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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Life has been crazy!

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I last checked in here over a week ago when I told you that I was going to the balloon festival.  I didn't fly away in a balloon, but it would have been totally cool if I could have!

I haven't even looked at most of the photos I took that weekend, but here are just a few.  I'll post more later.

I couldn't believe how they held the balloons and baskets while the flames were going or how close they let us get.  At one point I was actually sweating.....too bad I didn't have any marshmallows.  lol!

It was pretty foggy in the morning and it took a while for it to burn off enough for the balloons to take off.  But it was totally worth the wait......and you'll need to wait for those photos too. lol!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekend Roadtrip!

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The end of a very long week has finally arrived and I am so, so glad! 

I'm spending the weekend in Immokalee and if you know anything about Florida you know that Immokalee isn't exactly a hot bed of excitement.  However, there is a hot air balloon festival this weekend and how can you pass that up?

Hopefully, I'll have some great photos to share with you next week.

If you're looking for something fun to do on Sunday morning check out the speed scrap that Shel is hosting!

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Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I am Unique by Two Moose Designs

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I've been pretty busy lately and have fallen behind on my CT duties once again.  I've got several kits I need to tell you about, but I am beyond tired so I'm going to tell you about I Am Unique by Two Moose Designs and save the other goodies for another post.

Check out this kit...

I Am Unique has 14 papers, 2 full alphas and 45 elements.  Here's a layout I made using this beautiful kit...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


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When you're a teacher, especially of Kindergarten students, your adult interactions are pretty limited during the day.  Sometimes, that drives you crazy, but other times it's a relief.

Today it was a relief.

We're doing a wonderful Wizard of Oz unit as our end of torture...I mean testing...celebration.  We've read two different versions of the story and watched the original movie. 

This morning the students walked into a building that had yellow paper rolled down the hallway so they could follow the yellow brick road to their class.

There were laughs and looks of surprise from the kids as I crossed arms with two other teachers and skipped down the hall singing,"We're off to see the Wizard." One of my students even declared, "Ms. Brown has gone crazy!"

We spent the morning discussing the traits of fairy tales ~ magic, royalty, mean characters, the mistreated underdog, the rewards for goodness and living happily ever after.  We talked about what we would wish for if we could click our heels together ~ going to California, going to a Chili's restaurant, having a million dollars, having a lot of candy, being on Splash Mountain, eating ice cream everyday.

OK, the ice cream wish was mine, but you've got to admit it's a pretty good one!

It wasn't until school ended that I heard about Boston and what happened there. 

It's been eight years since I was last in Boston.  It's a beautiful city with amazingly wonderful people.  We were there in early June and it was obvious that we were tourist.  The locals were enjoying what was warm weather to them ~  We were wearing sweat shirts and missing the Miami sunshine.  There was more than one occasion where we stood on the sidewalk trying to decide which direction we needed to walk in order to reach our destination.  We didn't stand there for long, because each time someone stopped and asked if we were lost or if we needed directions and each time they smiled and told us to enjoy our visit.

I love Miami, but I don't think our tourist always receive that kind of welcome.

So, today, I was grateful that I was cut off from adult interaction and news reports.  I am glad that I was able to spend a few extra hours in my fairy tale world before the real world came crashing through.

I hope my students have been spared from the news so that they fall to sleep with thoughts of fairy tales and living happily ever after. 

My friend Carla shared this picture/prayer on Facebook earlier today.  I'm not sure who created it, but it expresses my hopes for Boston wonderfully...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

My love/hate relationship with UPS continues...

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I've ranted before about how much I really, really very strongly dislike UPS.  OCG says it a wonder I ever receive a package that isn't broken and doesn't have the UPS drivers footprints all over it.  lol!  My response is always,"Hey, even that would be better than not getting my packages at all."

I missed a delivery on Thursday and I knew that I would miss it on Friday also, so I called and asked if I could pick the package up and said that it would be wonderful if I could pick it up today.  I was told someone would call me back. 

I get a call back saying my package will be available for pick up between 7 & 7:30 PM in Hialeah.  I drive out to Hialeah, which is a place I never ever go to, only to learn that my package is still out with the driver and he's not expected back until 9PM.  Of course, by that time the customer center will be closed so they can either redeliver it or hold it so that I can drive out there again to pick it up.

I was not a happy camper!

After several phone calls and a few emails I still don't have my package, but within two weeks I"ll be receiving a check from UPS for $25 to reimburse me for the gas I wasted trying to pick up a package that wasn't available when they said it would be.

The company that sent me the package?  Well, I also contacted them to let them know that I didn't have the package and I wouldn't be receiving the package because UPS sucks and that they are now losing a customer and they can thank UPS for that. They're duplicating my order and sending it out using another carrier.

UPS could learn a few things about customer service from.....well, lets be honest.....ANYONE ANYWHERE could teach UPS a few things about customer service.  They stink!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's over...for now!

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The torture that is standarized testing is over for now.  I celebrated with several margaritas!

Next week the torture process starts for the older kids. 

At some point someone needs to realize that we're hurting these kids with all of these test.  We're teaching an entire generation to hate school. 

When we aren't forced to give them the actual test, we are forced to give them interim tests to predict how they'll do on the actual test.  We're so busy testing the kids that we don't have time to actually teach them.

It's sad and scary. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Repost from last year

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Sorry for the rerun, but today is the first day of what I call legalized child abuse and the educational system calls standarized testing.  I will never understand why people think it's a good idea to force Kindergarten students to go through this.

Dear Class,

You should not read this blog because you are five or six and you are in kindergarten, but there are some things I want to say and this is the place I always come to when I need to work out my thoughts.

There are just some things people shouldn't know about their kindergarten teachers. Things you shouldn't know about me. The day you stop believing that I live in our class room, have Santa on speed dial and am close personal friends with Zero the Hero is the day the world begins to lose some of it's magic and you start to believe stupid things like standardized test scores being more important than fairy tales and daydreams.

There are a few things that are more important than fairy tales and daydreams. A standardized test score isn't one of those things.

I want you to know that I am sorry. I am sorry that in around 9 hours I'll be responsible for giving you a standardized test. I am sorry that from this day forward you will be constantly bombarded with standardized test in school. I am sorry that someone somewhere, someone who doesn't know you and hasn't met you will draw conclusions about who you are and how successful you'll be in life based on how well you score on these standardized tests. I am sorry because you are five or six and you are in kindergarten and you should be playing instead of testing.

You were sent home from school on Monday and told to get a good nights sleep and to eat a good breakfast before coming back to class. You should be sleeping now. I should be sleeping now.

I can't sleep because I'm worried about you. I've thought all night about what I can say to encourage you; to remind you of just how wonderful you are. Right now, it feels important for me to say that while you are, can and will be lots of things it is the thing that you aren't that matters most.

You are not a test score!

Through the years you will be forced to sit through more of these tests than anyone can count and you will have teachers who will handle them differently. Some teachers will try to make you believe that the future of the entire world depends on how well you score, others will simply tell you to do your best and trust that you will. I hope that I have been like the latter, but fear that I have probably jumped back and forth between the extremes. I am sorry if I have made you feel pressured to do well. I am sorry because you are five or six and you are in kindergarten and you are not a test score.

There will be questions on this test that you can't answer. I know that you will look at me with pleading eyes expecting help. I am sorry that I won't be able to offer that help. Please understand that it makes me as sad as it will make you. It makes me sad because you are five or six and you are in kindergarten and you are not a test score.

You will take lots of test during your educational career. Some will be long, others short. Some will take forever to finish and others will go quickly. Some tests you will enjoy and find easy; others ~ not so much. Just remember that there is more to you than any test score can ever reveal.

Through the years you will take some important tests too. Your courage will be tested. Your faith, loyalty, honesty, willpower, integrity and patience will all be tested. These are the only tests that really matter. The only tests I truly hope you never have to say you've failed.

I am tired now so I am going to try to sleep. When I see you in class I will smile and remind you to go to the bathroom, to listen carefully to the directions, to think about your answers and to do your best.

That's all you need to do. Nothing more and nothing less. Leave all the worrying to me because you are five or six and you are in kindergarten and you are not a test score.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things are better!

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They showed up Friday morning to fix the AC in my class!  I told them to leave it in high and when they asked why I wanted to be that cold I told them, "If it's on my body and it's possible to freeze it off, I want to do it!"

I was out and about Saturday when this dog came up to me and just kind of leaned against me and stopped.  I looked down at her and said, "Well, hello there."

About that time the dogs owner called out, "Come on, old lady, you don't have to say hi to everyone."

I very quickly and very loudly responded, "HEY!" in a tone that let him know I didn't appreciate being called an old lady.

He quickly explained that the dog's name is Lady and they often call her "Old Lady" because she is 19 years old.  He then told me that made her something like 91 in dog years.

Old Lady had been a rescue dog who was abused by the people who had her before.  They got her and took her home thinking she wouldn't live much longer.  They wanted her to be loved during whatever time she had left. 

That was nine years ago.

You go, Old Lady!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mix It Up templates by Nibbles Skribbles

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Manda of Nibbles Skribbles has released a cute set of templates with space for lots of pictures.  They come in layered PSD and Tiff, individual PNGs and .page and .sbpage for Storybook Creator users!Check them out...

The yemplates are availables in the Nibbles Skribbles store at The Studio and right now they are on sale.

I used one of the templates and a soon to be released kit from Nibbles Skribbles called Medley to scrap some photos of the beach...


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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Things have been bad!

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I've been quiet the last couple of days because I've been hot, tired and cranky.  Things have been bad.....really, really bad!  I am absolutely convinced everything is going wrong because I still have no AC in my class.  It's been 18 calendar days since I first reported it was broken and if they would just fix it I know things would get better.  And heck, even if things don't get better, at least I'll be nice and cool!

Here are just a few examples of the things that are going wrong...

Last week, I went shopping for a new mattress and actually decided to buy a new bed to go with the new mattress.  The finish on the bed matched the bedroom furniture I already have so it was perfect.  One new piece of furniture, a much needed new mattress and it's like I have a whole new bedroom set! 

The store I bought it from only delivers Monday - Friday and couldn't deliver while I was still on vacation.  I made it clear that I would need a late afternoon delivery and was told that they would make me the last delivery of the day and that I would get a call the day before with the final delivery time.

Well, on Wednesday I get a call letting me know that my bed would be delivered between 9 and 11 AM Thursday morning.  I quickly say that won't work. I made it clear that the day of delivery wasn't as important as the time of delivery and  that my account had been marked to show that I needed a late afternoon delivery.

The girl on the other end of the phone replied, "Well, that's not possible."

She didn't offer to reschedule or try to explain why it wasn't "possible".  She just expected me to give in and change my schedule to fit their needs. BUT...I'm the customer.  They weren't doing me any favors.  I was doing them one by spending my hard earned money in their store.  So...

Instead,  I replied, "Well, then we're just going to cancel this sale and you can refund the money back to my credit card and I'll go spend it at one of your competitor's stores."

Girl on the other end of the phone: "I'll have to connect you with the sales clerk who helped you so that the refund can be processed."

Me:  "That's fine.  I'll be more than happy to talk to him and let him know that the reason he's losing whatever commission he was supposed to make on this sale is because you were very rude and unhelpful."

I got put on hold!

Christian, the hot sales guy who had helped me didn't pick up the other end of the phone.  Instead, it was some other girl who said she was the store manager. I explain to her why I want to cancel the sale and get my money back.  She says that I have two options:

1. reschedule the delivery for Tuesday when they can get it to me between the hours of  3 and 5 PM
2. Have my money refunded.

I know that she  was completely expecting me to want that new bed so badly that I completely forgot about the rude girl I had just spoken to and reschedule the delivery. 

She doesn't know me! 

I don't like being disrespected and I don't spend my where I get disrespected!

I told her that the first girl should have offered to make the delivery schedule change instead of declaring that a late afternoon delivery wasn't possible and that if she had done that I would have gladly rescheduled, but she didn't and I wanted my back.

The money is supposed to be refunded within 3 to 5 business days.  If the transaction doesn't show up on my credit card by the fifth day...I'll be calling that store again!

I probably should be nice and not mention the name of the store that gave me such a fit, so I'll just say that I will never, ever buy anything from Modani Furniture of 2898 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Florida and I don't recommend that you do either.

That's just one of the many things that have gone wrong lately!

Want to hear about another one?  Too bad!  I'm going to tell another story anyway.

On Wednesday, as I was driving home from school, all hot sweaty and tired when the light came on in the car to let me know that I needed gas.  I didn't want to stop for gas!  I wanted to get home and take a cold shower, so I decided to do just that.  I came home knowing that the gas station is close enough for me to get to the first  thing in the morning.

So, I get to the gas station on Thursday morning,slide my card through the reader, punch in my zip code and start mindlessly pumping my gas.  The pump shut itself off after I had pumped $28.40 worth of gas into my car.  I didn't know what was going on!  My car had been beyond empty when I started so I knew that $28 wasn't going to fill it up.  I was looking at the pump and pressing the handle trying to figure out why I couldn't get more gas when the lights suddenly went out.

This scared me...first the pump and then the lights! 

Naturally, I thought, "OMG! It's the North Koreans!"and started looking around for someone (hopefully someone young, male and super good looking) to help/protect me when I realize that the lights inside the store are still on and that one of the guys inside is watching me through the window.

I threw my arms up in the air and gave the guy the nationally recognized, "What the $%^&?" shrug.  He came to the door and called out to me, "We turned the pumps off, cause it's time to do our change of shift paperwork." 

That's right!  They couldn't wait for me to finish my purchase.  They had to get that paperwork work done so that one of them could go home.

I really wanted to show the guy another nationally recognized hand gesture, but I didn't.  Instead, I just said, "You realize that you're losing here, right?"  I don't know if he answered me or not cause I didn't waste any time getting into my car and driving way.  After all. the North Koreans could still have been behind the whole thing.  You just never know!

Here's a little bit of good news....

My principal moved me into a portable today until my AC gets fixed.  The portable smells really bad, but it has AC so I'm not complaining!  Breathing in the smell of  mold may kill us, but at least we won't be hot and sweaty when we go! lol!

I was also told that the part  to fix my AC is in and that as long as there are no "emergencies" my air should be fixed tomorrow.  We'll see...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Opening Day Sale

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If you know anything about Shel of Shel Belle Scraps then you know that she kinds likes baseball.....ALOT!

If you like baseball too take advantage of her opening day sale...

Shel is also hosting a template challenge on her blog so you can scrap those baseball pictures (or any pictures, really) using any current Shel Belle Scraps kit, the free template that she's giving away and earn the chance to win a $5 gift certificate to her store at Stuff to Scrap!

Check out all the details on her blog!

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm not ready!

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I'm not ready to go back to school! 

I'm not ready and knowing that I'll be walking into a class with no air conditioning is making it all even worse!


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