Thursday, January 28, 2010

The house might just be rented!

Supposedly the guy stopped by Assurance Realty yesterday to sign the paperwork. If so, we will have a weight off of our shoulders for a while with a few extra dollars coming in every month.

The Julia situation

It needs prayer. Loran has a conference with her teacher today over the phone.

I shouldn't get into the details in an open blog, but every day we get closer to getting a lawyer.

One more step...sheesh file has one more hoop to jump through before I get to say for sure that I get to stay. I am not worried.

Today I made a few students laugh. When the class has 51 students...I will take a few laughs.

I had a headache going to went away while I was teaching.

They are really sweet kids overall.

On Tuesday, Ankica woke up with puke on her pillow and her quilt. The bug that hit me on Sunday. So we took Lillian to the CC and I brought Ankica with me. She seemed okay until we were walking down the hall to the only class I had that day. Then she puked on the floor. Luckily no one was coming so we cleaned up quick and moved toward class. We just couldn't do it. So I went into the classroom and told the 50 students waiting there that my daughter was sick and we would postpone the lecture materials until Thursday. No one cried :-) Many did say they hoped she would feel better soon. And then as they were leaving the classroom they saw her and many stopped and directly told her they hoped she would feel better and that she was cute (makes a mommy's heart happy :-) ). She asked who they were and I told her. She said "they are nice".

Yeah, sweetie, they really are.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The decision has been made

The powers-that-be decided to keep me on for another year :-) I had good student evaluations for the first semester of teaching and I was commended for my level of involvement and encouraged to continue to work on improving my teaching.

They also liked my syllabi which made me happy. I decided to try something entirely different for my syllabi and I like creating it and looking at it better than the normal/usual kind.

After I found out about a year ago that I would be interviewing for the position, I emailed a former UWP student at the suggestion of my former advisor, Geoff. Geoff is in Florida and he has a Master's student, Jake, who went here to UWP and did an undergraduate research project with Dr. Mee, the head of the search committee (currently my mentor). I may have told some of this story already. Anyway, I asked Jake what he thought were some of the things that I should do or be aware of with regard to the interview. One of the things he said was to have a syllabus prepared for the interview. I was like "really?" and he said that the last person hired made an impression because of that. I seriously never would have considered it.

So thanks to Jake I came up with a syllabus for a course that they don't have here but that could be a really useful course. I was searching for syllabus ideas on the web when I came across an English professor that used a newsletter style. Bingo! Something completely different. When I was in the interview and they asked "If you could create your own course here, what would you do?" I whipped out my five color copies of my syllabus newsletter and they were floored, not only by the content but by the syllabus itself.

That style is apparently still winning me points. Ah, it's the little things :-)

So, one more year to corrupt young minds other than my children. The power!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm actually glad to be back

As the days approached where I would have to really go back to work (not just the occasional "drop the girls off at school for a few hours so I could get some work done" kind of work), I was really dreading it. I completely did not feel like I was ready.

I love being home with my girls. I am blessed that I got to spend every day with them from birth to basically two or more. And I am blessed with an awesome job that doesn't bother me much from December 19 to January 18. When I started work in August, it was exciting. It was new and something that I had prayed long and hard about. As the second semester approached I just wasn't sure that I could handle going back.

But I had to, if for no other reason than that house we fell in love with almost two years ago still belongs to us and it is not the house we are currently living in.

And now that I am here, I am actually glad to be back. I like my job. I like the students and the atmosphere. I like having an office and having people think (foolishly at times) that I know the answer to things :-)

So I am back for at least another semester. Last week Monday I had to turn in a file that helps the important people decide if they want to keep me for next year. I am not worried but it will be nice to know for sure if summer vacation will last past September 1.

I am preparing for another round of Introduction to Animal Science. I will be seeing one student again from last semester. I hope he tries harder this time.

Biology of Lactation will be interesting because it, more than anything else I have taught, is right up my alley.

Dairy Products Analysis and Processing will be challenging because I know VERY LITTLE of the information I will be teaching so I will be learning it right before I teach it. Especially the processing part. Thank goodness for three very local cheese plants that have agreed to do tours this semester :-)

So now I am off to prepare for next week's lecture because (GASP!) I have this week's lectures done already!

(Now if I could just come up with two more articles to write for AC in the Arts & Entertainment category, I'll be golden :-) )

Monday, January 4, 2010

SNOW cones

Ankica being a human sled

After the girls came in from playing in the snow, Lillian ate some off the floor.


So I got some fresh snow and put it in a bowl and gave her a spoon. Which gave me an idea.

After lunch, we collected snow and made snowcones from REAL snow with snow cone syrup that we bought the first summer we had a pool in Georgia.

It was a big hit with the girls and so much fun. A new tradition has been born :-)

Cousins and snow

Sunday, January 3, 2010

This is what kept us home on Christmas

Beautiful when you can stay home and enjoy it from the inside.

Christmas Eve

Our family tradition when I was growing up was to open gifts on Christmas Eve. Since the girls were born we haven't had much stability in our Christmas Eve because we have been here and there and everywhere and they were too little to appreciate much (still are really...).

But this Christmas Eve we were at home and decided to let the girls open a few gifts with the rest to be saved for when Julia got here.

Anticipation...thy name is Ankica.

No more fighting over pack-packs! And they can be responsible for their artwork from school this way (in theory).

Dress up is a constant with these two...more pretty things to wear.

My surprise gift. Way over budget. Oh well :-) Turns out that three of the other four families in my immediate family got Wiis as well for Christmas and after spending a few days watching them play Wii Fit Plus...we ran out and got that part of the game system as well. It is quite a workout! (Which, obviously, I need!)

The jackalope :-) Or is it Gumby? The way I took the picture makes him looks like he has antlers. Loran has wanted footy jammies for a long time and I figured that now that we live in Wisconsin, it was high time!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Play time during vacation

I heard noise in the toy room that sounded like fighting and crashing so I ran to see what it was. Thankfully they were just playing. Happily I might add. Bliss.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Does it ever feel like you make your kids do tricks?

Ankica's latest "trick".

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a crazy mess around here.

We planned on going to my parents' house for Christmas Eve and Christmas but we now live in Wisconsin and the weather won out. It rained and sleeted and then snowed. I sent Loran to the store on Christmas Eve morning to get the trappings of a Christmas meal that I would once again be making by myself. Sigh.

Then we decided that it would be fun to get my two nieces for a few days when we got Julia so the cousins could all play. That meant FIVE girls from 2-9 (almost 10) in our house, which is thankfully quite big, for THREE days. I have never washed so many dishes in my life. Up to the sound of Jingle Bells being sung by Lillian over the baby monitor, make breakfast, clean from breakfast, see what the girls are up to, prepare for lunch, put it on the table, make sure everyone is happy with their relative proximity to Julia at the table, eat lunch, clean up from lunch, put the littlest two down for naps, start preparing supper, do some FUN things with the girls, finish supper, eat supper, clean up from supper, get girls ready for bed. Go to sleep myself and then start over again.

And I loved every minute of it!

We went to mom and dad's on the 30th and came back on the 31st. I wanted to spend time up there to be able to see two of my sisters that were arriving today for a time, but there are other responsibilities here and Julia is flying out tomorrow already. Ah well. At least we live in Wisconsin now :-)

Pictures of our grand adventures to follow.