Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photo #90/365: Bracelets

On Sunday, I picked up this little stack of bracelets at the bead show. I have been having fun wearing them this week. It turns out that the colors look completely different in bright light than they did at the hotel. I just love sparkly things!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo #89/365: Testing

Today was our third day of Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. We have just two more to go. Then we can move our desks out of rows and put our privacy shields away, at least for a while.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo #88/365: Snowy Buds

My alarm went off at 5:15 this morning, as it always does, and I immediately got on the computer to finish some work. I didn't get around to actually looking out the window until almost 6:30. I certainly was suprised to see that the ground was covered by almost two inches of snow. I guess I must have missed that forecast. Fortunately, by the time I came home from work tonight, it was all gone!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo #87/365: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills

This is our week for Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. The desks are arranged, the pencils are sharpened, and the test booklets have been distributed. We are taking tests each morning this week.

Photo #86/365: Rings & Things Bead Show

On Sunday I went with my sister to the Rings and Things Bead Show. It was great fun to look at all those beads. I especially loved the African Trade Beads, though most were way beyond my budget.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Photo #85/365: Edcamp Omaha

Today's photos had to come from Edcamp Omaha. It was my first time to attend something like this, and it was a wonderful experience. I drove to Omaha this morning, leaving by 6:30 A.M. and arriving at the Thompson Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha by 9. The first hour was an opportunity to meet many people that previously I had known only from Twitter. It was also time for people who wanted to present to sign up for the sessions they wanted to do.

My first session that I chose to attend was a review of favorite iPad and iPod apps. There were lots of good ideas here. The second one I went to was called Web 2.0 Smackdown. This is Kristina Peters presenting. The really neat thing about the format of these sessions was the collaborative presentation. The person presenting would start things off, but then they would invite others to add to the presentation with their own ideas.

There were so many great ideas for apps and websites, that I could hardly type fast enough to get everything bookmarked and copied into notes. I will write more about this on my blog, "Day In the Classroom."

It was a wonderful day with fantastic people, not to mention, having a great lunch out. It was a day of meeting people that I have talked to via Twitter but never met face to face, and making completely new friends. I would definitely do this again!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Photo #84/365: Blooming Jasmine Tea

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. Tonight we got together after work at Gong Fu tea. She decided to order Blooming Jasmine, which is a white tea, and it was described as a "Presentation Tea" in their list of teas. It was pretty cool watching the blossom open up as it steeped, to reveal the Jasmine flower inside.

Photo #83/365: Battle of the Books

Thursday was the Battle of the Books competition for the east side. There were several students from our room on the Batle of the Books team. It's a lot of work, but it's also a great way to improve reading skills, and they have a lot of fun.

I am very proud of the job our kids did. Sadly, our team did not win. Pleasant Hill won the east side competion, and will go on to compete in the city-wide contest.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo #82/365: A Present

Two of my girls made this present for me over spring break. It's really adorable!

Photo #81/365: Smashburger

I decided to give Smashburger a try this past weekend. It's located just down the street from Huntington. The food was okay, but I thought it was kind of pricey for just a burger and fries.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Photo #80/365: Rocks and Crystals

I have been a rock hound since my grandmother got me started collecting rocks as a kid. I guess it runs in the family, because my sister is a certified gemologist and appraiser. Obviously she spends the majority of her time with valuable gems and metals, but she also has these samples sitting in her office.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Photo #79/365: Bandanna Dog

Friday was grooming day. I thought Bailey looked really cute in his bandanna, but he didn't like it much, and it didn't last long. He was pretty grouchy after being at the groomer, and he had that bandanna off in no time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photo #78/365: Giant Gems

These giant "gems" are sitting on the window sill of one of the windows in my sister's office. She is a certified gem appraiser, so most of the gems she looks at are much smaller but also much more valuable than these pictured. I do love the colors.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo #77/365: Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company

Jacci took me out to dinner to the Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company. Her office is located in this same building. She moved into a new larger office about a month ago, so I went down to see her new office, and she took me out to dinner. The food was delicious! I highly recommend the Chicken Marsala.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Photo #76/365: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It is already Thursday of spring break. This week is going really fast. I met Carrie for lunch at Jimmy John's. Unfortunately she was at the Jimmy John's in Ankeny while I was at the Jimmy John's in Altoona. Apparently my brain is on vacation. She drove down, and we did eventually get togehter. Thank heavens for text messaging, though I should read mine more carefully.

Today is St. Patrick's Day. Most years we have been in school or doing parent/teacher conferences on St. Patrick's Day, so celebrating the holiday in recent years has been rare. While in the past I have done the green beer in the beer tent thing, my celebration this year was pretty low key. I did decide to go up to Hy-Vee for dinner to eat their Irish buffet, which was more or less a mistake. The corned beef and cabbage wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I think I'm set for a few years. I found this pretty card in the greeting card section, but I was so cheap that I photographed it, but didn't buy it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Photo #75/365 Spring Break at Gray's Lake

I made my first trip to Gray's Lake for 2011. Apparently a whole lot of other people had the same idea. It's not surprising because temperatures got up to 67 today. People were walking, biking, skating, and rowing. The first challenge was trying to find a place to park the car.

Bailey went with me, which leads me to this question. Why do so many people have large dogs like pit bulls that they can barely control, and then take them to a public place like this? Some of those people also need to pick up after their lovely pets.

The big crowd made walking a little more stressful, but it was truly a gorgeous day.

Photo #74/365: Downtown Des Moines

This is a shot of the downtown Des Moines skyline taken from the plaza at Gray's Lake. I like the contrast of the dried ornamental grass against the blue water. I am so tired of everything being dried and brown though. I am longing for things to turn green.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Photo #73/365: A Hole In a Pole

It was a gorgeous day today, and Bailey and I went for a walk. Unfortunately it's hard to find anything interesting to photograph right now. Everything is still brown and dead, but I thought this was interesting. . . . . Nah! Not really.

Photo #72/365: New Job

Michael was down for the weekend. I took him back early to Ames so he could get to work at his new job at Jimmy John's

Photo #71/365: Pink

Another photo I snapped at Hy-Vee.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Photo #70/365: New Dryer

Friday was our first day of spring break. Some people were climbing on airplanes to fly to warm places like Jamaica. The highlight of my day was the delivery of my brand new clothes dryer. I am looking forward to being able to dry a load of clothes in less than three hours. Just being able to stay home will be a perfect week for me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Photo #69/365: Stick Together

The sculpture from in front of the Iowa Workforce Development Building is a reminder that we must stay strong and stick together.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Photo #68/365: Inside the Dome

Today was a very long day. We had our usual Wednesday school schedule with school dismissed at 1:30 and then parent/teacher conferences from 3:45 to 8:00. So far I have had 100% attendance at my conferences. Tomorrow isn't quite as long with conferences from noon until 8. Conferences have gone well, and the carrot at the end of the stick is SPRING BREAK!

My picture for today came from my trip to the capitol building on Monday. Iowa truly has the most beautiful state capitol building. This photo is taken of the inside of the the Iowa State Capitol dome.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Photo #66/365: Rally at the Iowa State Capitol

It seems some of the legislation from Wisconsin has now trickled down to Iowa. I went to the Iowa State Capitol this evening for the rally to protest House Bill #525 which proposes to limit union bargaining rights regarding insurance and other benefits. Fire Fighters, state workers, AFSME, and teachers were there to represent their views. ISEA (Iowa State Education Association) had a strong turnout.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photo #65/365: Bead Play

This afternoon I went out to Jacci's house to play with her beads and make some jewelry. We had planned to do this last weekend, but I ended up staying home sick. I have my own beads and equipment, but I am an amateur. Jacci, however, knows what she's doing. Before she became a certified gem appraiser, she had her own business making and marketing jewelry. She also has all all the trimming and trappings that are necessary to make a nice piece of jewelry.

The pendant is vintage, and Jacci picked it up at an auction some time ago. She gave it to me a couple of years ago. I've looked at it, and even worn it on a chain, but I wanted to make it a permanent part of necklace. I picked up some of the jasper beads last September when we went to the Marshalltown Bead Bash, and Jacci let me use some of her beads as well.

I've been thinking about how I wanted to put these beads together, so for a change, when I started laying things out on the beading tray, my plan came together pretty quickly.

Then it was time to string the beads. I used a brown stainless steel tiger tail. It was flexible and very easy to work with me. Once I had things together, Jacci helped me tie off the ends. She used gold wire to attached the final bead and pendant.

I am very pleased with my necklace.

Photo #64/365: Gnome Home

This little gnome and his home are a new addition to a neighbor's yard. I thought it was kind of cute, particular since he has a new movie out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Photo #63: Purple Posies

You're probably noticing that I spend a lot of time at the grocery store. Lot's of my pictures, especially lately, come from there. Hy-Vee is only 3 blocks from my house, so I do stop there a lot. Tonight I decided to have dinner there. They just remodeled their cafe. I noticed these beautiful flowers when I first walked in the store.

Photo #62: The Pharmacy

Because I wasn't feeling very well this week, it was pretty much go to school, come home as early as possible and head to bed. Lots of kids are sick, too. I had kids go home sick, almost every day this week. On Thursday I went to the doctor and made a stop at the pharmacy to pick up the perscription. Now I'm being a treated for an inner ear infection.

Photo #61: Mexican Tile

Even though I was struggling with a respiratory infection all week, I went to work every day. Jacci and I also went out to dinner on Wednesday night at Chili's. I had the fajita's which were delicious, by the way. This Mexican tile is on the table top. I love the color and the design.

Photo #60: Long Division

We started working on long division this week. I like to meet with small groups to help get kids on the right track. White boards are a great way for me to see the kids work.