Tweet-da-leet-a-leet, Tweet-da-leet-a-leet

I forgot to mention that I am officially a tweeter now.  You know, on twitter.  I am making wonderful connections with all kinds of “edtech” people and am honestly loving it.  Now…I guess in all honesty I must admit that I have been a tweeter for a year…but, it isn’t quite the same.  You see, I have been tweeting as a Garden Gnome.  

Are you done laughing yet?  I was being PAID.  However, I recently realized that I wanted to tweet as me.  As an educator with a passion for technology.  As a mother of two children.  As a cook who likes to experiment with recipes.  The possibilities are endless. I am currently having a twitter conversation with two administrators about student recognition.  (Like, really currently….because it is open in another window)  So, now I tweet as me.  I hung up my gnome hat and am happily tweeting as ME, @JenRobertstweet.  

Follow me.  Tweet at me.  Join me on this journey.  I dare you. 

 

World’s Worst Blogger

So, let’s get the obvious out of the way first.  I am the worst blogger ever.  I have great intentions…but my follow-through is definitely lacking.  However, I think I am going to give this another shot. 

We are still in Omaha and we still love it here.  I was quite pleased recently when Omaha was rated by Kiplinger as the #1 place to raise kids.  That made me feel like a successful mother.  I felt even more successful because Suwanee, GA was the #3 place.  See, I have made great decisions concerning the locations that I have chosen to raise my kids…it has absolutely nothing to do with Dave’s job.  (O-Kay…well, maybe a little bit)

Two months ago…I would have told you that I had one more year of teaching in me.  That it was time to retire. There have been some growing pains that come with switching school districts.  I know this is normal….believe me…I have done it enough.  It was just extremely painful this time.  I’m older.  However, I have recently become “reenergized.”  I am ready to go back to school and get my Masters degree in Administration and I have a brain that is SWIMMING with ideas that I want to use in my classroom next year.  

I am currently researching QR codes and Twitter in education.  Summer came at just the right time.  

Luck O’ the Irish

What a busy week this has been!  We had our home inspection on Tuesday and it went very well.  Just a couple of minor fixes are required.  I enjoy getting to see the house, so I was happy to meet the inspector for a walk-through.  While I was there I took a couple of pictures.  I took a picture of the most beautiful tree in the world.  I am certain that when you look at the tree you will find it quite ordinary.  I find it extraordinary because it will be MY tree, in MY yard, in Omaha, Nebraska.  If you had told me a year ago that we would be living in Omaha AND loving it…I would have laughed.  A lot.  The other picture is a close up of the “argyle” in the “argyle room.”  I hope to never see it again.  The sellers are having it professionally painted. I also took a picture of the fireplace…no reason…just struck my fancy.

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  Admittedly, this holiday now makes my list of “top 10 days that I would rather go to the dentist than teach”….but, it is a great day to take cute pictures of my kids.

 

A little fresh air.

On the way home from work today we decided to find a playground so that we could get a little fresh air.  We decided to stop by the playground right by our new house.  It is actually the school’s playground…and as Drew said, “It’ll give me a little practice on the playground.  Then, when I’m in kindergarten I will look like I know what I’m doing.”  Can’t argue with that.

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It’s been SO long

It has been so long since I posted, that it is ridiculous.  I guess I felt that life was just life, and not all that interesting to read about.  However, I have had a couple of wonderful people ask about my blog recently, and I thought that I would give it another try.

We definitely still love it in Omaha.  It really feels like home to us.  What doesn’t feel like home is….well…our home.  If you could call it that.  We are currently living in a two bedroom, one bedroom townhouse.  It has two benefits over the furnished three bedroom corporate apartment that we WERE living in.  1:  It is closer to work for both of us.  2:  It is upstairs and downstairs…so we can let the kids jump around a bit more without worrying about the people below us.

Now….drawbacks.

1.)  WE HAVE ONE BATHROOM.  Yes, I know I lived for the first 8 years of my life in a house with only one bathroom.  Yes, I know that one bathroom used to be the norm.  Yes, I know that people had outhouses once upon a time.  The issues that have stemmed from this are pretty hilarious.  I might also mention that the tub doesn’t stop….so the kids have been taking only showers…and that at shower time…no other water in the house can be running…or the person showering will be scalded.

2)  The washer and dryer are in the kitchen.  Yep.  Right there.  Now, I was watching House Hunters International last night, and that was a big selling point of this one condo…so, obviously I am just not “hip” enough to recognize a good thing when I see it.

3)  We are eating at a card table.  Watching t.v. on a futon.  Using wire cubbies (yep, the kind that can be found in every classroom at Parsons elementary) as our pantry.  However, I’m married to David…so, we are watching a very nice television.

4)  Did I mention that we don’t have dressers?  Our clothes are literally everywhere.  Well, except Drew’s.  His are in the linen closet…out of his reach….because changing clothes is his biggest hobby.

HOWEVER…an end is in sight.  Our house in GA is under contract.  We have found a house here in Omaha…and we made an offer, they countered…and we accepted.  I am living for the end of April.  As you watch the slideshow…please know that part of the contract included all wallpaper coming down and being painted the color of our choice and the lovely argyle room will also be repainted.

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Snow Day #1

Today was my first snow day here.  I have to be honest wit you.  I didn’t expect a snow day this soon or really at all.  I was under the impression that it took a legitimate blizzard to cause school to be cancelled.  However, I found out today that it really only takes between 6-8 inches.  There is even talk on the news this evening that there may be a snow day again tomorrow due to high winds and blowing snow.  It is also going to be REALLY cold…that has nothing to do with closing school…just an observation of mine.

We had a great time.  We played in the snow.  We went sledding.  (Yes, I EVEN went sledding…and NO there is no photographic proof) I also had my feet go out from under me while I was walking down the hill and I ended up flat on my back in 8 inches of snow.  We made snow cream and are now cuddled up on the couch waiting for David to get home.

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Our first experience in the Snow

We had a blast!!

 

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Snow

I’m a Florida girl who is now living in Nebraska after an 8 year stint in Georgia.  My time in Georgia taught me an important lesson.  If it snows…school is cancelled.  I have always thought that this was an UNSPOKEN unalienable right.  You know…from the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

The pursuit of Happiness surely refers to the ability to frolic in the snow whenever it chooses to fall from the sky.  The state of Georgia certainly believes this.  It snows.  There’s “snow” school.  Clever, right?  The state of Nebraska has a differing opinion.  Supposedly it snows a lot here…(I have seen NO proof of this…because Georgia has had about four times as much snow as Nebraska so far this year)  so they have the proper road clearing equipment.  Nebraska might embrace the United States Postal belief….

“neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

Enough about that…

Today has been a wonderful, snowy Sunday.  We chose to get out of the apartment and give me a driving lesson in the snow.  FUN TIMES.  It actually went better than expected, which could be proven by the appearance of my car in the garage…completely unscathed.  I chauffeured my family to the ice rink so that they could spend some time on the ice.  I watched proudly from the bleachers, as I read a book called Wondrous Words by Katie Wood Ray for a school committee.  Enjoy the images you see below….

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We are about to embark on a journey across the apartment complex to a good sledding hill.  David will be hobbling due to his new skates.  Apparently he should have been wearing them while sitting on the couch with wet socks for the past week or something.

Words

Words.  Sometimes it is hard to find the right words.  I would love to tell you about my first day, and the sweet class that I have.  If I had the words..I would tell you that they are wonderful, and that kids are kids no matter where you are.  I would tell you that they were so excited to cover their new writers’ notebooks and design them however they wanted..instead of having them remain “Composition Black and White.”  I would tell you about the little boy who got so carried away with his heart map that it ended up taking up three pages.  I might tell you about another little guy who reminds me of a child that my friend Kim taught for a million years in a row whose initials were B.V. and who always had some long winded story to tell-that took a million and a half years.  I could tell you that 25 minutes is not long enough for specials, but that more instructional time is wonderful.  I might tell you that I miss my Smart Board more than I would miss my left arm…and that a chalkboard is an adjustment.  I would definitely tell you that I love my new team and that the whole staff is friendly.  I would complain that having to go through new staff training when I have been teaching for 17 years seems like a waste of time…but, I understand why…even if I don’t like it.

I would tell you all of these things and more.

But, it seems trivial.  I can’t really mention that the last 45 minutes of my 1st day teaching in my new district were spent in a code red lockdown..or that my students were amazing…or that I was already so in love with them that I would have done anything to protect them if necessary.

The truth of the matter is we were all in a code red lockdown throughout the whole district….because a student who was suspended for driving across the football field thought that his anger justified him walking back into that school and shooting and ultimately killing the Assistant Principal at a local High School as well as shooting the Principal.  The only words that are really worth saying are prayers for the families of all of the individuals involved.

Random Thoughts

Is 2 weeks a long time?  I suppose it depends on the context.  2 weeks at Disney.  2 weeks of working late.  2 weeks of papers that have to be graded.  2 weeks of getting up early in the morning to exercise.  2 weeks can go by in a wink or they can drag out like an eternity.  We have been in Omaha for almost 2 weeks.  Has it flown by or has time stood still?  It may seem impossible, but both are true.

Every day I notice something new that takes my breath away.  I never knew that I would find a frozen lake breathtaking.  I yearn for a good camera to try and capture its beauty.  I drive by Lake Zorinsky off of 168th almost every day.  I have seen it covered with snow.  I have seen it after a warm day with big jagged cracks in the ice, I have seen it with pools of water covering the submerged ice.  I love it each and every time I see it.  My goal for next week is to stop and take a picture of it, even though I know my iphone won’t even begin to do it justice.

There is this tree that I drive by each day.  I’m not sure why this tree “speaks” to me, but it does.  I don’t even know what type of tree it is…or how old it is.  I can imagine trees just like this one with a wagon stopped nearby.  This tree just sits there on a corner, but it makes me appreciate my surroundings each day.

Another thing that I can’t help but notice is how genuinely kind everyone is.  I KNOW it sounds trite, but it’s true.  Everyone smiles when they walk by you.  (Well, except for that one grumpy lady at the grocery store…but… I’m quite sure she was just in a bad mood because she was wearing flip-flops and it was 12 degrees outside)  A guy walked into the door at Hy-Vee (grocery store) right in front of me tonight, and he actually got a cart out from me before he got one for himself.  People are so friendly that I keep thinking that I must know them.  Speaking of Hy-Vee…they offer to take your groceries out!  Every single time.  Remind you of another place?  Nothing beats Publix..but Hy-Vee is doing a decent job of making me feel at home.

The best thing about Omaha so far?  I get to see my husband at a reasonable hour each night.  We have been able to cook dinner together a few nights.  He has time to lay on the floor and play with Brooke and Drew.  Omaha has been great for our family so far.  I can’t wait to see what else it has in store for us.