Saturday, December 31, 2011

Product Review: Mint+ 5200

To sum it up, the Mint+5200 rocks! I just ran the sweeping and mopping modes in my kitchen and dining room. The floors are clean and my back doesn't hurt. Life is good!

It did take a couple of attempts to get the room mapping process working correctly, but if you set clear boundaries it works like a charm. Moving forward, cleaning will be a breeze. I may just keep my floors clean in 2012...

Happy New Year!

So long 2011 and hello 2012! I'd like to take a moment to reflect, give thanks, and make plans...

2011 was a good year professionally and personally. I have met so many new people and reconnected with several people who I lost contact with along the way. Balance was definitely the theme for the year!

Professionally: I became the Executive Director of the School Turnaround Office for the State of Louisiana. I lead a staff of 27 to do something to assist the lowest performing schools in the state. It's a mission that is near and dear to my heart, because getting an education is the key to success and growth for everyone. I've even had the opportunity to have a presence on the national stage. This girl from Houma who graduated with a BS in Secondary Education from Nicholls in 1993 never thought her goal "to make sure to positively touch the lives of as many kids as possible while giving them a quality education" would take her to this.

Personally: I continue to be blessed with a great marriage to my best friend and soul mate. I have a daughter who is turning into a phenomenal young lady. I enjoy her company and the person she is becoming. I am proud of her accomplishments, but even more proud that she is a caring, considerate, thoughtful, and intelligent. It is beginning to look like we will pay off the debt incurred from her rather dramatic entrance into this world before we have to pay for senior expenses and college. It is nice to be able to breathe!

For the coming year: I plan to continue to develop the new relationships from 2011 both professionally and personally. I plan to continue to enjoy my family and support them in their ventures. I plan to continue to balance work, life, etc. I plan to be able to spend more time with my extended family (I hope they like the sound of that). I hope to have a little bit more fun, I'm not getting any younger...

I hope that all of my friends and family enjoy ringing in the new year where ever you may be. I wish you all the love and happiness you deserve!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Single Mom for a Week...

So Toby was at VM World in Las Vegas this week for work. I played single Mom this week. I have to say, I'm glad I have a wonderful husband who is a good, dedicated father.

During the past week, I have come to the conclusion that my success in life can be attributed to three things: the strong values and values my parents worked to instill in me, the loving supportive husband that wandered into my life through a mutual love of Karaoke (so much for the theory that you can't meet a good man in a bar), and the blessing of a scientific mind. I thank my parents, Toby's parents, and the divine workings of the universe.

I have enjoyed the one-on-one time I have had this week with my delightful daughter, Daisy. She is turning into quite a young lady! We shared a very special, grown-up girls' night out with dinner at PF Chang's last night. I hope we are able to enjoy many more such occasions as she grows through her tween and into her teen years. I see so much of myself and Toby in her.

I must admit, many often ask me about the demands of my work and the time I spend away from her. But the relationship she shares with her Dad, and the sense of responsibility she has developed are two very positive outcomes of our family life. The independent confident spirit, concern for others, and self-confidence she exudes show the beginnings of a responsible adult in the making.

At this moment, as she lies zonked in bed (and the ferrets are zonked in their hammocks, and the dog is all up in my area), I sit and am truly thankful for the way things are and the hope I have for the way things will be. I look forward to my hubby's return tomorrow, and wish all the sense of content I know...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Prep Day - Galvez Middle School

So this morning we headed out to Galvez Middle School for Prep Day. I will say that prep day at the middle school ran smoother than any Prep Day at either of the elementary schools. We were able to: pay fees, pay band fees, purchase band sweatshirt, pick up pre-ordered spirit shirt and sweatshirts, get our bus number, update student information, and pick up PE uniforms in the gym. We then deposited stuff in the Jeep and headed to the cafeteria to pick up her schedule, pay for lunch, get our BlackBoard login info, and pick up the school supply pack. We toured the hall her classes will be in and went out to the gym and band room. The band room is quite nice. We were back to the house and realized we did all of that in and hour and ten minutes.

The only disappointment for me is that since she did not pick woodwind or brass for band, they have placed her in the brass class. I guess I didn't understand clearly, I thought they were able to try all of the instruments and then choose. When I asked if she decided she wasn't comfortable with a brass instrument if she could have the option to switch. I was told it was a scheduling issue and that they did not encourage it. I bit my tongue big time (but my face made it clear I was not happy with that response), because Daisy said, "Mom, it's OK."

However...I have a big problem with taking an extra-curricular thing that is supposed to be for fun and enrichment and allow choice, and making a call basing on where scheduling numbers tell you you need to place kids. I'm glad my child is OK, and I guess it is the consequence of believing you had the option to try instruments in "either" category. At the end of the day it does bother me. Toby doesn't think anything of it, as a former trumpet player he wanted her to play brass anyway. As a former flute player, I wanted her to have the choice...

However, if that's my only complaint, we're doing good! Here goes middle school!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Of Socks and Learning...

So my 11 year old daughter says to me recently, "Mom, I'm so glad I don't have to worry about my socks today..." I reply, "Why do you worry about your socks?" As an educator,the discussion that followed really rubbed me the wrong way.

I bought her white socks with a grey or pink bottom because I have learned that the school allows students to go shoeless as a "reward" for PBIS, and I hate dingy socks. The colored bottoms hold up better over time. I did not realize that my child stressed over making sure the bottom and heal color do not "show" over the lip of her tennis shoe. Evidently the AP at her school makes the rounds in the morning for uniform patrol. Students are even required to raise their pants leg so that sock style and color can be checked. Is this really necessary? Is this really the best use of her time? Does the color of my child's socks really impact instruction so greatly that it needs to be monitored?

If the attention that was paid to uniforms/socks was applied to instruction and curriculum, I would have no doubt that my child was receiving a quality education...What happened to "The Main Thing is to keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing?"