Jay and Stacey

Jay and Stacey

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SUPER Summary Sunday! for 8/6-8/21!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the delay, but we were on vacation on the Jersey Shore and didn't have a way to update the blog, THEN this week was crazy busy getting ready for my return to work on Monday :(

The week at the beach was AWESOME! Both of the kids love the water and love to body surf. We rode bikes, rented a surrey, climbed a lighthouse, played mini golf, ate pizza and had a relaxing time. And, Stacey caught the brass ring on the carousel!!!! And, Jay and Stacey went to the restaurant where they -in August of 1998 - decided that marriage to each other would be a good idea. Tisha's was wonderful then and now.

Janey and Daddy in OCNJ.
My silly family.

Mini Golf!!!!!!
Mommy and Jack in OCNJ.



The Monday after the beach we spent a VERY long day at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. It was great. Rides, animals, food....

When we returned life got into full swing. There was school shopping, clothes shopping, football practice, horseback riding and last minute visiting with friends before the madness begins.

Janey got a full suit of show clothes and looks adorable. We decided to go to two private lessons per week for her instead of leasing a horse. This gets her way more instruction to hone her skills. Leasing will come next school year.

Pretty Girl!

Jack was issued #7 at football and is loving being a Rockville bear.

Jay has restarted construction on the basement bar. Woot Woot!

Stacey has finished almost all of her summer reading. Almost.

The big push has begun in the house to get our entries ready for the annual Damascus Community Fair on September 9. Janey is submitting a cross stitch, a wooden horse model and a latch hook. Jack is submitting a fleece no-sew blanket, a model animal and a Lego car. Stacey is submitting a cross stitch and some photographs she took. Jay is just cheering for us - very quietly. Wish us luck!

Stacey's big 5K is on Saturday September 3rd. Think good thoughts for her. Please. Pretty Please. She is going to need it.

See you tomorrow for Media Monday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

4 Things Friday 8/5/11 - WootWoot Week

1) The week really began on Tuesday when we found out that Jay DID NOT get laid off from Cisco. This event set up a great rest of the week. The old Jay is back. The funny, calm, amazing guy that disappeared when they announced layoffs three months ago kicked the stressed and cranky Jay to the curb Tuesday night. Life is so good! You don't realize how much stress and angst you are carrying until it's gone.

2)Wednesday was a great day. Janey got a clean bill of health at the opthomologist - another year without retinal damage due to diabetes. Then we went to the barn and Janey had a great lesson - it involved Sunny and cantering, that is always a good thing. THEN,we had dinner with some great friends at a local restaurant called Batik. It was WONDERFUL as always. A Great - but busy - Wednesday!

3) Thursday included a girls' day out. Janey and I got mani-pedis and then went out to lunch and shopping at the bookstore. It really was a wonderful mother/daughter day - Jack hung out with the neighbors! Again, Fabulous Day!

A great pic of us girls at the Keys game in July!

4) Friday started off rough. I went to Weight Watchers and I gained 1.8 pounds this week. I had done everything right - drank water, went for a run, counted my points, ate lots of fruit and veggies......I was so shocked by the weight gain that the lady behind the scale was afraid I was going to cry, and I did, just not in the meeting. I got out to the car and had to chat with someone who could help me through the sobs. Who did I call and who made it all better? Not a girlfriend, but my BEST friend, Jay. He reminded me that even with the gain this week I was still down 41 pounds and that was nothing to cry about. He told me I should be proud of the hard work I put in and that I was beautiful. He said I should think about my weight loss like the stock market. Some days it is up and some it is down but, in the end, what matters is riding out the bumps and staying in for the long haul. Am I mad I gained, yes. But did I LOVE getting a really great amazing reality check and pep talk from the world's best husband? You bet! It almost made the 1.8 worth it!

But the day just kept getting better as we prepared for our annual trip to the Jersey Shore.

But wait, there's more. Now that finances are set, and since we missed the big Disney trip this past July, we are GOING ON A CRUISE with the Horman family in November. Booked the balcony cabin today.

This is the boat!

And lastly, as a reality check to myself, I tried on a formal dress that I have not fit into for about 8 years. I have kept it all these years because I love it and I had hoped to fit back into it. Tried it on - it fits. Now I want that dress to be too big - it just takes time.

This is that dress...soon it will be too big...soon it will be too big!

See you Sunday for the weekend Wrap-up!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordy Wednesday for 8/3 (a bit late)

SO.......Still trying to read Ethan Frome.

Think I might put him away for a bit and read some of the short stories that I will need to use in September for AP Literature. I love short stories because they can be incredibly complex even though they are often as short as only 2 pages. The writng of a good short story is masterful - and in my opinion - often more difficult than constructing a novel.

Here is a list of the things I need to read/re-read:

1) "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlott Perkins Gilman. AMAZING! Love this story and cant wait to teach it.

2)Artist of the Beautiful by Nathaniel Hawthorne - a favorite of the other AP Lit teacher I will be working with. I have never read it but look forward to it.

3)Little Things by ...can't remember who wrote it. I hate when that happens. EXCELLENT. Very Short and Very disturbing. Ohhhh, Raymond Carver is the author. WooHoo! I look forward to student reactions to this one!

4)The Trout by Sean O'Faolain. A good Irish author. I'm bound to love this.

5)I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen. Early feminisim. I will probably love this one too.

6)The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. Heartbreaker, but I love it. Hope the kids get it.

Busy, busy, busy. I will review the new stories for you next week.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Media Monday 8/1 - All About Teaching

This blog entry is all about my CHOSEN profession, teaching.

I am including my 2 FAVORITE videos about teaching. One is VERY new and one is pretty old, but they are both amazing and powerful. One is by the son of a teacher and one is by a teacher, both are heartfelt.

This past weekend, Matt Damon - the son of a teacher - said some AMAZING things at the Save Our Schools rally in DC. His comments about the current state of teaching are right on target. I have to admit, I got a little teary listening to it. It's good stuff!

Taylor Mali is a poet and a teacher. This is a cute video someone made to accompany one of the best descriptions of teaching I have ever heard.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday Summary! 7/31/11

Congratulations to us! Today is Jay and Stacey's 12th anniversary! And it is hot as crap just like it was 12 years ago. No, I think it was hotter then.

We went out Friday night for some family fun. We had dinner at our local diner - The Star Diner - where they know us pretty well. While eating we decided we needed an adventure. What to do? How about some duck pin bowling?!?!?! The alley was pretty empty and we had a blast. Mommy won the first game and Jack won the second.

Saturday morning began with Stacey's weigh-in at Weight Watchers. I'm down another 2.8 this week!!!! This is almost 45 pounds total since I started.

After WW we headed out for our weekly farmer's market trip to Rockville. The peaches, green beans, corn and tomatoes looked fabulous! Can't wait to dig in!

Saturday was also the Mary of Nazareth "Taste of Maryland" picnic. We bought this dinner at the MoN gala in March and most of the price we paid went to the school. It was just a cool opportunity to get together with 10 other couples - and no kids - and hang out and eat good food, like CRABS!!!! Having our trusty babysitter made it easy to relax and have fun.

Sunday was a laid back day with each of us spending it doing stuff we love - just not necessarily together. Jay cleaned his car, took a 4 hour nap and watched some baseball. Stacey cleaned her car and watched an "Iron Man" double feature. Janey and Jack played with their friends. THEN we all got ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. It was a pretty good day ;)

Friday, July 29, 2011

4 Things Friday for 7/29/11

Here are 4 cool things this week:

1) Tuesday night we went to the Kennedy Center with Jay's mom to see "Wicked" the musical. OMG! it was fantastic and amazing and funny and wonderful! As you can see, we liked it.

2) Wednesday, Stacey got a bit of "me" time when she had her hair done. Ralph, the hair stylist, said that I needed cool new hair to go with the cool skinny me - so I became a red head! Super fun.

3) Thursday, Janey got to have a play date and sleep over with her friend Jessie. She had a blast! They went out to dinner, went to the pool, made arts and crafts, and played with Jessie's dogs Bear and Goldie!

4)While Janey was having fun girl time, Jack and Mommy did back to school shopping. Holy Crap was that expensive! $300 later all of the school supplies for Janey and Jack have been bought. Pencils, markers, index cards, paper, pens, dictionaries, flash drives, back packs and a million other things - but at least its over!

It was a light and fairly uneventful week - that was a nice change!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordy Wednesday for 7/27


That is about all I could say when I finished the Dickens novel "A Tale of Two Cities" While I had been avoiding it and had no real desire to read or teach it, my move to teach AP Literature next year made it a mandatory summer read. The reason I say that "Wow" was all I could say was because I was too busy openly weeping to say anything else. If you've never read it or haven't read it since high school - try it again. It is a beautifully constructed piece of literature.

For book club this past month we read "Breakthrough" about the discovery of insulin. I read it aloud to Janey and we LOVED it. It lent itself nicely to discussion - is the gain we make through animal testing worth it? would you jump your child in ne for a new drug if it meant she would live but another might die? Good stuff and a fast, good read.

I am now falling (or sledding) into the depths of despair as I reread "Ethan Frome" by Edith Warton. This is another AP text; the difference here is I read it in college and hated it. Hopefully I will like it this time.

Last, but not least, I am reading "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running" in preparation for my 5K in September. Learning lots of cool stuff and worrying lots too. I hope I'll be ready....

Happy Reading!