Monday, December 31, 2007

Blogs in Plain English...click here

I got this from the teacher in New Zealand. She is a blogging expert and I have learned some cool stuff from her blog: http://rachelboyd.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Must See TV...I can't wait for next Sunday! (Click here)



ACCORDING TO www.pbs.org:
JANE EYRE: Sundays, December 30, 2007 and January 6, 2008

"Ruth Wilson is all Jane should be... and Toby Stephens gives us a Rochester to root for..."
- Entertainment Weekly

A governess goes to work for a moody employer, captures his heart, then a dark secret intrudes. Charlotte Brontë's 1847 classic stars newcomer Ruth Wilson as the spirited but plain young woman who escapes a dismal youth to find improbable true love. Toby Stephens is Edward Rochester, the enigmatic master of Thornfield who hires Jane as governess to his young female ward Adele. Or is it his daughter? All that is certain is that he is a man with a passionate past. Directed by Susanna White (Bleak House) and adapted by Sandy Welch (Our Mutual Friend), the cast also includes Francesca Annis, Tara Fitzgerald, Pam Ferris, Christina Cole and Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia) as the young Jane.


I never read this because there were just too many words and would require too much of a commitment on my part, but this program is SOoooo good. We watched the first part tonight. The second part is on next Sunday. Try to catch it if you can!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Good Cry


For those of you who know me well, you know I don't cry very much. Last night I did...over a BOOK! I have read an estimated 10 textbooks from cover to cover since I started back to school in January, 2006. Aside from Harry Potter this past summer and occasional Bible studies, I have not read anything just for fun in a long time. I borrowed "The Notebook" from Rebekah last night and read then entire thing in about four hours. It was about 2:00 am and I started crying like a baby when I finally finished it. What a sweet story...I imagined Preston and I as the older couple and it made me sad. But it was a good sad....sometimes you just need a good cry.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I loved the 80's!



This is acutally a picture of me at a recent 80's themed party, but my sweet husband says I look just like I did when he married me 22 years ago (only my hair was kind of a modified mullet back then).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust!


I have finally completed another class...The History of Education in America. It was a great class and my final paper wasn't too horrendous. My next class, Global Socioeconomic Perspectives...now that's a different story. Does anyone know what that means? Do I really want to pay $60 for this book and find out? Notsomuch, but it's required for my degree so here I go........!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What's in a name?

There is a site where you can find out how many people in the U.S. have your name.
I entered Louise Morgan (Wezie didn't work):

HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
410
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?



There are 347,451 people in the U.S. with the first name Louise.
Statistically the 168th most popular first name.
More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Louise are female.
Names similar to Louise:
Eliza
Eloise
Lois
Lou
Lulu

There are 358,072 people in the U.S. with the last name Morgan.
Statistically the 57th most popular last name.
Famous people with the last name Morgan:
Dan Morgan
Garrett A. Morgan
Harry Morgan
Joe Morgan
Quincy Morgan

(I don't know Dan Morgan or Quincy Morgan - what about J.P. Morgan?)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thanksgiving Adendum...Public Apology

Ok, my wonderful mom pointed out that the reason I was able to have such a productive and satisfying Thanksgiving break was because she did ALL of the cooking for Thanksgiving. This is true. Sorry, Mom - my badness. I know I should have given credit where credit is due...especially since you have a broken foot and are wearing a big brace. I appreciate all of your hard work and am thankful to have you. I'm such a TURKEY!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Youth Group Retreat...What a Blessing!

I accompanied my daughter on a youth group retreat to Latham Springs this weekend. It was awe inspiring, exhilarating and exhausting! I have watched these kids grow up before my very eyes and am so proud of how they are evolving into spiritual leaders. I was astounded by their maturity and depth. I was never involved in a church or youth group when I was a kid so I am living vicariously through my daughter. Several of the kids performed a really powerful skit. This video shows the skit with other actors...It is called "Everything" by Lifehouse:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Productive Thanksgiving Break Over and Now I am Counting Down the Days 'til Christmas Break!!

Well, I will have to say that my Thanksgiving break was productive and satisfying. All of the kids' rooms are clean, Christmas shopping has been started, Christmas cards are addressed, and I got to cook a little. On the other hand, the tree is up but NOT decorated and the garage did NOT get cleaned (last weekend's weather did not cooperate so that little big job did not get done), but overall I am in pretty good shape as November comes to a close. This is the first time I haven't felt overwhelmed with the arrival of the holidays...Let's hope it stays that way!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WooHoo!!! Thanksgiving break is here!

A much needed week-long break for our family is here! I plan to relax and enjoy the time off, but there are a few projects that I would like to accomplish:

1) Clean all 3 kids' rooms (I don't think this is on their lists)
2) Clean the garage and get rid of some stuff

This is all I will put on my list because if I make it too long and don't accomplish everything then I will be disappointed. If I make it short and then accomplish more than what is on my list, I will be happy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Crowley Homecoming Parade! Mostly Purple - Not Black!



Sycamore entered the parade for the first time ever thanks to our awesome counselor Penny Haight!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Molly meets a celebrity!


Molly got to meet Erin Sanders at our school. Erin plays Quinn on Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101". She came to our school to present one of our kindergarten classes 3 V-Tech computers, a personal V-Tech system for each student to take home and $1000 savings bond for each student. Erin judged essays by teachers all over the country. Michelle Atwood was one of 3 winners. Her essay stressed the importance of using technology to educate our children if they are to succeed in the future.

Molly enjoyed meeting Erin, but said she looked nothing like her character on the show!

Monday, October 08, 2007

4 Down 12 to Go!

I just completed my 4th class at Ashford University. So far I have taken: Adult Development, Ethics, English Comp II, and Environmental Science. Next up: The American Constitution!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I love my cat!



Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know she's on the table in the bowl that I usually serve salad in, but isn't she the cutest?!?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pictures from New York...Finally!



Bekah and I went to New York in May 2006. I didn't have a lot of memory in my camera, so someone on the trip loaded my pics on their laptop. I just got the pictures last night!!!! It was a great -- The Crowley Honor Choir sang at Carnegie Hall...Awesome!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Is It Cheesy?



Ok, let's vote on it! Click on the title of my post above "Is it Cheesy?"
It will link you to Mountain Lake Resort where the filming of my favorite movie "Dirty Dancing" took place. They offer "Dirty Dancing Weekends".

I don't know...it doesn't have the same "look" as it did in the movie. The dining room looks like a fancy Golden Corral and does the weekend package sound a wee bit like something your parents would do in Branson? Let me hear your opinions!

1) Does this sound like a romantic weekend for two? Should I go out and get the pink "Baby" dress (the sophisticated, more age-appropriate version), brush up on the Tango and have Preston show up in his black jeans and pull me out of the corner?

2) Is this a fun gals retreat where I wear my best khaki capris and my sensible tennis shoes, buy every color tee-shirt in the gift shop and hope that Johnny will be the dance instructor?

3) Should we take the kids and let my teenage daughter wander aimlessly around the grounds so she can co-mingle with the help? She could carry a watermelon.

4) Just go, have fun and beat everyone in the trivia game?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Okay, I have jumped on the bandwagon!

I have been tagged by Ashley. I don't know if I can come up with 100 things about me that won't put you to sleep, but I will try:

1) My husband Preston makes me completely and incandescently happy.

2) My 3 children bless and amaze me daily.

3) I love orange dreamcicles and mashed potatoes with skins and lumps (not at the same time).

4) I like to have way too many things to do on my to-do list at work.

5) I like to have nothing on my to-do list at home.

6) My church family is very important to me.

7) I currently attend an online college: Ashford University

8) When I first went to college in 1982 Computer Science was a relatively new major.

9) My favorite musicals include Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond (aaahhh), Grease, Singing in the Rain, Little Shop of Horrors, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera.

10) My first concert was in 1973 at the Portland, ME civic center: The Carpenters

11) My favorite concert was in 1985 in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, with Preston: Kenny Rankin

12) The first song I knew all the words to: Go Away Little Girl by Donny Osmond (aaahhh).

13) Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing

14) Favorite board game: Scrabble

15) I am crafty but I have at least 5 visible scars on my arms and legs from hot glue burns.

16) I can sew and I love making VBS costumes.

17) I love floating in a swimming pool and getting tan.

18) Fall is my favorite season.

19) I like fall floral arrangements.

20) I would like to own a house on the beach.

21) My favorite flowers are yellow roses.

22) I met Preston at Mama's pizza on Camp Bowie.

23) He took me to my senior prom.

24) I moved to Ocean City, Maryland the day after I graduated from Southwest High School in 1982.

25) I worked at a Natural Foods Juice Bar

26) I have attended these colleges: North Texas, Salisbury(MD) State, McLennan County Community College, University of Connecticut, Tarrant County College, Ashford University.

27) I re-connected with Preston in 1985 - we went on our first date on 6/30

28) We were married eight months later on 2/21/86

29) Places I have lived in this order: Pennsylvania, Maine, Texas, Maryland, Texas, New York, Texas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas.

30) I like to clean.

31) I like to iron.

32) I have never mowed the lawn.

33) I have been to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

34) I have been to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York

35) Preston and I used to go to New York City almost every weekend when we lived in Connecticut.

36) I have lived in these types of homes: 2 story federal, 1 1/2 story cape cod, 2 story traditional , room with a bed and a sink, roach infested apartment, basement, bottom floor of a house, 2 bedroom apartment, 2 story house on 2 acres, 2 story house with above ground pool.

37) I would like a one story house with an inground pool.

38) I like to cook, but don't do it very much anymore

39) I have had these jobs: bus girl at Colonial Cafeteria, server at ShowTime Pizza, waitress/cook at a natural foods juice bar, clerk at an insurance company, customer service (insurance), account representative (insurance), insurance agent, daycare provider, pre-school teacher, church custodian, teacher's aid.

40) Preston and I waited 8 years before we had our first child

41) I was blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids for 10 years!

42) Returning to school at age 42 was kind of scary.

43) I would like to have a disco ball in my living room.

44) I can do the Electric Slide, Macarena and Cupid Shuffle.

45) I will break into song at any given moment. The song usually has something to do with the situation.

46) I do not know all of the words to any song except Go Away Little Girl and Bohemian Rhapsody.

47) I love my parents. My mom is my best friend.

48) I love to go antiquing with my mom.

49) I do not like seeing my parents getting older.

50) My dad is one of the smartest men I know - Preston is the other.

51) I had a happy childhood.

52) I love #2 prencils that are newly sharpened and have a beautiful purple cap eraser.

52) I also like mechanical pencils but won't use the eraser. I use an eraser on a pencil or a pink carnation eraser.

53) I love Sharpies and highighters.

54) I am left-handed but I iron, throw and bat right-handed.

55) I do not like white bread.

56) I used to watch the Soprano's but then realized that they were really, really bad people.

57) I think the following couples are similar to Preston and me: Ray and Deborah Romano, Ozzie and Harriet, Bill and Judy Miller (Still Standing), Ozzie and Sharon, George and Wezie (Jefferson).

58) I love Italian Food & Mexican Food

59) I have never watched Survivor

60) I don't like Desperate Housewives (too desperate)

61) I like Grey's Anatomy

62) I like the PBS shows where people try to live in another era: Fontier House, 1900 House, Manor House.

63) I like the Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett.

64) I used to think Monty Python was funny, now I do not.

65) I used to read a lot when I was a kid. My favorites were the Little House series, Nancy Drew (I have a collection of the older blue-covered versions.

66) My favorites as a grown-up are John Irving, LaVerle Spencer (drippy love stories) and JK Rowling (I would have like her when I was a kid but she wasn't invented yet).

67) I like all kinds of music.

68) Favorite 20th century composers: Stravinsky, Copeland, Gershwin

69) Have been to these concerts: Carpenters, Journey(opening act: The Babies), Rush, Yes, Joe Jackson, Jethro Tull, Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac,Rolling Stones, Maynard Feruson, Kenny Rankin, Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, George Winston, Beatlemania and some I can't remember =)

70) Favorite rock concert movie: Woodstock

71) Favorite scary movie: The Shining

72) First Car: 1976 Chevy Monza

73) Favorite bug: Lady

74) Favorite domestic bird:cardinal; Favorite fancy bird:Peacock; Favorite sea bird:Pelican; favorite woodland animal: chipmunk

75) I was in the Big Red Band from Mighty Rebel Land and we would leave the field whistling Dixie

76) Favorite Friday night Family activity in the Fall: Crowley High School Football Games! Go Eagles!

77) I can whistle through my teeth whenever I say the letter ""S".

78) I can burp really loud.

79) I would like to be a vegetarian but I really enjoy juicy steaks.

80) I love working at Sycamore Elementary School and can't wait until the first day.

81) I really hate cold weather, but sometimes I wish it wasn't so hot.

82) I say "whatever" too much

83) I can't stand when people use "like" every other word, but I know I do it sometimes.

84) I want to speak Spanish fluently and practice every day with my co-workers.

85) I am looking forward to growing old with Preston.

86) My oldest daughter, Bekah, will graduate from high school in 5 years. She is awesome.

87) GP is hilarious. He will be in 6th grade this year.

88) Molly is a piece of "woik". She will be in third grade.

89) Right now, all of the closets in my house are organized except the pantry.

90) There are at least 5 houses for sale on our street.

91) I would like to move closer to my parents.

92) I am currently writing a research paper about bilingual education.

93) I love to take long, hot baths and drink a glass of wine.

94) I love to get pedicures and fake nails.

95) I wish I would have gone to church when I was a kid.

96) LTC is fun

97) Church camp is fun

98) Bunko is fun - I love all my Bunko gal pals.

99) VBS is fun

100) This activity was fun...tomorrow I will do the laundry.

I tag Jennifer Reinch.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Something to think about...



This was shown at the Crowley ISD Convocation this morning. It's called "Shift Happens".

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

standardized testing - creativity lost

I work as a paraprofessional in an elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas. I have first-hand experience of the stressful day-to-day activities that are involved in preparing students for standardized tests. I believe these tests undermine the creativity, free-spirit and true education that students could be experiencing if they weren’t required to learn test strategies and state mandated educational goals.

Standardized Testing: Creativity Lost
It’s the day we have all worked hard for and anticipated since the beginning of the school year. We had the pep rally yesterday. A fun, uplifting event complete with cheerleaders from the High School, a catchy rap song performed by the principal, vice principal and counselor, an inspiring clip from the movie “Facing the Giants” and finally, a heartfelt speech by the principal assuring everyone that if they believe in themselves and do their best, they will succeed. What she doesn’t mention is, that if you don’t succeed, you will have two more opportunities to succeed once you have completed after school tutoring and summer school.
My job this morning is to distribute juice and granola bars to each classroom. In addition to these healthy snacks, the third grade teachers are preparing breakfast burritos for their students to ensure that they have had their daily dose of protein. The fifth grade teachers have concocted a “magic” cereal mix for the students to munch on all day. During the day, I sit at a desk in a darkened hallway and remind students to be quiet and monitor the bathrooms so that no more that one person is in them at a time. At lunchtime, I sit with the students and monitor the conversations. By the end of the day all but 30 of the students are ready to go home. The lucky students that get to leave walk in a zombie-like state out the doors to the freedom and fresh air that they have been deprived of all day.
By now you have probably guessed that this is not a typical school day. It’s the day the third grade and the fifth grade take the Reading Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)—the dreaded standardized test that Texas uses to measure the performance of students, teachers and administrators. A total of seven days are mandated by the state to administer reading, writing, math, science and social studies tests to the various grade levels and each of these days will be just like the one I have just described.
The Reality
In defense of my school’s the administrators, I commend them for using their creative energy to put forth a positive effort. After all, they really don’t have a choice. This is a state-mandated process that must be taken seriously by everyone whether they like it or not. Arguments in favor of standardized testing include practicality, objectivity and an unbiased measure of performance, however; these are greatly out-weighed by all of the negative aspects involved. Sitting in the quiet, darkened hallway, I think back to the beginning of the year and the laminated cards we made for each of the students outlining the different strategies used for math and reading. The pink reading cards give students directions on how to find the gist, important words, context clues and other tricks for dissecting and interpreting short stories. The green math cards show the student how to decipher word problems by getting rid of unnecessary information, circling all of the numbers and underlining important information. What both of these cards fail to do is to teach the child how to truly enjoy the short story or to actually gain an understanding of mathematical concepts. They are teaching the child how to take a test.
Of course, the teachers must be held accountable and the performance of the students is a direct reflection on their performance as a teacher. Unfortunately, the state also mandates what they will teach through TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). As a result, the tests and the TEKS become the curriculum. Teachers can no longer teach thematic units or give extended projects that utilize students’ creativity and problem-solving skills because they have to make sure they are staying within the guidelines that state has put forth. This causes a lot of negativity among the teachers and it makes it hard for them to keep their enthusiasm and energy level strong throughout the school year. Students also feel the stress and understand that if they do not perform well, they will be retained. This causes a diminished moral among both students and teachers.
What is the Answer?
No one will argue that students, teachers and administrators must be held accountable. But the process by which this is measured must be changed in order to offer our students a better, more meaningful education. Cookie-cutter methods of teaching will produce students with basic knowledge, but not the skills they will need to compete in an ever-changing, technologically advanced society.

http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/blog/2006/06/standardized-testing-is-it-good-for.html

http://www.msu.edu/~youngka7/testing.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/schools/testing/merrow.html

Friday, August 17, 2007

High School Musical 2 Party!!!!!

We really didn't hear or see much of the movie due to all of the screaming and dancing, but it sure was fun!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summer is over ;-(

It's back to school and time to start getting ready for the 07-08 school year. It's hard to believe that I will have children in the 8th, 6th and 3rd grade. It just seems like yesterday I was tripping over Little Tykes toys and watching Barney all day long. Time flies!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Makeover fun!

Friday night we had a Mary Kay mother-daughter makeover party with Mandy Barrow. We had a really good time learning about skin care and make up. It was so funny watching the girls put on make up and laughing at each other. After the other mommies left, the girls proceeded to stay up until 3:00 am!!!!! (Not me...I went to be with earplugs in).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Our vacation






OK, I'm mad at Rock You. Every time I have tried to go in and make a cool slide show of our beach pics, it kicks me off the internet! So...I will do it the old fashioned way! Oh, and we had a wonderful time!