Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Charlotte's Web

Now that the TAKS test is over we can do reading lessons that are a little bit advanced for 3rd grade. I've decided to do a unit on Charlotte's Web. It's a book that is read mostly in 4th grade but since they aren't teaching it this year they lent me the copies to use.

I'm very excited about this unit and am starting it with my kiddos tomorrow. I think they're excited too because they saw the books on my back table and when I told them that we would be reading them they looked at their friends and smiled!

I remember when I first read Charlotte's Web. I was in 5th grade and I had checked it out of the school library. I mostly checked out ghost stories, but I felt I needed a break from them since I had been sleeping with my parents for like a week.

After I read Charlotte's Web I became obsessed with farms and farm animals and I desperately wanted a pet pig named Wilbur. I didn't care to have a friendly wise spider though.

So, tomorrow I will be introducing the book to the students, we'll learn about the author, E.B. White, discuss the voabulary words for chapters 1-3, and then begin reading chapter 1! I'm so excited!

Monday, March 30, 2009

"The Monday"

Happy Monday.

Last night Bryan and I went over to Chris and Kylie's house to eat and hang out. Chris is Bryan's friend and former college roommate. Kylie is my long lost sister in a past life. Okay, not really, but we're very much alike and yet still different but our differences compliment each other. Kylie and I have been good friends for a few years now, but our friendship is as if we have been good friends our whole lives. We never miss an opportunity to spend time with the Prathers. Bryan and Chris usually go off and play football in the yard or mario kart while me and Kylie talk, talk, and talk!

When I got home from the Prather's house I started to get ready for the next day since it's a work day. My routine in preparing for the next work day is as follows:

1. Make lunch
2. Prepare entire pot of coffee (I will drink it all) to begin brewing at 6:30 am.
3. Pick out clothes
4. Wash up, brush teeth, go to bed

As I was going through the motions of my routine I started to dread even waking up the next morning (that would be today), mostly because I remembered that I'm on recess duty this week (I hate doing recess) but also because I was certain that my angry parent from last week would send yet another demanding, petty note with her baby on Monday.

During my pouts and bitterness I decided to try and make the best of "The Monday." I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier that way I had a longer time to enjoy my morning and get ready. I move extremely slow in the mornings and knowing that I have extra time to get ready is like a cushion on a hard chair. I also took my shower in the morning. Showering in the mornings refreshes me some how and actually wakes me up faster. Then of course, I enjoyed the best part of my mornings and the first thing I think about as soon as I wake up; my coffee (Folgers said it best when they claimed their motto as "the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup)!"

So, needless to say, my Monday today wasn't so dreadful after all, and I think it mostly had to do with me enjoying the morning before work. It set my mood for the rest of the day! Monday is also reality tv night! I am a reality tv junkie, and tonight The City comes on at 9 and Dancing with the Stars comes on at 7. This will be my first time to actually watch DWTS, but two of the dancers were also on previous reality tv shows that were my favorites: Melissa Rycroft-Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader making the team and Holly Madison-The Girls Next Door!

Yay for "The Monday" that was actually pleasant!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I love Bryan

Yes, Bryan will take kissy pictures with me on one condition; I cannot post them to facebook. I think they're cute, but Bryan is never one for PDA. Unfortunately for Bryan, he doesn't read my blog!!! ;)

I have been praying for a man like Bryan since I was 10. One thing I prayed over and over for those many years was that my future husband would fall more and more in love with me each day. I know God has answered my prayer. I pray that God will help me love and respect Bryan the way a man deserves. I've decided that just because we're engaged and I know we're getting married doesn't mean I should stop praying!!! Love is a decision not a feeling. I've already made the decision to love Bryan...and I ask God everyday to help me feel that love for him the way I did when it was young and new!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I love my job but...

I cannot sleep right now because I cannot stop dwelling on how frustrating it is to deal with angry parents. I truly believe that the most difficult part about being a teacher is having to deal with a parent who finds little things to gripe about.

Some parents have legitimate reasons to have concerns with their child while he/she is at school. This year I have dealt with parents who were worried about their child's relationship with other students, grades, TAKS testing, and such; nothing petty, nothing to do with me personally and usually easy to resolve.

However, occasionally you have that one particular parent who finds irrelevant things to complain about, and rarely does this parent discuss these concerns with you personally. Instead they write little notes expressing their concerns. They write notes because these little irrelevant complaints are usually in regards to me. I refer to this kind of parent as the "helicopter parent" because they are always at their child's rescue on anything and everything rather the child is at fault.

Parents like these have a lot of nerve on paper, but like I said, they rarely bring their concerns to me either in person or in a phone conversation. It's easier to be ugly and mad on a piece of paper when there's not a way for them to get an immediate response.

Well, in my opinion, helicopter parents are only teaching their kids that they can never do anything wrong, and that they are never at fault for breaking rules of authority. I believe this is doing their kids more harm than good. Yes, they may be trying to protect their child and make things right for them, but when they fail to allow their children to receive consequences for their mistakes, imagine how they will be as teenagers? These types of parents are almost harder to deal with than the actual student.

I'm still frustrated, but at least I have blown off a little bit of steam. Okay, maybe now I can get some sleep.

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble

Today was a long day. I've noticed that Fridays tend to drag for me. Maybe because I stare at my watch until it's 3:30. It's particularly longer in the afternoons after lunch.

Bryan is in Abilene tonight at Ethan Moore's Bachelor Party. He called me earlier to tell me that his PaPaw is going to help us find a honeymoon vacation spot. Woo Hoo! We have already been talking about going to a ski resort since we're getting married in December. We're looking at Canada and places in the U.S. Bryan's concern about Canada is that it will be very very very cold up there during December; so cold that we wouldn't even want to go skiing. We have awhile to decide. I'd better go get my passport soon just in case.

Other than the honeymoon, the other big decision that Bryan and I have to make is where to live after we get married. I live in a small one bedroom apartment that is perfect in size for me. Bryan lives in a house with two roommates. We've decided we want a 2 bedroom apartment or duplex. We've looked around at a few places, and by look I mean just drove by and looked at pictures on the internet. I found these cottage duplexes that are very close to Tech that are in our price range and look really nice. So hopefully that will work out.

Only eight more weeks left of school! Hooray! I'm really looking forward to my summer vacation. Here is a list of my Summer Agenda (so far)!

1. Meg's wedding the first week of June (I'm a bridesmaid...she's a bridesmaid in mine...how cute)
2. Ethan and Sarah's wedding the following weekend
3. Engagement pictures
4. Gina's wedding and Phil and Emily's wedding (same day differe
nt times)
5. Mom's birthday on June 21
6. 4th of July!
7. My birthday
8. Reagan and Chase's wedding
9. Bryan and I register
10. Colorado at some point to see Kelly
11. Insert laying out at the pool any given day with Abby

12. Hopefully trips to DFW to see friends
13. My gown comes in sometime early-mid August

To get in the summer/beach mood look here ::

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good News!

I am very happy to inform all of you that I have received my students' Reading TAKS scores...annnnnd...(drum roll please) ALL of my students PASSED!!! Out of my 17 students, 9 received commended performance. Commended performance means that the students missed between 0-3 questions on the entire test.

The reading TAKS test is the biggest test for all third graders because they MUST pass it within three tries to move on to the 4th grade. A lot of things have changed in standardized testing since our TAAS days. When former president George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he passed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which states that any child who can not pass a particular section of the TAKS test for their grade level cannot be promoted to the next grade because their scores show that they are not ready, and that if they did move on to the next grade they would be academically behind.

Now, I'm not a big fan of the TAKS test. It's a whole lot of pressure on the students and the teacher, but I do agree with the idea of using a standardized test to determine a student's academic capacity. I don't however, think that standardized tests should be used to determine a child's academic abiltiy or level (some students have test anxiety).

There is a difference between capacity and academic ability. Capacity gives a broadened awareness of a child's skills whereas ability shows what the child can or cannot do (more black and white). I hope this makes sense because in my head it certainly does!

On another note, Kassie's wedding was very sweet and pretty. It was nice to get to rekindle with old friends and reminice on memories. It also made me miss college and Abilene (see previous blog).

I know I'm rambling, but has anyone seen the new previews for the movie 17 Again? If you haven't you need to YouTube it. I've marked it on my calendar to go see it. It's coming out on April 17. I also have a confession...Zac Efron is the lead actor in this movie, and I have a slight celeb crush on him because I think he looks very similar to my fiance, Bryan. **Please note: I started dating Bryan long before I even heard of Zac Efron.

Do you see the resemblance?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Abilene makes me miss college

I have been out of college for almost 3 years now, yet every time I go to Abilene, TX where I attended Hardin-Simmons University, I am reminded of all the wonderful people and memories that filled my life for 4 years.

I only have two high school friends that I keep in touch with, but the rest of my good friends are the girls that I met in college. These are the girls that I have formed lasting friendships with.

I remember freshman year and my fondest memories were of pledging Tri Phi and going to Formal in Dallas and rooming with Kasha and Blair. I would also spend most of my nights on the 4th floor of Behrens dorms in Amber and Amelia's room with those two as well as Kelly and Stephanie Boozer, who I called "T-Dog." Then there was of course the night that I wrecked the car that I shared with Abby and I turned to Kelly for advice knowing that she herself had been in more car wrecks than she had fingers on her hand. One night Amber, T-Dog, and I went to IHOP to study for Strickland's class and got pretty much nothing done. We gave up and instead went and bought shoe polish and went around shoe polishing the cars in the parking lot of the boys dorm. It was the day before Easter weekend so we drew Easter eggs and bunnies and wrote corny phrases like "Hop your way home."

Sophomore year we lived in an even better dorm, Ferguson. It had private rooms and suites and just looked nicer and cleaner. I shared a corner suite with Abby on the 2nd floor. Blair lived next to us in a private room. Down the hall was Amber, Amelia, and Brynn each in their own private rooms. Across the hall lived Hannah, and down from her was Kelly and Bobcat in a corner suite and then Landra in a private room. The rest of Tri Phi was spread out. The best memories of sophomore year were Sing practice (Gangster's Paradise), going to Anson Lights and McCaulley Gym because they were supposedly haunted, staying with Blair and her parents for a week, formal in San Antonio with Rachel Frazier (now Stewart), rapping to Eminem with Blair, and riding bikes with Kelly all over Abilene in the middle of the night.

That summer I lived with Abby and Rachel in an apartment on Bruce Way. I spent most of that summer either with Kelly and Blair videoing everything and everyone around Abilene and throwing water balloons at people from Kelly's car which we actually wrecked during our water balloon incident. We call it our water balloon scandal. We hydroplaned into a parked car because we were trying to get away from another car chasing us who we had previously thrown balloons at. I also spent that summer with Cassie Darby. I was with her the night she became a vegetarian. If you had seen the ham she almost ate you would never eat meat again either.

At the end of the summer, before my Junior year, I moved into one of the campus apartments with Abby, Blair, and Cassie. The day we moved in I met a very handsome boy named Bryan in the parking lot who was working on the HSU rec team for the summer and about to move out of the campus apartments. The best memories of that year were of course Sing practice again, intramural softball, the best formal in Oklahoma City, Rachel getting engaged and her lingirie party, and of also hanging out with the Bryan from the parking lot I had met earlier in the year.

The summer after my Junior year was probaby one of the best summers of my life! Rachel's wedding was in May in Shreveport, LA! We had a road trip with Krissie and Deborah! Cassie and I were literally joined at the hip. We mostly spent our evenings over at Ryan Feerer's house with Mandi and some of the Rocketboys. We told ghost stories, went to shows, played sardines over at Chad and Seth's house, and went to Dallas for a Rocketboy concert which is where Ryan and Cassie fell in love and a little romance unraveled! If I wasn't with Cassie at Ryan's, we were with Blair and Abby at the apartment. We went to a Rangers game for our birthday and on our way there Blair got a call from an old friend named David Smith. It wasn't much longer before she herself was involved in her own fairytale romance.

My senior year was spent with Cassie and Abby of course , as well as Mandi, Kristen, and Ericka. We had slumber parties at Cassie's house after the fair, Sing practice again, Halloween date function (Bryan was my date), Formal in Austin on Lake Travis, Kristen's engagement and lingirie party, Mandi's surprise birthday, music videos, dance videos, and videos of everyone doing the "worm," Landra's bachelorette party in Dallas with Kelly, Landra and Jeff's wedding, and also Bryan and I kept hanging out every chance we had. That summer Kristen got married in Dallas, Cassie, Abby, and I spent most of our days at the pool when Abby and I weren't working on the Rec team, and Bryan moved to Connecticut to do mission work in August. He called every single day! Mandi, Ericka, Stephanie, Amelia, Brynn, Amber, Abby and I graduated in December and that February Bryan and I started dating! It was a great way to end my college career.

Looking back at each year, each semester, and each summer of college I can honestly say that I feel as if I lived it to the fullest! If there is a time in my life where I could go back to relive I would have to say it would be those four years. But I am so glad to know that I still have the memories and the friendships of these years so that I will never forget one some of the greatest times in my life!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Winnie

Today I had the great joy in visiting a wonderful and special friend. Her name is Winnie Harrison. She will be 94 on July 7th; one week before my birthday.

Winnie is my adopted grandmother. She is a very dear family friend who has known and loved me since I was only 6 months old. She would often come over to see my twin sister, Abby and I, and give our parents a break by watching us.

Before Abby and I started school, Winnie would often keep us while my mom did chores or ran errands, and sometimes just to get a break from having twin toddlers running around. We loved our Winnie so much that we had to have her as our own, so we referred to her as our adopted grandmother.

I often think back to the memories that we had at our Winnie's house. We would walk in and the entire house smelled of fresh blueberry muffins. She knew we liked blueberry muffins so she made them each morning before we arrived at her house.

I also remember whenever it was nap time and Winnie would put Abby and I in the "pink" room to sleep. We called it the "pink" room because everything was pink. Abby and I were never fond of nap time, and we didn't want to be apart from our Winnie, so she would have to lay down with us, one on each side of her, so that we could take our naps. She would then get up once she was certain we were sound asleep.

I also remember Winnie having a bowl of grapes on the kitchen table one day and I ate all of them. I think that's partly the reason I love grapes so much because they remind me of my sweet Winnie's house with every sweet bite!

Winnie has a granddaughter of her own who is much older than me. She was a teenager when I was born, and her name is also Adrienne. Yup, this is the girl I was named after! Adrienne was a very sweet Christian girl as a teenager and grew to become the same very sweet Christian woman today. People saw her faith shine on the inside out including my parents, thus deciding that their first daughter would be named Adriene, however, my name is spelled with only 1 'n' and her's is spelled correctly with 2. (Thanks Mom and Dad).

About five summers ago, Winnie came over one day to visit with us. She said she wanted to make our wedding garters so that we would have them ready whenever we got engaged and started planning a wedding. A week later Winnie came back over to deliver the lovely blue and white garters. Inside the garter is a tag that reads "made especially for you by Winnie Harrison."

We have tucked the garters away in a safe place to save them for our weddings. My mom pulled mine out a week ago and I put it on last night. Tears welled in my eyes as I knew that this garter was created by the precious hands of a woman who I hold a deep and strong love for; my Winnie.

I decided to call Winnie today to tell her the news of my engagement and catch up. When we went to go visit her, she did not look like the same Winnie that I had remembered. She is soon to be turning 94 years old. Her body is thin, her hair is white, and her hands suffer from arthritis. But her eyes and her smile have yet to age and her voice and laughter still sound exactly the same as my Winnie from years ago. Her short term memory was not as sharp, but she had no problem talking about the old memories that we shared.

I brought along the garter to show my Winnie that I still had it and was excited about wearing it on my wedding day knowing that it was made especially for me by her. She was delighted to see Abby and I and our mom. She repeated over and over how much she loved us.

Seeing Winnie today was like a breath of fresh air. It rejuvenated our souls and reminded us of how special it is when God puts people in our lives like my Winnie. I strongly believe that the friends and family I have are my gifts from God and how I choose to feel and interact with them is my gift back to Him.

Thank you, God, for the blessings (people) in my life!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I told myself if I was going to create a blog I was going to enter a post each week. Well, I did not stay true to my vow...so here I am playing catch up!

The biggest thing in my life now is my recent engagement to my boyfriend, Bryan Simpson! He proposed February 15th at Buffalo Springs Lake.

It all started as just a simple walk and hike out at the lake one afternoon after church. We hiked up a hill and Bryan wanted to take my picture with the lake behind me. After he took the picture he said he wanted to take one more of me with something from his backpack. He opened it up and pulled out my very favorite stuffed animal from when I was a little girl, named Sparkling Bunny. She is very special. I slept with her every night, took her with me to college, and loved her with my whole heart.

At first I did not understand why Bryan had Sparkling Bunny in his backpack. I thought he brought her out there just to be silly. Then I noticed a note tied around her neck with ribbon that read "Will you marry me?" Tied with the note was a diamond ring! That is when I realized that Bryan was proposing! Needless to say, I said yes!!

So, this past month I have gotten to take in all the joy and excitement of planning a wedding with Bryan and our families! We have set at date for the wedding. We will be getting married December 19, 2009 at the First Baptist Church of Levelland. It will be a traditional Baptist ceremony and reception with a winter-Christmas theme!

I am excited to be marrying Bryan! I have been praying for my future husband since I was 10. I didn't know exactly what I wanted in a husband but I did know I wanted someone who was tall, handsome, someone who would love me more and more each day, and someone who was a man of the Lord. God honored these prayers and gave all that plus so much more that He knew I needed in a mate. I truly believe that Bryan and I were made for each other!