Friday, May 25, 2012

A is for Apple

I am just about to finish my 4th year as a licensed teacher.  I taught one year, full-time, before that.  I cannot believe I have stuck it out this long.  At our school, each year at the last faculty meeting, Mr. Ward (our principal) hands out a few red apples.  They are polished stone and are quite nice.  Last year, I commented to my dear friend and mentor, Heather, that I thought I was about ready for an apple.  Then I took on cheerleading.  I have a challenging student population.  I took on an extra class this year:  In addition to English III and English IV, I taught Fashion Design 2, 3, & 4.  I had cheer.  I do the barbecue each year.  I don't ever expect or even desire the Teacher of the Year status.  I don't even need to be a finalist for that.  I just wanted an apple.  I got an apple!!
Working for public schools, we don't get any bonuses.  There are very few pats on the backs.  Mostly, teachers are made out to be idiots by the media.  It was a good feeling that my principal thought I had done a good job this year and had gone above and beyond my regular duties.  It made me feel pretty good.  I just had to share that.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Greetings Earthlings! Let's watch TV and have some Dinner!!

As promised, here is a look at the cupcakes I made for the Young Women Camp Fundraiser.  The aliens are all sitting in their flying saucer.  They were pretty cute.  
 As much as people liked the aliens, they were even more taken with the TV dinner.  I don't know why, but people just couldn't get over the peas and carrots and the mashed potatoes.  The peas are a green candy - one could use Skittles - and the carrots are a couple Starbursts cut into small pieces.  The mashed potatoes are made with frosting, a yellow starburst, and carmel sauce.  It was a lot of fun to see the kids get excited over all the cool cupcakes.
 Maddie went to the 8th grade formal last night.  She looked so grown up with her hair done (Lani did it). Her dress was very classic and very "Maddie".  She doesn't want to be too flashy, but she likes to look clean and crisp.  Right after we took pictures, the rain started.  The girl to the right of Maddie has been Maddie's friend since Kindergarten.  They were in the same class and they got to be friends then.  They live just around the corner from us, so that has kept them in contact, too.  Maddie is looking much older.  I hadn't noticed it until she had her hair all done and everything.  I guess she is ready to start high school and all that!!  She had a good time at the dance and I have seen pictures that we taken at the dance where she is acting very much like herself and is being goofy, so don't think she has gotten all mature all of a sudden!!  Today she is off with her band at Universal Studios riding rides and having fun.  And, maybe a bit of music playing, or so I'm told.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

A warm Mother's Day greetings to any moms reading this today.  You are probably a relative or a close friend and so I can say that I'm grateful for the mothers that you are.  I'm glad you are putting forth the great effort it takes to raise children who are grateful, respectful, and hard working.  I see so many parents who are passive and do such a poor job at parenting.  I'm glad to be associated with hard working, caring moms and dads.

A few weeks ago, I had to take the school mascots to an elementary school carnival.  I needed a girl bird (I have a boy who wants to be "Swoop" next year [see the head in the background]) and so I asked Maddie and she agreed.  She had a fun time walking around dressed as a bird.  Here she is looking a little more like the Yeti.

I held my cheerleading tryouts this past week.  For the team meeting the next night, I made these fabulous cupcakes!!  Each girl and boy (3 boys this year!!) got a cupcake with their name on a megaphone!!  

Here is a group picture of Maddie's Art's Edge Company.  She has loved dancing with these girls these past 2 years.  They had a performance at the Fleming Island Plantation Something-or-Other yesterday.  
I have a few more pictures to post but all the email is working very slowly.  I wonder if that is a function of Mother's Day.  You'll just have to wait for them on another post!  Have a good week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another Prom for the Smiths!!

My greatest apologies for having let this go for so long, but here it is now and you are welcome!!  I was supposed to have my cheer tryouts in early April, but the state of Florida revised all their ideas and gave cheerleaders the same rules as football, so we all had to suspend our tryouts.  I spent a week and a half on the phone with other coaches, our athletic director, and other representatives and we finally came up with a plan.  Our Varsity tryouts start this weekend.  JV will have to wait until June.  It was a lot of stress, but we have a plan and it is the same plan that all the other local schools have, so I feel ok about it.  I just wish I already had this stuff behind me!!  

Instead, we finished up the dance year with a great banquet.  Rozzie auditioned for an officer position and was awarded "Junior Lieutenant" and we are so proud of her and her hard work.  She had to come up with choreography which is something she has never done.  She stressed about it for three days.  When the day finally came, she performed and interviewed.  One of the out-going seniors told me that Rozzie's choreography was the best they saw.  She was thrilled to be the one junior in the group of 4 officers.  Here they are pictured with their coach (in the middle).  
 The team had their banquet and there was a lot of picture taking going on.  This is Rozzie and Chelsea recreating a picture from their childhood days when they did a tap dance to "Sisters".  We hope they can relearn the dance and perform it at next year's banquet!!
 This weekend Maddie had a dance performance in Jacksonville for National Dance Week.  It was in the mid-90s and miserable, but they danced well.  Maddie is in the center here.  I know you have seen many pictures of her dancing and they all look the same, but you'll just have to see one more!!
 The exciting news in the dance world is that after much debate, Maddie decided to try out for the high school dance team (last minute!!) and was rewarded with a spot on the team Friday night.  She is excited and told me that it had been a good day.  We are excited to see both Roz and Maddie on the same team, dancing at football games, and going to competitions together.  They are both excited about it, too.

Saturday night was the PROM!!!  I made my dress.  It is a caftan and has a very unique construction.  I discussed it with my Fashion Design class at length and how it is a trendy design that I've seen on J-Lo, one of the Olsen twins, and a few others here and there.  I figured it would work for me as my figure is not so forgiving of many dresses.  I found this vibrant fabric that I loved, but I really thought it might be a tad too much.  Travis wasn't convinced of either the pattern or the fabric.  I expected it to be quite hideous.  But when I put it on, it was rather nice!!  It is almost two different dresses - see the pictures:

We went to dinner with friends and a few people in the restaurant stopped me to tell me how nice my dress was!!  At the Prom, the girls gushed.  All my students were amazed and loved it.  Travis even liked it.  Once I put it on, he said, "Oh!!  I didn't know what to expect, but I like it!!"  It was fun for the evening, anyway!!  The prom is always a good time.  Travis is a trooper to go along with me!!

Morgan has been home the past two weeks and we have enjoyed her company.  She got her wisdom teeth removed and said some pretty good stuff:

"I think Lady Gaga texted me this morning, so she might come over this afternoon."

Sadly, she never showed...

She is looking forward to working on Mike and Jenny's farm this summer.  She leaves for that job on Thursday.  We will miss her, but will be glad to have her back for a few weeks in July.