Saturday, December 31, 2011


Christmas started off with gusto...and fire.

On Christmas Eve day, I was working on the last couple of Christmas presents - melting plastic beads into bowls in the oven.  On the last stage of the process, one of the bowls was too close to the upper heating element, and it caught fire.  I turned the oven off and tried opening/closing the door to blow out the flames - to no avail.  I realized that I probably had only one choice to extinguish the flames, so I pulled the fire extinguisher out from under the sink.  After extinguishing the fire, I ran around propping open the front door, opening all the windows, turning on the fan, covering Cecil's bowl, and closing the bathroom and bedroom doors.  The fire alarm didn't go off at all! (Ironic - a real fire doesn't set off the alarm, but a little steam from a hot shower does...)

I spent the next 4-5 hours cleaning up after my exciting afternoon.  The fire extinguisher had sprayed a fine sand-like substance which, with the help of the vent and fans, spread throughout the apartment and left a nice layer of dust on every surface. Davis walked in as I was finishing up washing the last of the dishes (he surprised me by coming home early...).


I have realized that I am still very much like a child when it comes to Christmas morning.  I can't wait to open all the shiny presents under the tree.  Davis and I ate sausage cheese balls as we opened our gifts.  We cooked lunch together - ham, french bread spread, and twice-baked potatoes.  And we laughed as we realized that we had nibbled too much while preparing the food, so we weren't hungry for the actual meal. Christmas afternoon was spent lazing on the couch watching Sons of Guns and (me) packing for my trip to Baton Rouge.


Monday morning, bright and early, I left for Baton Rouge, and Davis went to work (where he's been for 12+ hours a day for 6 days...).  Baton Rouge was a blast - seeing (almost) all of my cousins, hanging out with aunts on daiquiri night, and eating even more delicious food!  After lunch on Tuesday, and before our family gift-exchange, we had the first (annual?) Gingerbread House Throwdown.  The Gilstraps (with a May and several defects from the LoSerU side) dominated the Bama House.  The Broussards (Irvins and Charpentiers) managed to pull together an LSU House.

Bama House:
Licorice, houndstooth roof adorned with a twizzler "A"
Trent Richardson (with dreads) (front left of house)
Field goal and kicker on crutches (front right corner of the board)
Big Al (cheering at the rear) 

LSU House:
Honey Badger (looks like he's behind bars...)
Eye of the Tiger (compliments of my artistic Aunt Nanci!)
Tailgaters cooking red beans and rice (to the right of the house)
Lily's "dead dog" (to the left of the house)


Davis and I were incredibly blessed this Christmas, and I am reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for.  Thanks to the wonderful-beyond-words friends and family!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Alderman

I would like to dedicate this post to my beautiful friend, Susan, and her new husband, Andrew.  They got married on December 17, and I am incredibly honored that I could share in their special day.  Here are a few pictures from their wedding weekend.

Kristen holding the bow bouquet that Mandy and I put together in 5 minutes right before the rehearsal.

Mandy, Susan, and I in our matching black shoes for the rehearsal.

Susan attempting to tie Andrew's bow tie.

My attempt...

More attempts at tying the bow tie...

Susan and her dad practicing walking down the aisle - I love Susan's smile here!

"Giving away" the bride

Exchanging their fake vows... "I, yadda yadda, take you, so and so, and stuff..."

The bride, Mandy, and Kallen (Susan's sister-in-law); We went to my house after a delicious rehearsal dinner at AJ's to practice hair, assemble playlists, and put together Susan's veil.  (For our "Songs Not to be Played at a Wedding" playlist, see the end of this post...)

Susan's veil looked quite nice on the bubblegum machine!

Doing our hair on the wedding day

I love this picture!  The photographer taking a picture of Ms. Lena fixing Susan's veil.

The bride with her minions, holding a letter from Andrew; Minutes away from walking down the aisle...

The sun played nicely off the tulle of Susan's dress.

Almost time!

(Unfortunately, that's all I have of the pre-wedding activities, but here are a couple of the reception...)

The bride and groom cutting their gorgeous cake (props to Mrs. Betsey for another fabulous tasting and looking wedding cake!)  Andrew was nice and didn't smear it on Susan's face...

Removing the garter, and the garter toss - notice the blur of movement on the floor...

Congratulations again, and best wishes to the newlyweds!

At about 1am the day of her wedding, Susan was trying to finish the playlist for their reception music; I was going through my music to see if there was anything she wanted to add.  Thus was born the idea of a playlist entitled: Songs Not to be Played at a Wedding.  (NOTE: We did use this playlist while we were getting ready at the church.)

1. Love is Strange (Dirty Dancing)
2. All my Loving (Across the Universe version)
3. Goodbye (Kristinia DeBarge)
4. So What (Pink)
5. Please Don't Leave Me (Pink)
6. Hold Me Tight (Across the Universe)
7. It Won't Be Long (Across the Universe)
8. It's the Hard-Knock Life (Annie)
9. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
10. Picture to Burn (Taylor Swift)
11. Cell Block Tango (Chicago)
12. Hungry Eyes (Dirty Dancing)
13. I Don't Wanna Be in Love (Good Charlotte)
14. Forget You (Cee Lo Green - the edited version)
15. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) (ABBA)
16. It's Raining Men (Weather Girls)
17. It's Tearing Up My Heart (N'Sync)
18. Bye Bye Bye (N'Sync)
19. Wannabe (Spice Girls)
20. Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong)

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...almost

Here's a bit of a picture post to briefly catch up on the past couple weeks. (For Susan's wedding, see the next post.)

These are the delicious treats I made for co-workers as a "holiday happy".  Waffle shaped pretzels with Hershey kisses, hugs, and caramel-filled on top.  Put in the oven at 170 degrees for about 5 minutes.  Take out of oven and press an M&M into the chocolate.  Refrigerate until no longer melty. Yum!

This is our "6-foot" Christmas tree.  Note that it's only 6 feet tall if you stand the top "branch" all the way up.  Because we don't have an angel or a star yet (after Christmas sale, here I come!), I put the favors from Susan's wedding on top - yellow, star-shaped suckers.

Unfortunately, Boris went to the big fishbowl in the sky yesterday morning.  For several weeks now, he has been very inactive.  I even got a heater for his bowl, but it didn't seem to help.  Since Davis and I were going to PetsMart anyway, I decided we should adopt a new Betta.  I am happy to introduce Cecil- a crowntail betta.

As a Christmas present for Oscar and Einstein, we got them a new (plastic) plant.  We also got them some tasty Christmas treats - 5 minnows and 2 small goldfish.  Einstein ate 2 minnows and half of a goldfish yesterday, but Oscar seemed very uninterested, which is highly unusual.  As of this morning, there were 2 minnows and a goldfish left.  Now, however, there is 1 of each (see bottom left of the tank), and Oscar and Einstein don't seem to care.

Now, I'm going to get started on preparing food for lunch/dinner tomorrow!
French bread & cheese spread
Glazed ham
Twice-baked potatoes
Steamed broccoli
Grasshopper pie

Monday, December 12, 2011

How do you know you're a teacher?

Compliments of my Dad...


1. You get a secret thrill out of laminating things. 
2. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line. 

3. You walk into a store and hear the words, “It’s Ms./Mr. ____________ and know you have been spotted. 
4. You have 25 people who accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another. 
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under 25 15 minutes. 
6. You’ve trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day, lunch and planning period. 
7. You start saving other people’s trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom. 
8. You believe the Teacher’s Lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine. 
9. You want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 8 to 4 and have summers off." 
10. You believe chocolate is a food group. 
11. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside. 
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, the kids are sure mellow today.” 
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public. 
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.     (I don't like this one)
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form. 
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children. 
17. You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least 5 items! 
18. You ask your friends to use their words and explain if the left hand turn he made was a “good choice” or “bad choice.” 
19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils. 
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer  washing your hands (gets your hands much cleaner, in my opinion!)
21. You understand, instantaneously, why a child behaves in a certain way after meeting his/her parents.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Week in the Cottages

(For those of you wondering, our classroom is called a "Cottage".  It sounds so much classier than "portable" or "trailer"...)

Monday: Honestly, who can remember what happened Monday?  Our volunteer didn't show up for small groups, so Kelsey and I had to split our time.  Oh, and parent-teacher conferences started this week.

Tuesday: Nope, can't remember Tuesday either.  I think it was a pretty good day.

Wednesday: Oh, what a day.  It was the kind of day that makes you reconsider teaching 4 year olds.  First of all, it rained.  (Cue frantic scurrying to find "indoor games" to occupy 22 children for an hour of "outside time".)  After finally convincing every child to go to newly designated seats while waiting for the music teacher to show up, we spend 15 minutes wondering when Ms. Sunny will come and trying to entertain the kids without them moving.  Cue "Quiet Game".  Decide that Ms. Sunny is indeed not coming, so we skip music and go to snack. (Yum!) Introduce a new game to pass 30 minutes of recess. (Which, surprisingly, went really well).  On to Work Time (a fancy term for "Centers").  Everything's going really well, and we decide to extend Work Time to take up some of our 2nd outside time (as the rain continues...).  Halfway through Work Time, a student throws up on half of our main carpet.  21 other children freak out and are simultaneously repulsed and engrossed with the puddle on the carpet.  It takes 20+ minutes to track down a custodian to help us clean up the mess.  During that time, I form a blockade of chairs around the mess and try to steer the other 21 children back to their centers.  Finally, we get the mess cleaned up and go to lunch. I spend lunch putting mats out, and we go directly from lunch to nap instead of having math (the carpet was still wet from cleaning).  Because the day's schedule was completely messed up, nap time was a wreck too. FINALLY it's time to go home!

Thursday: Brr...the rain brought very cold weather with it.  We find out that if the temperature is under 40 degrees, we can't be outside.  Morning outside time is spent eating snack and playing a new game inside. The day passes fairly uneventfully (thank goodness for small miracles!)  After school, Kelsey and I are chatting with the mom of a student as we wait for his dad to show up for the conference.  The mom tells us stories about her son.  One of the stories is about how I (Mrs. May) like to bite children while they're at school (NOTE: I do NOT bite the children). His mom told him that I (Mrs. May) probably like biting children, and how she can't wait to tell Ms. Smith (Kelsey) about it.  At this point, he laughs and screams that it's a joke, please, please, please don't tell them! Kelsey and I were nearly rolling on the floor laughing.  We also found out that our dog puppet - Disco - comes to lunch and eats scraps under the table. Who knew?!?

Friday: One girl hands me a card as soon as I walk in the door from car rider duty.  Inside it says "I love my teachers, Love, M****". What a way to start the day! Too bad it didn't stay as delightful the rest of the day.  Nearly 1/3 of our class didn't line up from outside when the bell rang (just being contrary, I suppose).  5 boys had a marker war at the art table.  I caught them and made them find every marker and lid that they could. After 10 minutes of searching, there were still 10 markers without lids, so I told them that I figured they owed me 10 minutes of sitting on the carpet watching everyone else have fun (I'm so mean!). Kelsey kept 4 girls in from recess for a bit so they could finish cleaning their mess up in dramatic play (took them 20 minutes total). Lunch. Science (or, as we say, Let's Find Out About It). Nap Time - during which one student took up all the pieces of tape marking the waiting line for the bathroom. Story (well, half a story because it took forever to pack up everything they had to take home today). Dismissal.

Now, I'm writing this as I wait for my husband to get home on his day off.  The only reason he went in today is because it's looking like he can sell 2 cars today (fingers crossed)!