Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun tag!

Becky tagged me in this game. The instructions are to add the first thing that comes to mind when you read the starter.

*I am not ready for Christmas yet!
*I want Sarah to not give me a hard time about what to wear every day.
*I have absolutely everything I need.
*I miss my grandfather.
*I fear that something terrible will happen to one of my children.
*I hear Christmas music.
*I search for stuff I've misplaced in my house!
*I wonder if my children will grow up and marry and have their own families.
*I regret gaining so much weight.
*I love being a wife, mom, and teacher.
*I forgive my brother for ruining Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny for me in one feld swoop...but I still remember that he did it!
*I ache for a full body massage.
*I always save my favorite item on my plate to eat last.
*I try to be proactive.
*I seem bossy and self-assured, but I'm really just impulsive.
*I know a lot about middle school kids.
*I feel like I'll never get caught up on the dang laundry.
*I dance with my children, in the kitchen while we laugh.
*I dream about being debt free and being able to help others who truly need help.
*I give my students money if they need it for lunch.
*I listen to all kinds of music.
*I sing a lot! Even make talking into music.
*I laugh at Asheid, CJ, Caleb, Sarah, Greg, BJ, Kelly, and lots of others!
*I can't stand mopping.
*I cry when I get really angry and I hate that about myself.
*I sleep like a dang ROCK.
*I am relieved to be finished with school.
*I see a messy house.
*I need to take my laundry to the laundry mat and have someone come clean the rest of my house while I'm there!
*I should start going to the gym again.

I tag you girl and hope you don't hate me for tagging you! :)

I also wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Door

If you ever wondered how great of a job I have, let me give you a hint. I have one of the best teammates EVAR! This morning when I got to my classroom, this was on my door:

This TOTALLY made my day! She put little stars on the right end of the poster that have comments on them like...

*You did it!

*You finished!

*You are no longer a graduate student!

*You make more money now!

*You rock my face off!

*You can put all that on your business card!

*You are now a Master's Degree Holder!

*Whoa! WOW!

Who has the best job??? I do! I do!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


So I don't even have a clue how long it's been since I updated this blog! But it's time.

I am still loving teaching. My team went on a field trip yesterday to Camp Thunderbird, where the counselors taught us about the soil, aquatic life and cultures. It rained ALL day and there was only one part of the day where we were inside. But the kids had a blast and we (the teachers) did too. I LOVE getting to be away from school with my's way more relaxed and they get to really be themselves. It's amazing how well they always behave when we're away from school, especially considering that they often are NOT well behaved at school. I really enjoyed yesterday!

The other really big news is that, unless I really screwed up my exam, I will be graduating from Winthrop next Thursday, December 18. I will graduate with a Masters in Middle Level Math. I'm waiting to change my email signature until after graduation so that it will be official, but I get to put M.Ed. by my name! I'm a little excited about it if you can't tell.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My students

I took some photos a while back of my students. They are really cool kids. Lots of them HATE having their pictures made, but they let me this once. I don't have pictures of ALL of them, but would like to get them posted before Christmas...I guess we'll see won't we?

They, along with my own children, have my heart! I love my job!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An exercise in patriotism

Did you vote? Are you registered? I have many friends and family who LOVE talking politics, but I'm not one of them. However, I do believe that Americans have been given an amazing gift with our voting rights. We can go vote. We actually have a say.

I waited for an hour to vote today. Standing right around me in line were...a young family, mother expressing how she's on welfare but is trying really hard to get off, a man about my age who was obviously successful-he was on the phone a lot as he was waiting and from what I heard, it sounds like he has a landscape business, but I'm not sure. There was an African American doctor who was taking his lunch time to come vote. There was a lady there who is now an American citizen but who came here from the Philippines. Just behind me there was an African American lady who must be about my mom's age. She and I struck up a conversation and she was shocked that I teach, mother/wife, and go to grad school. She also was upset with the people who came to the wrong precinct to vote...I really thought she was funny!

My point is this...if you are registered and haven't voted, there's still 2 hours and 45 minutes until the polls close so get off your rear and go. If you are not registered to vote, but are of age to register, you need to be very careful if you decide to complain about our have chosen not to participate in the process, which is your way to "have your say."

Go register...go vote! We need you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I walked!

Well, the Avon Breast Cancer Walk was this past weekend in Charlotte. I raised the $1800 and walked with my four teammates. It was so great! We had sore feet and tired legs pretty quickly, but wow, what a weekend. There were over 1300 people who walked this weekend, and together we raised 2.8 million dollars for breast cancer research. One lady who walked this weekend has walked 98 Avon Walks. She has single-handedly raised over $1 million for breast cancer research. She has also walked over 5000 miles. Can you believe that??? I'm whining about 32 and she's trucked over 5000. WOW!

I did go to work today and will still be going tomorrow...moving around at work helps with the stiffness. My students helped me raise the money, so they were pretty excited about what I did this weekend! I love my students!

I'll be posting some photos of the walk soon...visit again soon.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Finally settling in...

Well, we have about two and a half weeks left in the first nine weeks and I feel like I'm finally settling in with my students. Is that bad? There are so many things that have come into play this year which seem to hamper the building of relationships with my students. That is one of the things I love about my job...getting to know these children...the precious, the not-so-precious, the smart, the popular, the struggling, the unparented, the unlovely...I truly enjoy getting to know them all. Our schedule this year a word, I don't have time to spend relating. I have also never taught math on a four person team...this means that I have about twice as many students as I've had before and it just takes me longer to get to know them.

Me having moved to a new school makes it a little different as well. I'm not only trying to develop relationships with new students, but new faculty/staff as well...sometimes the adult relationships are harder to develop than the student/teacher ones.

So almost seven weeks into this school year, I'm beginning to feel like some relationships are forming, and I'm finally feeling like a decent teacher again.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Disney Pics

I mentioned yesterday that we had a great time at Disney World. For Greg and I, watching the kids have fun was just as much fun as doing the stuff ourselves! Caleb and Sarah both loved being there. Every time we rode a roller coaster, before we got to the end of the ride, they were both screaming "I wanna do it again!!!!"
We arrived around 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday the 17th. We slept in a bit and then left our hotel for Epcot.
We rode the bus from our hotel to Epcot...we had to stop into the gift shop at the hotel on the way to the bus, and the kids went crazy!!! They had some really great stuff in there...this is one of my favorite pics, and I took it on the first morning in the gift shop at All Star Movies Resort.
The next day we went to the Magic Kingdom. We did Space Mountain first...and second...and third! "Let's go again!" was definitely the phrase of the week. There were so many photo opportunities at Magic Kingdom but these are 3 of my favorites.

If you look VERY closely at this photo, right in front of the man in the red shirt is Sarah. She is in a white shirt...she HAD to have her picture taken at Cinderella's Castle!

Animal Kingdom was our third stop and it was my favorite! I know the kids loved it and I think Greg did too. Exhibition Everest is a fantastic roller takes you very high, then fast for a bit, then backward, then forward again, really fast and take a HUGE drop!!! It's awesome!

The kids were waiting in line and Caleb was being silly...had to snap a picture!

The last full day was Caleb's 10th birthday! We went to Hollywood Studios to celebrate. We had a great time! One of the highlights of the day was our lunch at a drive in theatre...Sci-Fi theatre. We actually sat in a car to eat. Sarah's favorite was DEFINITELY Tower of Terror...I think she rode it three times!

Definitely a great time was had by all!!! Can't wait to go back!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Think PINK!!!

Hi everyone! I know, it's been a long time since I updated and I'm sorry. I've been very busy! We had a blast at Disney and I have some really good pictures! I'll try to post some soon.

The biggest item on my radar lately has been fundraising for my Avon Breast Cancer Walk. I don't know how many of you remember this but I blogged about it several months ago. I will be joining several thousand people in Charlotte, NC on October 25 and 26 to walk a total of 39 miles. I'm on a team of five women and I've really enjoyed getting to know them through all this fundraising and getting prepared for the walk.

I'm much closer to my goal of $1800 than I was several months ago...I think I'm close to $1000. I really would like to be able to go to the walk for check in and have all my funds raised, rather than hope that someone will give me any extra they may have. At this point in the game, I only need 32 people to donate $25.00 and I will reach my goal!

Please visit my Avon Walk site and consider donating. It's very easy...just go to Once on the site you should be able to easily find the button that says "make a donation." Just click on that button and enter the information needed. You should receive a receipt via email for your tax purposes. I am so grateful for everyone who has already donated! You have no idea how much this means to me...after my step-mom's survival of breast cancer, and my scare last spring, the effort to find a cure is more critical to me than ever before.
The walk is fast approaching and any help I can get with fundraising would be fabulous!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Look out Disney...Here we come

We're leaving this afternoon, as soon as I can get home from school. We will drive into the night and then get up tomorrow morning and hit the parks! This vacation has been a long time coming for our family and I think the kids are old enough to truly enjoy it!!!

I've had plenty of people ask if they could go with us...including a couple of students! :) However, our suitcases are STUFFED, so there's really no room!

I'll be trying to post some photos next week!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 15, 2008

We're headed out!!!

So I'm here today and tomorrow but then I'm taking all my personal leave days at once and my family and I are going to Disney World. We haven't been as a family since Caleb was 9 months old! We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!

Sarah hit the floor running this morning, jumped on my bed and screamed "WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD TOMORROW!" This is a perfect explanation of how we all feel!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Updated the Blog a bit

I visited another blog that's absolutely beautiful and got the idea to change mine a bit. Hope it doesn't shock anyone too much! I love the colors. I think they suit me a little better than the milder greens and oranges I had previously.

I've photographed my students, but have to be sure their parents have signed off giving permission for their pictures to be published online. I really am growing to like these kids fast! Can't wait to show them to you all.

We're cruising into the third full week of school, which I think means that progress reports are going home soon. That's kinda bad because I don't have enough grades to send home. Gotta get crackin' on that!

Caleb will be 10 years old in less than 2 weeks!!!! I can't believe it. I don't feel like it's been 10 years since I met that precious boy! What's really cool about this birthday, though, is that we will be at DISNEY WORLD when he turns 10! What an awesome birthday party!!!!!!!!

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gotta update...

I need to get a new photo of myself and put here...I may try to cut and paste one from my reunion. If you look closely at this one you'll see that the charm on my necklace is a Raider. That's the Rawlinson Road mascot and now I'm a Wildcat. Gotta find a good wildcat slide to wear on that silver necklace.

We have the day off today because of Labor Day, but my mind has been on school all day. I can't wait to get back tomorrow and really start teaching. I'm going to try to sweet talk Greg and see if he'll let me use his laptop to type up my plans. I've got to do some reassigning of seats on my power point I use for a seating chart, so I'll have to use his computer to do that.

I'm really struggling with my ADHD right now...I'm trying to figure how to raise money for the Breast Cancer walk at the same time I'm trying to come up with all these great lesson plans to share with my other 7th grade math teachers, while I'm planning my family vacation, while I'm trying to also spend quality time with our friends.

I will be taking my camera to school to take pictures this week. Hope I can get them posted!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're feelin' the love!

We've been in school now for a solid week. I usually have a bead on my students within a day or two and begin to form relationships with them quickly. I told Rolla the other day that I was frustrated..."I don't know if it's just this group of kids, or that it's a different school, or that I'm still out of sorts from moving, but I'm not gelling with these kids." She agreed. "I think it's the kids. They're very closed...difficult to read."

Well, we've been with them long enough to realize who can and can't be seated near each other, so that was what happened in all four of our classes yesterday...we moved students around. Then, BOOM! today. They opened boy who has not said ONE SINGLE WORD, actually turned around and BEGAN a conversation with Rolla. A girl who has had nothing but disdain for me, sidled up to me and started talking to me, because I found out who her "crush" is. She even wrote a note...granted it was just her name written over and over with the crush's name, but it was something.

One girl who was a major pill was moved in 3 of the 4 rooms and has absolutely BLOSSOMED. She is actually doing the warm ups and I thought she was going to EXPLODE if I didn't call her name to answer a question.

I found out that one boy who has been giving us all a hard time has been being cared for by members of my I have a little bit of leverage to talk to him. I did today...I asked him to help me carry some stuff to my room and told him what I know. I explained how I expected him to shape up...I know he can.

Well, today Rolla and I both said that we are much more content...seems like we generally have a good group of kids.


Friday, August 22, 2008

First Friday!

Well, we made it through the first three days of school. It's been so nice! Saluda Trail is a newer school (opened in 1999) and my classroom is so big! Generally my students have been very nice and seem eager to learn. I am, however, more exhausted than I've been in a very long time!

On the first day, in the first class, I had a student pull out a battery operated pencil sharpener and start sharpening his pencil while I was talking. I told him to stop and then thought to myself "is that for real? Did that really just happen?"

Then today, while my team mates and I were on lunch duty, a boy walked up to the canteen door to place his order. My team mate Lilli looked at him and said (REALLY LOUD) "Excuse me!!!!! Crack KILLS, so pull up those pants. My eyes are burning! I don't get paid enough to see that!" I almost spit my food all over the place! Maybe you had to be there, but I thought it was really funny!

Hope you're all having a good school year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just one more day

I'm in my room today...planning to stay here all day! I have a bunch of stuff to do, not the least of which is to get stuff on the walls and assign seats for students who will be here tomorrow. Is it possible that I have let the summer get away from me like this?

Well, at least this one thing holds true...where ever I go, I can take Pavarotti with me! I can't wait to start answering questions about this's posted right beside my desk.

I've already had one young lady ask me why I didn't take him down and put up someone more desirable. I know...I'm weird that way.

Please say a prayer that I don't implode before tomorrow morning. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


This week is always difficult for me. Every single year I say something to Greg like "I really can't figure out why I'm so cranky this week, but everything is getting on my nerves and the kids are really driving me nuts!" To which he responds "You're like this every year. The week before school starts you're always cranky. You always say things like 'I can't figure out why I'm cranky' and beg me to just put you out of your misery." We had that conversation today...we went to the pool after church. I was sitting at the pool thinking of how many things I have to finish doing before Wednesday morning. I was feeling sorry for myself that this was the last day I was going to get to go sit out at the pool. I was irritated because I've fallen right back into the pattern of saving all the laundry for the weekend. I was remembering how I really don't have plans yet for the first three days of school and that although I'm totally comfortable teaching math, the beginning stuff really stresses me out!

That thought is what spurred the next thought...what if I can't teach them???? What if I forget everything I know and when I start talking they (the students) think that I am speaking Russian or something? How will I do this???? Why did I choose teaching? Why didn't I choose a career that DOESN'T have quite this impact on my tomorrow??? OH MY GOODNESS!

I hope this is the closest I ever get to implosion! I can't take it...I hate this last week before school! And EVERY SINGLE YEAR I say that I will have it all together before next year starts and will know exactly what I'm teaching those first few days. And every single year, I do this very same thing.

I'm in the place where I want another week to get ready, but I also just want it to get here already! UGH!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to school again...

The kids and I went back to school shopping today. I spent about $100 on their supplies. I ran into one of my friends there. She asked me "Don't you ever wonder why we have to spend so much money on supplies for our kids when we send them to public school?!" She was obviously frustrated and I understand her frustration. I have to spend money on supplies for my public schoolers too.

The difference, though, between my friend and myself is that I am also in the public school but from the other side. I am a teacher who requests those supplies from parents, and here's the reason. I will have a budget of about $200 that I can use for any and all supplies that I need for my classroom this year. This includes buying my own copy paper and any other supplies I want to have for my students.

Please realize that as teachers, we are expected to be able to provide children with challenging, thought provoking, real life lessons. We are expected to provide them with lessons on how to behave at school, in public, at home. We are expected to practically raise some children. I will teach a total of about 100 students this year, for 36 weeks, on a budget of $200.

Please don't be upset. It is difficult to do all that we want to do with such a limited budget. Ask your public school teacher what might be on his/her wish list...more often than you might realize what they have on their wish list is as simple as a bottle of hand sanitizer or a multi-pack of kleenex. Occassionally they may ask for candy. They may ask for you to bake something and send in. This is only because we just can't do it all ourselves. We can't afford it, nor can we do it all as one person.

There's my mini-sermon for this week.

Have a great beginning of school! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The man, the car, and the kindness

I have a story to tell you...please refrain from leaving a "lecture" comment until you read the entire story.

Yesterday I had a fairly crappy morning. I ran multiple errands with no makeup and hair that had been washed but not dried or brushed. If you know me, you know how big it is that I even considered leaving the house with no makeup and no hair-do.

So anyway, I was on my way from dropping Caleb off at baseball camp to my mom's to help her edit a paper Woody wrote. As I turned off of India Hook onto Ebinport I almost hit a car that was sitting right at the turn of the intersection. If you know anything about the traffic in RH you know that this particular intersection is pretty busy. This car was in a really, really bad place. And the man who was driving the car was out of the car with the hood up, the driver door open and kind of laying half in/half out the door looking under the dashboard.

I passed him, drove about 20 yards, and said to Sarah, "I need to help him, Sarah. But I really don't want to help him." See, I had been really griping and fussing about 30 seconds earlier about all the crap I had to do, etc. Anyway, I pulled into the school parking lot, made Sarah get out of her car seat and come lock the door and walked back to the man and his car.

I asked if he needed help. He stood up and said "She just quit on me. She's got a brand new batt'ry. The speedo dropped down, the 'lectric stopped, and she just quit on me right at the light." (You've got to say all that in a really fantastic British accent! Found out he's from the middle of England).

I suggested that he put his car in neutral and I help him push it into the school parking lot, to which he said "That might be a lovely idea...this is a rather bad spot to be seated." So we commence to push...easy pushing, I thought. We only pushed the car about 20 yards and into the school parking lot where he closed the door and stopped to catch his breath.

I asked if I could call someone for him. He said "Well, if you don't mind, you could give a lift to my destination. I drive a disabled lady and I'm on the way to her place. It's only down at the next light and take a left." So for a milli-second I freaked out. I'm female, in my nice car with my beautiful daughter and this man is asking for a ride. OH MY WORD!!! What do I do???? I say ok...that's what I do.

I call my mom and say "I've come upon a man who's car has died and I'm giving him a lift to his next stop. I should be there in about 15 minutes." My mom didn't know that I was on my way over...I just called her to let someone know. She got the hint.

So the man got in my car, I drove him less than one mile and dropped him at the place he was headed. He was a very kind gentleman, and extremely thankful for the ride, etc. He talked to Sarah while in the car, and we discussed possible reasons his car may have died...I'm fairly sure that his alternator is bad and the people where he bought his "batt'ry" should have tested it too, but didn't.

As soon as he got out of the car, Sarah and I had the following conversation:

S: That was REALLY nice of you, Mommy!

M: Yes, but I shouldn't have done that. I didn't think it through, Sarah.

S: Why? I'd want somebody to do that for us!

M: I know, Sarah, I would too, but I took a really big risk putting a stranger in my car, period. But then I did it with my beautiful daughter in the car too! I wasn't thinking. What I should've said was "Sir, I'm sorry your car is broken and please don't be upset by this, but I'm not comfortable driving you. I will be happy to call anyone for you...a taxi, a tow service, Triple A, and I'll wait with you if you'd like, but just not drive you anywhere."

I went on to say that when Sarah is able to drive she should NEVER, EVER do anything like that. It's not ok to drive strangers. We can be nice and helpful, but it really was not a smart thing that I did. Don't our children learn from our EXAMPLE? Actions speak louder than words, right??? Oh well, I guess I blew that lesson. Then I called mom to say we were on the way and fine.

Now, I know you think this story should be over, but I've more to say. It was 100 degrees in Rock Hill yesterday. When I decided to stop, it was because I could see that this man was at least my dad's age, and he would more than likely have been hurt. His car was in a terrible place so he was at risk of being hit and injured, then there was also the risk of heat related illness. During all of this, there were at least 50 people driving past us. Probably half of them were men younger than 45. Now, here's a man in his 60s, sweating, pushing a car, and a chick in flip flops and a pink t-shirt pushing too and not one other single person considered stopping!

I thought about writing a letter to the editor of our local paper expressing my disgust with people in our society, but I know that it probably won't change much, and it would just earn a name for me in my small community of some stupid woman who put her life and the life of her daughter at risk.

I really and truly believe in random acts of kindness! My day immediately got better! I was in such a great mood after helping that man! Really just listening to him talk made me happy, but doing what I did gave me a really great high. I am NOT soliciting nice comments, or any comments, really. I'm trying to get this message out....please be nice. Try being nice to everyone. We really need a better place to live...and I believe that just changing our attitudes about being nice and helpful and kind to the people we share the earth with will make it a better place to live! the story's over. Carry on! :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ed Brown's Rodeo

Well, Saturday I took Sarah out to take pictures of her in her cowgirl outfit, on my mom's horse, Silly.

After this we set off to the rodeo.

We were SO excited...all of us, Mom, Woody, Sarah and I all were happy to be going. The rodeo was in Blacksburg...I do believe it was as far as it could be from Rock Hill. It seemed like it took us about 3 hours to get there, when in reality I think it was about 40 minutes! :) I snapped some pictures of Mom, Sarah, and Woody just as we got there.

So just about the time we decided to go pay our money and watch the rodeo, this is what we saw.

I did a little snooping around and discovered that the arena for the rodeo was a big, oval shaped field surrounded by large metal bleachers. The sky continued to look ominous and I called Greg and the Brians to have them turn the T.V. they were watching to the Weather Channel. They said that a severe thunderstorm was over Spartanburg, headed toward Blacksburg and should be passed after about another hour. We sat and contemplated what to do for quite a while. We finally decided not to stay after I caught this on camera.

We wanted to avoid sitting our rear ends on metal bleachers when this was going on around us. We were VERY disappointed and didn't make it home until after 10:00. We did have fun though, just driving there and back. We plan to try and go to the next one coming close to Rock Hill, which I think will be toward the end of August.

This is where we ended up when we came back to Rock Hill! It was a good plan B! :)

Oh well, maybe we'll get to see Ed Brown's Rodeo next year on its 41st anniversary!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bathing Beauty

So I've been saying that we spend copious amounts of time at the pool. Well, yesterday before the rodeo, Sarah and I went to meet up with her friend from school. After we'd been there about 3 hours Sarah was exhausted and wanted to go home. I'm reading a pretty good book and I wanted to finish the chapter I was reading so I asked her to lay on the chair beside me while I finished it. Snapped a couple of pictures. Remember, she's only six!

P.S. Pictures from the rodeo are coming...have several to download and a story to tell too!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


If you live near me in Rock Hill or surrounding areas you know that my mom has bought a horse named Silly since she moved here. I think Mom has wanted a horse since she was about 2 years old and now that she's near retirement she got one. Anyway, she has gotten my sweet and precious daughter addicted to horses! This issue is one that I'm still not sure about...I'm happy Mom and Sarah have something they enjoy doing together, but Sarah has already fallen off a horse and the other day Mom said that they met a little girl about Sarah's size who does gymnastics on horse back. Sarah's eyes LIT UP! I just said "NO! That's it...I draw the line!"

Anyway, they've gone to several different rodeos in the last few months. Sarah BEGGED me to go with them tonight, so I plan on going. Sarah doesn't think I've been to a rodeo before but I have and really enjoyed it. I'm hoping to take my camera and take a lot of pictures to post...Mom bought Sarah a new rodeo outfit that goes with her red boots. It's adorable.

So, saddle up boys...the bulls are waitin'!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Trying something...

Well, I read four or five other blogs on a regular basis and one of the things that happens regularly on really good blogs is labeling. My friend Kim labels, Nate Lawrenson labels, just good ones are careful to label, so I thought I'd try it. So this, I guess, is a test to see if I'm doing this right. Here goes!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shameless advertisement...

Hey everyone!
I am using my blog as a shameless advertisement space. We have bicycle issues at our house. We have lost 4 bicycles from our yard to theft and one bicycle from a neighbor's driveway to theft. Poor Caleb...he can't keep a bike he likes because people steal them from our yard. It's pretty pathetic. Anyway, we have discovered a way to keep the bikes safe, although it's not fun or convenient for any of us. So here's the deal:

We have 2 really nice bikes that we've been able to keep safe. The chopper was a Christmas gift for Caleb about 3 years's a great bike and he does like it, but it's more for pleasure riding than the kind of rough riding that our active 9 year old wants to do. It's rarely been ridden...maybe 10 times in 3 years. The Schwinn Falcon is a really nice 20" bike that was kindly "traded" for one we had earlier (the thief left this one when he/she took the last one that was stolen). We saw the Schwinn in Target the other day...exactly like the one we have and it was selling for $100. We'd like to sell them both for $125. Please look at the pictures and leave a comment if you're interested. We are willing to negotiate.
The beautiful Stingray

The nice "traded" Falcon

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pools, Castles, and sunny days

We are really busy here, trying hard to enjoy the last couple of weeks of summer! We've been to the pool a lot. I'll try to get pictures of the kids at the pool and post if I can. Then yesterday we ended up spending the day at home and Caleb got motivated to complete a 3-D puzzle that has been sitting in his room for about a year. I do have some pictures of that...he worked on it all day it's beautiful!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Burnin' up the road

Hey everybody!  I'm sorry I've been AWOL for so long...things are really hopping in the Madden house.  I know you remember I took a class at Winthrop.  Well, I've finished that class (not without lots of swearing at the computer and griping about an online portfolio that will remain unnamed!)  The last week of my class C spent the week with his grandfather, while S went with my mom to visit my grandmother.  We (Greg and I) went to pick up C on July 3 and stayed for the July 4 fireworks there.  We were home for about 5 days when C and I went to Anderson to meet S (who had been dropped off with my dad on her way back up from my grandmother's) and get fabric for a rocking chair I want to have recovered.  We came back from Anderson on Saturday evening because I had computer at church on Sunday, then loaded up the car with me and both kids and drove to Atlanta to visit my bestie from college, Alisa.

Alisa has two children, C and D, and her two and my two are THOROUGHLY enjoying playing together, while I'm thoroughly enjoying hanging out with Alisa and Paul.  We miss Greg, though!

When we get back home I will be finishing up laundry and getting C ready to go to his first ever week long camp.  He's excited and I'm excited for him!  He goes Sunday and while he's gone I am going to try (AGAIN) to get my stuff moved from RRMS to STMS.  It's taking me a lot longer than I hoped but it's so hot in my room at RRMS that I don't feel like I can spend hours up there.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a quick update.  Maybe I can post some pictures of us all soon! Hope everyone around is having a great summer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oh well...

I know several of you have read the blog, but I guess no one has any ideas...that's ok. I have come up with some other ideas and I'm very excited about them. I am going to complete one lesson on tessellations and one on theoretical and experimental data. It should be good.

So how many of you know what a tessellation is? I didn't either until I started teaching 7th grade. A tessellation is a pattern created by a polygon which flips, inverts or slides so that the shape can cover the entire plane with no overlapping or gaps. Confusing? It was to me too. Some examples of tesselations that you are familiar with (but may not know it) are floor or wall tiles, a brick wall, etc. There is an artist who creates art from tessellations. You may be familiar with his work. I've posted a couple of the more famous examples of Escher's work for you to look at. I bet you'll say "OH! I didn't realize this was a tessellation!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Suggestions please...

In this class I'm taking the big project is to choose a children's book and read it to the class then develop two math lessons based on the book. I have chosen The Napping House as my book and now I'm trying to figure out what lessons to teach.

The lessons I teach have to be practical for my of my standards has to do with sequencing which is a perfect lesson to teach from this book. The other lesson is the one giving me trouble...I'm having a hard time coming up with what to teach.

If there are any of you who:

1) know the book or have it and only have to read it,

2) can open the link for the SC Mathematics Standards and find the 7th grade standards (listed below), and

3) are very creative and willing to share ideas,
then please feel free to leave a comment under this post. I'll see if I can post some of what I actually do with the lessons soon. Let me warn you that the SC Mathematics Standards document is very long. The 7th grade standards start on page 54 of the can just scroll down to there.


Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm taking this math class at Winthrop! It's really cool...we are doing some very hands on math activities every day and I LOVE it! I can't wait to teach my students some of the things we've learned in this class.

One of the coolest things we've learned is called chisombop. Are any of you familiar with this? I didn't know it was called chisombop...I just thought it was a 9s multiplication tables trick. It's when you number your fingers and thumbs from left to right...1-10. Then you fold down the finger that corresponds with the number you're multiplying by 9. The number of fingers up to the left of the folded finger is the tens and the number to the right of the folded finger is the ones.

In this picture, Sarah's fingers will be numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, from her left pinky all the way to her right pinky.

In this picture, Sarah's #3 finger is folded under. The multiplication problem would be 9x3. Look at the number of fingers unfolded to the left of her #3 and count them. You should see two. Now look at the number of fingers unfolded to the right of her #3 and count them. You should see seven. The fingers to the left of the #3 represent the tens and the fingers to the right of the #3 represent the ones, thus the solution to the multiplication problem 9x3 is 27.

This works with all the 9s multiples up to 10! How cool is that?

There's another one that I learned that's even cooler, but it's way more complicated and will take another post.

Thanks Dr. Mink!

Better understanding...

When I posted yesterday about the mapping we had been doing in our district several things had slipped my mind. I said that I would find out more about it all before I got upset so I emailed my friend who is the Instructional Coach at RRMS and she refreshed my memory for me.

During the process, one of the things we did, or at least tried to do, was to determine if each indicator really fit with the standard under which it was written. Then we tried to develop a sequence for teaching these concepts. These were all brought to a meeting at the district office where teachers from each school met with the coordinator for their area. These representatives have come up with a sequence for teaching concepts in classrooms. I hope all this makes sense the way I'm saying it.

I had a good explanation of this from our IC and administrator back when we were doing this and all that info. just completely left my mind when I heard about this yesterday. Sorry for misleading anyone about that!

All this is to say that we work hard, but we often screw up (or at least I do). I try to be more careful about running my mouth before I know what I'm talking about, but often...VERY OFTEN I eat shoe for breakfast! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


For the last year or two we (teachers in our district) have been doing this thing called curriculum mapping. This has been very's new to us and we have to work together in departments and grade levels...lots of give and take. Many "newer" teachers like myself often feel that we are struggling to find a balance between how we like to teach and the teaching methods of teachers who have been around for a while. It has been very difficult.

I heard today that our district is giving us a map they've developed for us. Now, I see the value of all our schools/grade levels/subjects teaching the same concept at the same time. My problem is this...if, and that's IF our district leaders intended to give us this map, why did they ask us to spend hours of difficult work doing this? I have to do some more research and find out how true this is for the math department (it could just be happening in Language Arts) before I get upset. I also need to see the proposed map before getting upset.

This is something I feel strongly about...I really love teaching. However, when copious amounts of time is spent working on something that most likely will not be used anyway, thereby leading me to feel that I've wasted my time, I get upset.

I will be finding out more about this before I really get upset.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I promised!!!!!

Here's the updated post! Wow...this last couple of weeks has been crazy! I know I told you all that I would be going to Florida. I went and had a blast with my girls but it was way too short! I did rent a book on cd and listen to it on the way down and back, so that was a nice distraction, but it would've been nice to have stayed for about 3 more days!

I got back and both kids had some type of camp, so I spent about an hour each day in the car. We are spending a lot of time at the's good exercise for them and I get to keep my sanity! :)

Last weekend we went to Anderson. My youngest brother brought his girlfriend up from Dallas to meet the family, so mom and I went and "kidnapped" Lindsey to go shopping in Commerce on Saturday! The girl is a scream and she loves my brother. While we were there my kids asked if they could stay and visit Mammaw and Papaw for the week, so Dad, Carla, Ashley and Kyle are trading them off every day or two for the rest of the week. Nice to have that break.

After Ryan and Lindsey left Anderson they went to Gatlinburg where RYAN PROPOSED! I'm so excited that I'm going to have a sister-in-law!

Now I'm home and I started my summer course. It's a fun math will end on July 3, so it's short (which is great) and after I finish that one I will only have ONE CLASS until I'm a Master of Education! Ha! I'm very excited about that too!

On another note, please continue to pray for the Lawrensons. Tricia has just been diagnosed with post transplant lymphoma, so there is another hurdle for them to clear. Thanks!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Post coming soon...

Hey...It's been crazy! School's out, whirl-wind trip to Florida, kids in camp, laundry piling up, DAMN CABLE MODEM GOING OUT AT LEAST ONCE/DAY! You get the idea, huh? I'll put up a better post soon! PROMISE!

Love ya!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Today's the day...

"Today's the day! The sun is shining! The tank is clean!" My children woke up this morning shouting and jumping!!! "It's the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!" The kids' last day is today and we have a work day tomorrow. But...a teacher workday is like a day off! :) I hope you all have a WONDERFUL summer!

10 bazillion happy days to anyone who can tell me the movie the first quote is from! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fixed that thing...

You know the weird letters that you have to verify if you want to post a comment to my blog? I disabled it, so I would love to hear from my 3 readers! :)

ONE MORE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


That's how long I have with my students from this year. I will miss them, but for the most part we all need a break so badly, I think it will take us several weeks to start missing each other! :) We're doing things this week like taking all our text books to the book room and doaling out fines for damaged books. I've also almost finished grades which need to be exported tomorrow.

Anyone who has ever taught knows that the last day or two of school is a scramble to do fun things that will keep the students involved. We also have been watching every cool movie we can find. Today we watched "Akeelah and the Bee." One of my students said "I've never gotten so excited over listening to people spell." If you haven't seen this movie and you have kids (either yours or someone else's who you teach) I HIGHLY recommend it. It's a fantastic, feel good movie and very encouraging for kids.

Tomorrow we are making playdough in zip lock bags while they watch another movie...not sure what this one will be. Rhonda's bringing one for us to watch...then we're walking across the street to Burger King to eat junk, shoot the breeze, sign yearbooks and relax. I'm really looking forward to it!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week as much as I will! :)

Friday, May 30, 2008


No not me. Do you remember the TOTY award? I learned the term from "Happy Days" in the later episodes when The Fonz was a teacher at a tech school and was up for the TOTY award. TOTY, in case you don't know stands for Teacher Of The Year. Anyway, I don't believe I'll ever be nominated or voted TOTY, but I did come across the blog of the NC TOTY today. It's really a nice one if you are interested in teacher's lives. I love it. If you want to visit her blog (Cindy Rigsbee is her name) the address is I'm also adding this to my list on the right of "other cool blogs".

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

The last....

FRIDAY OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! The students get out on Thursday so we don't have any more Friday's. For the Friday song this morning I played "Let's Get It Started" by the Black-Eyed Peas.

WOO HOO!!!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

String Art

For the last few days my students have been working on a string art project. It's very complicated and I don't want to bore anyone with the mathematical logistics, but let's just say that most adults probably can't tell you how to find the central angle of a circle, much less use angles of a circle to create a polygon! :) So if that confused you just a little bit, put yourself in 7th grade...way hard for them. ANYWAY...they did it. Some of them are still working on their projects, but I've seen the beginning of them all and they are going to be great. Here are just a few...I couldn't load them all at once. Aren't these GREAT?!?!?!?!?!