Oh, man. This past week was a bit of a beast. The first part of the week, I shadowed the other fifth grade teachers so that I could see different teaching styles and get ideas on how I needed to run lessons. That was extremely helpful! On Thursday, I jumped in with both feet. The students have given me a bit of push-back (testing the waters), but Friday seemed better than Thursday, so I hope the trend continues. 😉 The staff at the school is incredibly friendly, welcoming, and helpful. I feel very welcome! Paul has been a huge help (well, he always is, but this week, especially). Abigail was sick on Thursday (just a little cold that was gone by Friday) and he was able to take a sick day to stay home with her. He’s also helped out with meals and laundry and so much more. I really appreciate our relationship and how we work together towards a common goal as opposed to simply sticking to traditional gender-norm roles. Oh, and one fun thing he got to do on Friday: he took the day off and went out to a former colleague’s property to go hunting. His colleague was able to get a deer that was large enough to split the meat with us, so once it’s all processed, we’ll have almost 50 pounds of venison. Today was spent doing laundry, going grocery shopping, and running errands (Paul also installed a new fluorescent light in the garage so he has better lighting if he’s ever working in there). I’m looking forward to Sunday and getting to rest a bit before the chaos of Monday begins again.

I love little kid pictures. Abigail told me that this is a picture of our family (I think it’s pretty clear who’s who). She said she drew us all with big happy mouths (as opposed to screaming, which is what I first thought it might be, haha).
When Abigail was home sick, she was a bit restless once her fever came down, so Paul got some of the Play-Doh that she got for her birthday out for her to play with (I love that the glitter stays in the Play-Doh and doesn’t seem to get anywhere else!). He took this picture to send to me so I could see her happy butterflies. 🙂
It was a cold day for hunting…
He saw a BUNCH of wild turkeys, but alas, it isn’t turkey season, ha.
He’s so patient with her. She was pretending to be Sonic and was jumping all over him. He’s a champion multi-tasker. 😀

A Short Week and the Start of a New Adventure

This past week was a “short” one. We all had Monday off because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We decided to take the kids to Government Canyon, which is a state natural area that is literally just down the road from our subdivision (you exit our subdivision, drive about a mile, and you’re there). It has places to camp and quite a few hiking trails of varying intensity and distance. We took the kids on a medium one (just over two miles). They were both quite tired at the end. Maybe next time we’ll take the shorter hike and work our way up slowly. 😉 As for the hint about starting a new adventure, during the week, I was contacted by the principal for the kids’ school (which is also the school I sub at). She asked me if I would be willing to take a long-term substitute teacher position that will last until the end of the year. This conversation led to me talking with Paul about possibly seeing what I would most likely need to do in order to apply for a full-time job for the district. After speaking to the principal about it, she encouraged me to apply and we would see how many of my California certifications would fulfill Texas requirements. So, long story short: I’m going to be teaching the same fifth grade class until the end of the school year and will (hopefully) be able to be hired on full-time. Here’s to new adventures!

Abigail used some more of her “Grandma money” (money she got from my mom for Christmas) to get this cute Grogu stuffie. She loves him so much that she made a bed for him using her little pink wagon and a couple of blankets (one for padding for him to lay on and another to cover him). She’s even letting him use her unicorn sleep mask, haha.
At the beginning of the hike.
This was a fun tree to see on the trail.
Mild January evenings are perfect for bubble-blowing.
She convinced Joseph to come out to pop her bubbles. 😀
Swinging is so much fun!
He can still fit on the slide…barely. It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that in a year and a half, he’ll be a teenager.
Drawing with sidewalk chalk is really fun when you have a bunch of stepping stones that you can decorate as well.

A Jumbled January

This past week was just as busy as the one before it. I didn’t even get any pictures taken until Friday and Saturday. I finished up the week with the first grade class I was teaching (their teacher is going to be back on Tuesday after the three-day weekend we’re currently right in the middle of). It was fun but tiring at the same time (I was doing a lot of lesson planning and prep because of the length of the assignment). It was nice to be able to be with the same class for an extended amount of time. I got to know them and really got to be able to see them learn and grow. Paul kept busy at work as is typical. The kiddos made it through another week of school happy and healthy. Joseph had an appointment at the middle school where he got to try out all the different band instruments to see which he likes best. He also had an audition for percussion. The percussion teacher was very impressed with his ability to keep tempo and repeat back difficult beat patterns (she would count it and he would clap it back). We’ll hear back in a week or two whether he gets to do percussion (which is his first course) or another instrument. He did really like the baritone, so he elected for that to be his second choice. I really liked how they ran the appointment. They talked him through each instrument and taught him how to shape his mouth so that he could be successful about making a sound come out of each of them. It was a really positive experience for him!

Friday mornings are hard. Sometimes you want to keep relaxing on the couch, but you KNOW you need to brush your teeth and get ready for school, so you convince Mom to help you out so you can do both.
Yesterday, we took the kids to the park. Paul needed to spread some more mulch (a while back, a big pile was delivered, but they haven’t been able to get anyone to take care of spreading it out). Paul has been chipping away at it slowly but surely. I kept an eye on the kids while he was doing that. Here’s Joseph going across some of the equipment.
Abigail likes the wiggly bridge.
Dave has been doing stained glass for a few years now and he brought this piece to give to me when we were both at Mom’s for Christmas. I could hardly wait to find the perfect spot to display it.
We opted to put it in the powder room where I already had a grouping of similar decorations.