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January-February 2016 phone pics

My Christmas post never got finished. . .a book I am making with all the pictures I put in the Foster Family 2016 calendar is still waiting to be finished. . .there are so many things!  I go to my blog 2-3 times a week to read up on my favorites (found on the right sidebar) and am just plain tired of what I see on my blog. . .I just emptied my phone of pictures so. . .here's a random post containing mostly Pictures-of-the-Day (something I try to do daily on Facebook) from the last two months.  I have lots to say, lots of thoughts to put in order, but if I try too hard this post, too, will never get published.

I love playing Kahoot It! with my classes. . .and sometimes we even get our devices out at home and play!!! 
I'm really enjoying my job as a K-5 technology teacher this year. . .the schedule is great but I'm extremely frustrated with public school in general (the emphasis on testing and teacher inservice) and my drive - 35 minutes one way - is really tough on my family life.  It's a great school and a great community. . .but I also love where we live and miss being a full-time mom.

This was New Years Day with our good friends from Cookeville. . .they came over for New Years Eve and then had a lazy morning with them. . .the computer was set up on the entertainment center on the television on so two games could be watched at once :)

Margaret & Susan

My sister and her family stopped by on their way home from South Carolina after New Years. . .Thomas was working so we went up there to say "hi".

 And then I found a picture of the two of them in one of my photo books from 2010. . .

I was so frustrated after taking the picture below that it was blurry. . .still posted it as my Picture of the Day though!
I think this was one of Frederick's indoor games. . .I bribe the kids with dinner if they'll let me take their picture --ha!  I love, love, love my life and kids!!!!

Teachers had to go back a day before students in January. . .our administration is pretty good about welcoming us back festively. . .I say this is always a sign of a female administration :)

Margaret (on left) decided to play soccer this spring. . .so this was early in January, at our fitness center, with Marie (on right) kicking a ball at Margaret.  She was hoping to be a goalie but seems to play a lot of midfield instead. 

Frederick made this giant monster castle for his social studies class -- he was super-proud of it and worked really, really hard. . .it was truly something he did all on his own.  It was *huge* and Tom had to take him to school to deliver it!

Our Christmas tree was still up mid-January. . .we took the other decorations down over New Years but enjoyed the tree for quite awhile longer.  I just LOVE my new living room complete with fireplace!!!

I also really, really like our eating area -- the lightness and brightness of it.  I think this is my favorite room in our house.  As we're trying to decide on a color palate and over-all decorating "theme" for this house, I like to collect pictures of things I like. . .I like this :)

What a month on our family calendar looks like -- at the beginning of the month.  The activity generally doubles, as you can imagine. . .

Some indoor soccer :)  This is Margaret's team -- Margaret is in red all the way to the right -- Marie also played at this venue this winter and Frederick played indoor with his fall team also but in another arena. 

I enjoyed watching my girl cheer this year (second from right) but she would REFUSE to look at me if she saw I was trying to take her picture.  She had a great school cheer coach and talented team but school cheer is just too much work overall, hence the move to soccer.  We said "no" for trying out for HS -- it's not great on her body (something always hurts) and we're just tired of it taking over our lives. She was very, very good at it but time to move on. . .

This was dinner one night after I had been home for days on end (we had a few snow days). . .it got LOTS of FB comments. . .guess we're not the only family that cleans out the fridge this way!!

 My weekly board up at school. . .I try to make it work for more than one week at a time ;)
I begin my day at 7:10 with gym duty, then head to my classroom at 7:30 and prepare for 5th grade at  7:55, then 4th grade at 8:40, 3rd at 9:30, and 2nd at 10:15. . .from 11-1 I have plan, lunch, meetings, and most days a fifth grade class and 3rd grade class come in to do Khan Academy with their math classes.  Every Wednesday I teach preK (with their teachers!) from 11-1140.  At 1 p.m. 1st grade is there, then at 1:45 I take them to PE and pick up a kindergarden class.  We run on a 4-day rotation so whatever class I have Monday I will also have Friday (on 5-day weeks, of course). 

Here is a picture of morning gym duty -- all classes line up according to grade. . .K is all the way to the right. . .4 and 5 are off-camera on the left.  They sit in these rows and read books silently.  The first week I did this I was shocked at how it all worked, and worked so well!  There are three of us that volunteered to do it for the year.  I've done enough after-school duty in my life to know I would rather do something consistent like this and have it over with before the day begins.  Since a contracted teacher's day doesn't begin until 7:30 I am allowed to leave 15 minutes before the contracted end of the day but I rarely take advantage of that -- I'd rather get stuff done after school and not bring anything home!  The best part of my new job is that I probably only put 2-3 hours in at home now every week vs 2-3 hours a NIGHT in other classroom jobs I've had. . .

Grandpa Foster was down one weekend in January and took in a bunch of soccer :)

Marie ended up playing with an indoor team that is not in our city. . .and she has really enjoyed being a part of that team!  Teams sign up together, of course, but if you don't have a team (and she didn't at that time) you can put your name on a list and if a team needs a player or two they can select from the list.  It worked out really well for everyone involved!

We got a little snow this year. . .

And still try to do things together when we are all at home. . .(I actually ended up winning this time -- very, very, very rare!)

Margaret was one of 5 8th graders on her team this year (second from left)

And Frederick was practicing his food presentation skills with leftovers. . .
I don't remember why he let me take this picture (but I see we are at Nick & J's so it must have been his "payment" for lunch -- ha!). . .I see I had some time to paint my nails -- score!

Tom went to OH with these two for a soccer tournament -- sixty degrees in February!!!
Again, a picture like this is worth a million bucks to me.

My beautiful, wonderful, terrific, fantastic kids left this out for me on my birthday. . .and then we got a late call-off from school (for ice on the roads) -- it was a good day to turn 44 :)

Because we had the day off, Marie had time to make my very favorite chocolate cake -- even the icing is homemade!!

And then that Friday we had some unexpected snow and another day off :)  The snow didn't stick around for long, but every time it did fall this year Frederick made the most of it.
I had this special picture sent to me of my mother and beautiful niece (she lives down the road from them now so they see each other LOTS -- lucky girls).

 I've been doing *major* reflection this year. . .and must have been having "one of those days". . .all of these spoke to me.

 Valentines Day gifts this year -- I got Frederick a sled because he was always using someone else's. . .then the forecasted snow didn't happen. . .:(

My first sous vide meal. . .on V'day for the family.  Delicious. . .perfect. . .(complete with "kids' wine")
 We all like to take pictures of our spoiled pup on her sofa. . .she can be found here about 80% of the time. . .
 Marie got me such a thoughtful birthday gift -- a new hat!!!  I love it.

At our February staff meeting we all had to fill out hearts saying what we loved about our school and they were posted in a hallway around a bulletin board.  That gave me this idea to do a poster for each teacher (18 total) and two of our interns in grades 1-5.  Because of two snow days that week these didn't get "officially" posted until afterwards, but they were still super-special for the students and teachers I think.

The computer skill I used was changing font size and style.  For the older kids it was just a 10-minute things before the "real" lesson but for the 1st graders we took time to color them too.  They were all posted on the outside of our free-standing library "walls" (bookcases)

 My sister or Tom sent me this picture of Marie and AVJ when Marie was in OH for soccer last weekend.  I cried.  I love these two so, so much.  I can't believe how blessed Jodi and I are to be parents to these wonderful, beautiful, special girls.

And truly, equally as special for me, was being out with these two that same night here at home.  I don't lie when I say I can only get pictures if I promise them food :)

Marie playing indoor last Sunday after playing a 9:30 a.m. game in Blue Ash, KY with her travel team then hauling back here to make her 5 p.m. game with this team.  This girl loves soccer!

Picture of the Day last night (2/26) - that 6 on the scoreboard was Thomas's corner kick that bounced in the net!  Super great way to start the season. . .the season that he said he wasn't going to play. . .and then announced a couple of weeks ago that he was going to. . .so between his job, his duel-enrollment course at the Community College and this. . .he's staying very busy.
And this is what I attempted to do today (Tom is out of town with Margaret for soccer this weekend) and got the entire thing done. . .only to find out the original coat was oil-based.

I think only the part surrounding the firebox is oil-based though. . .the top part of the mantle took the paint (and kept the paint) pretty well.  I then went around testing other parts of the house (we really want to change all the trim to white) and found some places, like the crown molding, is oil-based while other places, like the transoms around the front door, are not.  Soooooooo. . .I will NOT get a project completed this weekend.  Boo.

 And a few other pictures from today -- Margaret with her team in Atlanta (she also sent me a picture of her and Tom that didn't download to this file I am pulling from) -- she is second from the right.
 The dog and then my oldest girl enjoying the beautiful sunshine that made an appearance today. . .

 And Frederick playing tennis outdoors and inside tonight. . .this is the first "serious" play he's ever really done (except when he played for me on our middle school team when he was in 5th grade).  I'm so excited to see if he will be my tennis player!!!  He certainly has the ability and skill :)
And, because I am a lousy sister on this front, I forgot to send my little brother a card on his 39th, which is tomorrow.  Here are some pics from our Nashville trip last year -- happiest of birthdays tomorrow Brad!



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