Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Stream of Consciousness…

Disclaimer: This post is a ramble! Catch up with my crazy life at your own risk!

Oh man. I am so, so, sooo tired. We just had Thanksgiving break, yet it hardly seemed like a break. I did enjoy the time with family, though. We spent the day before Thanksgiving cooking and then went to a bonfire (a family habit, lol) with family & friends on my hubby’s dad’s side, then got together on Thanksgiving with my mom’s side for lunch, and my dad’s side for dinner. Sooo much food! As if that wasn’t enough, we loaded up and went to the mountains that night and spent a few days with my mother in law’s side, as we always do on Thanksgiving week, spending time hunting and enjoying the chilly weather. Thankfully, I did not have to brave Black Friday crowds – I was in the woods hunting instead!
Before we left the mountains, I did something I’ve been trying to do for years now- convince hubby to get a REAL tree- and no, buying a Frasier fur from the supermarket or VFW parking lot doesn’t count!- I mean going-to-the-tree-farm-and-saw-it-down real! We managed to find a place in Brevard (no internet at MeeMaw & Pawpaw’s and since this was unplanned, we didn’t have any idea where to go!) using our BlackBerrys. After getting lost in the middle of no where, we end up at a farm that had really thin, sparse trees. Luckily, another farm was right down the road, and this old man has some GORGEOUS trees. We cut it down and brought it home and it’s glowing and gleaming beside me as I type.
Now that it’s back to school, I can definitely say I am ready for Christmas, haha. Particularly since I have done ZERO shopping so far. My kids are great kids- in fact, I genuinely missed them over the short break, and I know they know I love them dearly- but I am so fed up with them, I literally get so exasperated that sometimes I just throw my hands up and ask them what more can I do to help them? I mean, I cannot open up their brains and pour knowledge in! Nor can I pick up their hand, hold their pencil, and write for them! They are so SMART, but so many lack the motivation (some through learned helplessness and years of coasting by doing even less than the bare minimum, or by lacking someone at home demanding they do their best, and more often than not, a combination of both of these situations.) I’m tired of pulling my hair out, but I keep trucking. I think our three week break for the holidays will help.
I find solace in my coffee, baking on the weekends, and going to bed early, haha…
We’ve been going to a new  church for a few months now, and it’s growing on me. For the first time ever, I am actually enjoying a contemporary service. We are really traditional, and with us both having music backgrounds, we have always found contemporary Christian music, particularly “praise band” music dull and sappy. I mean, yeah, it’s a great message and I appreciate the fact that the simple cords and ease to play makes it easy for others to share, play, and therefore, worship, however, I want worship music to be musically interesting. Worship is offering up praise to God… shouldn’t it be our best- exciting and engaging? Regardless, I just can’t get into “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High.”
But this service, whoa… it’s musically and visually engaging (the worship leaders have some serious talent…) and the pastor, who we watch via video from the student center rather than the sanctuary, is very good. He preaches sermons that make me think, that I always relate to, and leave me feeling spiritually renewed. Not to mention this service is coffee themed. That’s right. Coffee. Members work as baristas and serve coffee, and everyone has a cup as we study. So, needless to say, we are all ears and prayerfully seeking guidance to see if this could be our new home. Having a place to go on Sunday and replenish has definitely helped me through these exhausting weeks of crazy kiddos and busy times.

On a different note, as I lay here vegging out on the couch, pouring my stream of consciousness into this blog post, I’ve been watching the Rudolph Christmas special and  did anyone else notice that Christmas town seemed mildly chauvinistic? I mean really, they had to “get the women home” during the snow storm? And when little Rudolph goes off on his own, his dad says it’s “man’s work” to go find him? I’m not the least bit of a feminist- in fact, I’m ridiculously old-fashioned, super submissive, and I even said “OBEY” in my vows, but yeah, I found it interesting.

Enough random thoughts for a night. Enjoy these pictures of our Thanksgiving trip to the mountains…

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I’ve been up to…

Fall has finally arrived (well, it’s actually feeling more winter-y than fall-y!) and I’m a constantly a day late & a dollar short, hence the lack of updates since September.

Work dominates my life. I eat-sleep-and-breathe it. I have been at work for 13 hours straight three days last week. Between kicking kids out of class for straight-up belligerence and trying to keep them following my “two biggies for success” (be nice and work hard!), it’s been tough lately. I try to compartmentalize school as much as possible, leaving as much as I can at school, physically and mentally. Long story short, while I truly do love what I do, teaching has to get easier with time, or I can’t foresee myself lasting very long in this profession. They say it does, but does it really? Or do teachers get so physically exhausted from doing it the right way that in order to sustain themselves they settle for sub-par teaching practices? How do people with kids take it? This remains a mystery that only time can tell.

Most of October we spent camping on the weekends and doing the typical fall-ish things… baking pumpkin pies, a few short mountain trips, etc. 

Here are some pictures of our Late September,October, and Early November shenanigans:

Camping in GA at Elijiah Clark State Park with Casie, Justin, and Whitney…

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Cleveland County Fair with my parents and Aunt Christy… yes, I rode a camel, but I made my Daddy do it with me! :)

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Camping in Andrew Jackson State Park (SC) with friends Whitney, Elizabeth, David, Alexe, & Carmen from the beach…

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Love this one up there!

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We made friends with this duck…

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It was a great time camping… then, we took a day trip up on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic one Saturday, just in time for the leaves to reach peak color!

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It’s been a great Fall… without these little mini-vacays with friends and family, I’d explode. I get so overwhelmed, but I let it go. I am three weeks behind on grading spelling tests and a month late on projects, and I have a huge grant to write before Wednesday. Conferences, meetings, and other non-teaching things has been such a big obstacle that I feel like I’m going 200 miles an hour Monday – Friday, and all I have is the weekend to keep myself sane.

It’s all good, though. I’m still feeling more blessed than I deserve…