Rachael's trip

Friday, June 7, 2013

Advice to my 15 year old self

As part of an ad campaign, a beauty company asked what beauty advice you would give to your 15 year old self. Of course, the famous quote "Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize." came to mind first. But, I began to ponder and eventually came up with these thoughts that weren't all about beauty.

  1. Don't care so much about what other people think. Go about the business of finding out who YOU are as a person. 
  2. The pretty girls? The ones who are so stuck up now and bitchy? Most of them  will be fat and ugly 10 years after they get out of high school.
  3. Take every type of class you can - even the ones that you don't think you will like. They will provide background for something that you want to do or learn later in life.
  4. Have fun! Try new things! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something or try to make you afraid. Go for it!
  5. Being nervous is OK - don't use nerves as an excuse not to do something. Just take a deep breath and get on with it. 
  6. Friendships end. It is sad, but it is true. There is no reason to have hard feelings. Hang on to the fond memories, but go on with your life. There is always someone new just around the corner.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Things are ok RIGHT NOW!

This week, I have been reflecting on this paraphrase from my devotional book I read each morning. I says something like "Things are not GOING to be ok, things are ok RIGHT NOW!" The point is not to get so involved in the journey that you don't see the good things that are a part of your daily life.

Today, my daughter goes to her first prom. We had a wonderful time yesterday having mani-pedi's at a new little spa that has opened up here in our town. We made this a before prom and Mother's Day activity combination trip. I was so relaxed that I promptly fell asleep when I got home!

I want to savor today! I want to make memories with my family. Why focus on getting the kids raised and graduated only to miss out on the good stuff that is around me? We will have our day and have memories to share.

Things are ok RIGHT NOW! Don't forget to stop along the journey and savor the moment!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Its been awhile...

I haven't written in awhile, so I thought I would sit down and catch up. Here lately, it seems as though I don't stop. OR, I keep going until I am so exhausted all I do is stop...I call those crash and burn days. February is such a busy month for me that I tend to do that a lot!

So, what has been going on? My darling daughter got a role in the Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella that her home high school is doing this semester. Rehearsals and getting back and forth is keeping me hopping! She got her drivers license yesterday, so this will help a bit, but she and I are still sharing a car. Not sure how much this is going to change things in the running her back and forth department.

My son is doing his student teaching this semester, so he has his sister's car. Seems the last semester is the most expensive. Every time I turn around there is more money to be spent on senior fees, Praxis exams etc... Aaargh!

I gave myself two physical challenges. One in January and one this month. Last month, I started with one little push up and added one each day until the end of the month. I have kept up with three sets of 10 every workout since. This month, I have started with one lunge (both legs) and am adding one each day until I get to 28. My ankles and legs are really weak, so I am definitely feeling this!

My kitchen is coming along great! On each rainy and/or snowy weekends, I have been painting a set of cabinets. They look great.  I am very proud of them. When I am finished with all of them, I will buy new hard ware and then start on the back splash! In the meantime, my poor oven is dying a slow and laborious death. I am going in search of a new one soon. Hopefully, I can find a new refrigerator that I can afford as well. I would like to put the old one in the garage to store beverages and extras. We will see.

So, that is it...that is what has been going on around here as of late.


Sunday, May 27, 2012


Lately, I have been reading a book of reflections and devotions each morning. Today's was something that made me think and reflect over much of the day. Today's piece was about not going through an open door because we are desperate - to only go through the open doors that are right for us.

I got to thinking about my last job. Did I take it because I was desperate? No. But, I did stay TOO long. I should have left way before I did, but I just didn't have the confidence to move. Was it the job that sapped my confidence or was it just me? It was definitely the job. I was at a low performing school that just sapped the strength and creativity of even the very best of all teachers. I was convinced that every school in my adopted state had to be just as bad. In fact, I rationalized that it was better to be with the "Devil you know than the Devil you don't know..." What a crock!

I finally left when I just couldn't stand it anymore. I am so glad that I did! I now teach at a magnet school with hand picked students and a small faculty that pretty much thinks the same way that I do.Wow, who would have thought that there were more of us out there! And guess what? Not every school in this state is like that last one! In fact, I have noticed that people who are considered the very best in their field started at that school early in their careers.

I am so glad that I walked through the door that was opened to me at my new school. I am so glad that I recognized a great opportunity when I saw it. I am tired here at the end of the year, but I am grateful to have landed where I did.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday's New Recipe

I have to admit it...I am totally addicted to Pinterest. I just love looking at the pictures and seeing all the wonderful ideas that people have. I love looking at the craft pictures and I especially love looking at the recipes!

I always try to make a new recipe on Sundays. I have more time to cook on Sunday and more time to run to the store for that always needed strange ingredient. Today we tried a new recipe called Cafe Rio Chicken. It is a crock pot recipe that was easy peasy! I didn't even have to go to the store because the ingredients are all things that I have on hand.

School is out for me at the end of the week. (If you don't count that one day I have to go next week.) During the summer I love trying new recipes and figuring out which ones will be easy to cook over the course of the next school year. Cafe Rio Chicken is already on the list!

Please go to the web page and give this one a try...you will be glad that you did.

Cafe Rio Chicken Recipe

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Good end to a really rough week

I had a really rough week this week. I have had to deal with work issues, family issues, and just plain being p busy. Today's painting project just about made up for it. 

My husband and I painted my kitchen counter tops. We have been putting it off for awhile, so last week, I just put this little chore on our calendar. I am amazed at how nice they look! I used the Rustoleum counter paint along with some acrylic to create a stone like finish. Now, the counters must cure for 3 days. That is going to be the hard part! I can't imagine NOT using the counter tops in my kitchen for 3 whole days! 

We are not sure what we want to do with the back splash, so we left it alone for now. I am thinking that I will use something copper there. The cabinets will be off white, but we won't get to that until school is out. They have been cleaned out and reorganized, so they are ready to go! 

It's amazing how accomplishing this little task helped to take my mind off of all that ailed me this week. It just doesn't seem important now. The next time I am feeling down in the dumps I am going to pick up a paint brush and get to work!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

21st century calendar

Every where we educators go , we hear the new buzzword, "21st century skills" or "21st century learner". However, we are tied to a 19th century calendar. I have been pondering this lately and have come to the belief that we really can't be 21st century schools until we revamp the calendar.

Here are some ways I feel we can over haul our calendar to gear ourselves up for the 21st century. Of course, we should already be geared up because we have entered the second decade...

First, we need to change our school hours to reflect the working day of most parents. Should this be 9 - 5 or 8:30 - 4:30? I am not sure because every community is different. Many students spend at least 2 hours unsupervised at home each day. Doesn't it make sense to have students get home from school about the same time as their parents. This is such a simple solution to the big problem of juvenile deliquency, that it probably won't ever get done.

Why? It makes too much sense.  Of course, the biggest argument you hear against  is that athletic practices would be too late into the evening. Take a look at the percentage of students who are athletes in your school - should we really have such a small percentage of people dictating our the course of our school day? 

After doing a little research and reflection, I also believe that students should go to school Monday - Thursday  leaving Fridays open for teacher planning days. Many teachers attend worthwhile conferences but, must miss class to do so. Having a fifth day each week would allow teachers to create lessons, collaborate with their peers, attend conferences and meet with parents. During these tough economic times, a few northern school systems have tried this with great success. They are finding that test scores are soaring! Again, another so simple solution, that it probably won't get done
Finally, we need to recreate our calendar. Why are students off all summer? Parents must scramble to find summer day care sometimes at enormous expense. Students should have short breaks between each grading period and longer breaks between semesters. For example, a week off between each nine weeks grading period and then 2 - 3 weeks for Christmas and 3 - 4 weeks in the middle of summer. Think of this as what my English teacher used to call the "let it jell" period. Kids need time for their brains to process all the new information they are collecting.

Will any of this ever get done? I doubt it. But, at least we can ponder the possibilities.