Spring Cleaning Part 1

What is that???

Do you see it???

What is that???

Oh wait. . . it’s the concrete floor of my basement.

I forgot what it looked like.



What is that???

Whose house is this???

We don’t have a playroom?!?!?


That’s right Mary & Mackenzie. . .

WE have a play room!!

Not just a room that stores toys and CR$%. . .

An actual sit down and PLAY with the TOYS ROOM!!!


Teacher sale coming soon. . .

Comment, e-mail, or Facebook if you want to know when it happens!

These are only the books. . . And a few odds & ends I threw in today.

Day one of Spring Cleaning. . . Success!!

Thanks mom!  You’re the BESTEST!! 


Offically Smarter, I think?!

So I started my journey to become smarter,
a year ago in September.

God is good!

Thanks to my change in jobs & my boss,
I had a clear focus for my program.

Thanks to my husband,
I completed most of my assignments
while he gave our daughter he baths. . .
and put her to bed. . .
and went to bed himself.

Thanks to my mom,
I was nagged into applying for grad school.
Thanks mom!
You were right!!

Thanks to my Grandma Cherie,
I could afford to get my masters on a teacher’s salary.

The journey was not as horrible as I thought it would be. . .
that being said. . . I’m not thinking about school again. . .
at least not anytime soon.

As for being smarter. . . not sure about that. . . we’ll see.

I’ve got the paper that says I am.

Not Where I Belong

Life has been unsettling for many reasons lately.

Have I mentioned that my hard working hubby is traveling weekly right now?

Have I mentioned that I find myself lost in the direction for which my job was created?

Have I mentioned that my gift from above includes teaching. . . and I’m not doing that right now?

Conflicted!  Unsettling! Grasping at straws for meaning and purpose.

Then I hear this song. . .

And suddenly life is back to perspective!

Thank your teachers!!

Please take time and thank and educator today : ) : )

After being interviewed by the school administration,
the newly graduated teaching prospect,
looking at her notes, said,

“Let me see if I’ve got this right:

You want me to go into the classroom with all those kids,

correct their disruptive behavior,

observe each of them for signs of abuse,

monitor their dress habits,

censor their T-Shirt messages,

and instill in them a love for learning, with my creativity,

within the structured curriculum, while addressing government benchmark standards.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons,

wage war on drugs and STD’s, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship,

sportsmanship and fair play, what it means to vote, how to vote,

balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of anti-social behavior,

and make sure that they pass all the district and state exams.

You want me to provide them with an equal education,

regardless of their disabilities, home support or how many districts they have attended.

You want me to communicate with their guardians,

parents, step-parents, and grandparents by email, phone, personal web pages, conferences and report cards.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk,

a blackboard, a few books, a handful of supplies,

a big smile and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all of this and then you tell me….



Someday I’d like to be this proficient in ASL.  It’s a beautiful language.

I found out about Stephen this summer… just happened upon his videos while wasting away a quiet summer afternoon.  My kids last year LOVED this song!!  I wish I had found this to show them.  Owl City was the carpool karaoke favorite!!  Good times Dragons!!

This is one I found today, while wasting away some quiet time.  Had to share, her emotion is breath taking.  WOW!!


(Sorry, you’ll have to click it yourself… it’s safe… it’s worth it… try it!)



I’m reading a new book about how to run a business out of your home.  I figure that I could use another thing to do in my life, so why not start a business.  TeeHee!  Actually, truth be told, I quit my job a few months ago.  My time at Flagstaff Academy has come to an end.  What are you going to do?????????? you ask.  Well, first I’m going to knock on EVERY door that’s out there.  Then I’m going to just sit back and wait to see which one God opens. 

Since submitting my letter of “resignation”, for lack of a better word, God has already opened up opportunities I never thought possible. 

First… I’ve started my own photography business.  Nothin’ fancy, just a name and a price.  So far, no clients, but I’m not worried… “if you build it, they will come”… right!?!?!  Check it out!  If you’re interested, that is… http://mcpix.wordpress.com  I LOVE to travel, so for the right price, I’ll go anywhere!  🙂  We’ll bring Mercedes along, jsut for entertainment.  🙂

Second… Signing Time!  In a matter of one weeks time, I applied… got a start up kit… and started planning!  I’ve ALWAYS loved sign language… never thought about teaching it until a few weeks ago.  Surfing the internet, cleaning out my bookmarks, and WHOLA!!  God opened a door.  How fun!!  Check it out!!  http://happyhandssign.wordpress.com  Again, I LOVE to travel… set up your own group… I’ll come to you!!  🙂

Back to the book.  So my mom bought me a book to read about starting your own business.  I read the first three chapters last night.  This is surprising because I do not read nonfiction books.  Sappy Romance is my genre.  I have already highlighted and marked pages with sticky notes.  No, Mary, I did not take one of your books off your shelf and pretend… there are REAL stickies and GREEN sharpie underlining. 

Anyway, while enjoying some alone time this evening, I created these scrapblog pages from some of the underlining from my book.  More to come I’m sure… but this is what I want to remember right now!!! 

Thank you for praying that God will open doors and guide me to the path He wants me to walk upon!  (Another tip I learned is to build a SOLID SUPPORT SYSTEM!… I’m hoping you’ll be part of that support system?!?!)

To Making a difference in His Name!! 
Mandy 🙂

This time of year….

This is the time of year that is truely depressing. Unlike my sister, I am not an “outdoorsie” person. I’m more of a sit on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa kind of person. To God’s credit, He does make the weather sunny this time of year, which in many ways is the only way I can get through it… that and Prozac!  Let me explain.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a teacher. I have been a teacher all my life, but professionally, I am finishing my 6th year this spring. As a child, I used my dad’s old textbooks, and set my stuffed animals in a seating chart. Yes, God has called me to be a teacher. While I am proud of my job and cannot imagine doing anything else, this is the time of year when I get discouraged and question God’s plan for my life. 

It’s spring, I should be excited about the coming summer vacation and the warmer weather.  However, spring is also when teacher contracts are given, signed, and put into place for the next year. 

Let me stop here and say that I am VERY THANKFUL for my job.  In today’s day, a job of any kind is one to be thankful for. 

Back to why this time of year is depressing… Have you ever calculated your salary by the ACTUAL time you work?!?!?  If you’re a teacher… I’m warning you right now… don’t do it!!!  It’s depressing. 

On a typical week during the school year, I leave my house at 7am each morning.  I spend the next 45 minutes driving to school, and by God’s grace and love, I have the opportunity to listen to the Bible as I drive.  What a GREAT way to start my day!  What a blessing!!  After arriving at school, my students begin trickling in at 8am.  (If you’re counting, that’s 15 minutes to pee, get my mail, say hi to my friends, and check my e-mail).  My entire class is not all in the classroom until about 8:20am.  And there starts the marathon that is my daily life.  At 9:05, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off for the next 45 minutes… copying what needs to copied for the day… meeting with other teachers to discuss everything from kids to breakfast coffe runs… checking and responding to e-mail… planning lessons… grading whatever papers I can get done in 30 seconds.  And then it’s back to the grind until noon when I do the same thing again, only this time I’m trying to eat some kind of lunch in there as well.  At 12:45, we’re in the home stretch.  By 3:45 when the walk-talkie is off, the floor is somewhat picked up, and the classroom is quiet, it’s time to finish up the day.  You know all those lessons I taught between 8:20 and 3:30… well there’s usually some kind of assessment to make sure that I’ve gotten through to those little brains.  I used to pile up those papers in a big pink bag and drag them home every night.  Sometimes they’d get brought in from the car.  Somethimes they’d even get set by the couch ready and waiting.  Occasionally, I’d have the energy and motivation to pull the papers out of the bag and grade a stack or two.  Not any more. 

You see I have this distraction at home now… her name is Mercedes.  In the five months she’s been such a huge distraction, I have learned to leave the mountain of papers at school.  Of course that means I don’t leave school until later each day, but it’s better than the back ache of lugging them to and from the car. 

So now you see why I should NEVER have divided my salary by the number of hours I actually work.  Granted… I only “work” 36 weeks out of the year right?!?!?!  And I have Christmas break off right?!!??!  And a week for Spring Break and Thanksgiving?!?!?!  WOW!!!  Hummm…. I’m usually taking at least one class during the summer months… that I pay for out of my own pocket.  I’m doing report cards or grading or planning during ANY break I have.  Oh yeah and I’ve moved classrooms EVERY year I’ve taught except last year.  So I spend at least a week after school is out packing it all up… and two weeks before school starts getting it all back together. 

So now, do you see why this time of year is sooooooo depressing.  I have been blessed with a wonderful, smart, husband.  He has brought home the “bread” per say since the day we got marrie.  I think it was my third year of teaching before Jim was making only twice as much as I did.  Otherwise he was bringing in over 75% of our income.  The year I decided to divide out my salary by the number of hours I actually work, was the same year that Jim started making just twice as much as me.  His going “chargeable” rate was something like $200 a hour.  And to think, without his first grade teacher… Miss Wilson… he wouldn’t have been able to read or do math as well as he can now.  Without his accounting teacher at Poudre, he wouldn’t have found the career that has so blessed our family. 

Seriously…. take a minute to think about all the things you do in a day that you can link back to a teacher. 

Are you organized????  Which of your teachers taught you how to set up a desk, turn project in on time, or plan your week to get your job done??? 

Are you a great writer????  Which of your teachers helped to light the fire inside you that became words???  Which of your teachers taught you how to put words together to make sentences and then expand them to make more sense or help your reader understand the message you’re trying to share???

Are you good with money or numbers???  Is there a teacher that had a love for math and gave you that passion????  Did you have a teacher who helped you learn how to put together a budget, a plan, and a job????

This teacher could be a parent too.  I got an invitation in the mail yesterday.  It was for a reception of a teacher who is retiring.  This teacher has always been an inspiration to me!  She in many ways molded me into the teacher I am today.  Take some time… especially at this time of the year, to THANK A TEACHER!!!  Send a note, that’s all it takes.  We’re not paid enough to do a job that gives so much to so many.  It’s worth more than money to get a note from a former student… just to say thanks! 

THANK A TEACHER!!  They in many ways helped mold you into the person you are today. 

Thanks for listening.  It’s time now to do what I have been called to do… TEACH!!