Monday, December 10, 2012

Hectic Semester

It has been an extremely hectic semester. I have survived (I think) all my teaching duties and my own family is looking forward to Winter Break.

I got to know the area because I drove all over the place supervising student teachers. I have learned a ton about how the preservice teacher program works at my university and about how teacher education works in my new state.

My own children have adjusted to living in a new area. We have found cub scout packs and Daisy scout troops. We have made friends and gotten involved at a church.

Now I need to have a productive break...both to work on more unpacking/settling at the house we are renting and so that I can be ready for next term. Hopefully all of my classes will make so that I am not supervising student teachers next semester. I enjoyed the student teachers themselves...but the driving ate up a lot of my time. I really did no scholarly writing during the semester so that is one of my goals during this time when the kids are still in school and I am done with Fall term.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Long overdue update...

We had a super busy summer. We had trips: Disney World, visiting family. We had kid activities: Vacation Bible School, summer enrichment. We had work around the house: finishing projects to get the house up for sale.

Now that I am officially done with my degree and I have a new job, the house is on the market and we are renting in our new location. The kids are attending the elementary school that feeds into the high school where Jim is working. I am trying to get a grip on the workload of being a new professor....

Here are some pictures of our new place. It is just under half the size of the top floor of our previous house. Even though I tried really hard to get rid of stuff so as not to move things we no longer wanted, it is really motivating for cleaning out to be in a house that is smaller than either of your previous two houses. We are somewhat unpacked....but still, in the garage there is a pretty good pile of stuff to find homes for.
 Here is our front door. Our previous home was on a huge hill so that we always had to drive to a park to ride our bikes. Here the neighborhood is flat so the kids are enjoying being able to just walk out the door and ride their bikes.

 This is the view of our front entry way. As I said I am still finding homes for many things. The door to the right is the looks like a garage inside (so I did not take pictures). At the moment the garage has stuff, but is approaching the point where we might be able to actually park in it.

This is what is to the left of the front entry way. The boys' room is straight ahead, bathroom on the right, and Josie on the left.

 This is Josie's room.

Here is the boys' room. It will be changing soon. We ordered loft beds and new dressers for them. They should arrive soon.

 This is the kids' bathroom.

Here is the view of our great room from the end of the front entry way. To the right is the area with the master bedroom.

 This is still the great room. I am essentially standing with the garage door at my back. Behind the bookcase is a pantry in the kitchen area.

 Here is going into the kitchen.

 Here I am standing in the kitchen (back to the stove) looking at the eat-in area/dining room. We have placed a fan here because there are no ceiling fans in the kitchen area and it gets a bit warm when cooking.

 This is looking from the dining room table towards the great room. 

 This is standing at the other side of the great room looking toward the master bedroom. There is a nice little laundry room. There is actually a small hallway where I am standing, but I did not take a picture of it because that is where the cat box is.

This is from the doorway into the master bedroom. We were super excited to have tall enough ceilings to fully be able to set up our bed.

 This is in the master bedroom looking towards the bathroom.

The master bathroom.

 The other end of the master bathroom leads into a large closet.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday Week!

I survived birthday week. Yes, with three kids (granted one is a set of twins) we ended up with everyone's birthdays within a single week...and that week is at the end of the school year here so there are often end of the school year activities going on too.

With graduation and getting ready for selling the house (and moving!) we forced the kids into doing low-key stuff. Each got to pick a place to eat. They had a small stack of family gifts to open. They each had a cake.

Andy's pokemon cake

Doug's Lego clone trooper

 Josie's Strawberry Shortcake

Josie also took watermelon in to her class for a special birthday snack, and Doug and Andy had popsicles with their classes.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shifting focus

Now that the semester is done and I know where I am headed (I have a job!) I have to shift my focus. All of those little house things need to get to a finalized stage so that we can sell the house. I need to paint baseboard and trim, I need to paint the walls in the kids' rooms so that they look fresh, and I need clean/pack so that the house looks nice for showing. The after-graduate party got us started on being cleaned up, my mom worked on painting some trim, and my in-laws came and got my bathrooms wallpapered (yes...after two years I finally have a mirror back up and Jim hung towel racks and the toilet paper holder).

Oh, and I have to clear out my desk area on campus. And yes, the children will be out of school soon. 

God only gives us what we can handle...right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Almost there....almost there....

Graduation--- check!
Diploma in hand and on transcript--- check!
Grading done--- check!

Well, I still have a few lingering GA responsibilities. I cannot complain because I mostly did what I needed to do to finish my dissertation this semester.
I have also enjoyed having relatives here around graduation. We had a party the day after graduation. I am fortunate because both my mother and my mother-in-law helped me clean house for the party.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Counting the days

Just a few days until graduation when I am "officially" done...

However, the stack of grading for the class I was teaching says otherwise.
Then it is on to figuring out moving. I have accepted a job at another university. It will be different teaching more classes. I will have to keep everything under control with teaching and family and trying to research/publish and just plain settle in. However, I will be gainfully employed and not just employed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I might be a little paranoid

So I have learned that completing a degree that you have been working on and poured your heart and soul into and spent literally years of your life creating a project for might make you a little paranoid.
I have already emailed and stopped by and checked to make sure that everything is in place for me to actually graduate.
Everything is turned in. All surveys and paperwork is done. The dissertation has been completely accepted with no further edits necessary. I have my robe, tassel, tam, and hood (though they say not to bring your own hood to the ceremony) for the ceremony. I think I am ready....I just need to make sure to show up on time, have everything with me, bring ID (I have to have it to get the degree paper since doctorates are the only ones who can pick it up at the ceremony instead of having it mailed), and it says not to bring a purse or bag.

I have had a couple of interviews. I am just trying to figure out what the next step is and where God wants us to go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I didn't bribe them...

Last night we had a Cub scout pack meeting. This is where the boys receive anything they have earned since the last pack meeting.
Due to Christmas activities, pine car derby, and various other events we were long overdue for my boys to receive what they have been working on.
There is a tradition in the pack we are in that when a badge is earned that represents a promotion in rank, the boys get to "paint" (read...color with water soluble markers) on someone's face. Each boy may choose who he wants to paint. Most paint one of their parents.
I have twins of course, and when they earned their bobcat badges Andy did my face and Doug chose someone out of the audience.

Last night one boy in my den got his bobcat badge, and the other four received their tiger cub badges. Of course, two of those boys were my Andy and Doug...and without me even encouraging it they found other people to paint. Andy was bound and determined to paint the den leader who likes to kid, joke, and pretend to do devious things. Doug found a boy scout who is the son of one of the other den leaders that he decided to paint. I am not quite sure how I managed to escape, but my face remained clear.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's been awhile...I've been busy

Well, I got everything turned in so I think I should be on track to graduate. Now there's just the

  1. Applying for jobs
  2. Catching up on the grading for the course I am teaching
  3. Catching up on my other GA responsibilities
  4. Getting the house ready to sell (painting, finishing projects, packing and arranging for show, etc.)
I am hoping that all children are again well and healthy for awhile since we had some viruses run through the family. 
Oh, and Jim has a senior homeroom class so he has to chaperon Prom. I've never been to Prom (he was out to sea with the Navy when I was a senior). So we have a date.

My mother-in-law said it just felt wrong to write on her calendar "Baby-sit for Prom." 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Addicted to staying up?

I had an intense week or two of working on edits and getting it all "just so."
I got everything submitted on time (I'm sooooo thankful for electronic submissions) so now I am just waiting to see if the grad school found anything that needed to be addressed.

Oh yeah, and I am working on finding a job. A real job. A job where I get paid in money that covers bills. Knowledge is a good thing. But now it is time to move on.

Oh, and I need to get my body adjusted back. I got way too used to staying up late to work.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I passed!

I have some edits and a bit more writing to do on Chapter 5, but they were pleased enough to say that I passed!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crazy two weeks!

It's been a crazy two weeks.  So here's an update...
1. The usual thing at my university is that faculty get two weeks to deal with that means that my committee got my dissertation two weeks ago and this coming Thursday I defend it. I feel like I am in a holding pattern because they already have my document. I created my presentation but am waiting to hear from my committee chair about whether I need to make any changes (she was out of town until Sunday). I figure if it had totally stunk then they would not bother with holding the defense so it comes down to a matter of how much editing and such needs to happen before it is done. I'm a little nervous but since they have the big document already it is not like I can do anything to change it at this point.

2. I have had sick children. Doug was sick right after I had to turn in my dissertation (in fact he came with me to get it copied for my committee member who wanted a hard copy instead of electronic). Then the next week Josie was sick. I am just hoping we are all well for a little bit. I have to admit that I was not a candidate for mother of the year after a few weeks of late nights due to dissertation and then some interrupted nights due to sick children. However, I think the kids seem to understand.

3. I feel like I am in a transition stage. I usually do well with a school schedule and I can do fine with a really open schedule like during the summer. However, there is usually a short period of adjustment between those two types of schedules where I really flounder. The Monday after turning in my dissertation I really struggled to stay focused on anything and it really felt like a period of adjustment. Now I keep feeling like I have so much to get caught up on since I was so focused for awhile, and I just keep swapping from one important thing to the next and not necessarily knowing what my highest priority is.

4. I also felt like I had the kids a bit extra this last week. With the severe weather that swept across the mid-west and south the kids got out early one day. We were not hit (although I did find out that a tornado passed near the school where I used to work and was not that far from our old house). Jim also had a math competition on the weekend so I ended up dragging Doug and Andy to two birthday parties for Josie's friends. Fortunately, the parents at the two parties were of the "more the merrier" attitude so it worked out.

So Thursday is the big day when I get to find out what my committee has to say. Prayers are welcome!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chapter 5

Chapter 5, which I just emailed an initial draft of to my adviser...was 18 pages. I don't know if I am done or just can't think anymore. Hopefully she will email me back soon. The deadline for getting it to my committee is rapidly approaching. I just can't forget that I have lots of little nit picky things make the table of contents have all the right page numbers, wrestling with the computer to get it to spit out a reasonable reference list, and making the visual of my concepts readable (I thought it was...but apparently having some words horizontal and some vertical so you can squeeze them all in was not readable for everyone).

The reward for tonight...I get to go to be before midnight!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Very brief update...

I sent my adviser chapter 4 last night...all 105 pages of it. Now I wait for her edits and comments on it while I work on chapter 5.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Help! My dissertation is eating me....

So I have not posted a lot lately because I am deep in writing my dissertation.
For those not familiar with dissertation format the tradition is 5 chapters. Newer formats may vary some, but traditionally it is 5 chapters. Chapters 1-3 usually are part of the proposal. They may change some after collection of data, but the bones of them happen prior to the proposal.

Right now I am deep in chapter 4. It is the results section. Since my research was descriptive, I have lots of describing to do.
I'm making progress, but I have a deadline. I've set a date for my defense so it has to be done 2 weeks prior to the defense so that my committee has time to read it.

My poor children miss me even though I am home. Mommy and the computer are spending lots of time together.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

App Happy

My old cell phone was occasionally having problems and was causing me some frustration. We had an available upgrade so that I could cheaply pick up a new phone. So I went and checked into it and ended up with a smart I have discovered the world of apps.

So far all of the apps I have have been free. I'm happy to have finally linked my Google Calendar, and to have my Remember the Milk to-do-list a bit more accessible. Perhaps I can make a dent in my email with gmail mail easily coming to my phone. Fortunately for me the two places I spend the most time (home and campus) have Wi-fi so that I am not really concerned about going over my data allotment.

The kids are excited about mommy's phone having cooler games than it had before.
The funniest thing that the kids seem to like is an app called "WS Violin." I had to explain it to remember when someone would whine and you would rub your thumb and pointer finger together and tell the person that it was the world's smallest violin playing just for them...well they have an app for that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The tooth fairy has frequent flier miles to our house

With both Doug and Andy being 6, we are right in the middle of lots of loose teeth. It is a good thing that the tooth fairy has a stash of coins waiting...because you never know when she will be called upon.

Last night I pulled out a tooth that had been loose and wiggly for awhile with Andy. It was one of those that you could lean it out at a right angle to the rest of the teeth. When I finally got a good enough hold on it to pull it out, there wasn't even any blood at the base of the tooth. The only reason it was still in was because the next door teeth were holding there.

Then tonight we were getting ready for bed. Doug and Andy were supposed to be getting ready to shower, and the next thing I know is that Andy is crying and saying his tooth was bleeding.
First, I did not panic...always assess the situation to find out what the real problem is. I had him wash out his mouth a bit so I could see what was actually bleeding. Yes, it was the tooth.

Suddenly I am trying to remember what you are supposed to do for a loose tooth. It was also one of his front top teeth and to the best of my knowledge (and based off size) it looks like an adult tooth. So first I determined that it was in fact wiggly.

So I called the first person I could think of.... Jim, the man with personal experience with bumps, bruises, brakes, etc.
He didn't know what to do.
So I went straight to the experts...the dentist office.

Of course is it now after 7pm and the dentist office is not open. Fortunately the have phone numbers listed for dental emergencies.
We ended up meeting one of the dentists at the office and even with me tearing Doug and Josie out of the shower and having to get all three children into shoes we managed the beat him there.
It turned out that the reason the tooth got knocked so easily was that it was actually a baby tooth and the root was dissolved.

So Andy is getting a second visit from the tooth fairy tonight.

Monday, January 2, 2012


That is the number of posts I have on this blog since it started. (This one being number 901...)
I was trying to think of what to report on...I have not dealt with pictures from the holidays. Jim is back at school. Everyone seems to have their annual sniffling noses  and coughs at the moment. We are trying to make the most of the last few days before students report back to school.
I am sort of freaking out about everything I need to get done on my dissertation. I have this tendency to see everything at once and have a hard time breaking it into pieces and assigning priorities. I'm trying to just jump in and get started. So I do not know how much I will attend to the blog...