Monday, October 31, 2011

My Visit Home

I worked summer school this summer, specifically to buy a plane ticket to visit my family.  When HH and I moved here, we knew that I would need to supplement seeing my family because my family does not have as free finances to visit.

I left Friday morning, and arrived at 1:00, and left Sunday at 7:00 (both times eastern).  We got home to our house at 2:30 am.  I learned that I can't do this short of a trip again.  It took a toll on me, though I really enjoyed myself. 

I loved seeing my Gran.  She has really had some health issues lately, and I was worried that I may not be able to see her again.

With my nieces Meredith and Mallory.

With my best friend.

I loved how snuggly my nephew Lucas is.

My brother and I spent a lot of time together.  My sister was not able to spend as much time with us. 

Goofing off with my dad.

My dad bought me three bags of Tootsie Rolls for Halloween too.  He also suggested to my mom that she pack up a favorite blanket

Another best friend of mine.  I will be teaching a graduate class with her next summer in Kentucky.

It's Close to Midnight....

Halloween 2011...

Jobs would be so proud....

The boy on the left made most of his costume out of duct tape.

One of my new students...

I did this while HH was at the grocery store.  He loved it.

We are all about the candy at our house.  HH got this from an idea I saw on the Dating Diva's website.


I loved our Popeye and Olive Oil costumes this year!  I am very happy that my husband has always been more than willing to dress up.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Loving the Slow Cooker

I am loving making dessert in the morning, letting it cook in my classroom, then passing out treats to the staff.  I've made two recipes which turned out awesome...

Chocolate Cobbler in the Crockpot

Apple Crisp in the Slow Cooker :  Only problem with this was I stink at peeling.  I can peel, as long as I don't mind about 1/3 of the apple/potato going out with the peel.  I used a peeler, so this helped a lot.

I made HH a "Some Mummy Loves You" candy bar from The Happy Home Fairy.  I also went ahead and made a few extras for the ladies at church to give to their husbands.  I might do this for the kids at school, but I have several other food related Halloween goodies for them coming up.  HH loved his candy bars!

Saturday was game night, and it was my turn to host.  We had two new pharmacists in town come.  They were an awesome addition.  She made an awesome Alton Brown dessert, and we completely bonded on foodie things.  Score!

I made Kielbasa with Pasta, Asparagus, and Shitake Mushrooms

I also made Taco-Seasoned Chex Mix.  This went over well too, but when I make it again, I would certainly double up the seasoning.  I think it just needed more.

I made my first attempt at fudge tonight.  I waited until I my candy thermometer came in from Amazon.  I got the recipe for Pumpkin Fudge from Brown Eyed Baker.  I am glad I had the candy thermometer.  I would not have let the stuff to boil as high as it did without checking the thermometer.  Here is what my stove looked like:

If it doesn't turn out, HH says that is no problem he will eat it with a spoon.
Friday night a special was aired on 20/20 by Diane Sawyer.  It was called "Children of the Plains."  I highly encourage you guys to check this special out.  This is VERY close to where we live.  This is a very accurate description of life where we are.

Art My Students Did with ME!

I'm not an artist.  I found a step-by-step art project, and we did these as a reward for compliments earned.  They loved the project, and I was really pleased with the results.  :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Few Pictures From My Classroom....

Math Activity:

The Oreo Project/Oreo Sculptures

I really try not to focus on the negatives but there are a few that I have to get off my chest.....

Attendance here is the absolute worst I have ever experienced in my 11 years of teaching.  Sadly, my class is not different from other classes in my school or the district in general.  Things are very lax in this regard.  I have fifteen students, and I had fourteen absences this week.  Roughly 20% of my class missed the entire week when you look at it broadly like that. 

The hardest thing was Friday night at youth.  One of my students who didn't come to school (and missed 23 days last year, and is well on her way to doing that this year)....came to youth.  She comes up and tells me that she is sorry she wasn't at school, but her grandfather wanted her to ride with him to a nearby city (45 minutes away) to get his license plates.  REALLY?  I don't want to turn these kids away from Jesus, but it is really a slap in the face to me that you can't come to school, but you can come to something "fun" that night that I help lead. 

I have another student who has moved cows six days this school year.  No homework has been turned in the entire year, and this student is really low. 

The doctor for the town is a five minute walk from our school...and the kids will miss all day for a doctor appointment.  On the 1st and 15th when government checks are issued, students often go to Rapid or Bismarck to shop.

Many times they stay home for days with no doctors notes at all.

It really seems to be accepted and a "fact of life" here on the reservation and it is sad.

There are some really good teachers where I work, but most of my kids are not used to being pushed like I am pushing them.  I think I really stepped up my expectations at my last school because that was our entire school culture.  We just expected more, and worked hard to provide them ways to get to the goals we set.  One of my really good kids the other day, you know the kind who always do what they are supposed to, asked me if we would ever get "free time." 

I've probably said too much, so I'm going to stop now.