Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Part 1

We had such a great day yesterday!  We spent the entire day with Kevin's family and it was so much fun!

My Mother-in-Law took us girls to an American Girl Fashion Show.  The girls got all dressed up and brought their dolls with them. 
We enjoyed a muffin, fruit cup, and lemonade.  And the girls had a great time looking at all the fun things they could win in the raffle.

Kaitlyn especially loved spending time with her cousins which she rarely gets to see since they live out of town.


After the fashion show, we headed back to Kevin's parent's home and enjoyed a night of fun with family.  We had delicious ham, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole, baked beans, and dinner rolls.  And for dessert, we had the most amazing chocolate cake and ice cream!  YUM!

This little beauty was attached to me for the last 24 hours.  We had so much fun playing, snuggling, and laughing!  She also kinda likes Uncle Kevin :)

And after dinner, the kids enjoyed hunting Grandma & Grandpa's yard for eggs which were filled with yummy candy!


Once all the eggs were found, they spread them out on the floor and took turns trading eggs and candy.

This morning, we got up and headed to church and now we're just lounging around the house until we need to pack up and head back home for Easter Part 2 this afternoon with my family.

I hope you're all enjoying a relaxing day with family as we celebrate the miracle of Jesus today.

Lots of Love :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Diva Doesn't Like Dirt...

Happy as a lark - obviously because she had a stylish outfit and some brand new, shiny, pink socks and shoes. What Diva wouldn't enjoy such a morning?!

{my cousin's children also play soccer in the same league - such a fun little circus!}


In the end, she took one look at the ball and burst into tears. When I asked her why she didn't want to play she simply said "the ball is icky and it will make my socks dirty". Well, Maicey, I can't say I disagree with you! So, she spent the rest of the game sitting on my lap with an extremely cross look on her face.

All in a day's work of a Diva.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reading Goal

So, as a teacher my students have nightly homework and one thing they are required to do every single night is read for 20-30 minutes.  I've decided I'm going to take up that assignment as well.  I'm going to carve out 20-30 minutes per night for some quality reading for fun.  Not reading a school book, not reading a blog, not working on grad school - reading for fun.  We'll see how this goes!

Over my spring break, I did a really great job of this!  And I noticed I was much more calm and nice to be around {lets just pretend this is solely because of the reading and forget about the fact that I wasn't working that week...}  In any event, in the past month I've read this little gem:


And this:

I loved every single second of both of them!  I couldn't put them down!  Heart of the Matter I started reading at the beginning of February on a weekend trip, and I finished it before I got home.  I LOVED IT.  Love the One You're With I read over Spring Break.  I really enjoy Emily Giffin as an author.  Her plot lines are great and she has a way of pulling her reader in with her words - I just felt like I was living in both of these books.  Highly recommended. 

My friend Jenny has quite the list of books she's read this year, which many of those are on my wish list as well!  What are you reading and loving?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

So What Sunday

So what if:
  • It's 9:00 and I'm ready for bed
  • I am 2 months from graduating from my masters program and have "senior-itis" badly {senior-itis = disease in which you don't feel like doing ANY of the things assigned to you.}
  • This week is conferences and I'm not really looking forward to the long hours
  • My 2011 goals are not exactly getting checked off - maybe summer will help that out?
  • I am SICK & TIRED of the weather right now - seriously, it's spring - I'm tired of wearing my winter coat.
  • For the first time in my life, my REAL nails are actually acceptable for sight.  {I've had acrylic nails for most of my adult life and recently ripped them all off and have been nursing them back to health}
  • I cannot think of one more thing to write tonight.
Good night :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Can I Get a Makeover?!

Welp, the blog has received a little attention tonight and it's lookin' a little jazzed up.  Not sure I'm in love quite yet, but it's definitely different.  I'll keep working on it and see what else I can re-arrange!

And now, for a little extra fun - just a few pictures I have yet to add to this blog...in no order and for no reason...

 Sam & Maicey did Kat's hair one night - I think it's beautiful.

Sam in a rare calm moment...I love this kid!

This is from Kaitlyn's birthday party.  The resident expert bracelet maker, Allie was on hand to help these girls out!!  {thank goodness for Allie...because I was about to freak out on them!}

2 of my most favorite people in the world.  This might be my favorite picture of them ever.

And last, but certainly not least...This, my friends is possibly the best picture I have ever captured.  I think it is absolutely hilarious, no?

Happy Weekend, Friends!  :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Praying for Japan

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The devastation in Japan is completely unimaginable to me.  Each time it comes on the news, I sit and watch with complete horror - I simply cannot begin to imagine the grief.  I said to my husband the other day, "where would you even begin?".  So, with an aching heart, I have been silently praying for the people of Japan to feel God's love being poured out on them and to feel his hand guiding their relief efforts.

Tomorrow I will be participating in a day of silence {which will not be uncommon lately for this blog because I'm horrible at updating...!} - but it's the thought that counts!  :)

Please click the link above to learn more about what we can do to help.

much love <3

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finally an Organizational Update...

Ok, so I finally found my memory card reader and took all the pictures off my camera - which means I can give the updates I've been needing to give.

Remember all the tasks I said I would post pictures of??  Here we go...

Do you remember this nightmare of a desk?  I said I was going to clean out the drawer...

TADA!!  :)

And here's one of my bookshelves at work.  It's behind my desk and had become a catch-all...so I just decided to clean it off, pitch some stuff, and pretty up my binders...

Before:

After:

There we go.  LOVE.IT!

In other news, I've found many many pictures to upload to this blog - so keep checking back for more fun!  Especially since I'll be on spring break as of tomorrow at 3:45!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My daily calendar

I have a calendar at work filled with inspirational quotes to live by.  It is one of my favorite parts of the morning when I get to flip it and see what today's message will be. 

Today's is absolutely perfect for this season of my life.  It says:
"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Work worth doing is something I've thought a lot about lately.  What does that really mean?  How do you define your worth or the worth of your work?  I think that largely depends on the line of work you're in.  I don't know many people who say "my job is worthless", nor can I think of many jobs which I would consider worthless. 

But because I'm a teacher, I'm going to talk about the worth of my job today.  I really believe with my entire soul that my job is far and away the greatest job on Earth.  It doesn't come without struggle or frustration, but at the end of the day - teachers are the epitome of working for the greater good in my opinion.  Can you name one teacher who has entered the profession for any other reason than because they enjoy kids and want to make a difference?  I've thought a lot about it, and I can't think of one. 

Are there "bad" teachers?  Sure, just the same as there are "bad" actors, "bad" musicians, "bad" cooks, "bad" doctors, "bad" police officers, and "bad" news reporters.  Every profession has their less than great members, so why is it that we as a country are so overly critical of bad teachers?  I find it hilarious when people argue about the importance of people's jobs. {because it really doesn't matter}  "Police are the most important jobs in our community", "No, it's the firemen and women", "no it's the teachers" - Well, ladies and gentleman (all 3 of you reading...) - I guess I would argue that the importance of a profession could be measured by how critical people are when it's not being done well.  I rarely see a person complaining about a police officer who is not doing their job, or a garbage collector who leaves the can tipped over in the street or with some garbage left in it, or the journalist who doesn't cover the entire story, or a doctor who misses a diagnosis or is less than friendly to his/her patient - but when there is a bad teacher, look out - everyone has something to say.  I personally, take that as a compliment because I go to work everyday and do the very best job I can do.  When people are critical of teachers though, it's difficult not to be defensive of my fellow colleagues.

Does this job have benefits?  Sure, but it (like any job) also has it's bumps.  Summers off are nice - except that usually I'm working another job to pay the bills or in my classroom getting ready for the next school year.  Our salary is nice - except by the standards of our country it pales in comparison to other professions.  Working 8-4 as a contract day is great - but to be honest, I can't tell you the last day those were really the hours I actually worked, usually coming early, staying late, and taking home work. Working with kids all day is awesome - except that I spend more than 1/2 my day doing things that 50 years ago were done at home {teaching middle names, phone numbers, manners, appropriate responses, anger management, etc} Our benefit and pension package are great - and what are people attacking right now - the only free and clear, no questions asked tangible benefit of teaching.

But here is the bottom line, every single day teachers in this country put all the political crap aside and go back to work in hopes of making a difference.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson says:
"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

And so today, I will go to work and work hard at my work that is unquestionably worth doing. 

Have a happy day, Friends :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

So What Sunday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT to these things...

so what if:
  • I suck at blogging and my blog goals are pretty much un-touched in 2011
  • I am counting down the minutes until spring.  Mother Nature has sent me over the edge with this winter crap.
  • despite my goal to not worry so much, I pretty much worry about everything all.the.time
  • I haven't deep cleaned my house in 3 months
  • I'm driving my husband insane with my baby crazy attitude
  • I decided this week that even in the 21st century, I cannot handle having my calendar on the computer/my phone.  I went back to my beloved paper planner.  More on that later...
  • I'm months behind in my scrapbooking again, despite being completely caught up at the end of summer.  ((sigh))
  • I am coveting an iPhone now that Verizon has just come out with one - and my phone is only 5 months old.
  • I'm wishing my life away (school to be out, spring/summer to be here, vacation to be here, a baby to be here, the weekend to be here, blah, blah, blah)
What are you saying SO WHAT to this weekend??

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Teachers...

...are obviously bankrupting our country.  What a hot topic debate!  Honestly, I think it's really difficult to not be biased in this situation because I'm a teacher.  I would be willing to argue that teaching is among the most difficult professions out there, but I do it because I love it.  Here comes the part I don't get: since when in our country is a teacher's salary or benefit package considered too high?  Seriously, we pay people 6 figures to PLAY.A.GAME.  I wouldn't even make that salary in 2 years. 

A colleague of mine posted on this topic today too - quite entertaining if I do say so myself.  Hop on over and check it out. 

Now, Obviously I understand the difference between the public and the private sector - but really, America?! Let's get our priorities in order and our acts together, sooner than later please.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend in Review

Well this weekend was for the majority, spent at a dance competition.  I really loved spending time with my most favorite people. 

My life has always been hectic.  In high school I was at the studio 3-4 nights per week, was a varsity cheerleader, worked a job at a local ice cream shop, had a steady boyfriend, spent lots of quality time with my immediate and extended family, and got good grades through it all.  In college I kept the same pace and after graduation, I just kept going even though I got a full-time job and enrolled in graduate work - I just kept teaching at the studio and coaching a dance team.  It really wasn't a big deal to me, I was single and spending time with the people I cared about at the studio and my dance team was fun.

In the past few years as I met Hubs and began getting serious, I began viewing my extra jobs as a burden.  I wanted to spend time with him, I wanted to relax when I got home from work, I wanted to make dinner like a normal human being.  Now don't get me wrong, I had fun every single time once I got there - but very often I didn't want to go to start with.  I would come home from work and just cry because I was so mentally and emotionally exhausted and just didn't want to go work for another 2-5 hours (depending on the night). 

This weekend, my love was reignited.  I was reminded why I love my job at the studio.  My job at the studio is very often with beginning or intermediate dancers.  I feel like just when they're getting good, they get taken away from me because they get moved up to advanced or elite.  It just seems like a vicious wheel that never ends for me.  But this weekend, I sat watching many of my current and former students shine on stage and was reminded, that it is the purpose of my work ~ to make them excellent and then move them on to become better.  While I may not have a direct hand in their dance instruction today, they wouldn't be where they are without the foundation I {along with many other amazing faculty at the studio} laid for their current teachers. 

In addition to being in awe of my students, I genuinely laughed alot at the other staff.  Seriously, I am so blessed to work with my best friends and get to spend the entire weekend with them doing what we love.  I laughed harder than I have in a long, long time this weekend and it felt good.

So, as I prepare to begin another week, I simply take a deep breath in and count my many blessings.  Seriously, I get paid to do some of the best work ever.  :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Disney, the flu, and catch-up

The title of this post has been my life for the past 2 weeks since I have updated this blog.  So, we're going to have a bullet list recap, to be followed later tonight or tomorrow by a picture update and an organizational project reveal.  Welcome back, friends!
On Thursday 2/3, I hopped on a plane headed to sunny Orlando, FL to cheer on my high school dance team as they competed in Nationals.
  • My 1st flight was delayed causing me to almost miss my connection in Atlanta.  {I ran from gate C37 to A1 in 18 minutes...}
  • I arrived in my hotel room at 1:00 AM - ugh, long day
  • Friday, we had breakfast with the characters and spent time in Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom - great time!
  • Saturday we competed in Pom, but didnt advance to semi-finals
  • Sunday we competed in Jazz and advanced to semi-finals!!  {one of our team goals for the past 2 years}
  • We competed in semi-finals and were 2 points from making finals - such an amazing time!
  • Monday the Magical Express picked me up at 2:30 AM to go to the airport - HORRIBLE
  • I flew home and was here for Kevin's birthday {stay tuned for a late birthday/Valentine's Day tribute to him this week}
  • On Monday night I started feeling very sick
  • Tuesday I tried to go to work but ended up feeling terrible and coming home before lunch
  • I was attached to my bed or couch until Friday night when I finally started feeling a little better
  • I had grad class all day Saturday
  • and have been catching up on work I missed last week ever since.
So, as you can see, I really haven't had a lot of time for blogging/picture taking/organizing - but I'm vowing to make it a priority starting right now.

Welcome back!  :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A much needed trip

Well Blog friends,

I am headed to sunny Orlando, FL for a much needed break from this horrible winter weather!  My dance team is headed to Nationals at Walt Disney World and I couldn't be more excited!  The girls have been fretting about how they would get there considering the blizzard of the century hit the entire Midwest, but alas - they are in Chicago right now and their flight to Orlando appears to be on time.  I am working today and heading to the airport in about 15 minutes to fly down and meet them.

I don't have pictures on this computer, but will be sure to upload when I get home.  Yesterday on my snow day I finished my classroom organization project, got most of the way done with my Home Management Binder, and got all caught up on my Scentsy business.  What a productive day that was!

I will be out of Blogworld until Monday at the earliest, but will be able to check other people's blogs from my phone!  I will get you all updated when I return early next week.

Happy Weekend everyone!  :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowmagedden 2011

I have never in my entire life seen this much snow.  It's beautiful.

Last night at about 5:45 pm


 And here's what we woke up to this morning:




The snow is up to my hips.  Amazing

 

Wordless Wednesday ~ From the top of the Hancock Center


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Here it comes...

We got out of school 2 hours early today because of the impending snow storm of the century!  It appears this storm is going to be absolutely out of control - so here we go!  I ran a couple of errands and now I'm home, in comfy clothes, and making a list of things I want to get done while snowed in my house.

We're expected to get more than a foot of snow in the next 12 hours, so this is just the beginning.  I thought it would be fun to have a little reference point, so I took a picture of this very fitting {and adorable} flag that's flying in the flower bed by my front door.

Here we are around 2:30 PM

{please disreguard the MUCH needed painting project we need to do outside - that's on the list of projects for this summer...}

Stay tuned for the storm progress and stay warm!

Monday, January 31, 2011

So What Sunday

Here's what I'm saying "SO WHAT" to this week...

So what if...
  • my "So what Sunday" is a day late?
  • I am watching the weather channel like some sort of OCD patient because I want a snow day SO badly this week?
  • I'm fairly certain my husband strongly dislikes the organizational kick I'm currently on
  • the above bullet most likely has something a lot to do with the 250 discs I piled on his desk unannounced from day 2 of the challenge
  • I am sucking it up on my reading list for this month
  • I shower at night for the sole purpose of being able to sleep a little longer in the morning
  • I often pull into my driveway and don't remember even a little bit of the drive home
  • I get ridiculously giddy when I see a new person is following my blog {go ahead, click "follow" on my right hand sidebar!!}
  • I will be using a snow day this week to pack for my upcoming work trip next weekend
  • by "upcoming work trip" I really mean trip to Nationals with the high school dance team I coach with my sister to WALT DISNEY WORLD!
  • I have become slightly obsessed with finding/following new blogs  :)
What are you saying "so what" to this week?
(*hop on over to Life After I Dew - she does So What Wednesdays I just realized!)

Weekly Challenge

Well, keeping up with work, the 21 day challenge, and this new weekly challenge has been keeping me very busy!  But, I did want to drop by and mention that I am pluggin' away!  So far, here's the situation
  • I purchased the adorable green binder I mentioned here
  • I have ideas for the tabs I will be creating
  • I took pictures today at work of a little organization project in the before stages
  • I have the hanging files for the drawer I also mentioned here {still need to clean out said drawer...}
And, in addition, we are expecting 10-18" of snow in the area over the next couple of days, so I will have LOTS of time to get all caught up on both the weekly challenge and the 21 Day Challenge as well as perhaps some grad work!  I LOVE snow days...there is nothing better than waking up and answering my phone only to hear that we aren't having school and I can go back to my warm bed.  Ahhhh, I love it!

Stay tuned this week for updates on my home management binder, work organization project, hanging file drawer, a few more days of the 21 Day Challenge, and some pictures of our Winter Wonderland!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 2

First of all, let me say I had ZERO time on Thursday to complete this task and to be honest I completely avoided this task yesterday...

But I was so excited to know I had some new followers and have been getting more and more comments on my blog reminding me that there actually are other people reading here - I knew I couldn't let people down, so after being in grad classes today from 8-4, I came right home and got to work on organizing the computer desk.

Ok, so our desk area is located right in our dining room and the real problem here is two fold: A) it belonged to Hubs before I met him and was his home office when I moved into this house {his home office has since been moved to the basement} and B) there are doors on it which allow the disaster to be hidden.  To be honest - it doesn't look too bad at first glance.  But let's take a closer look at the situation:

Yep - that's right friends...this is approximately 5 years of shoving.  Let's take a quick pause in this post to mention that Hubs does A.L.O.T. around this house: laundry, dishes, garbage, mouse killing...you get the picture, but organization, well that's not really his strong point.  So, while I love him to the moon and back - we need to stick to our roles in order for our home to function.  {it just so happens that he wasn't home for this overhaul!}

Behold, the organization:

No more shoving - although there is a little left to be done.  That drawer you see above, it still has lots of things in it that I'm not sure what to do with.  Ultimately I'd like to put hanging files in there {imagine that...a file drawer used for...FILES?!}, but for now I'm happy with the progress.

And as a side note, that pretty green binder in the above picture is the binder for Week 1 of the Weekly Challenge - I can't wait! 

Hope you're all having a blessed weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weekly Challenge

Ok, so because I'm late on the 21 Day Challenge, they have already started a new challenge over at Bowl Full of Lemons



And so each week I will be taking on a new challenge.  I just love this idea because it will hold me accountable in a time of the year when it's easy to become lazy because the weather is not very nice and spring cleaning is always in order in the Rokusek residence.

So, here is my challenge for you - why don't you join us?!  Hop on over to Bowl Full of Lemons {or click the button right above} and join in the fun!  We can all get organized together!