Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Am Aware ...

It is Tuesday.  Which means I SHOULD be posting my Project Life Week 3 post.  

Please notice the word SHOULD.  Because tonight I can not.  

Before you panic ... the pictures are taken.  I have carefully kept track of what happened and what I want to say.  I will be ready to post tomorrow.  

But tonight ... oh tonight, I just can't.  Someone has a fever.  Someone taught Kindergarten today with a fever.  Someone should not have gone to school today with a fever.  Someone is going to school tomorrow with a fever.  

And, I know I shouldn't ... but, it is the 100th day of school and my little peeps are coming to school dressed like they are 100 years old.  Oh for the cuteness ... I will not miss it for all the world.  

I realized I should not have come to school today when (firstly) a mom said to me "I love you.  Let me start with that.  But, you look terrible.  Go home.  I'll take your class." and (secondly) when the making of the Fruit Loop necklaces nearly did me in.  For the love ... 18 Kindergartners simultaneously making Fruit Loop necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops.  ("Can I eat one?" "I need help."  "My needle came out of the string"  "Can I eat just one?" "I need help."  "I have to make a pattern?" "When will I get to eat this thing?" "I need help."  "Did you know I LOVE Fruit Loops?" "PLEASE CAN I EAT ONE?!!")  It would have been easier to herd cats.  All I'm sayin'.

So, tomorrow.  I'll post the pictures tomorrow.  Even if I have to do it in a fevered state.

Project Life ... Week Three

Oh, yes peeps, I have made it to week #3 ... and, yes I am aware that several of you are shocked.  Whatever. 
Another one bites the dust.  This time it was the washing machine.  Totally over things breaking.  Big things breaking.  Praying this week is break-free ... our wallet and psyche can't take much more!
 Martin Luther King's Birthday.  I spent the day at school with my Kinderfriends.  Part of our day was spent doing a service project.  We packed 21 boxes for a platoon of Marines serving in Afghanistan.  Sent with the love and prayers of 72 Kindergartners.  Doesn't get much sweeter than that!
 We don't do Teacher Appreciation Week at my school.  Instead, families take turns blessing teachers for the week.  We never know whose turn it is or what week they have or even if it is a week someone will bless us ... surprises just arrive.  These lovelies arrived for me today ... and instantly brightened my day!
We heard about the Texas sky before we moved here.  Words and pictures can't begin to describe its beauty.  Tonight I stepped out into the backyard and couldn't get over the beauty of the night sky.  Gorgeous!
 Dean's 43rd birthday.  We went to dinner at Outback ... much to Torrey and Dean's joy.  Our lives feel out of control busy right now ... between school, work, volleyball practice, this day alone was crazy.  It was sweet to stop and breathe and celebrate Dean ... if even for just a bit.
 Torrey wrote this card to Dean.  She called it "The. Best. Card. Ever." and made me take a picture of it.  I do believe it was the best card ever.  Because she meant every word.
The moon is full.  Which would explain a lot.  Since becoming a teacher, full moons have taken on a new meaning.  And that meaning is not good.

There you have it ... week #3.  And to week #4 I say, "Bring it!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

44 Things About Dean

He loves God.  He loves me.  He loves Torrey.  He takes great care of his mom.  He works hard.  He accomplishes more by 6 in the morning than most do all day.  He drives fast.  He doesn't honk his horn anymore when he drives.  He loves his dogs.  He is funny.  He doesn't love to read.  He is a New England Patriots fan ... even when they stink.  He is smart.  He is politically savvy.  He is willing to sit through a Justin Bieber concert ... because he loves his girl.  The thought of walking Torrey down the aisle makes him cry.  He doesn't like roller coasters.  He won't eat cherries.  He tries to like coffee.  He brings me coffee at school and always gets it right.  He gets up early, not because he has to, but to help me in the morning.  He always loads my car in the morning.  He goes to the beach because Torrey and I love it.  He makes me laugh.  He loves to worship.  He knows all the words to most hymns ... all 4 stanzas!  He can play the guitar.  He doesn't like clutter.  He is quiet.  He thinks before he speaks.  He doesn't like to have more than 5 things in his email inbox.  He talks about writing a book.  He will do anything for Torrey.  He is the loudest cheerer at Torrey's volleyball games.  He doesn't like to see us sad.  He can fix things ... garbage disposals and wagons.  He reads my blog and smiles when he does.  He is teaching Torrey to drive.  He can recite most lines from any MASH episode.  He can speak well in front of a crowd.  He doesn't forget names.  He dreams of visiting Italy.  He changed my life for the better when he asked me to marry him.  He is 44 today!

Happy Birthday, Dean ... praying your 44th year is full of good things!  Torrey and I both love you so much!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project Life 2011 ... Week Two

Week two.  I actually made it to week two.  Look at me go.  And, please know that I am totally patting myself on the back and giving myself fireworks claps ... it is how I tick. 

I am posting this over at Jessica's blog ... her blog totally made me believe I could actually do this.  I do not know her in real life ... which is probably a good thing.  Since I stalk her and all.  I am supposed to put the Project Life button on my blog or on my post ... if Jessica and I were real life friends she would know that I am technologically challenged.  I figured she would forgive me for a week or two while I tried to figure it out.

So ... here we go ... this is what we did this week.  Please contain your excitement!
 Rainy.  Gloomy.  Cold.  Totally describes the weather today ... and my mood.  Not sure the reason for my foul mood, but it has lingered and lingered and lingered today.  Praying for the sun tomorrow ... both outside and in me!
 Family dinner.  Moments to come together.  Moments to laugh.  Moments to reconnect.  Moments to talk about our day.  Seems like not long enough moments, but these days I'll take whatever moments I can get.  Gram is home.  Our family is complete.
 It.  Is.  Freezing.  When we left the house it was 31 degrees this morning.  It warmed up some, but not much.  I was so happy when Dean turned on the fireplace tonight.  The family room was cozy, cozy, cozy.  Perhaps another one tomorrow night ... it is supposed to be even colder tomorrow!
 We got new furniture in October.  I love it all, but I am especially in love with my paisley chair.  Seems I am not the only one who loves the paisley chair.  Zack is in love with it too.  Which explains why my beautiful paisley chair is covered in towels. Dern dog!
 She is a playa' ... a volleyball playa' that is!  Torrey played on her school's 9th grade team this year and fell in love with the game.  She is now doing club volleyball, but is only on the practice team (her choice).  She goes to practice two nights a week from 7:30-9:30.  Yes.  AT NIGHT!  She always comes out with a smile on her face ... and utterly exhausted.
 We made it to the weekend.  Wahoo!  There were a few moments when I wondered if we would ... some weeks are just long like that.  But, here we are ... at the beginning of the weekend.  A weekend that will go too fast ... but, don't they all?
The guest room closet.  Gag.  I couldn't really get in there too well to truly do it justice ... this snippet is enough.  I spent hours in here today and ended up with a plastic tub (plus some!) for a garage sale and a black trash bag (plus some!) for the garbage ... and a cleaner, more organized closet.  My goal is to purge this room by January 31st ... so I can move on to something even grosser.  The craft room.  Give me strength

Monday, January 17, 2011

To Dream, To Serve and To Rubberband

Today our country celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (or King Luther's birthday as my class came to call him).   MOST schools had the day off ... due the fact that it is a national holiday.

Notice I said MOST ... we had school.  I will not grumble about it on May 20th ... but, I did grumble about it today.  

However, if we hadn't had school, we wouldn't have had a really cool day of service.  Each grade level did something to serve ... that is what has become Dr. King's legacy.  The fact that each of us has the opportunity to serve.

Kindergarten packed boxes for troops serving in Afghanistan.  We THOUGHT we would have enough to pack 12 boxes.
Clearly our cup runneth over ... because we were able to pack more than 12 boxes.
 We were able to pack 21 boxes for a platoon of Marines.  One of the Marines is the uncle of one of my students.  We pray for him every day.  And I do mean every day. Can't wait to hear what they think when they get them ... pray they know that they are loved and appreciated.
This may look like an ordinary rubberband to you.  Today it took on more significance in my classroom.  Half of my students got rubberbands this morning.  They were treated like royalty.  They got to sit in the coveted front row during calendar, got to get drinks, got stickers, and got to line up first for lunch.  My non-rubberband wearing friends were not feeling the rubberband love.  There was close to a mutiny in my classroom ... until the afternoon when friends with rubberbands had to give rubberbands to friends without.  And then it was done all over again.  

A lesson was learned.  I promise you it was not learned without complaining.  And there were declarations of "just wait until my mother hears about this!"  Hopefully it will be a lesson they carry in their hearts and live as they deal with others who may not look or act just like them.  My prayer is that they would love as Jesus loved ... color blind.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Just In ...

I realize there are several days I haven't blogged about.  Some days I thought I never would ... only because I am a bit crazy and didn't want everything to be out of order.  But, then I discovered the little "post options" button at the bottom of my posting page and realized I could back date.

Insert singing here.

So, I have gone back and done some Thanksgiving posts here and here and the start of our Christmas fun here.

Happy reading ... a bit late!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am TRYING to update my blog daily.  It is harder than it seems.  Because some days nothing funny happens to me ... and we all know I am all about the funny.

It has been freezing in Texas.  And we all know I don't do cold.  Dean has been wanting an electric blanket for a very long time and I refused ... about two weeks ago he brought one home.  To "try".  The other night I told him I was glad he finally got me the electric blanket I had been asking for.  HA!  It is my new BFF.  And the reason I no longer want to get out of bed in the morning.

School is good.  Work is good.  Life is good.  Things seems to be smooth ... for now.  Torrey brought home her paperwork to register for next year's classes.  She wrote down 3 honors classes and I wrote down one AP class.  We may or may not be BFF's next year.

And, lastly, one of my Kinderfriends announced they wrote their name very small on their paper (insert evil Kindergarten laugh here) ... I was quick to say that was OK I would use my "teacher eye" to see it (insert evil Kindergarten teacher laugh here).  A different Kinderfriend was quick to say "your teacher eye sure does come in handy!"

If only they knew.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project Life 2011

For my birthday last year, Jennifer and Ryan gave me a Project Life album.  Basically you take a picture a day.  For 365 days.

I have tried not to think of January 1, 2011 at all since then.  Because I knew I would have to actually start the album on that day.  And we all know what a success my last attempt at such a project was.  I may have gotten to January 18th.  Oh, I kid.  I am totally padding my number ... it was more like January 10th.  Yay me.

But, it is a new year.  And a new start.  And a new album.  Which I will finish ... even though Dean and Torrey are taking bets on how long I will last.  I have already passed Dean's date and when I took a picture tonight I passed Torrey's.  Take that.

Here's how it will work.  I am taking one picture a day, but I am not posting them every day.  Clearly my downfall the last time ... at least that is my story!  On Tuesdays I will post the previous week's pictures. For all to enjoy.

So, without further ado I give you Project Life 2011 ... The Townsend Edition.

 Seems like everything is breaking around here.  Dern.  Hot water heater.  Direct TV is messed up.  Garbage disposal.  Garage doors.  Enough already.  Dean googled (or  YouTubed) how to fix the garbage disposal and he replaced it himself.  Rock Star.

Torrey used Christmas money to get a new watch.  In Justin Bieber's color.  Which makes me smile ... because purple was Donny Osmond's color too.

I was heading into the house when they caught my eye.  Crepe Myrtle buds past their prime.  By about 6 months.  Ugly?  Oh, yes.  But this verse ran through my mind "and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." (Isaiah 61:3)  I know that from the ugliness of buds that are dead will come beauty.  And gladness.  And praise.  Let it be so with my life, Lord.  Let it be so.

Back to school.  Back to early mornings.  Back to struggling to get it all done.  Back to funny things my kiddos do and say.  Back to the grind.  This is the hardest "leg" of the year - a straight shot to Spring Break without one day off.  I struggled this morning with the fact that Torrey is halfway through ninth grade - tick tock tick tock.  Stop the clock already!

 May 12, 2010.  The day Torrey got her braces off.  Best day ever! Today we had a "retainer check" at 5:15.  At 5:40 (after staring at a sign that said "we value your time blah blah blah") she was finally seen - and out in minutes with a good report.  She always wears her retainer ... because her cousin is on round 2 of braces and she only wants to have to wear them once.  And, yes, we thank him often!

She is darlin'.  And I do mean darlin'.  Sweet little thing had double knee surgery in November.  She is still a bit gimpy, but we are seeing progress.  She hasn't been cleared to jump or run, but she is trying to do both.  As well as she is feeling, she still demands wants to be pampered.  But that really isn't anything new!

2011 is the year of Tracy's iPad.  Dean was the original owner, but he made the comment that what he really wanted was an iPod touch ... which I had.  He agreed to a trade and I was quick to say "no tradesies backsies" and I haven't looked back since.  It is definitely a good thing!

It was time.  Actually it was long past time.  I was in desperate need of a haircut and today was the day.  And I love it.  And weigh about 10 lbs. lighter!

Monday, January 10, 2011

You Never Know What Will Happen

When you send your dogs out into the back yard at night.  Most nights it is "ho-hum" same as always.   That was not to be the case tonight.  

We heard Zackie barking and sent Torrey to GET let them in (both dogs were out).  She went out the door and was back in within seconds.  BECAUSE THERE WAS A RACCOON ON THE FENCE!!

Please take a moment to imagine the freaking out that ensued.  By me.  Because my babies were in the backyard with a raccoon.  Who surely had rabies.  Because don't all raccoons have rabies?  

When Dean and I went out there was no raccoon to be seen.  Zackie was feeling pretty good about his raccoon hunting skills.  Zoey wasn't too sure about the whole thing.  I was breathing easier once they were inside rabies free.

Dean questioned Torrey about the raccoon and his location.  Then she said it.  

Maybe it was a cat.

Never a dull moment in our rabies free house!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It Had to Happen

It is January 9th and we are FINALLY getting Christmas completely packed up.  I would like to say that we ALWAYS have it packed away by the 1st, but not this year.  Perhaps it is because our Christmas was so fantastic and we didn't want it to end.  Yeah.  Let's go with that.  Because we all know the real reason it took us this long.

That's right.  I am blaming my BFF.  Procrastination.

Anywho, most things have been packed away for over a week.  Just the tree ... the bare tree ... sat in the middle of the family room mocking us.  Dean decided he was going to have me help him carry it into the garage still fully up.  

I will pause while you laugh.

Because clearly I am not the only one who sees the crazy in that plan.  The tree is 9 feet tall.  And I am a weakling.  No matter how you do the math you come up with impossible as the answer.

And then the Frontgate catalog came in the mail.  They have Christmas tree bags that are ingenious.  When you look in the catalog they show perfectly cone-like bags that are "full" of a Christmas tree.  The bag became plan B.

First of all, getting that tree IN the bag involved blood, sweat and tears.  And three people.   And it became clear that the perfect cone-like bag is NOT full of a Christmas tree in the magazine, because ours is anything BUT perfectly cone-like.

And, thankfully none of the neighbors were around as we dragged it out of the house and into my garage.  Because they would have known that we really are six degrees of crazy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Red Rover, Red Rover ... Send Tracy Right Over!

I told myself I would post EVERY day in 2011.  And then 2011 hit ... and, here I am for the first time this year.  On January 3rd.  How am I doing?

Our Christmas season has been fantastic.  One of the best.  Seriously.  I have pondered and pondered and pondered this sweetest of seasons ... and only one word can describe what my heart is feeling ...

... from the tip of my toes to the top of my head, sheer joy.  So much to tell.  So much to share.  So much to remember.  So.  Many.  Pictures.

But, tonight you will have to wait.  Because school is back in session tomorrow and I have a few things I want to work on tonight.  

But, tomorrow night I will be back and I will share ... so rest well and start brewing some coffee.  You are going to need it!