridge that they got but I'm sure it is out of my price range. They are offering the chance to win a $200 gift card to best buy and I'm going to enter. Head on over and enter yourself AND you can donate an appliance to me if you feel like it. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teachers of the world...I need your opinion!

I very rarely read the newspaper but I read the news on the web constantly. I saw this article today and it really made my blood boil. I don't see how they think they saved 250,000 teaching jobs. Are all the millions of students in the world going to go up in smoke over the summer? Are all teachers going to be magically able to teach 80 students at a time now instead of 30? I thought they were going on and on about how all teachers are incompetent and need to be completely overhauled but now we're so great that we could afford to lose that many of us and still teach all the learners in the world? They can say that the stimulus saved jobs all they want but it doesn't matter. Sure, lay off 250,000 teachers because of budgets and pretend like the remaining would be able to handle what it left. It wouldn't happen. It isn't physically possible. I hate it when they make ridiculous claims in order to make themselves look good. That is just my opinion but I'm more than willing to listen to others who disagree. What do y'all think? I'm going to copy and paste the article below in case the link stops working...



White House: Stimulus Spending Saved 250,000 Teaching Jobs
Report concludes that money sent to states paid teacher salaries.

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration says spending aimed at boosting the economy has created or saved 250,000 teaching or other education jobs this year.

A White House report released Monday concludes that money from a $787 billion stimulus package has helped states fill budget gaps that would have cost teachers their jobs in school districts and public universities across the country.

The 250,000 figure is significantly higher than the 30,000 jobs the administration said last week were created or saved by businesses that won federal contracts under the stimulus law. It also represents an early preview of jobs numbers being announced in two weeks associated with education spending and federal grants awarded under the stimulus effort.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sonogram

Ok so I spoke a little about female issues in my last post. I called my nurse practitioner's (Kelly) office today and spoke with the main nurse since Kelly wasn't there today. The nurse was concerned and scheduled me to come in for a sonogram. The 22nd is the soonest they could get me in without me having to miss work. I was worried about the situation but her reaction scared me a little bit more. I was hoping she was going to tell me that it was just normal as my body adjusts to changes in meds and whatnot but no such luck. If the pain becomes unbearable or if the symptoms worsen I'm supposed to call as soon as possible. Please pray that the symptoms let up because they are making my days at work very miserable and that after the sonogram we will learn everything is ok. I'm really hoping it is nothing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How things have been...

Well I know posts have been very sporadic & random on here lately and I'm sorry about that. Things at school have been really going remarkably well. My largest class has 19 students. I teach around 72 students each day which the is smallest number of students I've ever had. I make 1 set of lesson plans every week and now that Ms. Allen (another BCIS teacher) is back it goes much more quickly. We actually sat down and planned out the entire month of October on the 1st. Grading has me a little swamped but I'm definitely doing better than my first year. Grading in BCIS courses is so subjective. There isn't always one correct answer so sometimes it can take a VERY long time. Oct 2nd was the last week of the 1st six weeks and I was so proud because I actually had all my grading done and my grades verified before I left school that day. I have never before not graded all weekend at the end of a grading period.

I spent so much time on procedures at the beginning of the year that class goes really smoothly. My students walk in immediately get to work quietly on the focus activity...I introduce the lesson...we practice together and then they pick up their assignment and work quietly. It almost seems to good to be true! Sometimes I can't believe it is my classroom. Now that is my BCIS classes. My credit recovery classes are not quite the same. I am basically just administrating & grading self paced computer based courses. I have a few students that will do anything to get out of doing their work. One period is extremely small with only 3 students and last week we had a little wild day. I won't say exactly what happened but I will let you know that I walked the entire class down to visit the principal last Thursday and then Friday the students that were there behaved much better.

The district's administration walks through classrooms monthly in our town. I wrote in a previous post how I had my first administrative walk through with one of the district's assistant superintendents a few weeks ago and she gave me a really great appraisal! I was so excited! I was even more excited when I received my first paycheck on the 23rd! I haven't received a real paycheck since MAY so it was a welcome relief. I received a few small checks for my summer work but nothing substantial. I was thrilled when I realized that my bring home pay was literally twice the amount than my bring home pay from Eden was. Don't get me wrong...there are other school districts that make much more than we do but it is still much more than I've made so far. Kevin and I have been using every penny to pay towards the debt we acquired while I was making so little at Trinity.

Grad school is still going okay. This semester has a lot of time consuming projects but I wouldn't say it is the most difficult stuff I've ever done. I am required to post every assignment to a website I created and that can be a little blah but I guess it could be worse.

Lacy and Dusty wanted us to go on a cruise with them at Christmas but Kevin and I decided we really need to pay for some other things first because everything is breaking around here. At one point my laptop, the oven, microwave, elliptical, lawn mower, and my wedding ring were broken. Now somethings are partly working...some are completely out of commission. My oven has been on the fritz for several months and as I said before it finally caught on fire a few weeks ago. The fire was contained inside and put itself out but it smoked up the whole house and now will not bake anything. You can heat things up but it will not maintain temperature to bake. We cannot change the power settings on the microwave anymore. The elliptical now makes a terrible thumping noise when you try to use it. The lawn mower has been completely out of commission for several months and since we have just over a half acre lot...we have been having to borrow our neighbors riding lawnmower. The laptop I use for my grad classes hit its last leg last month so Kevin bought me a new one. I am now the proud owner of a Macbook Pro and I love it. When it rains...it pours. Obviously the most important things are getting fixed first. My poor elliptical is sitting dormant until it can be fixed. It has warranty but I think there is a copay so it is waiting its turn. We have to get a lawn mower next but I'm hoping we can wait until they go on sale in the off season.

I have been having some bothersome female issues in the last month. One day was so bad I almost had to leave school. I'm going to call my doctor to ask what is going on because one of the symptoms started again last night. I already worry so much about the problems I have and the effects it will have on our ability to have children...issues like this make me just scared to death. I'm scheduled to go back to the doctor in Midland in November. I have been desperately trying to continue losing weight before then but it hasn't been happening. Eating out really hasn't been helping. I have days when I just get so down on our situation. I hear and see more and more people being able to plan exactly when they will be having children and it happening so quickly. I get so frustrated sometimes because people will say..."we can't do that next August because I will be pregnant then." Even Lacy has started saying things like that and as happy as I would be for her it also is heartbreaking. If I thought that way I would spend my entire life not doing anything and being disappointed. It just isn't that easy for us.

Kevin is busy with school and work. He works all day and then goes to school from 4-8 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. He is on track to graduate with his associates next summer. We don't know if he'll continue on to his bachelors or not. I guess we'll decide when that time comes. I'm so proud of him for working so hard. I think this semester has been much better for him than the summer was. His online class is not nearly as hard as the previous ones have been.

My parents and brother enjoyed their cruise and Justin has started at the fire department. I think he is really enjoying it so far and I'm so proud of him. I miss getting to spend time with my parents since I'm working so much but I know its a necessity.

Overall I'm really tired but happy. I cannot believe this school year has been going so well. I really don't know if I'm better at what I do or if the kids that much different. Lets just hope the rest of the year continues on the same path. Until next time...

Meal Kits

I have been having a hard time finding time for grocery shopping since school started. Between spending 10 hours at work a day and then doing grad school homework at night and all weekend we have been eating out WAY more than we need to. That is not good for our wallet or our waistline. There are some night when even though I have the energy to cook...I don't have anything to cook and our house is at least 15 minutes away from the nearest Walmart (we live on the edge of town opposite BOTH Walmarts and HEB).

One night after updating my facebook status about picking up take out when I was heading home at 9 pm, I got an email from my 2nd cousin. She wanted to let me know that she had been making and selling meal kits for the last 2 years and I should try it out. Basically she prepares a variety of main course meals and sells 10 meals for $90. Each meal serves 2-3. We have a similar company in town that is called "Preppers" and I've wanted to try it. It does basically the same thing but is much more expensive so Kevin and I decided to order from my cousin this week. We picked 10 items off the menu and we got them today. It is such a relief to know that dinner is taken care of next week. It ends up costing about $3 per serving. The meals can be frozen so we'll have the option to save some and pull them out when it is really busy. They have the directions for heating written on the top of each one so Kevin can even pull one out and start it heating when I'm not home yet. We have a wide variety of meals to choose from. I'll list what we bought below.

Gumbo with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage
Grilled Chicken Roll-ups (Chicken stuffed with chicken & bacon then grilled)
White Chicken Chili
Parmesan Chicken with Spaghetti & Marinara
Ham & Potato Casserole
Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles
King Ranch Casserole
Enchilada Casserole
Chicken Spaghetti
Cheeseburger Roll-Up

I'm sad because I really do love to cook and can prepare several of the meals we purchased but I just haven't had as much time to menu plan and shop lately much less cook. I'm thankful for the opportunity to purchase these every once in a while to keep us stocked in a pinch but I'm really hoping that as I get better at work (ie quicker & better routine) that we can get back to menu planning and cooking because I really miss it.