Tuesday, January 29, 2013

birthday bash rehash

Raine's party went off well. It was well attended. So well attended that we ran out of goodie bags, but the kids who didn't get them didn't really seem to mind. (thank goodness) Pizza and dump cake and ice cream were eaten. Kids ran and played and ran and played. We had reasonable weather, despite the forecast of rain that day. Thank goodness we are in NM, and it sprinkled a little in the morning and evening, but while we were at the park it was scattered clouds, and a great temperature for shirt sleeves and running. Or swinging.

busy at the park
Parents mostly dropped off their kids this year for the party. That was fine with me, as Raine's friends seem a pretty good bunch, generally speaking. The younger kids that came - some siblings and some cousins a few years younger than Raine - had parents that stayed and kept an eye on them. We had plenty of food, so they were very welcome. Everyone seemed to have a great time at the park, which seems to be a favorite.

One of the kids Raine invited, whose mom and younger sister joined in, asked me if I'd ever had any trouble getting kids to come to her parties. I said that we generally tried to keep it small, but she tended to invite the same kids every year, and went to their parties, too. The mom said that none of the kids they had invited to her son's birthday came. None. I was FLOORED. Her son is a nice kid, and although he is a grade ahead of Raine, he is among the group that plays in the street when they can.

Another family on our street was invited, too. This family had a wonderful Halloween costume party and invited the kids that play together. They had a blast playing party games and running and chasing each other, and showing off their costumes. So of course we invited their boys to Raine's birthday party. The boys didn't make it. But, the mom came (she seems a very nice woman) and said that the dad was bringing the boys (don't know what happened there, but OK it happens). She brought two girls with her. I don't know why she brought them. Don't get me wrong, they played and were pleasant and all. Just that I didn't know them, and neither did Raine. I thought it was strange, but we went with it.

The best part - for me at least - was that Steph & Pete and the girls came over from Tucson for the weekend. It was great seeing them and spending some all too infrequent time together. They helped out with the party as well. I hope they had as good of a time as we did.

peeking out!
So, all in all, another successful birthday celebration. Happy 10th birthday, Raine. I can't believe how the time is flying by.

The Birthday Girl!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ahh for friday

I'm very much looking forward to the coming weekend... and somewhat not. It will be a good one, I'm sure. Raine turns 10 (!) tomorrow, and we'll have her birthday party at the park like last year. We had an awesome party last year, and the kids had such a good time they didn't want it to stop. I'm hoping for a repeat. Did I mention that the weather forcast is for rain? Yeah. Here in NM, though, you take forcasts like that with a grain or two of salt. Still, I'm wondering what to do if it DOES rain... go bowling? get wet?

My best friend is coming over from Tucson for the party, and bringing her family, of course. Her younger daughter and Raine get along very well, which makes us all happy. As much as I love seeing them and am thrilled that they are coming,

I know it will be a busy weekend. It will seem short, and quick. I'm already tired for next week thinking about it. I think though, if I can manage to get good sleep in, and a good mix of activity and rest, it will be good. Different is restful in ways that rest doesn't always cover. Right?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

guilty as sin

I'm about 100 pages into Tami Hoag's book, Guilty as Sin. The book is about 600 pages long, and the story is building, but I find myself balking a little. I'm not as fond of courtroom mysteries as I am of good old detective ones. That is part - but not by any means all - of my hesitation.

It's the male crime writer character. He's trying to get the inside scoop on the case. You see, I really like Castle. And Nathan Fillian, of course, AS Castle. I finally figured out that I was comparing this character to Castle on some level, and then I conciously did it. He's handsome, like Castle, and rich, with the pull that follows riches and fame. Like Castle. He's persuasive and sexy, as well, definately a potential complication for the female lead. But he's slimy. Insinuating. CREEPY. Not like Castle in those ways at all. In fact, he's almost and anti-Castle. It's bugging me.

Now, the story - as I said - is moving along. I thought the Judge dying on the bench during a hearing was interesting. I'm wondering who REALLY kidnapped the kid, and who took him home. His dad might have something to do with it, or he may just be falling off his rocker. That part of the story I like well enough at this point. Not sure it will over come anti-Castle, though. Just not sure.

Monday, January 14, 2013

catching up before I'm too far behind

I'm going to feel that way all semester. I did pretty well last semester, keeping up with grading, etc. Better than usual, I think. Incorporating some new (at least to me) "tricks of the trade" to accomplish it. But this semester, I'm working without a prep, and man I'm feeling it. I knew going in to this new job that it would happen. I don't think I'm going to flounder or anything. It will probably - in the end - be good for me in some ways. A few ways. Some way.

There will be evenings with the gradebook, though. I spent part of this evening with it, and now I'm typing along when I should be getting myself into bed. Last week was rough, and I hope they will get easier. I think they will, once the routine is set.

I really want time to sew. I made a zippered pouch this past weekend, and I want to make more! More! MORE! I tell you, MORE!!!

I've been really tempted to do a crafty pay it forward. I've seen quite a few people doing it on facebook, and i haven't commented so they would pick me! pick me! but... I do love making stuff for people. That said, if you are reading this, and you would like a zippered pouch, and you tell me some color, or colors you like, some day this year, it just might show up with your name on it. But only in the name of practice, mind you... Well, and i really like to make stuff...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

first day of school, 2013 style

I met my new classes today. They seemed nice. I have a full slate this semester, teaching 4 classes, with no prep. Yeah. That's how they're doing the block schedule at LCPS these days, you only get ONE prep of the 8 sections you teach all year. It saves money. sigh.

Still, I will remember that I knew that going in, and that my trade off of time before and after school that I don't have to commute will make up for that in some ways. Also, these are the same classes I taught last semester, so I am not going in quite so cold as I did at the beginning of the first semester.

I am heartened by how low my failure rate was last semester, and I am gratified by that. Only four students total failed. Four. At Gadsden, if I had four in one class fail, it was a low failure rate...

I'm only teaching one section with Mr. Staley this semester, and truthfully, I'm going to miss having him there. I don't NEED another adult in the classroom with me, but I like his style of teaching, and so do the students. He has an awesome love of poetry, and I learned a lot from his poetry lessons with the students. I'll try to emulate them with my other English 4 classes, but as I told my students, it will be a pale comparison.

Friday, January 4, 2013

new year and snow and stuff

I must be a perverse sort of person. No, not perverted, just perverse. Everyone else was writing their Happy New Year posts, and I just couldn't jump on the band wagon. I have my same resolutions... be healthier. Keep life simple. Make stuff. I'm hoping that my friends and family will be healthy and happy in this new year. I'm hoping I can remember to write 2013 for the date...

I've had a really nice holiday, with a couple of weeks off from work, but it's back to the grind on Monday. I got in touch with a cousin who I hadn't talked to in close to 25 years. We had snow yesterday, which is almost gone now, but was so nice. It must be because I live where snow is not common, but watching the falling flakes - the big fluffy wet ones - coming down from the sky still looks like magic to me. Beautiful, cold magic.

There also seems to be some magic in each New Year. The chance to start again, if not exactly start over. The hopes of good things that we wish for ourselves, and each other. It is a good magic, and I hope it falls in fat flakes all over us!