Friday, April 11, 2008

Hodgepodge of Current Thoughts

1. Last night's DEVESTATION. I could not believe it when Michael Johns was in the bottom 3, and I was certain that it was NOT him who would make his premature departure last night! I cried. Really. What was America thinking??? I think this season has been extra entertaining to watch because of the influx of talent, but I think the guys are far superior this year. I seriously, perhaps unreasonably, thought it would come down to at least 3 of the 4 remaining guys--Michael Johns definitely being one of them. I do really like Brooke and Carly, but can Kristy Lee please go home already??? All I know to say is that I hope and believe that Michael will make it bigtime!!!

2. Friday Night Lights will live on!!! This show is a new favorite of mine and Patrick's. We went on our typical DVD rampage and watched the first 2 seasons in 2 weeks. I love so many of the characters and feel connected to them, but I think my favorite is Tammy, Coach's wife. {Patick might kill me for putting this out there, but he has a bit of a man-crush on Riggins. } After OD-ing on the episodes and characters, we were shocked to learn that FNL might be a permanent fatality from the writer's strike. The latest updates say that it will return due to a deal made with NBC and DirectTV. Thank goodness! {Side Note: If you don't watch this show, you are missing out. We can't believe we missed out for 2 years!}

3. Shakespeare Quips. I love teaching Shakespeare to high school students. They almost always think they are going to hate it and end up loving it. In our current study of Julius Caesar, we have experienced sword fights, supernatural crazy events, and have had some mishaps (as usual) with the language. One word that Shakespeare uses that really excites my students is "ho." Usually he uses this word to get someone's attention, say "stop," "wait," "there," even "hey." Well, one of my kids in my standard classes who was reading the part of a plebeian, got to his line that read, "Peace, ho," meaning "Quiet there," and he got really excited and emphatically read, "PEACE HOE!!!" Everyone busted out laughing, and even I had a hard time recovering. I won't be able to hear that line as it was intended ever again...

4. Pregnancy update. I am currently 16 weeks, 2 days. I have my next appointment on Monday and have been feeling pretty good since entering the 2nd trimester. One thing that I had not expected about this experience was the overwhelming vulnerability that I would feel. Until we got to hear the heartbeat, I was consumed with worry for my baby. It's amazing how fast you can go from being in shock and disbelief... to feeling this indescribable connection and responsibility for the life you are carrying. I sure didn't anticipate it. Even though we have made it past that mark, and I have more energy, more of an appetite, and am more "myself," I am still recognizing areas where Satan is trying to steal some of my joy in this amazing journey. My spiritual focus right now is trying to intentionally realize who God is in all of this, and who I am in it as well--so that I can just let go of all the things I cannot control--and so that He may be glorified through this wonderful blessing of an experience.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Methods of Organization

So, what kind of planner do you use--if you even use one? Are you the techno-savy Blackberry user... the creative calendar/portfolio stuffer... or the organized list maker? What types of things do you put in your planner? Does it go with you all the time or have a designated place--your desk, kitchen counter, car, etc? I'm really curious to hear any thoughts out there because...

I LOVE planners. This year I haven't found a personal planner that I've been thrilled about, and as a result, I have failed to record many of the happenings of 2008 thus far--truly sad for me. I think I've had a difficult time settling into one this year because I require a lot in my ideal organizer--a composite of a monthly glance, weekly glance, place to make grocery lists, book and movie lists, and a place to stuff favorite cards, quotes, lists, pictures. While I think Blackberries are cool and anticipate making the switch at some point, I still function best by hand-writing my things down. I love color-coding things with fun pens, and I remember things better if I have physically written them somewhere.

For school, my lesson planner calendar is this:

I like it because I can plan both of my preps out on the same weekly glance. There are inspiring teacher-y quotes. Jim Burke loves English teachers. There is a place to write out personal goals, professional goals, a "word for the week," and tips for teachers and teaching. There is also a monthly calendar and a place to write reflections about what has gone on that month--always a good place for venting.

In this lesson planner, I stuff copies of funny student responses, notes from faculty meetings, rubrics for current essays or projects, encouraging words from teacher friends and students, and extra-good writing that I get from students. It is a true culmination of my day's work. If you are interested in this organizer or any of Jim Burke's products you can order them here.

For personal use, random lists, quotes, funny things I see, responses to sermons, books, or conversations, I usually use my moleskine:

I prefer the ruled version so that I can write neatly, but several of my artistic friends enjoy the unruled version for sketches and such. I like the moleskine because it fits easily into whatever purse or bag I happen to be carrying.

My friend Britani inspired me this weekend with her cool planner, and it is worth looking into. In fact, you can buy one of your own here.

I like it because it is leather like a journal, has my monthly and weekly requirements, and actually has pages earmarked for book lists and movies lists, and all the other things aforementioned. Here are some pictures:

I think I might order one now! Happy Planning!

Friday, April 04, 2008

New Finds

I'm so pale. I mean washed-out-whale pale. There was no Spring Break beach trip for me; there's no tanning bed days ahead for me this season; I haven't even seen the sun in a week since it has been monsooning in Tennessee. I'm desperate, so I went to my new favorite neighborhood SuperTarget.
First, I did some research. We all know those self-tanning lotions that smell putridly of... tanning lotion. Most of us have turned yellow at some point in our attempts at achieving a nice color. I've fried myself in the tanning bed, and I've even done the whole body spray thing. I think I've finally found the answer: Dove Energy Glow. It smells great, goes on smooth, and builds a natural result after daily application.
Before I made my purchase, I *googled* consumer reviews on several of these products. {My favorite section of Real Simple magazine is where they compare similar products for value, style, and approval, so I decided to do this same experiment.} Dove was rated extremely high.
I'm so excited about my new find. Anybody else found a product out there worth sharing?