Monthly Archives: August 2009

First Week Down, 39 To Go!

The first week of school was a success. My 5th and 6th graders are great, my 7th and 8th graders will present a bit more of a challenge.
I’ve ordered enough copies of my first Literature book with 7/8th grade. Borders had free shipping this weekend, thank goodness.
I forgot how much school wears me out! I stayed rather late each night this week trying to get prepared and stay on top of things. I’ve decided to rotate Spanish into my literature circle times instead of dong 5th through 8th all together at once. However, I don’t know more than very basic Spanish. We use a video series where our teacher is Senor Morris. So, the series is on VHS and I brought the tape home to watch a few lessons this weekend and realized…. we don’t have a VCR anymore. There might be one in a box in the garage- all the more motivation to clean it up a bit.
We skipped the Friday wine last night, I was falling asleep on the couch by the time I remembered and decided to do it tonight or wait until my mom and dad come next weekend. I’m looking forward to their visit. Being so far from “home,” it is always nice to have visitors. So if you’re reading this and ever drive through or visit KC without stopping to see me, I’ll be sad! We have an extra bedroom and two air mattresses and sleeping bags and…..I could go on and on.
Yesterday marked my 6th full week of going to the gym Monday-Friday! I will be going shopping later on today to buy some new shoes to celebrate the accomplishment. At the end of 8 weeks I will buy myself a new top or two. I need major motivation to keep going now that I have to get up at 5:30 to get there and home in time to make it to school.
The most exciting thing going on here right now is that my friend Amanda ( ) and her husband Jason are having their baby girl, Macy, in the next week or two. I’m on call to watch their 4-year-old, Katelyn, when it happens. Amanda and I were roommates at Seward and both ended up in the Kansas City area within a year of each other. It is really nice to have such a good friend so close by!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2009 in Mary's Entries



A Stressful Friday

Today was a rather stressful day. School starts next Tuesday, and I have a lot I need to get accomplished. Yesterday and today the principal was out of town, so another teacher and I had to pick up a lot of her slack. Every time I tried to start something, I was interrupted. It took me an hour and a half to get back to my lunch after I heated it up. I was running around like a chicken with no head for 80% of my day. That is not a feeling I like to have. When I make a list, I like to knock things off of it, not do a thousand things that aren’t on it.

My Friday wine could not have come at a better time!
On a positive note, my classroom is looking great. Thanks to help from my friend Melissa, who came and helped a lot on Thursday, it is really starting to come together! The posters are up neatly on the wall and everything seems pretty symmetrical and tidy. I have a few things left to do in my desk and shelf area to make it fabulous and then I’ll post some pictures.

I did have a little luck shopping after school for books. I still need about 17 copies of The Outsiders, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Schooled, Hattie Big Sky, and Elijah of Buxton. These are all fairly new books and aren’t easy to find at the Half Price Books stores that I like to frequent.

I’m still up in the air about if I want to teach A Wrinkle in Time or not, I have never read it. Does anyone have thoughts on this? I’m also still thinking about Johnny Tremain. And still looking for other options! Always!
Also, a play based on the book Frindle by Andrew Clements is coming to KC late next spring. I am going to work that in somehow, a really quick read for my 7th and 8th graders and a lit circle option for my 5th and 6th graders. It’s always fun to see a play or movie about a book you’ve read, even though the book is usually better.
Thanks to Kay for some good ideas of non-food rewards for going the gym. I made it this week again! One day I went and they were closed (I guess the guy who was supposed to open overslept) so I walked by our house and went that night instead. Next week is going to be a lot tougher because I’ll have to get up earlier and be on a tighter time schedule, but I can do it! At least if I miss the morning I have the evening as an option.
Ok, enough of my rambling for now!
Here’s this week’s Friday Wine:
Winery: ?? Somewhere in California
Type: Red Table Wine
Where we got it: From my cousin Sandy when we met her out east this summer. She took us out for the best crab cakes in the world and gave us this bottle of wine that she got at a winery in California when she was visiting her son and daughter in law.
Grade: A for a red wine!


Posted by on August 21, 2009 in Mary's Entries


Tags: , , ,

I have found it!

Today was a busy day. We had church and then orientation for school. After that, we decided to do a little shopping- Jeff at Micro Center and me at Michael’s.
Then came the highlight of my day. I’d say highlight of my week, but it is only Sunday. After living on the east coast for three years, I was spoiled by the best pizza in the world. Since moving out to the Kansas City area, I’ve had pizza at a few places that have come close, but nothing quite right.
I read earlier in the week about a place with NY Style pizza called Original Pizza in Overland Park. We decided to stop and get a slice on our way home. The good news is: I have found a place with great NY style pizza! It is quite convenient on my way home from school as well. I’ll have to put a limit on how often I can eat there because I could eat pizza every day and not get sick of it.
I am looking forward to making this place a regular!
In other news, I’m very much looking forward to the Mad Men premiere tonight. What an exciting life I lead!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 16, 2009 in Mary's Entries



Prepping for School and Other Normal Stuff

This week was uneventful, yet productive. My classroom is almost ready, so next week I can really dig into curriculum and figure out what I am going to do for novels and social studies. I took all of my math things down and gave some of them to the 7th and 8th grade teacher who is teaching 5th and 6th grade math while I teach 7th and 8th English and spelling. I have my spelling and memory work lists done for the year and also know which stories I’m doing with 5th and 6th grade every week for the year. I’m miles ahead of where I was a year ago, and it feels so good!
Something else that feels really good is that Jeff and I have done a really good job of keeping the house straightened up. It is such a good feeling to come home to a clean house!
I’ve gone to the gym M-F for four weeks in a row now. I’m pretty impressed with myself for getting up early to do this. I hope I can manage to keep it up when school starts. I think I’ll have to get up 45 minutes earlier than I have been since teachers have been back at school. That’s really not so bad at all. I should come up with a non-food reward for when I make it to the six-week mark. That would bring me through the first week of school. Any ideas?
We have a pretty busy weekend this weekend. Tonight we have a wedding reception for one of Jeff’s coworkers, and tomorrow is our school picnic/parent orientation.
This week’s Friday Wine
Winery: Blumenhof
Type: Goldblumen ( a dessert wine)
Where we got it: We did a wine tasting when we went with my bro and sis-in-law and choose it
Grade: B- Extremely sweet, didn’t taste how I remembered it from the tasting, but it had been two years since we’d bought it. Maybe we shouldn’t wait so long next time!

1 Comment

Posted by on August 15, 2009 in Mary's Entries


Tags: , ,

At School

I’m at school right now, just finished lunch, and don’t have any idea what to do next. I’m at that “Where do I go from here?” stage. My coworkers floors are being waxed tomorrow so all of his things are in my room, so moving furniture is out of the question. I would probably feel better if I make a list.

On another note, this weekend I went to the Eastern side of Missouri and spent some time with my brother and sister-in-law and niece and nephew, and my friend Liz and her family and a few other friends. We had a baby shower for Liz, who is expecting her first in October. Her husband and stepdaughter were also baptized at St. John’s in Ellisville, which was pretty awesome. It was a fun weekend, maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time getting back to business.

No Friday wine last week, as I was on my way to Warrenton. I’ll have to drink double this Friday.

Tomorrow we are going to a Scholastic Warehouse sale. I hope we find lots of good books and cheap prices!


Posted by on August 10, 2009 in Mary's Entries


Tags: ,


Note to self: Next time in Philly, try pizza at Osteria.

1 Comment

Posted by on August 2, 2009 in Mary's Entries



Weekly Wine

My disclaimer: I am, by no means, a wine snob. I am perfectly happy with a bottle of Arbor Mist.

Over the past few years of our life together, my husband and I have amassed a collection of wine that we have been given as gifts or picked up on a special trip somewhere. We keep saving these for “special occasions” but never seem to have an occasion special enough to open one of these bottles of wine. We have decided that instead of waiting for special occasions that we will open a bottle of wine each Friday night and enjoy it.

I’m excited about this for many reasons. First of all, it’s a great way to unwind each Friday night as I don’t get out much and if we had a reason to go somewhere we’d skip the wine opening or do it Saturday instead. The chances of me having plans both nights on a weekend are slim to none. I prefer to stay in on Friday nights anyway and do the heavy partying (yeah right) on Saturdays instead. I am an extremely responsible, rule-abiding, by the book person. I would not drink and drive and enjoy my adult beverages responsibly.

That brings me to the second reason. As a teacher, I’m usually really beat by Friday night. When I lived on my own (many moons ago) I would come home, clean the apartment, take a bath by candlelight, and crash. In the three years Jeff and I have been married I have probably taken a bath three out of about 160 Friday nights. What’s better than a glass of wine and a bath? That’s just double the relaxation! I can make a point of this whole relaxing on Friday night thing.

Thirdly, I love patterns and symmetry. It starts with Friday wine and next it will be Monday meatloaf and Tuesday tacos. I could plan a week and just rotate meals every seven days…. Hmnn.

Lastly, I’m tired of waiting for special occasions to enjoy things. Why not live life to its fullest right now?

Winery: Stone Hill

Type: Golden Rhine

Grade: B (this teacher doesn’t give out A’s lightly!)

Where we got it: From Mary’s parents at Christmas 2008

Comments: Sweet, but a little dry.


I realize that wine glass is huge, and probably not really a wine glass, more like a water glass at a restaurant fancier than I usually am able to afford, but I’m ok with a big wine glass. Less refills.

1 Comment

Posted by on August 2, 2009 in Mary's Entries


Tags: ,