Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Finally, we are on Christmas vacation!
Finally, I got to hang out with one of my parents from last year who became a friend.
Finally, I got to Busch Gardens, even if it was just for the Christmas Town theme.
Finally, I finished all my laundry.
Finally, I packed pretty much all I needed to pack (and what I didn't pack... OH WELL!!).
Finally, I am going to sleep even though I didn't get around to vacuuming and scrubbing the floors (this irks me beyond belief... odd, I know).
Finally, I am going to drive down to Raleigh/Durham to catch my flight to Texas.
Finally, I am going to get to meet Raymond's family.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Vacay...

So most of my teacher friends have already started their vacation time for the winter. It is usually 2 weeks (if you work for a public system) or 3 weeks (if you work for a private system). It's wonderful because you get to take a break, recharge and spend some great quality time with the people that you love. However, my school has decided that we should work until the 22nd and be back by the 4th. It is just 10 days exactly... and while 4 days may not seem like a big deal to most people, it is a right pain in the tush! Being there those extra days really cuts into my time to rest (which means get sick, because this is usually when my body gives me the middle finger for pushing it so hard for the last few months and takes a break by downing me with an illness)... it also cuts into the time you would spend preparing for the holidays (so if you live in southern VA, be prepared to see tons of teachers doing the last minute dash to the stores) and it cuts into the time you get to spend with your loved ones. For those of us not from this lovely land, it cuts into our ability to travel. My friends from Europe cannot go home because the expense is too high and the time is too short (you have to factor in the jet lag), and for me... it's just not enough time to make the $1500 for the trip home really worth it. Thankfully, my wonderful friend Raymond and his family are adopting me for the season... I hope I make a good impression and that the illness stays at bay until I get back from Texas... serves the school system right if all the teachers and kids come back ill because we didn't have enough time to do all the things you need to do on winter break!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"I'll miss you..."

These were the words that I heard the other day from my little student who is in foster care. I was immediately alarmed because the child was supposed to go back with their birth parent until the spring. I asked where they were going and the response was to baby girl's house. Of course this got a chuckle out of me at first but on further investigation, this is the child's other birth parent. It's supposed to just be for the Christmas holiday (which is already breaking the foster parent's heart). However, today we found out from the foster parent that the child may or may not be coming back after the holiday... I am so sad... this child is literally the sunshine of my day, every day... *sigh* I am hoping the child comes back and that they can stay with the foster family, who is INCREDIBLE!!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A couple of the finished cookies.

Candy, candy, candy... and this wasn't even a tenth of what was in my room.

Because they don't get to keep the castle, I thought it'd be fun for them to make and take some cookies too. They each got a gingerbread man and a gingerbread tree.

This is the Gingerbread Castle that my students designed, baked, decorated and built to donate to a local charity for women and children. It's awesome! They did such a good job with it and I am so proud of them.

Which Gingerbread Are You?

My students are working on a project called the Gingerbread Project. My most wonderful friend, Sophia, introduced me to the project and this is my fourth year doing it. The idea is to have the children focus on completing the class project of designing, baking, decorating and building a gingerbread house that would then be donated to a charity to bring the joy of the season to those less fortunate. Because I am as cheesy and theme-oriented as I am, I take it a little farther. We do about 3 weeks of all gingerbread stuff in my room and the kids learn a ton!! This project is one of my favourites all year long and it's a great way to busy your way through to the end of the craziness of December. But, I digress... My students made paper gingerbread men to hang on our classroom door for a decoration and they had me giggling because each one seems to have a distinct personality that I think I can identify with depending on the day... which one are you today?