Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Quiet Day in Room 207

My class is remarkably quiet today as the students finish up their final test for To Kill a Mockingbird. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this book, even more this year than I did last and I hope that each year I teach it my love for it grows. To me, it's like one of those movies where each time you watch it you find something you didn't see before. I'm still learning from it despite the fact that I have read it 5 times now (more than that if you include the fact that I re-read it 5 times a day with each of my classes!). The way Harper Lee weaves together this book is absolutely incredible and powerful. I think I could make a whole class just out of this novel.

Tomorrow we start the in-class essay and I'm pumped. Call me an English teacher, but nothing gets my blood flowin' like writing essays and discussing themes! (Sidenote here: the students are not showing as much enthusiasm as me? I cannot understand this.) Maybe we should rename Herndonland to Nerdville. Sorry.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A productive Saturday and a goodbye to a crazy month.

Finally, March is almost over!! This has maybe been the busiest month in a while. Between program planning meetings (where each 9th grade teacher meets with about 30 students and their parents individually throughout the month to discuss registration for next year and future goals), cheerleading tryouts every night for a week straight, a Saturday in-service day to make up for a missed snow day, and welcoming a new nephew, March has been crazy, fun, AND EXHAUSTING.

I took a personal day last Monday to catch up on everything I've let fall by the wayside in the meantime. You know...laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, SLEEP. For the first time on a personal day, I did not even think about school. I left my precious students in the capable hands of a substitute with a long and good reading assignment and did not even think twice. I was THAT behind.

Now that all these little loose ends are being tied up, I finally feel like things are getting back to normal. I can finally get back to a normal routine of coming home from school on time, exercising, fixing dinner, and spending some good time with Patrick. I'm heading into the final stretch of school with one last book to teach, a research paper, and preparing for the final exam. Whew! I can't believe it's getting here so quickly! I love this time of year. After feeling like I've run around like a chicken with my head cut off and barely holding everything together for the last couple months, I'm reengergized, motivated, and looking forward to finishing the school year strong.

That being said, today was a great Spring Saturday. I thought it would be a lazy one, but I surprised myself with an incredible amount of productivity! I love when that happens. Here is an impressive list of all the things I did (And I did not rush through any of them! I moved with a great sense of peace from one activity to the next and fully enjoyed the day):
  • slept in until 9:00
  • made a batch of oatmeal, cinnamon-topped muffins and a pot of good strong coffee
  • leisurely caught up on some missed tv
  • ran 2.25 miles at the gym
  • prepped all the veggies in our fridge for easy salads and cooking this week (I was inspired by watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last night on ABC. Fascinating and wonderful.)
  • got up the leaves in the front yard (which should have been done this past fall)
  • made progress on the leaves in the backyard
  • planted some thyme and cilantro and vowed not to kill my potted herbs this time
  • had family dinner at my granny's and caught up with cousins not seen in a very long time
  • caught up on most of my grading
  • updated our blog!!

What a great day! I'm looking forward to a good week ahead (and to Spring Break the next!)

Holy Week is upon us. I'm glad I've gotten my distractions out of the way and gotten back into a routine so that my focus this week can be on Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. May you have a blessed week as well!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sayge meets Auntie Emily and Uncle Patrick

We look good with a baby, huh?? I thought so, too. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I get to be this cute baby's aunt!

How sweet is that?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I wanted to wait until I had a picture to share, but...

Sayge McCoy Herndon,
my newest nephew,
into the world!!
8 lb. 4 oz.
19 inches
"He's the shortest and fattest of my babies so far." - my sister-in-law.
"He's a Herndon!" - me.
(This was only said with love and endearment. The Herndons are not fat, but they certainly are not tall.)
I can't wait to hold him!!

Do you know about this?

I just discovered via this lovely little blog that I read, a website called SuperCook!

You enter in the ingredients that you have, and it searches the web to come up with recipes that have only those ingredients! I just did a quick glance over our pantry and fridge, entered in a bunch of stuff and it came up with over 2000 recipes!! You can store the ingredients list so that you only have to enter staples like flour, sugar, soy sauce, etc. one time. You can also enter exceptions (things you don't want the recipes to contain). How cool!! This would work great for weeks like this one where I have promised not to go to the grocery store and to use up some stuff that we already have. Check it out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Updates

Cousin Beth caught me again on a blogging hiatus. I seriously need to get my act together. I know. Beth, thank you for being my accountability partner in this endeavor, and sincere apologies in advance to our unborn children, who will have significant gaps in the lives of their parents' pre-child days thanks to my slacking off. Here are some things that have been going on around here in Herndon Land:

1. Spring is coming! This can be witnessed by the fact that our crocuses (spelling?) have already bloomed and the tulips are pushing through the ground. Also, the last bit of snow has melted, finally, and we can actually walk on our front lawn for the first time in months! Seriously, you would think we lived in Antarctica around here.

2. Patrick has been doing a great job keeping our table supplied with fresh flowers. We are anti-Valentine's Day around these parts, but he is good about showering me with flowers a lot of other times during the year. They make me so happy! Below is a picture of the ones I received this weekend.

3. You can see my new blinds that I installed ALL BY MYSELF in the background of this picture. Aren't they trendy!! I love them, and am very proud of myself for using the drill without the assistance of my husband. This was one of my many snowday activities.

4. I also installed new cabinet and drawer pulls in our kitchen on said snowdays. What do you think? (Notice I strategically cropped out the mess on the countertops.

5. I confess that I took 2 weeks off of running. I hadn't been sleeping well and school has been intense. For the first time in months, though, I'm all caught up on schoolwork! Finally. I went running yesterday to get back into the groove and did 2.5 miles. I need to start increasing again so I'm ready for my 4.4 on April 24!

6. My brother came in to visit for my mom's birthday on March 7. We had a great time hanging out and having family dinner. I wish he was around more often. I think my mom and I will be going for a visit over Spring Break.

7. I'm still working on Possession by A.S. Byatt from my booklist. I have also began reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which, for the record, is not on my list (this will probably put me behind). It is really thought-provoking to read about the food industry in America and how we've deviated so far from our roots of natural, whole-foods, local eating. It makes me want to plant a garden and live off the land like she did with her family! Unfortunately, my thumb is every color shade EXCEPT green, so we have had to look for alternatives. We will be eating a lot from my uncle's garden, who grows more vegetables than he knows what to do with (he tried to help me with my garden the last few years...it was a lost cause) and we have joined a local co-op that has partnered with the Homestead Creamery (we get our milk delivered from a local farm weekly) and will be getting boxes of fresh vegetables and herbs delivered to us weekly from May through October. I also plan to shop more at the farmer's market in town and continue my preserving/canning/freezing efforts that I started last summer. This makes me sounds all crunchy-granola, I know, but food really does taste better this way. ....Wow, this was a long bullet! Sorry for rabbit trail (no pun intended).

8. I stopped my Read Through the Bible in 90 Days, which was my Lent committment. I have this OCD thing I do that when I get off schedule with something and can't do it perfectly, I quit completely. This is part of my sin nature, I realize, and have inspired to pick it back up. I've been going to a class on Sunday nights at our church about seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. God is awesome, and through this class has answered so many questions about what I was reading. It has also encouraged me to start the schedule again. Even if I don't finish "in 90 days" I know this time with the Lord is good for me. And He has told me through this class that this is the scripture He wants me in right now. Funny how He works things together so well.

and 9. Our final update is the impending arrival of our NEW NEPHEW on Wednesday of this week!! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are expecting their 3rd child! My beautiful and strong sister-in-law has scheduled the C-section for Wednesday; she has had to have C-sections with the other two so she made the decision that it is probably best to go that route again. She is such a wonderful mama of two precious children already. We all cannot wait to hold Baby Herndon in our arms! By the way, they are not telling the name yet. But Patrick and I actually know what it is -hehehe :) They needed someone to run it by, and of course we were willing volunteers! I love secrets. I will post on Wednesday with pictures!!