It’s almost NOVEMBER?!

23 10 2016


Oh, right, it’s just time, flying by at warp speed. Did it speed up? Am I just going crazy?

Wait, my sanity has taken quite a hit lately! Regardless, I guess I’m just busier than I have been in a while. Or, like ever.

Good news, though: I’ve been teaching 5th grade for a month and a half, and no one has died! Or even been majorly injured! (Except my sanity.) I gotta say, though – teaching is HARD, ya’ll. Not so much the act of teaching content, life skills, and social skills to 31 individuals all at different levels and with different learning styles and abilities – no, that part I feel like I have down. If only that was all my job was about. But then you throw in the other things…the bus duty, and cafeteria duty, and changing schedules, and parent communication, and tracking/documenting every little thing. Don’t forget to collect evidence for the yearly teacher evaluation, and remember your month for birthday snacks, and didn’t you know everyone wears blue on Fridays?? Well they do. And that kid that won’t get on the bus needs consoling so he’ll board and everyone can go home. Staff meetings every Tuesday, new teacher meetings on Mondays, grade-level collaboration on Wednesdays, weekly catch-up on Fridays, and someone is sure to stop by on Thursdays. Don’t worry, the adventures of being across a parking lot from the main building in portables only adds to the everyday excitement! It’s just a little rain kids, we won’t melt!

So yeah, time has left me behind. Thankfully, I have the greatest group of 5th graders on the planet, and the most amazing coworkers to pull me through on a daily basis. The struggles some of these 10-year-olds are forced to face would rip your heart to pieces, but they still push on. I require all my students to write in a journal, and turn it in once a week. Some write beautiful poetry, some create incredible works of fiction, some regale me with tales of their weekend adventures. When the threat of a bad grade is removed, and they aren’t focused on spelling or grammar, they start writing all kinds of things. And man do they love science! And history! We currently have jugs of mini compost habitats for red worms on the bookshelf, and our butterfly larvae just built their cocoons! We researched butterfly facts all one afternoon, after spending the morning lost in the rainforests of Central America searching for Maya ruins. It’s been a lot of fun. If they learn anything at all in my classroom, I hope it’s to use their imaginations to problem solve, and that finding information isn’t nearly as important as figuring out what to do with it.

And I even managed to sneak off one weekend and tie the knot with that handsome JBoo of mine. Our families flew in from all over, several friends drove in from Bend, and we had an epic weekend overflowing with love. It was pure magic. We all gathered at a big beach house on the Oregon coast and just relaxed together. The weather mostly cooperated and two families became one. Since we had all weekend, everyone got to spend time together, and we bonded over ax throwing, ultimate frisbee, long walks down the beach, rowdy games, and lots of amazing food. The collaborative spirit of our friends helped us pull the whole thing off, and the whole group contributed to make the weekend go without a hitch. Despite the incredible weather we were blessed with, it turned windy, cold, and foggy Saturday afternoon for the ceremony. Thankfully, it was a pretty short and sweet affair, though we didn’t quite get all the pictures I wanted. It was too cold to stand out there! But our awesome photographer, Jon, snapped quickly and captured some fantastic pictures. He was able to shoot all during the weekend and documented the candid fun beyond just the formal ceremony. So good.

married on the coast, Rockaway Beach OR 2016

Happily ever after.

Yep, I’ve been a little on the busy side. We’re settling into a routine, and life is chugging along. We just booked our honeymoon over winter break, so we have something big to look forward. My class size was reduced to 27, from 31, which has made a big difference in my classroom. I’m figuring things out and finding my way around my school, while trying to find a work/life balance. The next time I get a chance to blog, it might be Thanksgiving…or New Year’s…but that’s ok. I have found where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m meant to be doing, and I’m happy.

Life is good. 🙂



19 02 2013

You’ve seen Step Brothers, right? With Will Ferrell?

My last two weeks have been like this – my head is spinning from SO.MANY.ACTIVITIES! I started a couple drafts, trying to tell you all about it, but never had time to finish a full post, so I’m going to blast through and give you the short and sweet version.

Buckle your seat belts and hang on!!

1) Heat My House! – we finally threw ourselves a house-warming party. Several great pals from Bend journeyed over Mt Hood for the festivities and some great folks from around here joined us that evening. We talked, we laughed, we ate (a lot – or was that just me?!), we laughed some more, we drank (then we REALLY laughed), and we had a big sleep-over with bodies dispersed throughout the house. The house was indeed toasty, full of great people.

2) Trout Lake Cabin Fever – I’ve actually had cabin fever in some form or another for a couple months now, but the delightful town of Trout Lake gathers everyone to celebrate and/or whine about it together. Ski races and live music and dances at the town Grange – might sound a little old-fashioned to you, but then you must not live in the middle of nowhere under 4 feet of snow with little contact with the human race. We might have the Internet these days, but community gatherings in real life still warm the soul like nothing else.

And so we hung out with our community. Unlike most communities, this required a 10-mile round-trip cross country ski in order to do so. (Ok, this was just one event, but STILL.) What a blast! The Forest Service opens up this crazy-old historic cabin way off in the woods and everyone skis up to see it. They set out cookies and hot chocolate and a couple folks give interpretive talks to tell you all about it. I love history, skiing AND cookies, so I was totally in. The day was gorgeous and J and I hit the trail hard – I could just about keep up with him!

Gotchen Cabin, Gifford Pinchot National Forest

The 2-room Gotchen Cabin, built in 1908, occupied until the late ’90’s. The resident’s commute to work involved a 5-mile ski just to get to the car! Wooo!

Gotchen Cabin community spirit, Mt Adams Ranger District

Making new friends, sharing some hot chocolate. My kind of party!

3) Bend in the road – I had so much fun skiing up to the cabin with fellow Trout Lakers that I almost forgot I was driving down to Bend the same night. It’s only about a 3.5 hour drive now (as opposed to the 8 hour haul from Twisp), but I had to pack, too! The dog and I finally made it around 10pm and settled into our guest digs with great friends. This whole last week was a nice polar-opposite to what Simba and I are used to. We work from home, venturing out for our walks, but that’s about it. Sometimes we run into the neighbors, but mostly it’s just us.

So a week in civilization is stressful, but in an exciting way. Simba absolutely adored our temporary routine. The first half of the week, we were able to walk to work. My company is a dog-friendly workplace, so Simba was welcome to join me in the office all day…which is his new favorite. By Wednesday, he trotted up the non-working escalator, made his rounds of greeting coworkers, then sprawled out on the big rug to settle in for a nice nap. He managed to rouse himself at the sound of anyone walking through, to make sure he could score another belly rub or game of tug-of-war with his favorite rope toy. Our lunch hour was spent walking through the nearby park or walking down to a restaurant with outdoor seating so he could come, too. Some days we had coffee dates and some days we would walk over to the other side of the office where he scored even more ear scratches and compliments. I’m telling you – this dog has got it figured out.

dog at work in Bend OR

Seriously, I need to get promoted to his job. He’s just working SO HARD!

Then we switched houses and stayed with our friends who own a beautiful Saint Bernard, and Simba’s bestie. They wrestled, they romped in the backyard, the shared a water bowl. Hilarious and adorable. Friday, J joined me and Saturday we headed up Bachelor – J took me skiing for the day! I demoed some boots since I don’t have any yet and finally got to test out my new skis. What a fantastic day. We squeezed out 5 or 6 runs before my legs wouldn’t take any more and we headed down. Pretty sure I’ll be pro soon.

Mt Bachelor skiing, Bend OR

Yep, scouts should be calling soon.

4) Why I love FaceBook – this is not really a fun adventure but a crazy story. Saturday after skiing, we met our friends at a restaurant/bar/brewery for drinks. I had stuck my ID and debit card in the pocket of my ski  pants, then grabbed them out as we ran out the door to meet our friends and stuck them in my jacket pocket. As we left, I pulled my phone out of the same pocket, dropping my ID in the process. But I didn’t notice! We swung by the grocery store to get stuff for dinner and I found my debit card all lonely in my pocket. Trying not to panic (and glad I wasn’t buying beer), I called the restaurant where we had met – no one had turned in any IDs. I went back and looked all over the place, but didn’t find it. DANG.IT. I finally gave up and surrendered to the fact that I was going to have to order a new one. The biggest bummer of all: we went to WinterFest that night but left early because I couldn’t get into the beer gardens. Standing outside the beer gardens with all the lame high school kids is NO FUN AT ALL. And of course that’s where all our pals were.

Sunday, we packed up to go home. I did a little shopping first and met my sister for lunch. I got a facebook notification on my phone and actually checked it (a rare thing for me to do). It was from some stranger, so I read on, curious. “Hi, I found your license outside McMenamins Saturday night, call me and I’ll get it back to you.” Wait, what?! I drove over and got the story: she found it, posted on her facebook wall that she had it and asked if anyone knew me to let me know. A guy I work with is friends with her, saw it, helped her get to my facebook so she could message me, and then sent me a separate message telling me to contact her. How insane is that?! And I just happened to still be in town when she messaged me, and I received the message before heading back home. I was so grateful, I awkwardly told her husband about 4 times how much I wished loads and loads of good karma on them for returning my ID. They put in the extra effort to find me instead of just tossing it in the nearest mail box, sending it to Twisp since my address isn’t updated on the actual license. Good people still exist!!

5) The End. There you have it. The latest in the Wild and Crazy Adventures of KSnapped. Until next time, adios!

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